(for Aleksandra)

We were traveling together to Vienna!

I was pretending that I was completely calmed down, even though euphoria was just blowing up inside myself, just like I was on fishing, waiting to catch a really huge fish.

When the bob is disappearing under the water, your brain starts to work like on some kind of drugs,
     just stay calm (otherwise, your blood pressure and pulse are going to get extremely high).
     Wait 20 seconds, to let it swallow and then... Pull it up.

At the beginning when the fish is fighting strongly, let it to waist some of its energy, but do not let it go, even for the shortest moment.

Then, very slowly, make the distance shorter and shorter, to make the fish to get more and more tired.
     Then catch the moment when just for a second it will stay calm not moving to take some energy back. And very gently take the fish out from the water.

You have to notice that the final success needs a long time of allure, giving a bob ( but of course without a hook), which is getting use a little fish to such a delicious food and making it to be not so careful.

That is how a perfect plan (in a short version) is looking like, the perfect murder.

I just forgot about Einstein's theory of relativity.

Today, I am quite sure that there is some specific philosophy of the lake, where the fisherman and his fish are just some puppets held by someone above.

We were traveling (!) together (!) to Vienna (!).

I was surprised when she agreed easily for my boring proposition, of joining me in business travel to Vienna.

I was living in Vienna for a couple of years already and this place did not have anything magical for me anymore. It was just a metropoly with more than million people living together, just like aunts.

Of course, I liked some places a bit more, but they were not any tourist attraction. I did not spend the best moments inside some museums, parks or churches but in the antiques shops, inside those old tenement houses, with paint falling down of them, in the area of Neubau.

Vienna, one of the greatest heritages of art and culture, was in her imagination ''The Blue Danube''. It was shining with Secession, taking her breath away with amazing Baroque style, sounding just like Strauss.

However, that was not strange at all. She did not have to fight there for some apartment or a work permission...

She was shining of a thought of meeting with Titian, ''Sachertort'' and Prater. I understood this tourist joy very well. I was sure that if I were going to Rome, I would fill myself with tourist information, just as a duck can be filled with apples.

With a great satisfaction, I was reading all the number plates of cars that were overtaking us, driven by drives that were in a hurry all the time. Just yesterday, I was in the same hurry. Today I was celebrating every single moment by HER side.

I just could not resist keeping my sweating hand on the gear. I was filling as if my hand was living its own life and wanted to lie on her knee.

I loved her. Kazimierz Dolny would be much more beautiful than Venice, if I could walk holding her hand.

I could not reach anything more than ''I like you''. So I was just pretending all the time that I'm teaching my worm how to swim and to catching something was completely not my interest.

I made a detailed plan: sightseeing, having fun, eating and sleeping.

I was so proud of myself being a tourist-amateur-guide. I told her everything in details, hoping that she would be at last a bit appreciating.

Than, finally she said that everything is 'ok' except a hotel. There was no chance to agree for sleeping at the same room with me. She was so stubborn that it really seemed that other wise she would just resign from the trip. I had to agree pretending that I really accept sleeping in two different rooms.

Then, when we crossed the Czech border, I came back again to the subject, pretending to be really innocent.

- I know that just when I will tell this sentence, you will be against because you are a typical Aquarius. - She did not protested, even though the world ''typical'' sounded for her like ''no one special''.

-Of course, no one of us does belief in such a stupidity as astrology. However, the fact is that I have to be extremely cautious with you. When a dictaphone knows that you are listening, it blush, because it knows that it was not precise enough. - It was not true that she was as calmed down as she was looking like. Therefore, I knew that I was so right - that was the easiest way to have an argument.

-I know exactly that even one not well-considered word can ruin everything. When I'm speaking with you, I have to be all the time so cautious for the left site of my brain not to invent something incorrect. There is no ''delete'' key inside your brain. Moreover, to ask you for forgiveness I would have to beg for the mercy crying on my knees. - I figured out very easily that I was not a first men who criticized her on this way.

- You would be a perfect psychological weapon. One wrong word becomes a bomb's detonator of bad sense of humor. It's enough to say one wrong word and after couple of hours being next to you, the whole army will commit 'seppuku'. - She still did not want to start a fight with me.

