Grzegorz Araszewski – VOLAPÜK


When she says that she is all the time thinking of how other men are fucking her, then at school you treat such declarations like gospel. Or a challenge. You finish your beer and say, coming to get you, darling. I’ll take you to the ends of the earth. You point. In them there bushes.

Score with that dirty whore! Who didn’t fancy a bit of it before our finals? Christ almighty! You think about other men fucking you? Well! All the better. That’s right, little one. Who said life wasn’t beautiful? Which muppet said that life only begins at thirty?

However, when such declarations come from the lips of a girl you were about to propose to you see nothing but the faces of all your best mates.

Yes.

You remember every moment when she laughed at their jokes, when with pity you stared as she messed around the dance floor , when she asked them aside to talk, about you, so she said, or about the problems of her singleton friends. Ugly scenes, come to think of it…

She’d sit opposite, asked for a light of all the others not you, her most recent musical favourites are their favourites now, not yours. Your web chats have died down of late, although all your best mates have been showered with links and recommendations, draped in begging demands for a response. Friday night, male-female boozing sessions she arranged to coincide with the times she knew you’d be at work.

You were at work!

You were not there!
You dick!
You faggot!

All it took though was a quick blow-job in the hallway, a mere moment after you took off your coat, chucking your laptop bag somewhere, to let such shameless disobedience go with a tepid, life-carrying shot onto her left cheek, dripping down her chin and the end of her tongue, swirled around in seductive circles. Worrying about your home, your image, the good name of your family unit is female business after all. That’s how others see it. That’s how you saw it, until the moment she informed you, with a delicate hint of irony, that it’s because of you that her libido has gone, that you fail to provide her with enough orgasms, and that all her female friends are of the opinion that she only becomes her real self on the evenings when you are not around. That you inhibit her. You see, you’ve always seen her, as stupid.

You belittle.
Hamper.
Crush.

You only eat out in the places you choose. And most of the time you want to stay in anyway, killing whole evenings in front of the telly. But it is you who decided what will appear on the screen. You don’t even drink mixers! Thirty just around the corner, last chance to enjoy life to the full, last chance for a triple orgasm, life after college falling in preordained sequence, now starting to turn the radio down, no longer interested in politics, and you, instead of drinking mixers, you fucker you just soak in one beer after another watching the footie on the telly. Fag ash falling on your new sofa, your speech blurring and your boxer shorts worn to shreds where your balls meet your asshole.

All you want to do is get pissed and read books!

How often have you heard this? This dirty whore, who bagged you by swallowing your come and coming with your finger up her ass, her obsession with high heels, her passion for filthy talk, the very one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with is starting to complain. In a moment it will transpire that you aren’t earning enough, that your taste sucks, and all your friends do is drink and talk about planning or raising kids.
None of which seems to stop her fucking around right behind your back.

But you know none of this yet. You are obsessed, you are told. That she runs into the farthest corners of your flat to answer the phone does not mean anything is wrong! Texts sent from behind the locked bathroom door are not a crime! Y o u a r e o b s e s s e d! Even when you discover a pair of perfumed panties in your dirty linen basket, panties you’ve never seen, much less seen her wearing, when her mobile phone bill goes way over the prearranged limit, and the itemised bill is a flood of messages sent to an unknown number, even when you find your computer drive holds hidden files with flowers, hearts and other romantic bollocks – you are obsessed, you re told. And you’re tight with money too, you are told.

All right then, you say to yourself. Fine. Jealousy has blinded me. I have been treating you like an object. A possession. My diet is unhealthy, I get tense over every little fucking thing and, I must admit, unfulfilled at work. Of course you have the right to privacy, yes, we’ll buy a new TV, yes, we can get the home cinema system with it, surround sound, and that jacket you’ve been wanting, sure, here is my credit card, apologies. Apologies, apologies, I am obsessed. Which is when she sweetly squints her eyes, just they way you’ve always liked and cuddling up to you whispers, let’s go and fuck. They way you’ve always liked.

When a few days later, as a result of intense shopping activity, the credit card refuses further transactions, you tell her not to worry, the end of the month is only a few days away and anyway… Let me stop you there. Give it up, son. She has no intention of going through with any of it. She asked you, get a better job, or do some overtime, if you’re too chicken to ask for a payrise. The result is that tonight she will be staying with one of her mates, or at least that’s what she tells you. Sipping cheap vodka out of boredom, skipping between channels on your new TV, you concoct a devilish plot. She would call it the peak of perversion, a perfect son of a bitch move, but having drained the last of that bottle you really don’t give a fuck. About nothing, almost.

That stupid bitch has given you all the passwords to her email accounts, just in case, to her web chat rooms too. Ye gods! Just in case is here and now! For your good and ill luck. Tonight, however, it seems her luck is all bad.
If a moment before verifying the contents of her mailbox and chat room archives you had anything to eat, you risked puking all over the keyboard, or at least on the way to the bathroom. There’s no other way of reacting to what you are about to read.
Just got your txt – would love to screw you right now.
Yes, I know you like it when I talk like that.
Can you talk?
Sure. Fatso’s at work.

