Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 86


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Author:Thaddeus Hutyra



Tadek Vangard had a lot of time to think while flying high in the sky.It took already several hours to seat in the plane’s seat and have a look down there at the seas and lands of the mother Earth.The Himalayas would soon be seen from the windows of the plane,according to the announcement of a stewardess.
It was so indeed.The majestic Himalayas shot suddenly up to the sky,although still well below the level the plane flew.Tadek Vangard looked down with a fascination.Most of the mountains were sharp-knife edged,covered with ice and snow,coloured in white,grey and dark in their lower parts.The plane had some dangerous vibrations what suggested it encountered especially strong winds.The mimics of the passengers showed their concerns and many of them were terribly tired.They certainly dreamt about the end of the trip.Tadek Vangard’s thoughts were not any different: he imagined to find himself in a hotel room and having a lot of rest,sleeping perhaps even for two days.
There was a new announcement,informing about coming finally to the Kathmandu airport.Then there was a descending,the plane needed just minutes to land and the landing was smooth.
Getting through the Nepalese customs was as much smooth.Every time Tadek Vangard passed a new custom officer he was treated with a kind greeting:”Welcome gentleman in our country!”
What a quality of a difference with what he encountered while dealing with the British customs!
And who was more civilised,the British customs or the Nepalese ones?- He thought,with expression of irony on his face.Within minutes he was already outside the airport,moving with difficulty among thousands of busy Nepalese and foreign travellers.
-“Taxi!”- He called to the nearest taxi driver and gesticulated to him.The middle aged driver,dark skinned,reacted fast and without hesitation.He drove his Toyota Korona towards Tadek Vangard,jumped off the car,opened one of the doors and invited his client to get in.
-“I wish to go to the Ambassador Hotel.”- Tadek Vangard said,seated already at the back seat of the car.He observed everything what he could see from within the car.The streets were full of people,mostly the local people, but also many tourists from all imaginable places of the world.Some cars were brand new but most were secondhand and their engines were noisy.There were also some rikshas and some vehicles being moved by horses,camels and some other strange animals.There was a lot of smell in the air from the street kitchens and restaurants in which he could see many Westerners,enjoying themselves by eating the local food.It looked an incredibly colourful world and people were smiling and above all were friendly.They passed the National Stadium,then the Army units baracs,got towards the so called Ratna Park,full of exotic trees and found themselves on a representative road which had many great houses on its side,the houses in which there were situated a number of Embassies.Finally they passed a breathtaking Royal Palace and the trip was ended abruptly when they arrived at the driveway of the Ambassador Hotel,a building of several storeys,with comfortable windows.
He paid the taxi driver,thanked him and went inside the hotel where he directed hist footsteps towards the reception.He was treated in a very friendly way,got a room on the sixth floor and was invited to call the hotel service whenever he wished.He felt as if he were an ambassador.It was already an evening and the tiredness within him was excruciating,thus he took a shower and went to the bed.Getting some sleep was in fact the biggest dream of the moment within his mind.
He woke up by a noise getting to him from the street.He looked at his watch,it was six thirty in the morning.The city busy life was just getting to its full swing.
Neverthelless,he still lay in the bed and even stretched his limbs.But then a curiousness overcame him and he got off his bed and walked up to the window.What he saw took him aback.He saw  the mountains of which their peaks seemed to touch the floor of sky.
-“Devine Himalayas!”- He whispered and was aware his eyes drank the nectar of the arch-beauty as the Himalayas were.He never before thought one could expierence something like that.His eyes were so much transfixed on the scenery of the mountains he has forgotten everything else,including his desire to have more sleep.His eyes were really drinking and drinking a lot.His mind joined the party,and then his mouth and the rest of his body.He became a drunkard of the best imaginable nectar of the moment,the nectar called the Himalayas.How long he stood in the window he did not know.Probably long time because it was already after eight a.m. and the service called and brought light breakfast meals.It was then when he had also a look at the Royal Palace,which looked splendid but not as magnificient as the mountains at its background.The Himalayas were the real royals.The emperors!
He went downtown in the late afternoon and in the neighboorhood of the so-called Cristal Hotel he spotted a restaurant called the Panther House.He saw there many Westerners or rather the so-called Westerners,many of whom looked like hippis.Because the resturant had a large terrace he reflected for a stop there,sat down to the table and ordered a non alcoholic beverage.The tourists sitting at the tables around him chatted happily with themselves.They were so careless,so unproblematic at the same time that one would get convinced the world was as much without problems.In fact those young people knew how to live,not against the current of life but alongside the current of life.This was what differentiated Tadek Vangard from them.
