Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Back to the HOMEPAGE

“That’s a low-down, dirty, no-good communist lie! Mister, I don’t know who you think you are but I ain’t gonna just sit here and let some red, commie, pinko instigator bad mouth the United States of America, you can count on that!”
-Famous quote made by too many people to attribute to a single source.

Got a question in the mail. What did it feel like?
Hell of a good question. I am going to try and answer it today.
But first I would like to remind you that all of the court essays are up and the whole case is pretty much all there for everyone to see. I am going to try to print the Polish versions of the court case soon so you can judge the translations as being accurate. And I have some interesting things to talk about over the next few days.
And also of course, there is only one week to go before the court convenes again to discuss the case.

Anyway, thanks for all of the letters this morning. I am grateful for all of the attention. I am going to try and get back to you all as soon as I can. Please give me a day or two to try and answer all of them individually. And yes, I can E-mail the pictures of the car and the PowerPoint essays.

Anyway, thanks again.

So, what did it feel like to have been in Poland through all of this?
It is so hard to find the words. It is like the whole of your body’s energy is turned back against you. You want to do something, to say something, to speak or to go someplace or do something, but then you have something like an electric shock go through you, reminding you that it is not possible. This is every day.
And it goes so far as to even include conversations with people. Somebody speaks to you with a smile on their face and you have to think about what you would say to them two or three times. And one or two of those thoughts is laced with anger or depression at even having to spend the energy on the conversation. You try to be nice, you want to be nice but you also feel like ruining their day by telling them why you are there and how you feel and how you want to scream at the injustice of it all.
And this especially spills over the people you have agreed to speak to. With Drazek, I was all business. All the poor guy wanted to do was to feel good, to do his thing, to go riding and to hang out with the bikers-to enjoy his life. But I was like an anchor to him. I kept going to him for help day after day, but I simply never could have any fun. I could never get over my situation. All I ever wanted to do was to simply go away from there. He introduced me to friends, to girls to his family. He did about as much as a person could do to be friends, but I wouldn’t have any of it. I couldn’t. And when he started to get sick of it and stopped being quite so helpful, I began to think he was working for the other side. I questioned whether or not he was from the start. I called him names.
It was like this with everyone. I wanted Poland to feel what they had done to me. This was not some little game, the whole of my life was being starved out of existence by the court. All I was doing day after day after day was asking, pleading, begging, cajoling people about finding a real lawyer, to find out about what I could expect from the court; about money, about what was going on…
I rode my bike a lot but I found I hated the rides. I hated being in Warsaw and the rides never felt good. Nothing I did helped.
I spent too much time on the internet but I could not think of anything I could do to help myself. I begged my friends to contact the press on my behalf but nothing ever seemed to happen. I beeged Peotr Molga to write about me but he never did. I begged…
And then there was the fear. Wiesniakowski took the trouble to tell me in front of a witness that Zaremba wanted to shoot me. I waited for this to happen. Every day when I went out of the hostel, I would look to see if there were any strange cars, any strange people lurking about that could be dangerous. I learned to go about my business waiting for something like this to happen. I told people about this, but all anyone did was agree that this was life in Poland.
It was lonely. It was boring. And it was all so relentlessly stupid. Endlessly so. I was living my life worrying about the details of where I was and making sure that no one could even suspect me about lying about anything. As if the court was sitting there waiting for some mishap, some slip-up they could use to justify what they were doing to me. And all the time I was doing this, the people who were holding me were doing nothing but lying about the case themselves. Cheating and lying and distorting the facts. And they were taking pleasure in it. Zaremba laughed at me in the courtroom and so did Jucha. The prosecutor had to remind them to calm down, like a couple of little boys being scolded by their teacher.
It was all just a game to all of them. And every minute of every day, I was not with Tatyana, I was not with the bike school, I was not doing what I said I would do, being where I said I wanted to be. And every day the money got smaller and smaller and smaller. I went from a dorm room at the hostel to the floor of the kitchen. They stole my computer, the police wouldn’t even come. And when the money finally completely ran out I lived off of the food people left behind and stayed on without paying until they threw me out on the street with all of fifteen minutes notice. The last words they said to me was that all they wanted was the money…
And now, several friends refuse to speak to me now. My life with Tatyana has been strained every day both because I was gone for so long and because there was no money when I got back.

And how am I now? I am so sick of all of this I won’t even begin to try to say. But no, I am better now. I feel better. I feel stronger. Tatyana says she can see this. I feel sharper, more real. I have some things going on. There was a little financial support. Not enough to get going, but enough to stay and fight on a little longer. The bike school helps. Fixing bikes and watching the riders helps. Talking about the future helps. Just being where I want to be helps. Getting letters from people who have checked out this site helps.
So there is some hope.

Does that answer the question? Know what would really be great? To hear these words from Poland:
We are sorry. We were very wrong in what we did.
That would help a lot. That, and a check for $5,000,000. That would also be quite helpful.