He has always followed his own path. It might have been bumpy but what matters is that it was his. Already when he was in primary school, he disagreed with his teachers. He usually ended up with a D= with a note, ‘the student can form his opinions, which are significantly different from the ones approved in the Notes on the Interpretation for Teachers of Years 5–8, published in March 1996.’When he was 19, he found his notebook with this bloody red note made by the teacher, which he later put in a thick metal frame with glass with an embedded steel wire that looked like unbreakable glass in the school cafeteria. He made the note look even more prominent with a piece of transparent glass connected to the wired one. Such a picture could be slightly peculiar but not in this AMOUNT and THIS house.
He went out of the kitchen. In the corridor, there was a pole like the one used for dancing. Once, a friend of his friend laughed that as the owner, he probably practises pole dance here.
‘Yes, I’ll show you,’ said he, boiling with anger like an immersion heater used in a mountain hostel in the times of the Polish People’s Republic. ‘Grab it here,’ he said gently and then hissed, ‘LIKE YOUR FRIENDS FROM THE XXX CLUB.’ Then, he angrily pulled the lever on the wall. In a second, the floor parted, and the con man, whose jokes brought the house down for the last time, fell into a hole with a desperate howl. He was in shock but came out of it unharmed. The pole was a 6-metre fast way to the garage, as the owner would call it. He bought it from a junk engineer, who probably took it from a closed unit of the State Fire Service.
With a ballet move, he jumped the pole and slid straight to the garage. He landed gracefully on an anti-vibration mat on the transparent glass floor. On each of the walls, in even rows, there were frames with mottos by his teacher to whom he owed his life, as he said; who he was and who he did not become. It was an incredible garage in the form of a several-dozen-metre long tunnel with a semi-circular ceiling; it looked like a drift carved in rocks, where the Wehrmacht was supposed to hide a train with plenty of gold near Wałbrzych at the end of the Second World War.
It had a glass floor and was literally built on the roofs of cars – the collection amassed by his father, which he was constantly expanding. In the garage-tunnel, there were also unique models of vehicles with a star on the bonnet, which he lent to many Benz’s dealers in Poland and Europe. His friend, a well-known Mercedes dealer, persuaded Mercedes Benz headquarters to give him a special gift. Supposedly, the concern owner personally went to the assembly line in a technical outwear and marked one of GT Mercedes vehicles for this peculiar Pole. The yellow one and no other.
‘Okay, today, chicken, it’s your turn,’ he pulled a lever similar to the one which opened the trapdoor to the fireman’s pole. The car was pushed above other vehicles by the hydraulic lift and safely transported like a baby in a carrier into an opened slot in the glass floor.
He did not wear perfume; only the smell of Mercedes GT. The contact with this vehicle substituted all expensive fragrances. It was an exceptional mixture. The genuine upholstery leather smelled like a strap of a pre-war watch. When he opened the boot after a wild ride, he could smell the steel elements of the drive, which could take harsh treatment. He would inhale it; he would sit next to the open boot and inhale the true masculine fragrance bouquet. 100% testosterone.
He put on a racing helmet, covered with genuine leather for a better effect by some retired leatherworker. He slipped into the vehicle through a small door, revved the engine, previously turning off all the driver-assistance systems. He did not approve of the ABS or the traction control system. What he could not turn off himself had been deactivated by a hacker, who had connected to his vehicle via Wi-Fi. Now he was free. The tunnel door, made of 5-centimetre thick steel, opened with a thud of rolls made of wheels of genuine minecarts from a pre-war German mine in Silesia.
The road to his house on a hill in Gdynia was private, with an external gate. Still, he always turned on the alarm before what he was going to do. He checked on his smartphone whether the heat‑sensitive cameras are not detecting any intruders – there was no red figure on the screen, like in the eye of Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He opened the windows to hear. 557 MECHANICAL MARES started galloping. The tunnel was resonating with a roar like the best stereo system. Every time was a trial for him. At more than 100 km/h on the speedometer, he came out of the tunnel, turned the wheel in the right place and pressed the brake, doing a 180-degree turn, so that the big fish mouth of the radiator grille faced forward. Less than 4 seconds – the brochure did not lie, he smiled gently.
The area in front of the house was gravel, and the drought triggered a sudden fall of small stones with a cloud of dust. ‘Chicken,’ he patted the GT gently on the steering wheel. ‘Forgive me, the car of a real man can’t be too clean.’
He started the car again and stopped after 800 metres, took off the helmet, turned on all the ABS, ASR, and other driver-assistance systems and merged with traffic at a slow pace. He believed that on a public road, failure to comply with road signs was like running with a discharged gun after a bottle of Russian vodka.
The GT cockpit perfectly tucked his body, just like a winter coat from the cult phrase, ‘this lady came in this coat and she is leaving in it.’ He drove Morska Street to the former building of the Polish Ocean Lines. This modernism manifesto ‘less is more’ in Gdynia architecture was also his motto in many fields, including his private life. On the top floor lived his girlfriend, Moderna, as he would call her. She was the only girl in the club where they met who was not wearing a tonne of make-up. He wanted to have breakfasts, run on the beach, and ski with a woman who would always be lovely. Once, in an elegant bar, artificial eyelashes of a perfect black-haired girl dropped into his glass. They looked like hair shed by cats for winter. He could bear it. But when a bunch of her artificial hair was left in his hand when he was kissing her goodbye, it was more than he could take.
Moderna shook him out of his thoughts. ‘Hey, do that thing you did when you wanted to catch my interest. You know, the one with the piano without singing. See, I made you a beat.’ ‘Okay, but that’s only for YOU,’ he said. The simplicity of the song is the key, he thought.
They say, “Oh my God, I see the way you shine”,
Take your hands, my dear, and place them both in mine,
You know you stopped me dead while I was passing by,
And now I beg to see you dance just one more time.
All characters and events depicted in this story are entirely fictitious. As opposed to Perfect Smile Clinic Wrzeszcz, which is absolutely real.