Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Feelings of loss

On Friday I went to Olomouc. There was some family reunion... well, not some. My grandpa was 80 and there was to be a party.
I arrived Friday morning and I had some errands, like picking my passport, getting the LAN cable for Juha the perfect flatmate and picking some books from the library. I dropped at the ID office to discover that it is open to public only on Mondays and Wednesdays. Let me know what sort of a moron invented that the office days or however they call it are only two days a week? Business days are from Monday through Friday but the bureaucrats are always something special. I don=t plan to go anywhere outside the EU for now so my ID card is enough but anyway.
The spring has begun... the weather was well lit, so to say. Somewhere up there a stage designer lives since the city was well lit and the contrasting dark clouds were somewhere behind. The spring has been in the air for a few days.... and I needed to get the cable. So I got of the tram wherever I needed and went around the corner where was a computer shop. The corner used to be dominated by the design store where I bought my first (and only) Aalto vase for my first (and not the only one) wage. The notice on the display windows read that from March 1 the establishment is closed down. The computer shop a few metres further was not either. There was some travel agency or what. 'One leaves for a fortnight and everything gets messed up,' I thought on the way to Mom's office and I felt down. Not that I wasn't contemplating leaving this country and my hometown and Prague, first of all, thanx for understanding, but only now I felt as if my childhood was cut off.
The empty feeling remained for a time... I was contemplating how the things are changing (and how some of them should not be changing), how all the poetic things are disappearing - my parents live in a neighbourhood that is changing from normal to extremely posh and I'm afraid that all those beautiful and mildly neglected gardens will disappear in favour of those tasteless and soulless little display parks with various multicoloured low-maintenance shrubbery on vast lawns and mulched pads. And that the mildly neglected houses will give way to tasteless and soulles would-be villas that look as if mail-ordered from a bad catalogue. There's one such huge orange thing on the corner, used to be an old villa and now it looks like an office building with amputated roof. There were flowers growing wildly and crooked apple trees in the garden and now they have a swimming pool and a wall three metres high because they're not the common folk. Another old, mildly neglected villa on another corner was deprived of the ancient junipers surrounding it, slate roof and decorated window frames. It got the catalogue shrubberies around, huge entrance to some underground garage, the roof tiles are of some plastic or what - slate and shingles are the most beautiful materials for roof and slate lasts forever if done properly and it's recyclable. It just cannot be thrown on the ground from the third story but treating it nicely is too expensive, you see. Another villa, art nouveau, another garden with crooked apple trees - the guys must have invested a huge heap of money so why the fuck they didn't get a decent architect? And our neighbours started enlarging their house. Adding a winter garden so that they will be able to see directly to our kitchen. It's a row of terraced houses designed for as much privacy as there could be. But the neighbours care a damn, after all, when the woman is happy with running around the garden in old underwear, when they throw a huge barbecue party and even don't ask people to take their freshly laundered stuff away, when they argue in such a way that the only acceptable words are prepositions, throwing things at each other and the most ashamed are the people in the surrounding area, why should they care that some idiot next door doesn't fancy being looked at when having her coffee on the terrace? Our lawyers are handling that, not all the things are perfect about the whole construction. And should that go bad, Mom said that she'll have a superb job for Marek, my architect friend. "Mr. Architect, could you please build something here? Something really ugly, please?"
I didn't do any walking around as I planned, it started to rain and I got pretty soaked so I spent most of the day at home munching cakes and whatever was around and getting pretty stuffed.
The feast on Saturday was about the same, I was sitting there, eating whatever was there and there were lots of it. I think that I wasn't the only one who ate to the verge of sickness. My cousins were there with the kids, one of them was pregnant for her second time and she isn't much older than me and I felt that they are just different people. No fun, somehow. Does one really change so much with kids? And as a whole, the party was basically boring.
When I was 26, I was okay with it. Maybe pissed off that with the exception of the Finnish girl who lived across the street, nobody cared a damn, parents included. When I was 27, I felt terribly old and useless and I went to buy anti-wrinkle cream. My parents happily forgot about my birthday again, covering it up with stupid excuses like I didn't get you any flowers because you would have to carry them with you on the train. I used to buy flowers in Bratislava and take them to Olomouc with me and I was okay with it. So what the heck. And everybody knows that I love flowers.... I was 28 this year. I reminded gently that it's my birthday. I got a book and a memory stick... after at least 15 years got a book I didn't buy myself on behalf of the donor! I am old but I care a damn now. Or.... I pretend to care a damn but I still feel that something is slipping away and it cannot be helped.