Twins

10 April 2010

It’s the brightest morning of the spring, the long warm weekend we’ve been waiting for. You’re thinking about throwing the windows open, using the garden properly, or getting out into the park.

Most of my neighbours on this street are Polish. An hour or two ago, they lost their President. It isn’t gracious now to talk about what I thought of the man’s politics, but he was still a brother – a twin brother – and a son. It’s going to turn out later half his government was with him, flying to commemorate the massacre at Katyń.

As I walk out to the corner shop, the news on Polish satellite TV is coming through the open windows. On a Saturday morning like this, you would have been getting up and thinking about where the kids might want to go to play, until you idly flicked the television on.

The British radio, between the headlines, is going on about an inane sausage sandwich game.

Englishmen walk past in red and white, but not that red and white. They’re dressed for the football as if nothing had happened. Eighty years ago, they might have been worrying Who did it? (in Russian territory? On this day of all days?), consoling their wives who wept (as they would never weep) with anxiety for their sons of military age. Thirty years ago, and they might have been going through that drawer under the kitchen table, searching for that leaflet from the council that tells you where the shelters are. Nothing like that now. I’m sickened so many deaths have made me think of consolation.

The other side of the curtains, their neighbours are mourning ninety national tragedies all at once.

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4 Responses to “Twins”

  1. B. Miller Says:

    “The other side of the curtains, their neighbours are mourning ninety national tragedies all at once.”

    Loved this line. You should write a story about it.

    Have a great weekend, Alex!


  2. Somebody has said that about almost every post this week. I won’t be able to keep up! 🙂

    Not 100% sure this particular one would be mine to tell though…

  3. Old Kitty Says:

    Hi
    Yes, I had the BBC online page on throughout the morning and the news started as maybe to definitely to complete devastation – and doubly more so when I learn where they were headed. I remember watching a BBC prog on Stalin and the first two episodes of that series was full of how Poland was that madman’s playground and no-one came to help.

    Awful.

    I live in a quaint little town with a quaint little shopping centre – and what do I see bang in the middle of this centre on a lovely and bright spring day as this? The BNP stall. And what really bothered me were that it was staffed by these old gentlemen – all in their st george’s get up waving these pamphlets with their party’s logo and I couldn’t help but think: you guys are old enough to know what fascism achieved first hand, first time and yet you’re doing this?

    Madness.

    Take care
    x


  4. Oh now that is too much….


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