Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

me. I’d go up there if I didn’t have anything urgent on. He liked me, I couldn’t say why. I was just a kid compared to him. He said it was a good excuse for a break when I went to see him. No, it wasn’t like we talked about anything special. He’d ask me if I’d finished the book he picked out for me last time at the library, if I’d liked it, what I thought about it. It wasn’t that he was checking whether I’d read it, rather if I’d got it. He guided me in how to understand it. He’d relate it to different things, life, the world, people in general. And always in the course of things he’d say something that made me think for a long time afterwards. We didn’t only talk about books. He’d say that it was only here, up at a height, that we can feel human. That was a truth I only grasped much, much later. Especially because down below people mostly didn’t talk, there the work hurried you all day long, or you were driven crazy because they hadn’t delivered some materials or other and the work was at a standstill. Unless it was over vodka, but then you had to watch who you drank with, because they’d sometimes snitch on you. Actually, they also snitched on you when you didn’t talk. Even if all you did was let out a sigh. He said that on all the building sites he’d been on, he always worked as high up as he could get. And since he’d worked on so many sites, the high places were sort of his territory, so it was no surprise that it was up there he most liked talking. Down below, when he came down after work, he read, fed the dogs and the cats, and he didn’t keep company with anyone. Despite the fact that, like I said,


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