View from 8/3

This is a short story I wrote few years ago (in Polish) reflecting on human condition. My characters are, partially, genuine people I met. Thinking about them I’ve got a panorama of an average post-communist Polish city – the concrete desert with humans functioning like in the Play-station reality invented by a sadistic, imagination-unspoiled individual. The sheer absurdity of the most basic activities being ‘carried on’ in those conditions was one of the most unsettling experiences I’ve got in my life.

Firstly, I was thinking that auntie and almost-uncle are Martians, who just got lost on our planet like Le petite prince, whose story I had enjoyed so much… Then I convinced myself that they have to be people only made from the bubble gum, a hundred thousand and fifty five parts of it… However, when I shared it to other boys they led me to a forest and forced to eat acorns with shells altogether, albeit I told them that I prefer only acorns, without shells. They shouted words I found impossible to understand…You vagabond…dwarf… fool…

As for the first epithet I couldn’t agree at all, admittedly I wasn’t from these parts but I didn’t begin out of nothing and I must have had dear parents, only they haven’t approached me yet. Apropos dwarf, I didn’t bother either since my granddad has told me about little Oscar – a boy who didn’t want to grow up, so he remained a child for ever. My granddad explained me also that he had been imagined but I found it difficult to believe – one simply couldn’t be able to imagine boys like me…

Only fool I was ready to forgive. The yard-boys from anthill-blocks of flats situated in a provisional city in an Eastern – European country mustn’t have known much about the complex paths of human existence.

I knew…

Auntie used to start her day from reviewing a repetition of a serial which a thousand of parts wouldn’t be enough to fill up the rest of this story…Then was a breakfast and auntie ate two cups of coffee grounds. That allowed her to disdain lunch and to complain about headache, intestines and broken life. For she was after four surgical operations and before two another which she was, without any doubt, about not to survive. My almost-uncle has been getting a severe punishment because of this very drama, although he’s never got any idea about it.

Almost-uncle used to evacuate himself each morning running to a job from where he was continuously about to be fired and he was coming back at dusk, extremely exhausted, dirty and happy that he hasn’t been fired yet. My almost-uncle wouldn’t say a word to the aunt, apparently because she was so close, but he kept hot discussions with sportsmen and politicians via television screen.

Each day stupid Mary from a flat above dropped into by an accident. Stupid Mary didn’t know that is stupid, otherwise she would have known that is irrational to listen for the fifty-seventh time the same story about auntie’s ex-husbands…One of them was supposed to die tragically and the other one by hanging himself in a bathroom… Uncle Frank was meant to be a drunk bastard and uncle Stan – a bastardy drunker. Stupid Mary made a cross sign each time she heard the names of my uncles. She considered herself as a true believer, that’s why she would go to the Mass on Saturday to have whole Sunday just for herself.

Many times it crossed my mind that being so different makes me to see those people from Bishop’s St. in an impaired way, as with square pupils. Then one day I saw my auntie crying over a death of her dear mother and almost-uncle having comforting her and saying that he will break bones of those greedy relatives who lurk on the inheritance…

And on that day I reached a conclusion that if my guardians are able to appear as genuine humans, weeping, sensing the lost, inveighing against their closest ones they could be also extraterrestrial creatures or bubble-gum clusters. They can be anyone and anything as long as they exist authentically and haven’t been made up by a boy like me…

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

2 responses to “View from 8/3

  • darthsida

    I’ve sure enjoyed my read here. I would even if it had just this phrase: “auntie ate two cups of coffee grounds”. (I wish it were mine)
    PS Where’s the pic taken? Reminds me of my own ‘average’ hometown. [And of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.]

  • skonieczna

    Darthsida,

    Thanks. The picture’s taken in Jastrzebia Zdroj in 1969 by the PAP photographer Witold Jakubowski (should have written this above).
    P.S.
    Nice writings (on your site)

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