by Aladár Gulyás
I was born a simple man
I stand my ground as best I can
I don’t steal, I don’t cheat
I do the work bestowed upon me.
The world hardly noticed my existence
For it I was a mere speck of dust
A simple man somewhere in this world
Like the Earth in the universe.
I am not ashamed of this
No matter what happened to me
When my life ends, I’ll close my eyes in peace
Because my hands are clean.
Then I will depart for eternity
I, the nomadic hitchhiker of the Great Plains.
Aladár lives with his mother Teca in the “house with a tower” next to the gas station and Zsuzsa’s hair salon in Nagykamarás. He tells us about how he leads a relatively lonely life, surrounding himself with books and LPs for company. Aladár prides himself in his collection, stressing that he is not a hoarder—he makes a selection, it is not quantity that matters. Locals often call him a “walking encyclopaedia” due to his wide-ranging knowledge.
When showing us his collection of over a thousand vinyls—exclusively Hungarian pop music and dance hits—Aladár opens a cupboard drawer and pulls out a small piece of paper from between the carefully stacked LPs.
“I also write poetry,” he tells us and reads us his poem Somewhere.
We propose to include his writing in our performance in Szeged. As Aladár is too withdrawn to make a public appearance, we ask János to read his poem, after István reveals that János had been a champion of local poetry contests in his younger years.