Fatso. That’s you new nickname. In a moment you will also discover you are only referred to from here on in by your initials. Three years of dating, almost a year of living under a shared roof, and she has now downgraded you to a single letter. The sound of your name makes her cringe, seeing as there is no need for concealment. I shouted at M., I was nasty to M., I ridiculed M., I have to be careful, in case he finds out.

A quick fag on the balcony – maybe she’ll come home after all, in which case she’d complain about the smell – the last beer from the fridge, a break for a quick bashing of bishop in front of a German video clip.

Have you ever travelled home late at night down empty streets in some unsavoury part of town? You remember that seemingly soothing silence? Your heart hammered, in your throat, in your ear. Your temples itched like mad, breath racing a whistle through your nostrils. Thrown to the wolves. Condemned to the worst beating the city could dish out. No help from anywhere, nowhere to run. Alone against reality. The school of life, perfect for Zen Buddhists wanting to float on some cloud. Koan contra skinhead, some speed freak thug just dying to shed intellectual blood.

Do you remember the moment. A happy crew coming home from some Saturday night nightclub. Night bus stop. You the cocky shit. Wannabe. But the only thing you are dreaming of, with all your little heart, is to be anywhere else, be home, under the blankets. To drain the last of what’s in the fridge and only then lie down in bed, to wake the next morning in some new, ever so much better world.

Wait! What if you really are obsessed? You’ve just developed an allergy, some form of paranoiac disease. A civilised illness, they’re everywhere right now. Your next door neighbour didn’t sleep for a year after buying his dream car, listening out for each footstep, each knock and whisper which could accompany the theft of his baby. When, on the insistence of his wife and children, he moved the spare bed away from the kitchen window, the car did not vanish. They nicked it from the car park outside his insurance company’s headquarters, where he was applying for some extra policies to help him sleep.

The grey haired guy a floor down takes every opportunity to ask you to close your windows when it looks like it might rain. No good you trying to explain to him that even a horizontal downpour will not result in the flooding of his ceiling. Oldie has a problem. Dark clouds on the horizon and nobody home. A flood guaranteed. Heatwave predicted? Oldie will complain anyway.

Obsession.

They stare at me. Talk about me. My hands are dirty. No! They stink. Can’t you smell it? My shirt is too small, it digs in when I sit in my chair. The wallpaper in the bedroom is not aligned right. The taps drip, won’t let me sleep. I never eat out, Christ knows what they put in there. Enough to look at how dirty the glassware is. Filthy. Everything is filthy. Friends houses, their record collections all over the place, their desks all a mess. Mess in their lives, mess in their hearts. Platonic love. Unresolved conflicts. Unfinished studies. The professor’s tits, the book keeper’s tits, your best mate’s wife’s tits. Peace to be found only in constant danger.

You don’t have to look far. Your own granny, from your mother’s side, dementedly hid her gold jewellery on the balcony, in a pot with an onion bulb, only then to attack the whole familia that it only took one visit to see the Pope for herself for the family jewels to be brazenly stolen. Without a trace. Simply vanished. There is a thief around here! Age doesn’t come into it. Sure, grandpa spent thirty years hiding empty vodka bottles in the basement, behind the compote jars, the tiny ones, 125 mils. But he did it fully aware and bloody right too.

What lack of libido, you insane bitch? What the hell is it with all these orgasms? Since when has my dick not been enough? What caused it to no longer be her bestest friend? Why does she not want to spend time with it before sleep, right after breakfast, before and after supper? Until now, it’s presence didn’t stop her tearing herself away, even if only for a second, from Sunday lunch at our future in-laws. Ten days ago you found a piece of paper with your surname jotted down next to her first. What, for fuck’s sake, has changed since then?

She quit work when you asked her to. Finish your studies, your parents will get off your back, we’ll live forever. Two, three months of grafting. We’ll manage! Two, three months. Then a holiday by the Mediterranean. When we come back, we’ll set up a business, get back on our feet. Give it a year to get going, then a child. Then a car. Then a house in the country… We’ll even find some spare cash for high heels and a boob job. Who is this guy? Who the fuck is he? And why is all the booze finished?

Two days later, you worry about how best to pay off her parents. Sofa plus two armchairs, a double bed, a wardrobe with giant sliding doors made of frosted glass. In the hallway, the antique coat stand is gone already, the computer desk she paid for out of her first wage packet. Maybe it was best, after all, you hate pine furniture. You have to buy a new fridge, a washing machine and maybe even pay the bills, which she was so kind as to remind you of. Don’t cut yourself off from other people, you hear as the door slams behind her for the last time. Happy Holidays are over.

Next weekend, you accidentally bump into the love-birds in a popular bar. Having had your offer of taking things outside rejected, you batter the bloke right under the waitresses’ noses.

Head-butt, uppercut, kick.
One, two, three.
The grown man’s ABC.

You’re no pushover, your father said and, burying another fist in the bloke’s eye socket, you have to admit the old man was right.

For the first time ever.



by Grzegorz Araszewski



click to download PDF version in English



translated by Marek Kazmierski