"So you see," Ante commented once Katinka had disappeared back into the kitchen. "Katinka does not seem to have a problem with David's pharmacy."
"No, apparently not."
"But you do, don't you?" Ante continued, pouring some dressing onto a piece of pizza.
Bjorn looked across the street. Apart from the rather provocative sign about the sky not being the limit, the pharmacy seemed quite harmless, and he had to admit that he did not feel threatened by it in any way.
"It's not so much me, but kids and, you know, other people I'm worried about."
"Well yeah, sort of."
"So you don't think she can take care of herself?"
Bjorn took a piece of pizza for himself.
"Katinka is a bad example. But you know, other people."
"Other people?" Ante asked, munching thoughtfully on his piece of pizza. "Like who?"
"Well, I don't know. Drug addicts. You know, people who get hooked on that stuff. I mean, it can really get you in trouble."
"Like, it can get you arrested, right?"
"But that's not the drugs, that's the police, isn't it. The biggest danger with illegal drugs is that it can land you in jail."
"Now, that's silly," Bjorn protested. "Some of those drugs will kill you, you know."
"And that's what you think David is selling? Drugs that kill people?"
"Yeah, what's to stop him?"
"His reputation, maybe."
"Would you sit here and eat this pizza if you had heard that someone died eating this?"
"No, of course not."
"But you expect people to flock to David's pharmacy, knowing full well that he kills people?"
"No. But that's different. You know, if you're hooked, you'll do it anyway. You'll buy it, even if it may kill you."
"Exactly. So the addicts will find their drugs somehow, and buy it from someone somewhere. Someone with a sketchy reputation. Isn't it better that they buy it from David who has a reputation to take care of? Don't you think it's safer for the addicts to deal with David than someone under a bridge somewhere?"
"Yeah, maybe. But this guy is promoting his stuff. He's actively pushing it. You really think that should be legal?"
"Because... You know... This is just stupid. I've already told you why, haven't I?"
"Yeah, you have."
"It's Thomas talking through you again, isn't it?" Bjorn inquired.
"Kind of. But I always thought it odd that people shouldn't be allowed to make up their own minds on things like this. So, it's not like I never thought about this. It's just that Thomas kind of put words to those thoughts."
"Thomas is a bitter old man," Bjorn commented.
"He's a good deal younger than you."
"Still. He's a bitter old man. That's what he is."
The pizza was exactly like what Bjorn was used to from Oslo, so there was no doubt that it was made from the original Peppe's recipe. But just as Bjorn was about to comment on this, Ante broke the silence.
"Did you ever try, like pot or anything like that?" Ante asked.
"Well... yeah... Who hasn't? I mean..."
"I've never tried it. Never even felt curious."
"Yeah," Ante continued thoughtfully. "Maybe that's why I don't mind people like David. I don't feel drawn to his stuff, so I don't see any reason to stop him."
"Well, that's a thought."
"What about you? Did you ever try anything that was, you know, stronger than pot?"
"No, but I've been tempted. You know, when I was young."
"And it scares you to think what might have happened?"
"Yeah, I'm glad I didn't try it."
"You think you could have been hooked?"
"I don't know... Maybe."
"So that's why you want it to be illegal. That's the real reason? Is it?"
"You're afraid of yourself, and would prefer to see it banned?"
"Now... Well... That's silly. No, I'm not afraid of myself. I can take care of myself."
"But the younger version of yourself? That's the one you want to protect?"
"Nah... That's not it. I just know that people get drawn to this stuff, and I think it shouldn't be out there."
"Okay. So it should be banned? Much better to let the Mafia sell this kind of stuff than people like David?"
"But David is the Mafia. This whole place is run by them. Haven't you figured that out yet?"
Ante didn't answer, but took a final swing of his beer instead. Then he looked around for Katinka, catching sight of her over by the bar. And once he got her attention he signaled that he would like another beer.
"Oh, no he's not," Bjorn intervened in a loud voice. "Give this man a glass of water will you."