Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

the dishes he cooked. The place where he read while Píulix climbed on top of him or counted his ribs, the place where the two of them listened to Peter and the Wolf on winter nights. The place where on Wednesday our daughter scratched out her first notes on the violin and he was moved—recently he was easily moved by things related to her or to me. The same place where two weeks ago I, who never put on my music, dared to play Charles Trenet while he was in the kitchen cooking kokotxas (hake cheeks) and he suddenly appeared when he heard “Que reste-t-il de nos amours,” wanting to dance the last part with me as he whistled the tune. It was unusual for him, and yet, at the same time, it was one of those amorous outbursts that could only have come from him, for just imagine—if I’d been the one to request the dance, one burned kokotxa would have sufficed for all hell to break loose! No, no . . . you couldn’t play around with these things, especially if he was in the kitchen or if there was music involved. In any case, the living room was very much his space. And now the objects in it are challenging us: “Place me in the present, make me useful, give me a purpose!” We lost the living room in my home when my father died. It was almost as if it had been closed off. After that it was always lifeless. Of course, I belong to that generation where parents didn’t let children set foot in the room. The living room was sacrosanct and immaculate, a place for entertaining that resembled a model room in a show house or a furniture store, one that children weren’t allowed to contaminate


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