Grażyna Brzezińska, Alicja Drzymalska, Magdalena Kamińska, Aleksander Gegam Manukian, Wiesław Sawicki
Armando put on his hat that day. It wasn't raining, on the contrary, it was extremely hot. The sunrays burned everything. Armando didn't want his head to turn into a fried egg. He drank his coffee on the balcony under a large cream-colored umbrella and went out into the street. He passed stalls shimmering with the colors of red and orange persimmons, juicy figs and mangoes, swollen melons, and eggplants in the color of Egyptian nights. He chose three figs, the favorite fruit of Osimandias, and a persimmon for Pompidius. He moved forward, fanning himself with a morning newspaper whose language he did not know, glancing at the clay figures of sphinxes and pyramids that street vendors were offering passersby. The heat was becoming unbearable. "Good thing I took the hat," thought Armando, seeing miraculous salvation in his headcover.
It took him forty minutes to reach the Garden. Long enough to sweat completely. However, he preferred to go on foot, he did not trust the taxi drivers. The Garden was in the city center, but not everyone knew about it. It was hidden in a maze of narrow streets, the entrance to it appeared quite unexpectedly and seemed as if it had not been there a moment ago. The first time, Armando found it by accident. He just got lost. Then he couldn't find it at all. He searched for it for a long time, wandering the city, peering into every corner, every hole. Now he knew the way to the Garden by heart. The entrance was framed by two date palms. Then a passerby had to pass eucalyptus and plane trees to enter the world hidden in the middle of a desert city, existing in it with the help of magic, because how else to explain the presence of this oasis of lush greenery and pleasant coolness. Pompidius and Osimandias sat, as was their custom, on the branches of a banana tree. "Take the galoshes," said Osimandias, in lieu of a greeting. Armando extended his hand holding a fig towards his beak. The parrot smugly reached for the fruit and swallowed it quickly. "It will rain," added Pompidius, glancing with interest at the persimmon, that Armando had brought for him. As the parrots began eating the delicacies, the man moved on. Hidden among the acacia trees, Lilith was waiting for him. The tigress was lying lazily in the shadow, with half-closed eyes. "Avoid the water," she said and swiftly leaped over to the other side of the lotus pool. Armando looked anxiously at the pool and at the bottle of water, that he kept in his shirt pocket. He looked at it very carefully.
The heat did not stop, as Armando found out when he left the Garden. There was not a single cloud in the sky, but the man remembered the words of Osimandias and turned back to the hotel to get his galoshes. “How did I come up with the idea to take my galoshes with me?” He wondered along the way. He couldn't find the answer to this question. The fact is that he didn't like his feet and shoes getting wet, so even here in this desert country, he preferred to be wary.
He was hot in his galoshes, and the rain was not coming. Armando remembered the deep blue waters of the Nile and, oblivious to Lilith's warning, went to the river. It was great. He approached the shore and entered the water. The galoshes, as always, proved to be reliable. Reflecting on these wonders of human ingenuity, Armando did not hear the animal approach him. It swam up completely unnoticed as if its body weighed no more than a pound. “Hop in,” said the alligator, and Armando, driven by both the urge to adventure and the desire for a refreshing ride, straddled the beast. They went on their way.
It rained the next morning, just as Pompidius had foretold. But Armando could neither feel nor see it anymore.
Text: Ewa Sułek
The Brightness of Being is an exhibition that takes you into the private, intimate world of five artists, full of colors, emotions, mysticism, and extraordinary stories.
The exhibition is organized by Fundacja Pomieszczenie Wystawowe
Co-financed by the Piaseczno Commune
Co-financed by the resources of the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from the Culture Promotion Fund - state special purpose fund
Exhibition partner: Cultural Center in Piaseczno
Special thanks to Krystyna Stawecka and Andrzej Szczygielski.
Curator: Ewa Sułek
Producer: Paweł Zaręba