- Being next to you it's not a dress rehearsal. It's a premiere! If a public will start to boo and critics are going to complain about everything, then the repertoire will have to change at once. Maybe it's because of this danger, I'm so excited of being next to you. However, I live in a permanent stress - like a sapper. Once I managed to neutralize you at the last moment. - I reminded her last negotiations about selling a computer, that were almost finished with detonation. She was suspecting a crime, even though that was more a donation than a business.

-You are taking a deep breath, as you were a frog and your pretty, little eyes are shining like little stars. Even Hephaestus would like to have the same. And one mistake is enough for you to put a sign ''game over''. - Her weapon was her stubborn silence, making my seeming true malice to grow higher.

-You are like a life - nothing can happen again. Indeed, it's fascinating like dancing on a line. But the stress that comes from watching out not to say something stupid, can make me to have a stomach ulcer, big as a pillow. - She was pretending not to care of what I am saying at all. So if she was still keeping quite, I could continue at once.

-I can really understand that it's much more comfortable for you to rent two separated single rooms than one double. But please, try to understand that both of us, we are not millionaires. And the money that we would save, we could spend in some really interesting way, like sightseeing Vienna, some unforgettable dinner, concert or a museums. - So I started with economical reasons connected with high culture.

-And please, just don't think that it would be a damn luck to sleep at the same room as you, to hear your breath, to smell pheromones that your body is producing and not to be even able to caress your hair for goodnight. And for sure that kind of a bit of tenderness you would take as a sex proposition. - I was trying to show my fantasies as something really uncomfortable.

-Beside, there are a lot more bad sides of having one double room...I know very well how difficult it would be for me to act like Morpheus, when Amour on the other hand, will push me to make fantasies about our souls acting together, in this dark room, above our bodies, which one of it is pretending to be cold and indifferent and the other one is pretending nothing at all, because it doesn't have to - since there is more coldness than a beauty inside of it.- It was said 'ad persona'. It could be seen that my blow was accurate, because she started to fix her hair at the mirror. She had to have much more complexes about her look than this distrust.

-Not paying attention at the uncomfortable but at the same time romantic sides of sharing the room, there are some difficulties which come from the fact of being a human, which are sometimes so embarrassing and which are making sharing one room even more stressful. For the half of a night I'll have to watch out to sleep on my back. Not to provoke you with my snoring to use some of self-defense movements or not to pure any poison through my ear or not to choke me with three days stinky sock. And the other half of the night I'll have to control my insides not to fart, as an announcement of finishing the digestion process (after eating delicious but full of herbs, which are supposed to make the process of digestion more easy) of Chinese dinner. - I went to the area of a proverb ''nothing that is human is ...''.

-But of course, I'm taking into consideration your disabilities. Instead of lying on a bed after all day of walking in museums, in sweaty T-shirt and bloody sanitary towel, with a blessed filling of a thought ''shower tomorrow or even better on Saturday'', you will have to use some water, soap and a tooth-brush. However, in the morning, you will have to get up, go to the bathroom to wash your gummy eyes. Although you don't really care about my opinion, you will fill not too comfortable when I will be watching you in your own sauce. - She did not even notice that a tape with her favorites Jarry had just finished. That was a good sign! She will explode in a moment!

-All the limitations that we are putting to ourselves, most of the times aren't that negative. However, at the same time they can make our life much more exciting, especially at those occasions when you are on a trip or vacation but even at your everyday life. But it's good to consider if maybe there would be at last one more positive point of sharing one room. And if, apart from saving couple of euros, there is some extra psychological positive side of it. If it will be a curiosity: what will I be filling while staying with an unfamiliar guy at the same room - why shouldn't try then? This idiot is proposing it on his own... My imagination is creating even more positive sides of it. - She knew that I really admired her intelligence, knowledge and good manners. It was looking like she could value herself quite objectively. So that was not her weak point.

-What a bull shit. - I said pretending that I am bored. - I cannot see any positive points. I'm just getting angry because you are absolutely convinced that I'm hunting for you virginity, taking it as seventh heaven. Just please, remember it once for all, that I am not interested in your physiognomy. - I lied impudently.

