In the flat of my grandparents (Wanda and Jan) in Gliwice, near the Kłodnica river (in the 1980s and 1990s it was actually a tar flowing in a pretty wide riverbed), there was a mechanical cabinet clock hanging on the wall - wind-up, with a pendulum, a pearl dial, a floral pattern on a wooden cabinet and so on. It ticked quietly, and at appropriate times it stroke - once every half hour, and an adequate number of times at full hours. It stroke slowly, not too loudly, with a deep sound that made up a bell-like chord - tempered unevenly, major and minor at the same time, in fact, as if augmented. More or less like this:


It sounded exciting and melancholic at the same time, as if it was heralding everything that was yet to come, but expressed deep regret after all this already. I listened to the clock with that regret, especially at night, trying to capture the moment when the last strike at a given hour ends. It never ended, it resounded for a long time, fading out very slowly and blending in, or perhaps, melting into, various other sounds.

The clock was sold by someone I could not forgive for a long time, but who subsequently died in rather dramatic and regrettable circumstances, so I no longer hold a grudge. May he rest in peace.

I have been seeing people walking slowly and with difficulty on the streets recently. Ahead, but rather nowhere in particular. Old and not so old. Resigned and probably forgotten. Destroyed. They give me meaningful looks. Sometimes they ask me things, but I don't have good answers.

Spojrzenie (The Look) still not quite ready. I hesitate about the amount of percussion. It is necessary to whack it here and there.

(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)