I studied in Pozna, but then decided to return to my pipidówka in Pomerania, hoping for a good job. But I miscalculated.
– Ten years ago – I heard from potential employers – I’d kiss your hands if you applied for us. But today we have too many people.
My hopes fell away
So I went to the city library without any expectations. In the province you are lucky to work in such a place: fixed wages, fixed working hours, relatively little responsibility and a warm, cozy place between the books. I love to read and as far as I’m concerned I could spend the rest of my life in the library discovering new titles and authors.
“You’re lucky”, I heard when I delivered the application there. – One of the employees is on maternity leave. We can accommodate you for this period. It fits?
I was assigned to Ms. Ali, a librarian with twenty years of experience. Even though she wasn’t much younger than my mother, she was still an attractive woman, though she tried to hide her under dull clothes at all costs. With a certain suspicion she let me into her kingdom, but when she saw the anointing with which I treat the printed word, she began to show me more and more sympathy. My main task was to transfer the library catalog to a computer disk, quite a tedious job, but during the breaks we were able to talk and to our mutual surprise we discovered that we had the same literary taste.
It seemed that we both found in this place what we expected from the world…
Thanks to them, the whole city came to life
Everything changed when wandering craftsmen appeared in our city – people with capable hands, a cheerful disposition and a sense of unlimited freedom. Associated with a guild of crafts already forgotten: stonemasons, carpenters, roofers, masons. Most of these originals, with colorful scarves and weird haircuts, came from Germany, but there were also two quite handsome Frenchmen, an Italian and a Canadian. They worked for the so-called “food and shelter”, traveling throughout Europe and gaining professional experience. This was what his qualities required of them before they achieved the title of champion.
They only offered their work in public buildings. I learned all this from the internet. These people would be working on the building of the gazebo opposite the library, so Mrs. Ala, who spoke German, was promoted to translator.
“Order from the mayor himself,” she muttered angrily, reluctantly handing over some of my responsibilities. – Like I have nothing to do here!
She had been gone for a few hours and when she came back she didn’t seem so bad.
“You know,” she said, her eyes twinkling suspiciously. – They’re people from another era. They finish vocational school and then have to gain experience as journeymen. They probably get a euro from the guild, they go to work for a few years, but after their return they can’t have more than a euro with them. Isn’t that romantic? In this materialistic world, something like that?!
I liked it too, but Ms. Ali’s unnatural vibrancy was probably not just about new impressions. She immediately confessed:
“We made some welcome toasts, but I’m covered and the mayor has been drinking too,” she giggled.
In the days that followed Ala rarely visited the library
As she claimed, there was a lot to deal with. Through the window I saw him arguing with a middle-aged, long-haired man who looked like the boss of the gang. I personally one of the French caught my eye with a mohawk on his head and an earring in his ear… Building materials were brought into the park in front of the library: bricks, sandstone blocks, wooden beams. The construction site came alive, stonemasons grabbed chisels and hammers, carpenters grabbed axes and everyone went to work. A beautiful brick gazebo with stone trim and wood floors began to sprout straight from the lawn.
– Apparently the former owners of our town used to serve as a stage for the orchestra, – Ala gave a lively lecture, when she finally found some time to visit me.
Well, well, the woman got involved in this projectand she only seemed to care about books! Maybe it’s the fresh air she’s been spending so much time on lately, or something else? A colorful scarf around the neck and a long floral skirt instead of wide dresses in a beige shade, aroused typically feminine suspicion in me. Could one of the merry craftsmen catch her eye?
An affair right under my husband’s nose?
I couldn’t believe that a woman her age, the mother of a family with a stable position in small towns, that she… I imagined my mother in this role and felt sick. However, the following days would show that my feminine intuition did not disappoint me. Mrs. Ala was getting younger every day, and it wasn’t credit for discreet make-up or new clothes. Something changed in her look, in the expression on her face, in the way she moved.
It was so obvious that it’s unbelievable that no one but me noticed. I dared not ask, for who was I that this woman should confess to me? Anyway, I knew who had turned her head.
– Oh my! – praised the long-haired mason. – So that you would see how his hands can make any shape out of an ordinary stone. It’s just great!
At the words ‘his hands’ she unconsciously closed her eyes, probably depicting the artist’s long fingers on his body. In fact, though much too old for me, the stonemason looked quite good. Slim, wiry body, intelligent face. Even his salt-and-pepper hair gave him charm. Compared “Hunk” to the man who was Mrs. Ali’s husband.
Is this the pinnacle of my dreams?
The days passed and the construction of the gazebo was nearing completion. It was a true work of art with carved sandstone mascarons crowning each of the gazebo’s six corners! Mrs. Ala had less and less to do on the construction site – she couldn’t pretend to be an indispensable interpreter, as there was nothing to translate. So she went to the library out of necessity, but she was demure and reluctant to talk. She walked to the far corner of the room and pretended to arrange booksbut I knew he kept looking out the window at the deserted park. Well, her romance came to an end, she had no reason to be happy. I liked her, but I thought it was time for the craftsmen to go to hell, because the people were already talking. One time I accidentally walked to the window and looked out.
“They did a really good job,” I said. – It’s a shame to get rid of such talented people, isn’t it?
I don’t know why I tormented her, envied her or what?
“I wonder where they’re going now…” I threw into space.
– To Italy – said Ala from her corner.
– I’ve never been to Italy, have you? – I continued to torture.
– l? I haven’t even been to Zakopane, honey. Or I didn’t have the time or money to travel, and now…” She paused. “I wonder what excuse to come up with.” Maybe it’s too late for me?
She looked truly unhappy, as if she suddenly became aware of the passing years and the limitations of life. And I, you idiot, thought people her age had everything in order and were like these treasure troves of wisdom! Well, Mrs. Ala surprised us all.
She left her family, apartment, and job, and just left with the long-haired stonemason. She disappeared overnight, leaving her position in the library, which, through some stupid joke, fell on me. Of course the city was in turmoil and Ms Ali’s ‘stupidity’ was the main topic for over two months. Then the emotions slowly subsided and people forgot about the elderly librarian, who “lost” them and ran away with the artist. After a year I received a card from Spain at the address of the library.
“Take care of my books, Asia – wrote Mrs. Ala – but remember that the real world is outside the windows! ”.
I hung this map over my desk and look at it often, admiring the blue of the sky over the sun-drenched hills of a distant land. Yesterday I finally got a permanent job, but instead of going crazy with happiness, I started to wonder: is working as a librarian the pinnacle of my dreams? Is that all there is? life has to offer me? The blue sky on the sheet of paper in front of me says no.
“When my father-in-law died, the mother-in-law changed. She was obsessed with our lives, she restored my panties uninvited”
“I felt that this child had to live. I tried to stop Kasia from terminating her pregnancy and I was right. This child saved her life”
“Adrian has been tormenting and stalking me for months. The police dropped me off. They won’t be interested until he hurts me.”