Krakow Diary Day #19 (Friday, Oct. 6): Ten Little Intellectuals


Life at the Guesthouse of Villa Decius is getting mysteriouser and mysteriouser. I'm beginning to think I've arrived in a situation that may end up being threatening to my life.

It's slowly becoming clearer and clearer that there is more to the mysterious Laryssa than meets the eye. Every time I try to corner her, panic invades her eyes and she slips past me and behind locked doors, avoiding my questions. The proto-Austro-Feminist-Communist Erica is clearly hiding something in her past. There's a strange nervousness to her laugh when I innocently mention the never-resolved crimes of the elusive group of militant feminist terrorists who called themselves "Maenner her jetzt!" Erica would have been in her twenties when they were active. I believe now she's in some kind of witness protection program.

Then there are the post-Hegelians. When I arrived, there wasn't a single post-Hegelian in sight. Now, they're everywhere. Did you see that comment a few posts back? Crawling out of the woodwork with their freindly, probing ways and vaguely threatening intellectual puzzles. I know jiu jitzu and karate, I have the CIA handbook on my harddisk, but how do you protect yourself from a post-Hegelian?

I haven't seen the Ukrainian novelist since his reading a week ago. The White Russian poet can no longer be seen lounging around the kitchen listening to his own poems on CD. The Polish novelist Mirek has disappeared. When I ask where they are, someone says, "Oh, they're around," but before I can ask for specifics, they change the subject.

One by one, everyone is disappearing. The unnatural quiet in the house is getting eerie. When we talked about it the other night, the Ukrainian novelist Tanja made a crack about Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians": One by one, the people on an island begin disappearing. Is that what's happening here in this very house? Since she made that remark, I haven’t seen Tanja.

This morning, as if to belie my fears, Mirek showed up. He smiled unnaturally and said he had been in Warsaw, though I hadn’t asked yet.

But there was something strange about him. Something… changed…

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