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 #21: Saturday, Oct. 7: A Tale of Two Flies

They come in pairs. You get one, the other one keeps quiet for a few minutes, out of sight, until you think it's gone. Then it starts up again. Buzzing. Whishing.

They act like the own the place. They like alight on my computer screen as if to tell me: "We're not afraid of you. Got ahead, do something about it."

They never buzz off in a corner somewhere by themselves. They always have to be where I am. They have a way of buzzing around the fringes of my attention. They alight on my arm somewhere or hand or cheek, lightly, almost lightly enough to ignore, but not quite. Just to alert me to their presence. To whisper to me: "We're here. We're here. We're here."

When it's dark, I try doing the "come into the light" trick. I turn off the lights in the room and open all the windows and wait a while, hoping they will get bored by the dark room and go off to investigate the street lamp outside. And when I close the windows in the dark and turn the lights back on, for a moment I believe it has worked. No buzzing. It feels alone. I sit down to work and I feel that I can enjoy the work at last, but just as I'm ready to concentrate, they're back. Buzzing. Landing. "We're here. We're here. We're here."

Once in a while I am able to kill one. I use a knotted-up white towel. I got one yesterday and was so happy about it that I put its corpse on a tissue paper on my desk. One down, two to go. They always come in pairs. I waited for the second one to land on a vulnerable spot. Soon I'd be free. But after a while, I noticed that there were two of them again. They're like in the Roman army: As if a soldier falls, his spot is filled immediately. But how did it get in? I glanced at the corpse of the dead fly on the tissue on my desk. It was gone.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home