-Sorry, but you are just not my type. You can consider me as some average guy, but I was like this since I was born. I get horny just when I see big tits, blond hair and blue eyes' girls. And look at yourself - there's even nothing to breathe with. - I was carrying on my hideous drum's solo play on her look's complexes.

- With your shapes you could only be a house maid. You would look pretty nice with well ironed and a bit too small apron. - I burned the strongest weapon. The end justifies the means. I was sure that she could not realize that she is the perfect one for me. She could not see the beauty of herself because of all those complexes that were covering her prettiness in the mirror.

-You son of a bitch! - She exploded at last! She turned of her head as she found something interesting in the window. But there was nothing, except a horizontal line separating empty Czech fields from a blue - gray sky. -Why did you take me with you? Just to offend me? - If we would be in Polish territory, I would felt on my neck panther's claws. But there was no one around. Thanks to that I could continue with annoying this sweet, little girl.

-Excuse me, but I really don't know what's so wrong. - I was still pretending to be fool and I was perfect in that. - The fact that we are going together to Vienna it doesn't mean that I just want to fuck you. - I pronounced the word ''fuck'' very strongly.

Lights of Brno started to be visible from far away. It was situated with a safe distance from the highway.

- I have to be in my symposium and you have an opportunity to see couples of museums with some undusted paintings. I picked you up like a hitch-hiker, just because I don't get any pleasure to travel on my own. And if you will act as a nice girl, on the way back, we can stop for a while to see Brno. Even though, in my opinion there is really nothing interesting to see. - I emphasized the word ''nice'' pointing with my head to the glow above the city. She kept being silent and humiliated with a word ''hitch-hiker''.

-Why don't you say something? You are not happy now of our trip? - I was enjoying my revenge. Bloody revenge for her couple of years of being neutral for my.

- My neutrality is all I can offer to you. As you may noticed the conversation was not put on the bill for the travel. - She tried to be as sharp as me and then she started to be completely quiet

I switched on the radio and I found some of Vienna's station. There were broadcasting news. I was pretending that I was listening to the German babbling that was so nosy. Indeed I understood nothing. That was making her to fill isolated and lonely.

- I am hungry. - I announced not even asking if she is not hungry as well. - It would be good to have some bite.

I took a road to Mikulow - lovely town next to the border, situated on a hill, built on purple bricks and snowy - white sandstones.

- It's pretty here... - she said charmed with an architecture that was lighted with setting red sun. She was fascinated with the beauty of this place that much, that she even forgot for a moment about her vow of silence. It might have been that she wanted even to ask about something, not expecting an answer, just to share her fillings about this amazing architecture with someone.

I parked the car next to the hotel named ''Monk's Inn''. From the Iron Curtain's times this place became clean and you did not have to wait for a waitress for ages. Anyway, they had in their offer really good fish's meals.

A waiter with a long bear, quite an old one, came to us almost at once. He had really beautiful, old face. Shining, clear, blue eyes as a Husky's dog, were making his appearance even more amazing. Whereas ''my princess'' was pretending not to care about anything. It could be seen that all those smells in the restaurant were making her to be very hungry, however she did not even looked at the menu.

-Good evening! What can I help you?

-I would like you to advice some really unforgettable dinner for the couple in love. We are leaving everything to you. - I answered in the same way as the waiter.

-Do you like fish? - He asked for some clue.

-Yes, we adore fish! - I answered with a smile, disarmed with his style of behaving. Then he disappeared without any noise just the same way as he appeared.

- I going to wash my hands. - I said without even looking at her and I went to the toilet, not waiting for any reaction.

I went to reception desk. The room was waiting for us. I confirmed the reservation by phoning them, when she was fixing her make up in the restaurant in Czestochowa. Thanks God, bureaucracy is over now and to make the reservation one passport was enough.

She was eating the soup with a ravenous hunger, pouring herself more and more with a big ladle. She was still in a bad mood but at last not furious any more. The delicious fish's soup could explain this change of the mood.

