30 Birthdays And The Second Guitar

Previously on my Tale Of Three Guitars: I actually start with no guitar but singing in a church choir and not wanting to play the piano. Then, I become a rebel and buy the ugliest bass you’ll ever see, start a band only to watch it come undone after the first gig. I have more luck with my second band, thanks to which I have my first lick of rockstardom, until high school ends and I have to leave the country. Next, I sell my first guitar for a ferry ride (to Finland) which, somehow, brings us to a story of

30 Birthdays And The Second Guitar

pink and black vintage woman playing guitar

Slide your eyelids shut, inhale through your nostrils, and let me time-travel you to the morning of Friday April 11th, 2008. Imagine the heavy, dusty boots of a delivery guy climbing up the concrete-grey staircase of an Eastern European post-soviet film studio, cursing under his breath, smelling of yesterday’s vodka, hug-dragging an uncomfortable, unconventional, shapely package. He moves down a somber corridor, scanning the numbers on the doors, looking for the one marked on his order. He finds it, it’s wide open, it’s a production office for one of the many movies being shot somewhere around the studios. Three people sit behind desks in the room, the delivery guy doesn’t knock, he pants his way in and plants the thing in the middle of the coffee-stained carpet, staring, waiting for the bitch who had the brilliant idea to have such a thing delivered by mail to jump up from her chair in utter delight.

That bitch is me, and the funky thing that looks like a Blues Brothers’ guitar case fucked a postal package and gave birth to this, is what I got myself for my thirtieth birthday. Continue reading

Book, Interrupted

I have finally started bringing out of the garage some of the boxes with books I’ve not yet unpacked since our move to the new house four months ago. This past weekend, I found a bunch of special books which are close to my heart in a peculiar way. Their story is what you are about to read, I call them The Interrupted.

Like many other bookworms out there, it’s quite hard for me to read only one book at a time. Usually, I have an average of 3-4 titles in progress on my desk, bedside table, and toilet sink. Many of them, eventually, meet their destiny and get read till the end, but there is always a small percentage which remains stuck at some level and lingers for months and months in this halfway state between the unread and the finished until I get tired of seeing its cover catching dust, I force myself to make peace with the thought I will not see the end of this story any time soon, and I finally archive the title on The Interrupted Shelf.

Yes, I have an Interrupted Shelf. I also call it “The Limbo Shelf”, a name that wants to express empathy for their stuck and unfinished state of being. I have feelings and respect for my books, even those I will probably never read till the end. That’s why I would like to introduce to you nine of the most egregious Interrupted titles, celebrate them for a moment, before they slide back onto their shelf and deep into this reader’s oblivion.

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1 * THE NEW YORK TRILOGY * Paul Auster

Interrupted when and where: sometime in 2009, on page 129 of 308. Reason for the Interruption: as the title suggests, this is a collection of three stories. I read the first two, City Of Glass and Ghosts, and stopped right before The Locked Room. Why? Although I am a big Continue reading

In Which I Sell My First Guitar For A Ferry Ride (To Finland)

Previously on my Tale Of Three Guitars: I actually start with no guitar but singing in a church choir and not wanting to play the piano. Then, I become a rebel and buy the ugliest bass you’ll ever see, start a band only to watch it come undone after the first gig. I have more luck with my second band, thanks to which I have my first lick of rockstardom, until high school ends and I have to leave the country. Next is the story

In Which I Sell My First Guitar For A Ferry Ride (To Finland)

FERRY-ARCTIC 03

It’s 1997, I’m 19 years old. I leave my parental nest and move 1256 kilometers North, to Poland, to study cinema. (My) luck wants that the city where the Film Academy is located is also where my maternal Grandmother lives. My parents find this marvelously convenient and it’s agreed that, until I figure out whether or not I am fit for this film life, I’d stay with her. Trying to describe my Grandmother’s persona in a sentence or two would be unfair to her great complexity, but because this story is not about her let’s just say that If Gary Oldman as Nosferatu in Coppola’s cult-ass Dracula had a female version of himself, that would be my Grandma. Only, with much less hair and absolute zero sex appeal. She’d torture me by waking me up at unsanitary early hours (6 am on Sunday morning!?) because it pissed her off that someone was asleep in the house when she had already risen. She’d prepare meals for me then sit and stare at me making sarcastic remarks about how ugly I look when I chew. Needless to say, she did not allow any bass-playing in her house and as it was not easy to take my guitar and amp out for a jam, for the first whole year of studies there was nada Rock’N’Roll.

Continue reading

Camera Obscura

These last few days saw the passage of two necessary landmarks I trip on every single year. On April 1st I celebrated 13 years since the day of my graduation [yes, I graduated on April Fool’s day – now I know it was a full-frontal omen] and on April 11th – yesterday – I celebrated 37 years since the day of my birth.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

I love to count time. When I was little, I had this habit: I would take mental photographs of moments that struck me particularly and hold them in my thoughts as time-trackers. I would count back toward them and try to dissect the strange feeling it gave me to see that something present and real would morph into past and eventually fall out of my memory, gone.

I took one of the mental photos I remember most clearly on the day of my brother’s christening. I was 9, we had already left the house to go to church when I realized I forgot my purse. My mother allowed me to go get it, I dashed back into my room and stopped cold at what I saw. Continue reading