Polish Nudism – A Nudist In Poland
At some point over pizza, during a discussion concerning personal relationships, Gosia looked off into the distance and sighed heavily. Turning her blank eyes back to the table, she cupped her cheek in her palm and said, “I would like to fall in love.” The statement was simple. Its implications unfathomable. More than once Gosia had shared a sense of the deep unhappiness dwelling within her. The expressions had all been vague.
Later that Sunday, after the potatoes had been roasted in the fire, Darek and I followed Gosia and a friend of hers up to the gazebo. The first thing she did was brag about the ingenious device she had come up with for the grill. It was a pulley. The grill hung on a chain. When Gosia cranked the handle the grill went up and down. Three rods that held it in place moved within three sleeves attached to the fireplace. Gosia warned me before I took hold of the pulley that the sleeves were too short. I wasn’t allowed to let the rods come out or there would be hell to pay for getting all three rods back where they were meant to be. The warning was promptly ignored. Gosia laughed. She reminisced about the time such a thing had happened when the grill was hot. With drunkenness in the mix it hadn’t been a pretty scene.
Gosia recalled too, with fondness, the days in winter when she and her guests had gone sledding down the hillside on inner tubes. For some reason she thought I hadn’t understood the Polish word for inner tube. A long and confusing explanation followed in which she tried to compare what she was talking about to an “English paczek.” What she meant was a doughnut. It took more than a few laughs to clear that up.
Gosia’s good spirits didn’t last. Back at the house, the atmosphere turned sad. Gosia began discussing in detail the many encounters she had been forced to suffer at the hands of the Polish media. A young woman had approached her about doing a report on the sauna. When the woman showed up she turned out to be very uncomfortable with nudity and nudism. She later joined forces with a producer from Polish television. Together they tried to convince Gosia to agree to a documentary film that they wanted to sell to HBO. In the story treatment she was given, Gosia read about her life as a traditional Polish mother waking up early in the morning to make breakfast for her three children. It made her sick.
I was a little confused by the idea of a screenplay being written for any documentary film much less one about a nudist mother who doesn’t actually wake up early in the morning to make breakfast. Gosia tried to explain how hard it is to be a naturist in a country that has little understanding of the word. She went on a morning television program and was inundated with idiotic questions. People don’t want to understand. They want to cling to their stereotypes or prejudices or accept at face value the moronic sensationalism that some jackanape is all too willing to provide them. At one point during a radio interview, when the host kept asking Gosia what her husband thought about her prancing around naked, she responded bluntly, “I’m divorced. Do you understand? I’m a divorcee,” and hung up the phone.
The first time I heard the story about the radio interview I thought the line about Gosia being divorced was maybe a joke. I thought it might have been something she said to get the interviewer off her back. I was wrong.