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"I was an actor"

 WSPAK (Poland) 18 May 2019

(Originally published: 02/2010) The life of Stanislaw M. would be excellent material either for a novel or for a film script. He was once an ambitious teacher of Polish, German and music, a cultural coach, and a puppet theatre actor. Today, homeless and lonely, he sells the WSPAK street magazine at Warsaw's Central Railway Station. When confronted with the question about homelessness - was it a choice or fate? - he cannot answer. WSPAK speak to their vendor about his life so far. (904 words) - By Agata Jabłonowska- Turkiewicz


Courtesy of WSPAK

WSPAK (Poland) - "I was born after the war, in 1946. I was the result of wartime romance. My mother's husband returned home after the war and was surprised by the different state. He never accepted me. Shortly after my birth, he left to look after his grandmother. My mother died when I was four years old, and then my aunt took care of me with her husband. My uncle was stern. But my childhood was a wonderful time, full of contact with nature. I lived in the countryside, so I lived among dogs, cats, cows, horses. I always felt better in the company of animals than in humans. I was a shy boy. I liked to read. Sometimes I read to the bitter end. It was my first addiction…"


This is the story of Stanislaw M.


Once an ambitious teacher, cultural coach and puppet theatre actor, he had achieved his childhood dreams.  Howver, after a failed marriage, Stanislaw moved alone to Warsaw, where alcohol addiction took hold of his life. "Escape has become my way of life," he says. "Alcohol became an addiction, it gave me confidence and made things less complex. So I drank."


Working in Poland's oldest puppet theatre, Stanislaw would turn up for his shift drunk or hungover.  Things gradually got worse.  Returning home to find his former wife pregnant. A car accident. A suicide attempt. Before long, Stanislaw was homeless and alone.


He is still trying to find a way out. He now sells WSPAK at Warsaw's Central Railway Station

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