I went drinking with my friend Marcin from Poland last night. He’s out of work, hoping to get some social welfare, hoping he’ll still be able to down a few pints on a Saturday night…
Some of you might remember him as a man with three jobs. He used to work all the hours his god sent. He was alone with his pint. I asked him who paid for it.
"Where’d she get the money man?"
"She’s on the black. She’s cleaning houses for people who have jobs."
"Your English has got a lot better - what happened?"
Marcin smiled. Sipped a bit of his half-gone pint. I could see he was nursing it.
"You know O’Mani I’ve been following my New Year Resolutions."
"I thought you Poles had only two resolutions: do more work and drink more Guinness?"
He chuckled and took a book out of his pocket. The bar had plenty of room for him to put it on the counter. The page he opened was full of Polish doodles. I flicked over a page. And got a mega surprise…
English writing… written by a Pole: it was all a bit flowery in form but I could read the spelling mistakes. He hit my back a good slap.
"You look like you need more drink my friend. The missus has been teaching me."
"You’re some fuckin student" I whispered with force. "How in god’s name did you pick this up so fast?"
"OMani you feckin fool, you don’t know all about me. I did English at school you know."
"Come here. Let me have a look. What have you been up to, this looks very long…"
This is what I read…
Sunday 28 December 2008
Sitting up in bed alone in Mama Anna’s house in Warsaw @ 0814
I am prisonner here. Unable to go down stairs for fear of setting off the alarm. Unloved guest. And I’m not amking it any better for myself by setting into my role as the unloved…
Alfred is cold and uncaring for me - he had no welcome, may well feel his loved daughter fell in with the wrong man. He’s said nothing about the Christmas present. I’m using the Christmas present as a litmus test: it didn’t change colour. I may have got a thanks. I think Miranda read the hakis - those eliptical pieces - hardly the sort of verse most people would find easy to relate to.
If you don’t know hakis already, they must raise more questions which are un-put-into-words-able. You can ask questions ab out a conventional verse, but hakis strike you as odd, and you wonder if you’re thick unable to get the joke or the philosophical pun.
I didn’t make it easy for people to say anything in response by choosing that form.
I did my own thing and presented them with stuff that turned me on
but what was I expecting: people to say ‘Marcin, I don’t understand any of the captions, please know that I’m not in your league’. No, never…
people (no one) are like that. I knew.
I would be responded to by silence. The photos are another thing.
People can relate to photos but maybe the ‘captions’ make the photos harder to take than they need have been… and there are few Chopins and Rackmaninovs in the calendar. She and he won’t find much uself in there. They know the birthdates they need already.
It’s useless to Miranda and Fred and they have plenty more to spend their time on. I produced something fit for a corner gathering dust.
Be that as it may
So be it.
I have no need to feel insulted by their getting on with their actual lives - rather than the life I would have them live -
Let them be Marcin. Let them not torment you. Nor do you torment them any more than you existence already does.
Live and let live
Accept, accept, accept
Let it go, go, go
Reach out to them a bit at a time. They are real people with real feelings - they are not actors in a drama designed to be your life Marcin. They are unique struggling individuals who have dealt with many ups and down, who have a biography you can’t even guess at. And they are fundamentally good people who desire all the living I can offer. They have produced Anna and I’ll always owe them for that. I’m the recipient of their struggle to be the best persons they can be.
I am deeply grateful to them for all the love Anna’s given me.
Love them better in 2009.
A New Year’s Resolution formed…
"Bloody hell Marcin. Where’d you get all this? You been to night classes? Hey, any luck with the jobs?
"Just read on O’Mani…" Another sip. He was really milking it. I needed another and called for two pints. His notebook went on for pages, all words no doodles…
(1) Love Fred & Miranda better than ever before, and expect nothing in return but whatever they can give me and accept that that is enough, more than enough from Fred & Miranda who are generous people in their own way.
(2) Make up with GL and do more than apologise. Remember G. is not an ambulance for Marcin. I’ve written to GL because I regret what I did to break off our fragile relationship. I write now to simply say sorry G., I hope you and Anne are still alive for me to say that sorry too.
Grace wants me to read her a story… I’ll do that and continue later.