His life was a constant fight for survival and for getting,step by step,towards the sort of life they had for granted.He lived against the current of life.He climbed the current of life like if it were a mountain never claimed by anyone,went up and up and the road was endless,unfortunately.Why was it so? Could he not live the way they lived? No,he could not despite that he wanted.He was a slave of the fate.The cruel fate which never brought him to peace.His mind was at a constant fight,searching ways of escape from the labirynths of fate.He sat now in the midst of those tourists and had not a strength to seek a contact with any of them.It was as if he were separated from them by an invisible wall.He knew it was his mind.He was somehow a damaged personality,a man who were incapable to defend himself as good as those young people around him.He felt sad a bit.He knew that eventually he will overcome himself and will get in touch with some of those people,the people of the world.But why it had to be done with so much difficulty? Why not just to stand up,quite naturally as they did it,and approach them with this or that question,concerning the travel matters.This was what all those tourists did.They exchanged information among themselves,about best places to visit,the cheapest hotels,and thousands of other questions.Perhaps he was overcame by the enormity of the happiness around him and it kept him glued to his seat.Or perhaps it was just his stubbornness and he proved to himself he could manage to go it alone.Whatever to say he suddenly felt himself very lonely,so lonely that the feeling of that brought him to a breakdown.The fortunate thing was that he stayed now in that crowd of the cheerful people and not just in his hotel room,so he could not show the despair which bored within his mind.Yes,indeed,he was too stubborn.It looked it cost him a lot and the highest price,the price he just paid,was his lonelisness.Somehow he felt proud.He knew that many people lived alongside the current of life because they followed the rules thrown upon them by the almighty of this world:the pope or the leaders of other religious denominations,their political leaders and in the end by their prospective societies.Such people had only seemingly a good life but in fact contradicted themselves and especially their selves.He would never do it,he would never follow rules which were cancerous to his mind and his self.He would never sell his soul to the devil,served even by the pope who enforced dogmatic rules foreign to a man's self.
He would rather go against the current of life.Even if it meant his life would be constantly hurt by the thorns of that current,the current of life.
So he did it! Out of pure stubborness!
He was so much lost in his thoughts he did not notice someone came up to his table and was just standing above him bringing a massive shadow,certainly a shadow of a man.What was it? Was the Sun hidden in one of the spare clouds?
He looked up and nearly jumped in his seat.He felt stunned.
There stood above his table nobody else but…John Ruchter,the friend of Helene and Herman Van Veenen,whom he met outside their house just a couple of days earlier.His golden hair on his head shined in the rays of Sun and the Himalayas mountains engulfed him as they did with anything else.It looked so incredible Tadek Vangard shivered from the impression.The guy,although middle aged,around thirty plus years,was incredibly handsome and his face was pure of the features of a man.John Ruchter stood above him and said nothing.Just looked down at him and smiled.There was something strange in that smile but the grin of that guy was so sexy Tadek Vangard smiled to himself: no,he was not a gay.
-“Oh,John! John Ruchter! How for the God’s sake it's possible you’re here,in Kathmandu?!”- Tadek Vangard expressed himself.He still felt stunned. John Ruchter's smile did not go away and the silhuette of his athletic but thin body still separated Tadek Vangard from the rays of the Sun.Some people around looked curiously at them.
-“Hi,I see you recognised me.May I seat down?”- John Ruchter said in the end,still looking at Tadek Vangard with a sharp but strange expression in his eyes.There was something definitely too strange in that,so strange that Tadek Vangard felt himself uncomfortable.
-“I don’t mind,you can seat down.You still didn’t answer my question.”- He said.
The guy sat down,put his albows on the table and placed his face in the palms of his hands.A bunch of thick,ginger hair was getting up to his neck from behind his T-shirt what suggested his torso was wild-hairy,perhaps a jungle.His arms were also hairy.He certainly must have had many women in his life.Or guys too? There was something strange in the manier he sat and looked at him,with his face engulfed by his hands.
Is he a gay?- Tadek Vangard thought again.He began to feel even more uncomfortable.There was something too sexy in the way the man looked at him.He was nearly as attractive as was Steven Mac Dantosch.And nearly as intense in his masculinity.
Shit,I’m not a gay!-Tadek Vangard thought once again.But he still felt as if captured by the intense gaze of the man.Captured and…pleased.Perhaps because of his deep desire to be with someone,to talk,to express himself…In order to escape his lonelisness…
-“May I order beer for both of us?”- John Ruchter asked and grinned even more widly at Tadek Vangard.
-“Listen,man,I’m not a gay.May I know why do you look at me…strangely?”- Tadek Vangard exploded,shooting back with a poisonous question.
The man began to laugh.
-“Don’t be so angry.I know you felt yourself lonely and you desired to speak to someone.I observed you.You have me now.Is that not a good offer?