-I think that it would be quite responsible to stay here for the night. There is five more hours of travel waiting for us. - I lied of course, knowing that there is just exactly 78 kilometers to Vienna. I was waiting for a conventional protest. That did not have to be something brutal as taking out my eyes. But for example an ordinary try to help with solving a problem. There was no reaction, as she did hear anything. It was looking as she was simply tired.

- I'm going to the reception to ask if they have some free rooms. - This time I was planning to go to a toilet finally.

-Did you take a room with a bathroom for me? - She asked fighting with her carp filled with herbs.

-In this hotel they don't have single rooms at all. - I answered with an ignorance in my voice, ordering wine at the same time. Waiter took care of my driving license, asking if we came here by car. I answered that we are going to stay here for the night. After a while he came back with a pot made of clay with incredibly tasty substance inside. I smelled the aroma of honey, currants and different herbs. The good mood came back at once even though it was quite possible, that this night I might spend in an armchair.

-This wine has got its own tradition... - I got an idea of some fairy-tale for good night. Some nice story that would create peaceful, calm atmosphere. -If you want I can tell you this legend. It's quite interesting and wise... -She moved her head very gently to agree. It seemed that a good wine made even her mind to be a bit more open.

-At the end of XVIII century there was a rich merchant living here in this city. He had a very clever and really beautiful son. He raised him up on his own. And he really loved him with all of his heart. His wife died just after she gave birth. He was an apple of his father eye and he was looking almost exactly as his mother. When this young boy grew up he deeply felt in love in daughter of very rich miller. Amelia loved him as well. What was this boy's name? No one remembers today. - Non of romantic names apart from Romeo was coming into my mind at that moment.

- The real happiness was so close...-I was speaking slower and slower looking at the same time at the glass with amber-color wine inside. Observing the candle's light, shining inside the wine, I was hoping that my inspiration for this story is hidden somewhere there. I was feeling that she was listening to me.

-There was nothing that could disturb this happiness. Even fathers were glad of their marriage. And then afterwards this great news was announced. - I stopped for a moment to smoke a cigarette.

-Unfortunately, that was not so easy. The merchant lost all of his fortune in gambling. He could keep his home, which was just a tenement house next to the market square.

-This bad news was spilt all over the town with a very fast speed. And the miller was one of the first people to get know this information. What was obvious, the bride's father canceled engagement immediately. He did not change his opinion even watching daughter crying, he was not listening to begging of his wife. No one knows why Amelia took such a decision: if she was to weak to kill herself or maybe she loved the boy that much that she did not want to marry someone else or she just wanted to take a revenge on her father. Anyway, she decided to become a nun. The boy's father could not stand what he had done. Feeling guilty he died very fast of drinking too much. He left for the son just the tenement house next to the market square. -I put down my cigarette just as I finished my legend about the great and unfortunate love.

-Couple of years passed and the boy grew up to a very handsome man. He didn't have any problems with picking up women. He was as well hard working person and had some trade's skills in his genes. Thanks to all this, after some time he managed to have a great property, even two times bigger than his father's. He became the best bachelor in the city and was hunted by many women. After all, he didn't avoid any feminine company. - All her faces were the best comment for my story. It could be seen that she took the side of the poor girl, taking the guy as a bastard.

-But even though he was such a popular person, he was rejecting all the propositions even from the richest noblewomen. The time was passing so fast. His ex-fiancée managed already to make a holy orders and she even became superior sister. It was looking like she didn't want to lead an ordinary life no more, or she didn't believe in a true love strong enough to break the promise of being pure sister. The miller become poor man because he started to have some rivals in his business. And he regretted so much his rash decision to brake the betrothal promise of his daughter. Have they managed to meet again? I think that yes but this is just my imagination. - I changed my voice's intonation to look like that was the end of the story.

-It's time to go to sleep. If you would like, I will tell you the rest of the story tomorrow. - Her eyes were blinking and that was not just because of the wine, but most of all because of my story.

-You have to finish now! - I adored this powerful voice. That was the greatest compliment she could ever tell about my story. I wrinkled my brows and looked at her with anger in my eyes.

-Please. - She added then warmly. - I really want to know how it finished.

