Returning home from Łódź
Right after coming back from work on July 22, 2013, something unexpected and pleasant happened to me. Before I attended to my tasks, I turned to my boss to thank him for the 3 days off (which is quite a challenge in the middle of the season in a sea resort), and as a token of my appreciation, I gave him an Old Ideas CD which I bought on the Arena in Łódź. It wouldn't have been anything out of ordinary if not for my boss's truly fantastic reaction. He instantly asked the hotel staff to turn our audio equipment on and personally inserted the CD thus filling the whole hotel with Leonard's voice... Several times : ) And who would have thought that I'd spend my first day back at work still together with LC, with no necessity of coming down to earth.
Still on the same day, before LC's songs reverberated in the hotel's loudspeakers, the guests showed interest in my short absence at work. One of the ladies (a German citizen) who was unobtrusively inquisitive, asked me directly
“Where have you been, Beata?”
“At a concert”, I replied.
“Whose concert, if I may ask?”
When she heard the name, the woman (about 50 years old) quietly groaned, let out a long sigh and... fell silent. She freezed. She turned pale. Now she in turn aroused my interest as well as concern. I could not find a straightforward interpretation to her reaction: was it good? bad?, I thought. She looked as if she was about to faint. Therefore I asked her: “Are you alright, did anything happen?” After a longer pause, she replied with a tint of embarrassment,
“Please excuse me, I was rendered speechless; I'm bewildered. When you mentioned the name of that extraordinary artist, I shivered. Please, look”, she said and showed me her body, all covered in goosebumps. And then she added in a calmer voice, with her face brightened and rosy cheeks:
“You can't even imagine how much I envy you...”
And with a blissful, intriguing smile, she returned to her room.
On July 19, 2013, we were waiting outside the Arena. I was with Marek – my brother – he "introduced me" to LC when I was only 11. And I remained faithful to the Master, probably for my whole life. I really wanted to meet the Master, only this once, face to face. That was why we enthusiastically circled the Atlas Arena many times. Some buses arrived before the soundcheck , but the area was well guarded by the security staff. In one of the buses came Sharon Robinson, I spotted her at the last moment, but I was too far. She disappeared in the Arena entrance.
We kept asking, but nobody wanted to "spill the beans". Some said that he'd been inside for over an hour now, others that he wiould arrive last. The bus driver who had brought the band, and the security told us that they wouldn't help us in fear of losing their jobs. That was perfectly understandable. And we are not pushy people But we had a whim of being lucky : ) At some distance from us I noticed a fan from Poland (known on the forum as Kaz), who was so absorbed into staring at the Arena entrance, that our encouragement to come down to us didn't work. Armed with his camera, Kaz was bravely "fighting" from the distance. Whether he succeeded or not, I don't know, but the security were efficient people, as can be seen above : )
Well, it should've been so easy, here, home, on Polish grounds, that all you have to do is wait...
Thanks to our walking, we met some very interesting young people – Kasia and Ivan. Ivan from Belarus! Talented, intelligent and modest : ) with LC's vinyl record held tight in his hand. Ivan showed us his recordings on YouTube (on his phone). He's a really interesting artist and a young singer. We'll probably be all hearing about him some time! : )
Then came the concert. It was 8 p.m.
I will not be repeating all those adjectives we use here to express our admiration and delight at the Master's art, the Band and this WONDROUS PHENOMENON Leonard's concerts are. OBVIOUSLY...
Right after the concert we drove to Hotel L-andel`s. Ha! We drove... We got stuck in the jam of cars leaving the Arena. The way which usually takes 10 mins, took us over half an hour. As you may suspect, it was too late. The Master had already adjourned to his room (as we managed to establish
. But we stayed there to feed on hope. After all, the Master could be coming down for a cup of evening tea. Or anything else for that matter... We sat in a room with glass walls, where the Master stayed the evening before (a little birdie told us
. We could see the reception desk and the whole foyer. We drank red wine and kept staring...
Well, we had to satisfy our hunger with hope only. It was 2.30 a.m., we went back to our hotel. Sleeping was out of the question, the emotions from the Arena were still too vivid. Those glorious, unforgettable 4 hours of joy!
Well, I did not shake Mr Cohen's hand, didn't look deep into his eyes and did not tell him the words I've been intending to for such a long time, although I dream about it at night... But the happiness which lifts me off the ground every day, when I realise how lucky I was to participate in the concerts of this great, perfect world tournee (2008, 2010, 2013) and what an honour it is to be one of You, one of us... the ones loving LC; that happiness doesn't leave me and I hope it never will, unlike this opportunity which "slipped through my fingers"...
Your Friend - Beata