We met in London while I was traveling with my daughter. I am so proud of Lena! She is now sixteen but looks much older and mature, always reading those thick books. She is tall and graceful, with beautiful green blue eyes, her English is excellent whereas I can only understand and speak a few words. How good that we were traveling together and that she was always helping me.
We had both come to the Saint Paul’s Youth Hostel (London) when we met Kyrta. She had been given the same room. We are both forty-six and Kyrta is also a teacher like me. I teach music to primary school students and she teaches English and German in a high school. She told me she had been living in Germany many years ago, where she taught Spanish cuisine without knowing how to cook. She was recently in Munich attending a course for German teachers on digital media. She wants to research how these new technologies influence foreign language learning.
I was immensely glad because I could speak German with her. What a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch she was! Just like my daughter. Sometime later the three of us would be waiting at the Barbican Theatre Backstage to get his autograph. Doesn’t that sound crazy? I felt like a teenager waiting for her idol but we had great fun. I obviously did it for my daughter and took as many pictures of Mr.Benedict Cumberbatch as possible. I love photography and there was plenty of time.
Kyrta had already seen Hamlet and was very happy to wait for the actor’s autograph. She even talked to him while he was signing. She told him:
“Thank you very much for signing for Catalonia’s freedom.”
I think this had been an idea to draw the actor’s attention, just what she wanted. He raised his head and looked very quickly at her, surprised. Then he moved on to the next person. He probably did not understand the message but Kyrta did the right thing.
I understand this oppression she talks about. It seems the Spanish central government has been showing disrespect for the Catalans for many years and even centuries. Having a Polish origin allows me to understand this kind of oppression. It was not easy for us either. Becoming a German citizen has opened many doors for me. I wish her good luck with Catalonia’s next election on independence from Spain. She said it would take place on September 27, 2015.
What happened? From what she told me it seemed to be a democratic and peaceful movement from a vast majority of citizens who wanted to change things as it has happened many times in human history. Take women’s suffrage, for example, for many years women were not allowed to vote. It was illegal but it was legitimate to change this situation. Thanks to the suffragettes it became legal. What about apartheid in South Africa? It was legal to curtail the rights of a black majority and of other ethnic groups until Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990 after 27 years of imprisonment. He negotiated the end of apartheid which brought peace to a racially divided country. The idea of Catalonia’s independence from Spain would be something legitimate too. Kyrta said: “We are not lawbreakers, we are lawmakers”.
My daughter was now a bit sad because Benedict Cumberbatch almost forgot to sign her Sherlock book. All he did, as exhausted as he was after a daily 3-hour Hamlet play, was to draw a small line that was supposed to be his signature. However, Kyrta was kind enough to send Lena a copy of her autograph which was a real signature. Anyway, we had so much fun that evening and what followed was even better as Kyrta introduced us to John. Wow, I could not help falling in love with him! Tall, slim, cultivated and so well-mannered! Although I only know a few words in English and he only knew a bit of German, we immediately understood each other.
Kyrta warned me about John. She said he had told her he was homosexual. But people can change sexual orientation. I know some cases so, why should it be different this time? And what if she was wrong and John was no typical homosexual at all? Maybe he had tried it out for a while and found out it was not his real orientation. Besides, from the very beginning he showed special interest in me. A woman notices this immediately. Moreover, John had gone through a hard time with the corrupt corporation he had been working. Some years before he had probably maintained a relationship with another man but now it was more than over.
It seems that two colleagues from the corporation had wanted to have fun and made John’s life impossible. They had created a fake Facebook address the corporation began to investigate and later used against him. His supposed homosexuality, whether true or not, had cost John’s position. Such people are too powerful in North America to act against them. It does not matter the way you are. They will always find any excuse to fire you because you are a homosexual, a woman, a black person or whoever. They do not understand human equity and justice, they just want power and to make money as fast as possible. The end justifies the means.
John was jobless and because there was nothing to do against the corporation he had begun to write a book about his life. I found the idea excellent and invited him to visit me in Germany after the holidays. I was more than happy when he arrived. He lived with Lena and me for some time. I showed him my photographs and he loved them. I introduced some basics to him. Together we explored the possibility to include photography, my passion, in his book. He loved the idea and learned a lot. It would be a great combination. We started going out together for a while. For John, who was now fifty-one, I became indeed his first sexual relationship with a woman. We had a nice time together but difficulties between us began to arise with the passing of time. In the end I told him to leave.