Thursday, January 08, 2004

Everything is going to be Ok…
The last line of yesterday’s essay got me to thinking about my dealings with prosecutor Wiesniakowski. I don’t know that I brought out enough about him in the book or not so I thought I would talk abit more about him today. Stanislaw Wiesniakowski is a short, round, balding and fidgety man with a remarkable feeling of self worth. I say this about his attitude of self possession because he ran his office as if an actor on center stage; he loved the attention of anybody who would come to see him, and performed his act of perpetual control in a soap opera-ish manner. High theatre is a good way to describe it. Excessively dramatic. But to me, I felt there was something strange about him. A bad energy, maybe. Like there were too many secrets there, too many moments of poison. I hate to come off like I am so pristine myself, but I was always rather uncomfortable being around him because of this feling he gave off. I just felt sort of slimy having to stand to close to him, you know what I mean?
In conversation, he can a very gracious guy- perhaps ingratiating is a better word- when he wants to be. And to say something for him in the positive, I am sure that a great percentage of his work might very well actually be real and in the service of the public good.
With me though, he had obviously ulterior motives and he was not interested in any way in truth finding or justice determination. Perhaps it was that the game he was playing with me was dirty that brought all of his inner uncleanliness to the surface, but all of my time spent with him sort of turned my stomach a bit. And, I know that this sounds a little childish, but my simply not wanting the guy in my life had a lot to do with some of my own actions early on. There was that moment after I had returned from Gdansk when Foster Stolte of the American embassy was screaming at me to go to Wiesniakowski’s office (and to be sure to spell his name correctly), but I simply didn’t want to. My refusal was ostensibly out of fear of arbitrary arrest, but along with that was a feeling that I simply did not want to have physical contact with the man. I know this makes me sound like a big kid but I guess I was in fear that a little of his sleaze would rub off on me. And to tell the truth- and I hate this, you know: I feel that to a certain extent it has! I mean, look at what I am doing right now?
All of the grime aside, I guess what he wanted from me was to win a little chess game of his own contrivance. And most specifically, what he wanted was not a mate, but a resignation. My feeling always was that what he needed was for me to admit my guilt so that the cop gets away cleanly and all is Ok. I am quite sure that they all figured that this would be easy money because Americans are all so very, very rich. Again, if you wanted to look for a positive side to his actions, you could squint your eyes a little and say he was protecting the cops for their decision to book only me and not at least the both of us on the 15th. Be that as it ,may, I think I proved my theory the day he had me sit their answering questions about how much money public prosecutors make in the states and how much is the cost of guns, a glass of Coke-Cola… You get the idea.
However, it was that he kept repeating that stupid phrase in the playing of his little game that to this day really tears me up. The phrase was “Your case will be over soon” or “It will be completed very soon.” It was his habit of handing me these “candy cane” phrases that really hurt the most. He sent this line over to the American embassy and Foster Stolte mimicked it as well several times. If you can picture yourself in my position, imagine sitting their having your life controlled by a bunch of people whom seem to have no ability to determine the reality of a situation. And at the same time, they are telling you to relax and that it will all be over in a minute, and all will be fine.
I would say that tacking this on top of the rest of it all is rather… Dr. Mengele-esque, wouldn’t you say? It is like sitting in a dentist chair, and you are going to have to let this dentist give you anesthetic and perform a little surgery on you... and he is sitting there with the drill in his hand and telling you everything is going to be Ok, you won’t feel a thing and when you wake up, everything is going to be ok. You have to trust him. A lot. You have got to trust that it is Ok for him to touch you and do his thing on you.
And fool that I was, I really did think at the time that it was simply a matter of their not reading the documents clearly. I don’t know why I was so foolish. Perhaps I was deluding myself in believing that they were basically straight because the idea of there being a completely through and through corrupt system under which people actually had to live was too much for me to allow.
So who is this guy? Well, here is a thought. I also mentioned Shakespeare yesterday, and for those of you familiar with Richard the Second, you might remember in the opening soliloquy where Richard tells us of his life with a humped back and a deformed hand. Having known no love or beauty in life, he resigns himself to being a villain so as to return the bile and scorn that the world has heaped on him. And, as villains go, he is a baddie. And interestingly, Richard, exactly as with our Polish public prosecutor wants to be admired for his horrible-ness (Who could have ever wooed a woman in such a mood…). But in the end of course, Richard is screaming for a horse, a horse a kingdom for a horse; that being the best means of escape from the hell that had become said kingdom. Not to spoilt the play, but he didn’t get away...
Is this Mr. Wiesniakowski? Is this corrupt man that I was forced to be in the presence of, the product of his world, or did he hasten the fall himself? Is this openly repugnant behavior simply a result of his own feeling of personal protected-ness, or a suicide from a job and a place he is disgusted with? Did Wiesniakowski, sitting there month after month torturing an obviously innocent guy, perhaps start to feel that he has indeed become the thing he himself feared when he yet had a younger mans heart? I can say this because I often felt that he was trying to gain not only my trust with his words of comfort, but also that he wanted me to somehow like him, to approve of him, to perhaps admire this thing that he did as some act of intelligence. I often felt that he wanted my admiration for the level of consciousness he put into his corruption as if his was some work of art.
Well, I am a fair guy. And I have readers. So go ahead folks: Yes or no? Is this what you want from your people of power? Does this sort of public art raise the bar of the public esthetic or consciousness? Does it even help you to sleep better to know that these sorts of games are being played with your tax dollars?
But listen to me: Don’t worry about a thing. It’s all going to be over soon. This will be finished shortly and you can then relax and forget all about it. Very soon there won’t be any more expository essays or secrets revealed. Very soon names will no longer be printed publicly and your actions made available for public scrutiny. Very soon you will be able to go free and everything will be nice and clean and real again. And don’t worry about how people with think about you, or about what this might do to your life, or your name… Don’t worry: It will all be over soon.