The Krakow Diaries

75 days in Krakow. On a literary grant from the German Kulturstiftung der Länder. In the Guesthouse of the 16th century Villa Decius, with 10 other writers from Poland, Germany, Belarussia, Ukraine and Georgia. Beautiful city. Nice Krakovians. Fun nightlife. Beautiful women. And in the guesthouse: Meetings of the minds. Too much vodka. Good friends. One of the great pleasures of my life.

Day #17: Tuesday, Oct. 3: The Villa Decius Guest House is Quiet

Quiet has settled over the Villa Decius Guest House. I don’t see anyone anymore in the breakfast room. Or in the halls. Or in the laundry room. I don’t hear noises, the slamming of doors. No one is sunning themselves on the back lawn or drinking tea and gabbing out by the front fountain. Maybe the others all have important places to be and exciting things to do. Maybe they are all hidden away in the house and I don't know it – perhaps they have partied too much on the weekend, seen too many friends, explored the city too much, and are now retiring to the stillness of their cubby-hole rooms.

Is the house empty but for me? I sit here alone in my well-lit room, surrounded by books to read and notes to take, in the quietness, and think about how far away I am from the ones I love until a satisfying melancholy comes over me. Strange, because it is satisfying at the same time, like the exhaustion after a day of hard but successful work.

Most likely, everyone else is doing the same.


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