Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Głęboko w bieli

I left my flat on the fourth floor. The smell of wasted dreams was still filling the whole space and it followed me while I went down the stairs of the building. At that time of the evening you could already enjoy the almost complete absence of people on the street.

Such a relief, at last.

That is what my dog could have felt at that moment. But in this walk I was alone. Penniless, stranded and somewhat depressed I tried to enjoy the sound of the footsteps into the snow. It was Sunday, the day in which few cars pass and people are too warm at home to throw those bags of salt on the asphalt.

The street was a frosted cake in which I started to cave in my own way into my solitude. Little did I know that I would fall sick for some weeks after such a walk.

I was looking for some sort of relief but I refused to see what was in front of me. You see, I never really was able to have any patience in life to fulfill some of the tasks I was supposed to accomplish. It is curious that I just talked about those bags of salt, since I very well could picture myself as one of them. I saw myself as a person that eases other people´s step into their tasks. My intentions were good, but the bag was found to be a pure rag. Holes appeared and the salt scattered on the whiteness of a lonely street on which no one will feel the need to lose his time on.

Sometimes I wondered if the bag could not be opened and all it did was just fall from the back of a public service van. Closed it had remained and it had rolled its way onto the metallic lips of a sewer. Such a romantic vision of myself I had while I continued my walk that Sunday evening.

The salt would solidify and the whiteness of its substance would acquire a different tone, sucking the dirt around it and becoming yellowish as the powder substance on a museum´s bones.

I had not enough money to buy some cheap wine. That of 7 zlotys that you need to drown into some other liquid so as to feel something similar to a sip of good alcohol. Would it still spark my blood in my veins?

I finally crossed the park on which I used to play with my dog. I was thinking of how comfortable people would be in their houses, reading a book while caressing their dogs. Mine would be enjoying a good dish prepared by my girl and I felt like coming back home and finally be able to stop doing cheap philosophy thoughts on a sunday evening.

And then I saw it. 

At first I thought it was an error, of course. I felt someone was looking at me from a parked car. The logic existed and though the day was freezing cold and it was late, somebody could actually be getting ready to use a car. Or also, it was also possible that someone didn´t have a house and was spending the evening in a car.

Why not?

And so I politely smiled to the person in the car without actually looking. My reaction was clumsy and ridiculous so I started to walk faster in the direction of my flat. Then I realised that the person in the car seemed to have reacted in a stupid way as well. Minutes later I thought I was rude for not having looked even. My paranoia started growing like the layers of snow on the road.

I felt as if the person was calling me from the distance even though I was too far from the car to be seen.

I couldn´t help myself from returning from the place in which the car was parked, right at the exit of the park. My mind was driving me insane already, sending possible portraits of the person at whom I had barely laid my eyes on. 

A man, brown haired. No glasses, shades of beard. Not Polish.

How could I possible know that if I hadn´t looked at the person? What if, after all, there was nobody at all in that car? How would I explain my girl or myself what was happening? 

A hooded man just passed close to me and it freaked me more than my thoughts. In this time of the year anybody can look scary because we cannot see our faces anymore. Layers and more layers of clothes cover our bodies and our shapes become diffuse, all black shadows moving silently on the neverending whiteness.

I started laughing at the fact that I was playing a stupid game that I myself had invented out of nowhere. There was probably no car, no mysterious man in it and surely I must still be dreaming in my bed and I still haven´t got up from my sleep.

With regained confidence and interest I arrived to the place where the car was supposed to be. I verified that the same car was there and slowly I got closer to it to check if there was somebody inside. In fact I could see a head resting on a window. I could only see long brown hair. I got closer to the head to check if the person was awake. The closer I got to the window the weirder the feeling was becoming. I was mesmerized by that person in the car and yet I still didn´t know who that was.

Finally I stared at that head, barely 5 centimeters from it. Still it didn´t move and I just couldn´t resist the temptation of seeing who that was. I knocked at the window and waited for that face to show.

Nothing moved

After a couple minutes I thought I must have been become crazy. It seemed to me that that wasn´t a head anymore. It was probably some toy left by a kid inside his parents´ car. Or maybe it was just a reflection from another car that together with some strange car furniture had twisted my imagination a little.

Laughing, I started running from the place. I got to the zebra crossing and I smiled at the fact that I would see the first car approaching in the whole evening.I had been out for an hour and I hadn´t seen anybody´s face yet. I waited for the car to get closer and I wondered if it would let me pass or if it would pass first.

The car started to slow down when it approached me and it finally stopped. I started crossing and I waved hello to the driver. While crossing I realised it was the same car on whose window I had stared for some minutes before. The driver was looking at me and smiling, waving the hand with the same intensity and motion as I was doing.

In shock I realized it was me in the car. The thought froze my whole body and I could barely feel my limbs. The terror regained control over me and I could only wait and observe the movements of my alter ego in the car. He continued smiling while my face was terrorized and I could hear the engine roar while the car crashed my body on the white road.

When I woke up, I thought I was dead. I had been hit by a car. On purpose, and by my own self. 

Two weeks of fever and flu followed that night and I still haven´t been able to leave the house since then. I wonder if it is the flu what is keeping me here or the horror of living the same experience again: the car and the mysterious figure inside that it turns out to be me.

Will it repeat itself?

I am so scared that I have stopped looking through the balcony window. I fear seeing that car parked there. And above all, I fear seeing myself laughing from the other side of the steering wheel of my life, calling me, telling me to get closer to it once more.

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