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I had coffee with my friend Anna in the Bongo Club today, and she told me an interesting story. A youth named Jarek had left Lublin to make his fortune in Britain, and he had ended up temping in offices in and around Edinburgh. He had left behind his sweetheart, Eva, and her absence had accorded the world in which he had arrived a temporary, only necessary, quality. His body, his heart, his sense of himself, were poised in a perpetual suspense, which would only end when he and Eva were reunited. One day he was shopping in Sainsbury’s when he suddenly realised that Eva was walking beside him.

“Eva? You are meant to be in Poland,” he said stupidly.

She told him that a house had collapsed on her, or so she believed – it had all been very fast.

“I have to be making a move now Jarek,” she said sadly.

Jarek grabbed her blindly in his arms, clinging on, not wanting to let her go. Her soul was ascending, but Jarek clung on desperately, sobbing for her to stay. Unfortunately as Eva’s soul ascended through the ceiling of the supermarket, Jarek recognised that he remained very much part of the material world and that he could not follow her. His head bumped against the ceiling, he let Eva go, and he fell back down – thirty or so feet – to hit the floor hard. He now has both of his legs in traction. Anna spoke to him last week and he was pretty gloomy.

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