THE RISE AND FALL OF A POLISH MACHO

Tekst opublikowany w Warsaw Insider #2 (90), 2004

His wrinkled skin was the color of beetroot when his mother saw him for the very first time. The round face was distorted with anger and his tiny fists were punching at an invisible enemy.

All these details went unnoticed by his mother as her first glance was directed at the child’s crotch. “It’s a boy!” she cried and then burst into tears of joy. The following weeks passed on family fights over what the baby boy should be called. The father wanted to name him after one of the glorious kings of Poland. The mother, on the other hand, opted for the name of one of the evangelists. In the end he was christened Wiesław after his grandfather who had promised to buy the family a washing machine – something he never actually did. Little Wiesław was an extremely clever and vivid child and his parents were very proud of him. He started to walk at the age of one. When he was three he would run around like crazy, biting people on their shins, screaming “kur*a” at them. When Wiesław went to school all he liked doing was kicking balls and riding bikes. He also knew the most complicated sequences of swear words, witch his father used when addressing his wife and women in general. While at school Wiesław would regularly beat up the younger kids just for the fun of it. At the age of 16 he started training to become a car-mechanic. By this time all his desperate attempts to get laid had failed and his young heart was filled with anger because of this. The girls from the neighborhood didn’t fancy him. No wonder, as Wiesław was average height with narrow lips, small eyes and thin hair the color of dishwater. He hated girls but most of all he hated his mates who would brag about their incredible sex adventures. Later that year his father told him something he would never forget “Remember my son. Never trust a woman. All they want is sex and money.” His father’s advice made him mad as the last thing he could imagine was a women wanting to have sex with him. But this was all about to change very soon. One day Wiesław noticed a shadow on his upper lip. After a few months it had grown into a thick and dark moustache. The girls who had not so long before ignored him now started to giggle whenever they saw him. He decided to ask one of them out. After many years of waiting his biggest dream came true in the toilet of a disco. When it was all over and done with Wiesław left the girl without so much as saying goodbye. Wiesław would spend the following two decades working as a car-mechanic and shagging. He was truly convinced that he was a superb lover as none of his women ever complained. Not that he talked to many of them after the love-act. However, at the age of 36 he started to have problems with his erection and decided to get married quickly. He proposed to the least attractive woman he could find to be sure that she would always be faithful to him. Later on he would curse her as she only gave birth to four daughters and then didn’t want to have more children after that. She was a catholic and claimed that sex was only allowed in the name of procreation. This meant the end of them sleeping together but she didn’t mind this at all. In fact, it was a great relief to her. And she also didn’t mind Wiesław visiting a prostitute every Sunday after mass. She was fine with this as long as their daughters thought that he was playing cards with his brother in law. Wiesław was a despotic husband and father, and he loathed the fact that he was surrounded by so many women in his own house. As a result, he would spend as much time as he could at work. The years passed by and Wiesław grew older. His moustache was now silver and he had lost most of his hair. By the time he retired his daughters had all got married and moved out. He spent his old age in front of the TV. Everything he saw on the screen would make him burst out with anger and he would shout at the TV all day long. One day Wiesław’s wife became alarmed with a long silence following one of his outbursts. When she entered the living room she found him lying there stone dead on the floor with his fists still clenched with rage. The wrinkled skin on his face was the colour of beetroot.

Joanna Sanecka