I was born 1st of August 1989 in the Upper Silesia, the coughing lungs of Poland. An industrial region with its old coal mines and abandoned infrastructure creating a rather post apocalyptic landscape. I grew up in greener and happier areas, where people would settle with their lovely families, get a dog and build a house. A conventional vision of prosperity. We were surrounded by woods from one side and a big park from the other. It might not be the biggest wilderness you will ever know but it was goo enough for deer, bunnies and boars. It was all rather safe and sweet. Allegedly, my mum was stubborn enough to keep me in for longer than expected. She was born in August and wanted me to be an August baby. That's was the first time her opinion was more important than mine, but it wasn't the last. I am happy to be born in August. For whatever reason. That's two female Leos in the house. What can possibly go wrong.
I was meant to be Michael, but i am Aleksandra instead. I am happy about that too. It's supposed to have its origins in two Greek words, meaning to help, defend and a man. That would be the defender of men. Funny enough when I was very little, one of my recurring fantasies was that of being a Superhero, who's job was to bring justice, defend the weak and defeat the wicked. I would call myself the Defender of The World. I would wear a black cape, over the knee boot and run around with a whip. My helper was a tiger I held on a chain leash. I would occasionally have angelic wings. Pretty sexy image if you ask me. And all that with my pure heart and good will. Back then I didn't know how accurate that image would be later on when I started playing on the fetish scene. I am jumping ahead a little. These fantasies wouldn't come up until much later. For the first couple of years we had a nice two bedroom flat on the top floor. Just when I was about to go to school we moved to a much bigger flat, few blocks away. Top floor as well, with a much bigger balcony. It was the only time we moved.
I have very bleak memories of what could be my first days on Earth. Glass doors, some plastic toys and sleep. Long, long sleep. It made have just been the construct of my mind based on my childhood photos. My brother was very happy to have a sister and he was jumping around, impatient to play with me. To his disappointment, the creature that just appeared on this world was not quite ready to play with yet. He would change his mind later when I would start following him around absolutely everywhere. I remember the smell of the sea. I remember a walk by the beach and toy shovels. I had a pink one, my brother a blue one. How sweetly binary. Everything was good in the world. My brother was everything to me. Always together, me trying to compete with him, usually failing miserably. I remember the day he taught me the prayer to my Guardian Angel. The "eternal life" in Polish sounded very much like the "eternal hedge" and I couldn't quite understand why I need the Angel to guide me there. I assumed there is something interesting over the hedge.
At the beginning, we shared a room and slept in a bunk bed. He made a lift out of a cord and a basket and used to send me down his toys to cheer me up. Once I climbed up there and scared him. He didn't realize his little sister was a monkey. Just like the plush one he had. He used to make it sing like Michael Jackson. The room was full of treasures and mysteries. Plush toys, weird fluorescent sticks making funny noises, hats, lego bricks, snow globes, board games. Every drawer, every shelf was an adventure into the unknown. Especially those I wasn't supposed to touch, cause they belonged to my brother. He was all reason and wisdom. I was a spark of curiosity looking for trouble and testing the boundaries. We were both creative in slightly different ways. He liked structure and order, I liked chaos and adventure. We took these traits with us into the adulthood when the differences finally kept us apart. For a very long time we made an inseparable team. For some reason we kept pet snails. I wanted to have pet ants one day but they all died. I didn't know they need air to breathe and I just closed the lid of the jar. I made them an unintentional antmageddon. I feel guilty to this day.
I was full of unquenched curiosity and creative drive. I would draw dinosaurs on the wall. Diplodocus with a long neck. My mum wasn't impressed. I wasn't either. I was about to find out I would never be quite satisfied with what I create. One of the pleasures of growing up was discovering cassettes with a satisfying tape inside them that went on and on and on the carpet all around me. It is only at that moment I had a sudden feeling I might be in trouble so I hid under a commode, just in case. That day I learnt that cleaning my room is a thing and can be used as a punishment. Chocolate bugs were used as a form of reward. They even had little legs attached to them.
Sometimes my curiosity was dangerous. I remember that one time when my mum left the room to talk to the neighbor. I was very intrigued by the candle in the living room. I held my Alfred Jodokus Kwak plush toy over a candlelight for a bit too long and burn his beak. Poor thing. I hurt it but I was so sorry. I learnt the hard way the irreversible nature of some actions. I’m lucky the whole bloody thing didn’t catch fire. And burn down our flat. Quack! Quite early on I became interested in things like medical cabinet full of colorful yummy pills. Or my dad's razors. What is this shiny object? Oh look, it takes some skin off my finger. That is weirdly satisfying until... What is this red stain that showed up from nowhere? Was I in trouble again? Sometimes I wonder how did I even survive the early childhood.
I remember the first winter. Or at least, it was the first winter I remember. Icicles falling off the edge of the rooftop. I thought they could kill someone. My brother had to go somewhere. Where is he going? It's middle of the night. He is going to school! Why is he going to school in the middle of the night? But it was only a dark winter morning. One day I would also go to school. Winter mornings would still feel like the middle of the night.
First Christmas when I was decorating the gingerbread cookies with candied orange peel. Christmas tree and retro decorations. I begun to understand it's one of the things that people do. Not only once, but every year. There is such thing as a year. We used to get gifts twice - once for St. Nicholas, the 6th of December, then on the 24th, The Christmas Eve. The question was who brings the gifts on Christmas Eve, since Santa Claus already did his job earlier that month. Was it Baby Jesus? An Angel? I can dark figures sneaking into my room at night leaving shiny colorful packages. The first thing I got was a chalk board in a shape of a hippo and a box of colorful chalk. Was it an attempt to bring my Jurassic murals to an end? There wasn't any doubt in my heart that my parents were involved in the mysterious appearance of toys on my bed. Were they conspiring with Santa? Part of me wanted to believe the real Santa is somewhere out there, Maybe he got tired and hired my parents. Who knows. MI think the magic of Christmas deserves it's own chapter in my travels to the past. Let's not open that box just yet, it is still early in the year and the Sun is high in the sky.
The first day in kindergarten was one of the most traumatic days. I wasn't sure why I was there. Somehow I didn't realized my mum left. I panicked, I looked out the window but her little red car wasn't there. She was gone. I was abandoned and alone. I sat with my face between my knees and cried. That one kid wanted me to cheer up but I just wanted to be left alone crying. How could they not understand? How could she leave? How couldn't she not make sure I understand that she will be back in no time. I remember exactly what was for breakfast that day. Bread and sweet fromage, the taste of which was escaping me all my life. It was a beginning of a new learning experience. One I will talk about later.
It's a strange and dangerous territory to enter, the wasteland of childhood memories. The Arcadia that is perhaps nothing else than a mirage of my thirsty soul. It rips my heart apart to look at these images as an old film projected on a dirty wall and to know what happens next. The pain and disappointment that creature had to live. The things she wasn't supposed to be ready for. Why did I come here. Was I here before? There was so much happiness, what went wrong? For the longest time I used to think it was my fault. That I brought it here, disturbing the picture with my dirty presence. It couldn't be true, I wasn't there for long enough, it wasn't my intention! Life has only just begun and I was hungry to find all the answers.