Fiction | In Translation

The Baby Carriage

“He wrote a letter about the baby carriage problem to the president.”

Grzegorek’s wife was quiet, calm, and inconspicuous. Grzegorek was too, but still there was something about him. When he left for work every morning at five o’clock, he was glowing with self-confidence. Few people saw Grzegorek then, for no one got up at that inhuman hour, but if someone happened to have been out partying in Warsaw until dawn, and was just on the way back, trying to get to his own home, he might admire Grzegorek’s self-confidence and involuntarily regret his own downfall.

came to our building in droves to inspect Mrs. Grzegorek, and we were proud we had that enormous belly at hand and didn’t have to go anywhere to see it. Grzegorek was wracked by contradictory feelings. On the one hand, as the instigator, he felt a certain pride. On the other, what was happening was against his nature, for he was an ordinary, modest man, reluctant to concern himself with events on a gigantic scale. He didn’t know what to do with himself, was constantly on edge and sleep-deprived, and he would bash the trains’ wheels with the hammer twice as hard as necessary, until the stationmaster at Warsaw East finally reprimanded him for it.


“Do you have any baby carriages for twins?”

“State secret.”

“State secret.”