I was on a train to Warsaw yesterday evening and I went to the bar to eat something. There was not much to choose from on the train buffet’s menu, so I ordered a chicken fillet and sat waiting for it to be prepared. The train wobbled and jumped as it moved ahead, as fast as old carriages and tracks allowed. Since it was already dark there was not much to see out of the window so I looked around the carriage. There was an artificial, 40-something blonde sitting by the next table, her back on me, reading fashion magazines. There was a bespectacled, sweeter wearing man with grayish hair, eating a soup two tables away. He looked English to my eye, but such appearances are misleading.

And then I noticed a fly. It flew slowly across my table and sat on the edge of the empty ashtray. I must say I looked at it with a kind of sympathy. I didn’t see a pest, a nuisance – this small insect was to me a reminder of the warm days of the short Polish summer, already long gone. I watched it melancholically as it made its way towards the plate with a shortbread that was placed before me in the meantime. I took it not entirely willing to share my meal with it, but not wanting to hurt the poor thing who would probably die anyway later than day when the carriage would be put away in a depot and the cold would inevitably penetrate inside.

Isn’t it a good lesson in that the things don’t have any qualities in themselves other than those that our small minds attribute to them? – I thought while chewing the fillet who tasted like a piece of gum. In that warm summer a fly would be something not to notice or to wave away or even kill with disgust. But the last flies of fall – just like the first ones each spring – invoke different feelings, are seen with different eye. Are they any different than their numerous brothers we hardly see in July? Are their feet any cleaner? Did they change? Or did I, following to the perpetual wheel of changing seasons?