Tadek Vangard did not know what to answer,he was stunned again,this time by the sincerity of John Ruchter’s answer.And it was so a powerful argument he just grinned.He really felt himself too lonely and his desire was to meet someone,to talk to someone.
The man touched his hand.
-“I see you grinned,so I think you accept,I can order beer for us,O.K?”
-“Fine,but…I still don’t know how’s that possible you’re here,in Kathmandu,and at the same time as I’m here.Aren’t you sometimes a sort of an agent working for some unidentified secret agency.If so,you better go!”
John Ruchter bursted with laugh aloud.
-“Oh my,it’s just a pure coincidence.I desired to have a break here,in the Himalayas!”
-“Strange,because this is what I desired too!”
-“Well,perhaps we’re built of the same matter?”
-“I don’t know but it looks to me strange.”
-“Strange or not,forget it! Enjoy yourself!”
Tadek Vangard realized the guy did not have to say it.He really enjoyed himself now.Some warmth sprayed all over him from the inner world of his soul.He was happy.Matter of factly happy! Man or not man,the guy filled what terrified him the most:his lonelisness.He felt no longer lonely and he could even smile.So he smiled and grinned to that handsome and intense face of John Ruchter.It felt good.
The waitress brought beer and they drank it slowly.
-“I’ve got too much work down there in Europe.Perhaps Helene told you I’ve a diamond business,quite good and bringing me millions,you know what I mean,but…am constantly on the move: Antwerp,Amsterdam,London,New York,Johannesburg,New Delhi,Tel Aviv…Shit,too much! I needed some rest.”
-“Me too,but on some other grounds.I was mistreated by the British customs who did not let me to Britain.I felt so devastated I needed this break.”
It looked they both felt relieved,after saying what drained their minds. John Ruchter put his face again in his hands which rested on the blat of the table.He never stoped with the intense looking at Tadek Vangard who no loger objected to such a bahaviour of the guy which sat opposite him.In fact Tadek Vangard felt good at his heart and his mind.There was something in that piercing glance of the man,something what made him happy.The feeling of lonelisness was gone and forgotten as if it were a distant past.
They looked now as any other tourists at the tables around them,chatting normally with themselves,smiling,laughing,careless,full of spirit,the spirit of life.Two or three hours passed and they had impression that just minutes passed,not hours.They had lots to talk about,John Ruchter about his diamond empire and Tadek Vangard about his adventurous life,about his native country,Poland and the country of which he was a citizen,New Zealand.They also talked about Belgium,the little country which was fascinating with many of its features.The footballers,called the Red Devils,for example were absolutely great and both said they cheered the Belgian team whenever there were international match encounters between them and their European counterparts.Thrilling were especially the matches between the Belgians and the Dutch,a pure rivalry on the grounds much higher than just a football competition.That rivaly between the inhabitants of both countries was a never ending affair,in all areas of life.
It was already afternoon and they were still happy to stay where they stayed and neither of them wanted to leave the other one.The Sun still shone brightly and its rays punched at the peaks of the Himalayas mountains,which engfulfed Kathmandu.The mountain air was like an elixire of eternal life: incredibly fresh and full of purity.They had a look at the Himalayas,still chatted happily,ordered some light meals which they shared with chopsticks.It seemed a friendship was born between them,subtle but firm.At least Tadek Vangard had such a feeling.His mind was more and more captured by the intensity of the man he actually shared the time with.He no longer bothered whether it was right to do so or not.If it felt good,so why not?
-“I love to look at that mountains! They’re so fantastic in their features as if they were created by the hand of God! Simply devine!”- Tadek Vangard expressed himself happily.
-“Ha,ha,ha!”- John Ruchter laughed aloud.-“You’re right,Tadek.They’re indeed devine.The devine Himalayas!”
-“I think I’ll go there in a couple of days.I’d like to do some tramping.To walk a bit in that mountains,to climb,to breath the purity of that special air which one can not find in any other part of the world.”
-“That’s my desire,too.Why not go together?!”
-“You’re really interested to do some mountineering?”
-“Absolutely so! I’m enlisting!”
-“Great! We’ll have to do some arrangements.I heard it’s allowed only with the participation of a guide from the local tourist,governmental agency.”
-“That’s not a problem at all.”- John Ruchter answered.He grinned boyishly to Tadek Vangard but knew better,something what the guy did not know: of the mastership of his acting.
-“I have him.”- An ominous thought crossed his mind once again,exactly as was it the case at the Zaventem Airport in Brussels when he decided to follow Tadek Vangard,his prey.
To be continued…...
Author: Thaddeus Hutyra.
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Address: Frederik de Merodestraat 1.
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