-At the 13 anniversary of their braking up, our main character, that for sure you already consider as a bustard , sold his home and all his goods. He built a new home situated on rocks in the area of bogs. And around his home he planted bushes with currants. He was a very rich man and he could afford a really luxury life, but even though he was leading a hermit's life. People were telling many stories about him. That he is helping lovers in troubles, that he is taking care of sick animals or that he just got crazy and he is keeping bees and planting herbs on this bog's area around. But no one discovered the whole truth. - It got completely dark outside. From far away some dogs were roaring. That was for sure the result of the full moon.

- In 1809 the miller died, as an extremely poor man. Our character made a great funeral to his only enemy and would-be father-in-law at the same time. There was almost the whole city taking part in the funeral. People are always so nosey and they are always coming when there is some food and drinks for free. And there was so much food prepared. Amelia was there as well. That was the only sure point that we know our character met his former fiancée. But that would not be such an important information if not one incident. In the chronicle from that times, it is written that there was extremely high number of pairs that were getting marry and then the next year, there were ten times more children born than normally.

-Malicious people were saying that the wine served at the funeral was working as an aphrodisiac. If that was supposed to be a revenge, it worked in opposite way. That was the turning point for the development of the city. What was true - no one knows for sure. Anyway, the beginning of the 19th century was on of the best period for the economy of the city. - The dog stopped to yap. The silent of the night started to be almost visible in the hall.

- In 1829 the superior sister died. That was the greatest funeral people have ever seen. Amelia was buried in the chapel on the hill, built specially for her. This chapel can be seen even 20 km away from it. You probably noticed it when we were driving into Mikulow. It was lighted by the beautiful rising sun. And then again in the chronicle it is written about unexplained high number of weddings and a huge number of birth - rate. But that was quite obvious. That was exactly the time when grown up children from 1810 were getting marry. We cannot believe that it was a result of the incredible wine, which was drank by people in the wake. After the funeral our character just disappeared and no one have ever seen him again. - I was so concentrated to make up my story, that I had not even noticed that we were the only people in the restaurant left.

-Couple of years later one stranger came to the city. He called himself Brother Alex. He destroyed the home in the rocky island that no one lived in and built a temple, exactly at the same place. This bog doesn't exist there any more. At the Stalin's times they made an artificial lake there and water covered all bogs. But the temple is still up there. It looks as it is situated in the center of the island, in the middle of the lake. We were passing by this area but I don't know if you have noticed it. You seemed to be too offended to pay attention on something else. - I could not stop myself to be at last a bit malicious.

-After building the temple, the monk died. But still, there were always fresh flowers on Amelia's grave. What was the real monk's name - no one really knows. He is buried under the temple in the island. There is a little board on which is written: Brother Alex ? - 1849. I think it's not urgent to add that it was a special year for the city, because so many children were born at this time. Some were saying that the monk was the miller's son, who lost all his fortune and the Amelia's fiancé. - I was looking at her with the same eyes as the monk would look at Amelia, if she would be next to him.

-And that would be the end of the legend about the monk in love if not one little element. The monk left the recipe for the incredible wine. This wine made the story of Amelia to be still alive. Even now in this little city, people are still making small amounts of the wine from currants, honey and herbs. Inhabitants never sell this wine. There are drinking it just when someone is getting marry. Just travelers who are passing through this city can taste it without any occasion. They can have one bottle of it, just if they will stay in the city for the night. - She was looking like a sculpture made form alabaster. She did not even move, waiting for the final end.

-The end. - I kept quiet for a moment to let her find the clue what happened next.

-That's it! You are right! We aren't going to have the second bottle of wine. You've noticed for sure that the waiter asked us already if we are going to stay here for the night. The name of this wine (made of currants, honey and herbs) is Amelia. That was the greatest idea of the crazy monk. No one really remembers what was the real name of Brother Alex. His person is a misery now, but the name of his woman achieved a great fame. Try not to forget its taste, because it's not very probable that you will ever taste it again. - She kept quiet amazed by my goodnight story. - Let's go to sleep. Tomorrow morning all the museums are open.

