GilThis is the second part of my short story. The Poet. Please would you correct my mistakes.
My heart was beating so loudly that I was afraid it could be heard at the other end of the line. I held the receiver with
myboth of my hands, close to my mouth, to prevent any incriminating sound being picked by the microphone. I was overjoyed and could hardly breathe normally, but I did not want to give the impression of a miserable wretch, who would crawl to anyone who threw him some crumbs. Despite my current difficult situation, I was a man of honour who never ingratiated himself with anyone, nor did I like to play with the feelings of others.
“I believe Monday at nine would be all right.” Then I added as calmly as I could manage, although my heart was still pounding so hard, “Excuse me if I sound overexcited, but your invitation looks (Either - sounds like a dream or, is a dream. A verbal invitation cannot look like anything) like a dream. I don’t know how to express my gratitude and happiness.”
“I completely understand you, dear Boris,” said Mr Katz and his voice became even warmer and pleasanter. But I can assure you that the Prime Minister is one of the most gentle people you would ever meet in your life. I would be ready to work for him for nothing, just to be close to him. He likes to talk a lot, tells jokes, laughs all the time and is never boring. You are going to have such a good time.”
He told me they were going to send a car on Monday morning, which would take me to the Prime Minister’s residence. He also gave me a special telephone number I could call in the case I became sick or for some other reason was unable to come. We ended our friendly conversation wishing each other good luck.
I hung up and inhaled deeply, still having palpitations. I needed some time to fully grasp the importance of this call, which could mark
thea turning point in my life. The warm voice of the man I talked to was still resounding in my ears. I wanted to cry out with happiness, jump into the air, and share my joy with all inhabitants of the capital. I felt as if I had taken some kind of drug, which was having a positive effect on my mind. My dark depressive thoughts were retreating, giving place to the optimistic ones. I was not alone any more. I was not an anonymous misfit and a leecher but a human being aslike anyone (I prefer - everyone else) else. It was simply bad luck and circumstances which had caused my downfall. But I should never give up and fight on, because my luck was bound to change one day.
I was so excited that I could not stay still in my little flat. I needed to
comego outside, breathe in the fresh air and see the world with other eyes and in a new perspective. I dressed quickly and strode out into the street basking in the spring sun. The trees were in full bloom and greeted me with their flowers and leaves stirring in the breeze. Indefatigable bees bustled in the treetops while sparrows chattered merrily in the hedges. In all these years this city had been an unfriendly, insipid place, which felt like a large prison. I could not take a few steps in the street without feeling unease. I avoided other people’s eyes believing they despised and hated me because of my social status. Of course, I had not carried a placard or other signs indicating my low position in society, but I had the impression that somehow passersby could figure out who I was and where I belonged. Sometimes I furtively caught their stares, and they were not kind. They looked at me as if I were infected by some nasty illness. Maybe they did not like my overweight body, my unwashed, dishevelled hair, my shabby clothes or my old scuffed shoes. Intuitively, they could sense a “parasite”, who never had a proper job and now lived off the taxpayers’ money - their hard-earned money, for which they sweated blood and ruined their health. Today, however, I walked like a free man. I could look at people’s eyes and not feel shame. I had understood that it was only my mind which created a distorted impression of reality. My fellow citizens were neither better nor worse than myself. They had their own problems and neuroses. They were not selfish nor greedy as I had imagined them, but ordinary men and women who struggled to survive working hard, paying their bills and supporting their families. Despite materialism and rampant consumerism there was still humanity in the large majority of them. I had no doubt that they would help me if I suddenly became ill and fell to the ground. Even if they were rushing about to catch up with their chores, they would certainly stop to assist their fellow human being and tell ("give him" works better) him some kind words.
To be continued.