Late spring, a summer, and bits of autumn. In the mornings, I made up the fourth man of a team which daily cleaned several storeys of a Haymarket hotel. It was hard work – once we had built up steam, we must have gone at the rate of a room every three minutes. I turned up at Marcin’s apartment around mid-afternoon and he usually let me sleep in his box room. Eventually, I gave up working. I was no longer fooled by bourgeois propaganda, and I had concluded that work was unnecessary, and just a means for boring people to fill time. Perhaps I had half-believed that I was enchanted and that I could simply live without money.
Beautiful people had collected in Marcin’s apartment – slipping away from an ugly world – and we tumbled pleasantly, effortlessly, through drunken nights, as a child repeatedly rolls down a grassy hill on a summer’s day, and the marijuana worked, the beer did not make me melancholy or sick, I felt as weightless as a boy, and everything was brilliant and beautiful and slightly too fast. You can call it this or that – love or beauty or freedom -but I was simply happy, and I had reached a rare spot, like arriving at a clearing in a forest where the sun had rested. For a time, I tried not to remember those evenings and I let the memory of them dull like an old coin. I doubted that I could ever return to such happiness – that one is ever given such things twice in this world – and I was frightened that reliving those evenings in my mind, or even recalling the most inconsequential details, would unseat my reason. My love for Marcin skulked only about in my dreams, like the memory of an underground lake. His beauty was immediate and fierce, and his heart was a gleaming sword.