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I mean, there just aren’t that many words you can use when

you want to say something nice to a girl, especially in a

cafeteria, when she’s giving you your soup or your main

course or clearing the dishes away.

It’s another matter that as far as words are concerned,

something has happened between men and women, don’t

you think? Someone here said to me once that words are

unnecessary, that they’re dying out. It’s obvious what a man

is, what a woman is, what do you need words for. True or

false ones, wise or unwise, elegant or clumsy, either way

they all lead without exception to the same thing. So what

are they for?

True, on the building sites things weren’t that great either

when it came to words. You used them as much as was

needed on the construction. And you can imagine what

kinds of words they were mostly. One job followed another,

so you just dropped by the cafeteria to quickly eat your

lunch and then hurry back to work. You were dirty and

sweaty, you didn’t even wash your hands sometimes. Plus,

while you were eating there were other men waiting for

your place the moment you were done. Where could you be

expected to learn other words? You look nice today, Miss

Basia, or Basieńka, that was all some of them could manage.

And those were the ones we reckoned knew how to talk. It

was much simpler to just grab hold of her braid.

Were any of them in love with her? I can’t speak for the