July/August 2012 - Vol. 61..

The Bone Surgeon: A personal story of a life-changing revolution
 by Andrzej Solecki

illustrations by Grzegorz Grys

Chapter 4
Post-Wedding Bash 

There was almost no social event that I would allow myself to miss at that time. I’m shy by nature, but I would undergo a miraculous transformation at every party. My reserve disappeared after the first two shots and I morphed into the heart and soul of the party, which was the reason I was often invited.  Basically, any social event that involved alcohol trumped all the other leisure activities, as far as I was concerned. Sitting at the table with empty glasses was a waste of time—I could not relax, the conversations were strained, my jokes weren’t funny. Two or three quick rounds, however, always worked unfailingly. Therefore, I would set a quick drinking pace and I was anything but tolerant of those who drank a little less than me. I was vexed by people’s moderation in drinking and the arguments like: ‘I’m taking antibiotics’ or ‘I’m driving tonight’ led me to ultimate irritation. There was no room for such pseudo party people in my company. Only those who could keep up with me in drinking could enjoy the position of my faithful companions. 

I remember this guy who would not drink at one of the parties. My nagging questions, ‘What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you drinking?’, were answered shortly: ‘I’m not drinking, because I don’t drink at all’. I was flabbergasted and left him alone. Another time we could not make it to our friends’ wedding, so they invited us to a post-wedding bash in their garden near Bielsko-Bia?a. I got drunk fast and became aggressive. When I started looking for trouble with a group of well-built members of a rowing club, one of the guests intervened and prevented the fight. I ended up having a conversation with one of those guys. He told me that he worked as a miner and after work he sculpted. As an unfulfilled musician, I had a lot of respect and a bit of a soft spot for artists, so a thread of understanding was established between us immediately. He offered to show me his sculptures, which he kept in his flat. We got into his car and a few minutes later I was looking at some unusual wooden carvings. He told me about the meaning of the scenes carved in the low reliefs. In the end he reached into a cupboard and took out a large crucifix made of dark wood. 

‘Here’, he said, ‘This is for you; a gift from a worker.’

 There was something stunning about it……..

I didn’t drink anymore that night. Julitta drove on our way home. As I was sitting in the passenger’s seat with the wooden gift on my lap, I found myself in a strange state which I hadn’t known before….… but after two days everything went back to “normal”. 

(c) 2011 Andrzej Solecki

Click on links below to read separate chapters.
Chapter 1 The Tools
Chapter 2 Communism and the Trouble with Grazyna
Chapter 3 Intuition and Resuscitation
Chapter 4 Post-Wedding Bash

copyright © 2012  Living Bulwark
publishing address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, Suite 108, London NW10 7LQ, United Kingdom
email: living.bulwark@yahoo.com