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
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.
he said, ‘This is for you; a gift from a worker.’
was something stunning about it……..
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”.
2011 Andrzej Solecki
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