Pierwsza wersja opowiastki ukazała się w 2020 roku
The Man of the Street
A concrete world and me at its center. Thoughts multiply in me like stars in a kaleidoscope. I am, I have happened to this world.
The stars are falling to the ground. On concrete. They have a human gaze. Although they are at our feet, we knock them over — they do not lose anything of their essence, of their human dimension. They “are” even more, because they feel themselves and life better, as every pain is intensified. It rushes down your throat like a wave, then tightens until you are breathless.
A man without a home — unloved. But love is present, even between the homeless. I am a researcher, but also a human being. I am an educator, but also a human being. I am a writer, but also a human being. The most beautiful stories are not the most elaborate ones. There is a taste of pain in them. They are a bit tart and harsh.
To have a street, or rather the whole world as a home. Moving from place to place.
The spirit of the past is in all of us. The first man in the world was homeless, and these are our roots. It used to be like that and even nowadays people sleep in the open. What are their dreams? People find it strange that I talk to homeless people. It has become strange to people that one person can speak to another. Homeless people also have dreams (for example, one elderly lady dreamed about a bath), only they do not believe in them, but also sometimes lackof grounds for such belief.
The fate of a man on the street is a particularly moving, as is the very sight of him. The scale of homelessness in Krakow came as a shock to me, particularly when I came here 10 years ago to study. The view was overwhelming and the people of the city were used to it. I grew up in a different reality, in the countryside. Here, a person did not pass another without a word. It is still life in a group, only unstrained today (here the older people from my childhood still kept their closeness, but their world is almost entirely on the verge of their graves). It is difficult to feel homeless in the countryside (although the farther into the 21st century it becomes easier and easier), but my mother also mentioned the old men who sat in the main alleys in cemeteries, during the All Saints’ Day in Zebrzydowice. Old geezers asked for a few pennies, and in return offered a prayer for the dead. It was included in the price, and people willingly donated small money to ragged old people. They were supposed to look out of this world, they had weirdness in their nature, but now you won’t see a single such old man in the cemetery. But although we live near Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the tradition of the localCalvary Forefathershas disappeared. Now it has a completely different meaning. People think that the Calvary Forefather is just a shamelessly poor man. This term took on an insulting character, even the Calvary Forefather had an important task for people — he worked, prayed, had respect among people. It had to be successful on this earth. Today there are no real forefathers like them. Times are changing, people are breaking away from the Church. As they believe, it is notas deeply and confidently as they used to be. Man began to be more critical, even of those who for centuries were considered undisputed authorities. People’s eyes opened. They saw a man with weakness in everyone, and that there are good and bad people everywhere. One can see a person even in the homeless, as ambulances drive up to the side streets before Christmas. Crowds of homeless people gather, because they can receive helpon the squares of parks. This is a new deed to be seen. After all, I’ve been here for 10 years, almost every day. But also every day I go back to the countryside. Here you can see the real disproportions. People still believe in scarecrows. Beliefs in souls that need to be cared for and prayed for are dignified.