-Let's go. - She repeated with calm, warm and gentle voice.

Our room did not look as a hotel room. It was looking like a sleeping room from XIX century. There was one gigantic bed with two huge down pillows, looking like a raft constructed to cross Rubikon. Next to the bed there was just a little dressing table and a tinny chair. There was no other furniture.

Stucco angles were hanging from every corner. Silent witnesses of many moments of passion. I could bet that one of them, this one with a broken nose, just winked to me.

She was standing looking at the window, founded on the window still, cringed and frightened by the thought that she will have to sleep with me.

I did not want to hear any more scenes. So not waiting for her protest, I just went to wash myself. Water in the tap was cold.

When I came back she was still standing at the same place, looking at the market square, lighted by the old, street lamps. Short ''good night'' and she sneaked under the blanket. Lying on the bed, I was filling as it was made for the whole family. I covered myself and felt asleep very easily.

I was woken up by the sheet's rustle.

She decided finally to go to the bed. I opened my eyes. The fool moon was looking at us, hanging above town hall's tower. The clock on the tower was showing five to twelve. I was lying not moving myself even a bit, waiting when she is going to say something, move or at last to sneeze. She was breathing fast, so it was obvious that she was not sleeping. I closed my eyes but dream was not coming. This short nap that I took before, made me to be totally refreshed.

-You can't sleep? - I whispered.

-I'm cold. - She whispered me back.

I turned myself to her and pulled out my hand but it occurred to be shorter than the distance which was between us.

-Come closer to me, it's wormer here... - She swam all this distance and hugged herself into my pajamas. She was shaking because of the coldness. But that was nothing strange - she was completely necked.

-I'm always sleeping naked. - She made a comment to my simulated surprise. - You are so worm. I'll go in a moment, just I'll worm myself a bit. - She was trying to find an excuse.

I was caressing her so gently as I was afraid that this is just a dream, which will disappear if I will hug her even a bit stronger.

-You know...I'm still thinking about Amelia. She had to be so frightfully lonely living in this monastery. - It seemed that she warmed up herself because she stopped to shake some much.

-He had to be lonely as well. - I took the monk's side.

- Do you think that kind of love can exist?

-I don't know. - I answered honestly.

I turned myself to her. She did not moved at all. Her lips were moisture and cold like a litchi fruit. They lived up and moved as the bird's wings are moving when it wants to fly away. She whispered something to my ears so quietly for me not to hear, if I will not understand.

I took off my pajamas' shirt.

-Did you hear it? - She was surprised that I knew what she meant.

-No. I just want to feel you. - And I was feeling. Her nipples were tense and juicy like ripped wild strawberries or huge drops of subtropical rain. Just in front of my heart.

It was gray outside. Warbling of doves and cawing of crows were mixing with each other. Hugging each other we were afraid of coming back to the real world full of malicious words, sharp advices and dishonest feelings.

-I love you! - I whispered trivial.

-Be quiet, I know. - She answered sarcastically. -And what are you going to do if it will turn out that I'm pregnant? - That was not a joke.

-At first I will die from happiness when you will give birth. - I was trying to make it to sound funny. - Then I'll teach the little bustard to say ''mummy'' and his second word would be ''love''.

-And if I will make an abortion? - I understood her fear of being a mother, the fear of giving and taking love, the fear of faith in love and the fear of hope that real trust really exist.

-If I'll be brave enough then I will kill myself. - I could not find more absurd solution. - And if I won't be that brave then I will become a monk.

-I think I love you. - She whispered shyly.

-Say it once again but with no doubt. - I asked for it whispering as well. She was saying nothing. Keeping quiet for a damn long time. I wanted to give up, to say that it was just a silly joke, that she do not have to say anything. The hand on the tower's clock did not stop even for a moment. But then...

-I love you... - She said it with some fear but at the same time feeling that she would like to say it every day, louder and stronger.

Just yesterday this chest with a few hair on it, seemed to be so strange for her, just like a mountain behind a mist. And now she was lying on it just as on her own pillow. How unpredictable life is - she thought.

Italy 9-25 February 1999
Vienna 25 July 2003.

Translation: Dorota Kamińska