It’s 10.30 on Saturday night. J has just storied the twins to sleep, and I’m in the other room, listening for that possible emergence back into wakefulness: an edgy time, familiar from many putting-to-sleeps of children and grandchildren over more than forty years.
Outside, there’s a sudden burst of loud music and I hear the sound of many raised voices just outside the window looking onto busy ul Puławska. I’m curious. By the time I move to the window, the voices have stilled to a murmur not unlike that of the ocean. Below me, a river of people flows along. They are gliding, skimming, glissading. There’s the occasional flash of sparkle and torchlight.
I wonder if I’m dreaming: all those people, that strange movement, that sense of the inexplicable. For five minutes, the crowd streams by. The odd car flanks it for a moment, headlights like fiery wheels.
At last the stream thins and the show offs appear, figures in black, lapping at speed as they weave amongst the stragglers. They all surge on towards the city, and I fumble my way to bed.
M tells me later that I was watching the launch of Warsaw’s roller blade season and I remember the hysterical commentary that battered the peace of my 2013 apartment as skaters fought it out in the season finals in the skate park over the road.
On Sunday morning the road was closed again, this time for the Warsaw Marathon. The things you see from an apartment window.