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young men are bald? And they’re getting younger and

younger. When I was their age everyone had a shock of


When you only look at people’s hair, or for example only at

their bare feet, for instance here at the lake, or only at their

hands, their eyes, their mouths, their eyebrows, you see

them altogether differently than when you look at them as

a whole. It gives you all kinds of insights. It gives you lots to

think about.

It was that braid of hers that was the start of what came

next. Though no one suspected it could be the braid. A

braid is just a braid. It was tempting to grab it and feel it,

that was all. Though let me tell you, when it sometimes

accidentally brushed against my face as she was clearing

plates from the table, it gave me goose bumps, as if death

had brushed against me. Though I couldn’t have imagined

her with any other hair.

Actually, there was something odd about her in general.

When they took hold of her braid she’d always blush, when

she should have been accustomed to it by then. She’d

served so many meals, there’d been so many lunches since

the building site was set up, she ought to have gotten used

to it. But she blushed even when someone just looked her

in the eye when she was bringing the plates. She’d blush

whenever someone said, You look nice today, Miss Basia, or

Basieńka. She always looked nice, but they’d say that to her.