Monday, May 14, 2007

Letters of May 14th, 2002…

Here are the last of the letters from the time just before my Polish "Being Had" episode. I plan on being drunk tomorrow and have already made dates with several friends to help me do just that. But I need to say that printing these letters have dredged up for me a lot of emotions and shown me memories I had not thought of in a long time. Of my original partners for that bike shop, all now are gone and even the bike club has closed its doors. Sergei, the man seated in that picture died during that year I was away. Heart failure. Victor left and took a job at the meat plant. Better money. He could not afford to stay with the team. Only Kolia Dudenka stayed on and to his credit, though he never really forgot that I had promised to make a shop where we might try and make a dollar or two with bicycles, he also never stopped being a friend to me. He has a real heart. I guess that was why he was a champion in the sport. Over the next three years I spent a lot of time helping the bike team out as I could but it was never the same. It is all such a shame.

Other things have changed too. We no longer live with Tatyana's parents. He father died a little over two years ago and her mother took an apartment with her sister across town. This has changed things. But it has been very hard. Very, very hard. Belarus in and of itself is such a hard road. No one who has lived here could say different no matter how ardent a supporter of the President. I remember such poverty as no one should ever have to go through. This changes you. Makes you harder. Maybe if Poland never would have happened it would have been such that I wouldn't have stayed. Perhaps the bike business would not have worked and when the money went, maybe I would have gone too; a practical decision that I am sure most people would make. But I never got to make that decision. And they never played the play.

And I am still here. Egor is now eleven and starting to act more like a man. And we have Anya now and she is already the boss of us all. But Tatyana is still here. Even without a penny, even with me living on the farm and eating straight from the field because there was not even a dollar for cooking oil, not even half a dollar for bread! She is still right there, not letting me leave and I am still standing there agreeing to stay.

There have been a lot of things going on lately that I have not been writing about and I suppose I will get to them later this week. Not tomorrow though. No. Tomorrow is a very black, black, black day.

I have been asked to forgive and forget. I have been told this many times. And I know how constant anger and vitriol can tear one's soul apart. But what else can I do? People need to know and Poland needs to understand. Such a project… such a life…

This is being had.

Mon, 6 May 2002 10:42:17 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Adam. It is so difficult to write in English. But I must to do this, because I want that you know how I am. I was so unhappy in Sunday. I can not understand that I can not see you. It is so bad felt. I am attached for you. I remember everything what you say me. I writer in Sunday one thousand words. I am happy that you know about this now. Adam, I believe you, because I really love you. I feel you every time. My son agree to write words with me in Sunday. He like you see this. I all day say him that he must to work and listen. I like when he listen me. Adam, how are you. What had happened with you on this days. Every time I have experience for you. I come back home in Sunday and I see that my mother billow for me, because she see how I love you. Today I phone to my friend Natasha and she say that may be help me to find the place for lease. I ask some people to. Adam, I am attempt. I am think about you always. Today I am go to my shop. I begin to work with books, not with money. And I am happy because my confinement is over. My chair help me to find you. May be it is not so bad thing. Adam, bye. I am think about you. Good work for you.

Mon, 8 May 2002 01:12:17 -0700 (PDT)
I am sorry. There was a problem with the money and it is worse then I thought... I am sorry; it looks as though I must do something right now other then to come back to Belarus. I was going to be there tomorrow, but I think that I can not...I am sorry Tatyana, I only wanted to be back with you and now it looks as though I can not...things have happened...I am going to see if I can do something to change things from here in the next day or so, if I can, I will do something, but if I can not, we must try and think of other things that we must do. I do love you Tatyana, but if I do not fix this situation right now, I will have no money. And I know you love me, but I don't think you will love me so much if I am broke...

Sat, 11 May 2002 03:49:39 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks bill. No, the situation is just bad all around. It is hard for me to feel that I have what I need right now. The season has moved and so has my money. I have tried to find good solutions to problems but they have not always met with the sorts of answers I would have liked. And so, what I wanted and what it seemed that I had found was made less then easy for me. And what is worse, the way in which these things have happened have left some scars that will not heal easily. And I can blame myself, but I also know that I am dealing with people who have done these things to me and around me out of jealousy and for other reasons...and so what can I do. All I can do is to count the money and see where I am and do the things I need to do. It has been what it has been. I hate Poland, where I am now, and I never like what happens to me when I am here...and to think that this is what is next...must go

Sat, 11 May 2002 09:41:33 EDT
Ok well I thought I understood what u were writing I guess I did not.
Sorry. In your other letters u talk about the problems there and u write like u have to fix them all and if you don't u have failed. U cannot fix other peoples problems not even Tati's unless they wanted them fixed and are willing to help you. If that's the way they are used to living then leave them that way they possibly don't know any better. If you're not happy there then go someplace that makes u happy. U r free to do and go wherever u want if you're not happy then move on. I gotta move on to Andrews's baseball game. Bye for now

Tue, 14 May 2002 09:02:04 -0700 (PDT)
No, not just yet. I caught an investor, and an amazing source at that, so we ain't dead yet. I am going to try and do a little bike thing there as soon as I can get the stuff in place. And I am really looking forward to being back with Tatyana again. And even the kid. Something tells me thing will be different this time. Nothing like a little distance and perspective...
More tomorrow,

Tue, 14 May
Got back Wednesday night if I can and certainly by Thursday. I miss you too, too much...Uspakoynye… Lots to do. And only love is what I have for you... I will be with you soon...
No worries and thank you for waiting,