Translations by Tomas Jandik
Excerpts from Jagr's Autobiography (part 2) - Lidove Noviny - 18-Sep-01
The second set of excerpts from the upcoming Jaromir Jagr’s second autobiography “Jaromir Jagr - My Years in Pittsburgh” (written by Jan Smid, published by the “Gutenberg” publishing house)
HOW I TRULY FELL IN LOVE FOR THE FIRST TIME
“You’re so bad, that I’ll marry the first guy I meet, and I’ll die with him!”, Iva almost yelled. She was terribly angry. She arrived just a week ago, and yet we were arguing again. And all because of such stupidities. I felt that our relationship is near its end. And I felt really bad because of it. At the end of 1998 Iva came to Pittsburgh for the last time. At that time I hadn’t known yet that it was the last visit. She spent the New Year eve with us, and left shortly thereafter. I was looking forward to seeing her, and the first week was great. But then the problems started again. I liked Iva, and I think our feelings were mutual. It was my first serious relationship and for sure I made many mistakes in it. Nothing can be taken back, though. I have read somewhere that a person lives his life and has a feeling that everything is just the first draft. That he is just preparing for the main event. And then he finds out that he had already experienced all that beautiful. He just did not realize it.(…)
Love at first sight
Maybe you won’t believe me, but for me, Iva epitomized somebody who lives in the spheres, which I will never be able to enter. I looked up to her like she was a goddess. After all, she was the vice miss of the Czech Republic. Sincerely speaking, no matter how thoroughly I looked at myself, I wasn’t able to find anything that could impress her, I did not believe in myself at all. That day she was wearing short shorts, and her buttocks were almost fully exposed. That provocativeness was turning me off at the same time. When somebody is really good, there is not reason to draw such extra attention. When I talked to her, she captivated me instantly. She was smart, I liked talking to her and, naturally, she looked great. I wanted to meet with her again, but I didn’t know how to arrange it. Finally I took all my courage and told her that I’ll give her my number for her to call me. She put me down at once: “But I don’t call boys”, she said. Fortunately, she gave me one more chance and let me know her number. I called her straight-off the second day, and looked forward to our evening date. But Iva took me by surprise for the second time: “I am sorry, but unfortunately I have some photo-shooting to do, so I can’t. Maybe some other time.” “You are sh… me”, popped right out of my mouth, and Iva started laughing. “Sorry, I really can’t do anything about it”, she added. I wasn’t expecting anything like that. Until then I was used to, when I told a girl that we would meet in a particular place, at a particular time, we actually met there and then. None of them ever told me that she was busy. I felt like an idiot. But Iva earned even more credit in my eyes because of that. I realized that not everything depends just on me, that even the other one has to want it. And things that I considered obvious, often weren’t so obvious after all. In the end, Iva offered a way out. She said she would be done by seven, and if I wanted, I could wait for her. I was cool with that. Sure I didn’t jump up more than three meters because of all that joy. Maybe that this moment symbolized our whole relationship. Iva had started, just like myself, her new life. The success at the Miss Czech Republic Pageant meant a substantial turning point for her. She had to get used to the attention of the media. And that grew even larger after she had started dating me. At that time, I did not realize the validity of that famous quote from the Little Prince: “You become responsible, forever, for the one whose love you had awakened”. I hadn’t known that quote then. In addition, I was only vaguely aware of the fact that there was some Little Prince. The only prince I had known was the singer Prince. Only as the time passed, I started to realize that I couldn’t act as if I were just by myself. That I should be more attentive, and talk to the other person. A lot of problems start at the point when two people are not able to talk things through. Then you end up solving it for hours, maybe even weeks.(…)
She did not understand that I wanted to be with friends
She simply wasn’t able to get used to certain things. For example, my summers in the Czech Republic. She did not understand that I was away all the time. That I wanted to be with my friends, to enjoy myself. When we went then to a party together, she had a feeling that I didn’t pay enough attention to her. She wasn’t able to have a good time just by herself, to talk to other people. She was with me constantly, but I was busy all the time, simply because there were so many people who wanted to talk to me. And Iva sometimes felt that I was ashamed of her, that I didn’t want people to associate me with her. Before that last New Year’s Eve I was very much looking forward to seeing her. I picked her up from the airport with flowers, I bought her some perfume as a gift, and looked forward to the days to come. But then it started again. I can confess now that I would have probably never ended that relationship myself. Even though at the end we were getting on each other nerves, I wanted to be with her. I am no playboy. The time when I used to go to the discos is gone. I don’t even go out for a dinner. I prefer to stay at home. And when I eventually end up being with somebody, I can’t be with anybody else. I think that I would be a perfect husband. Well, now maybe I exaggerate a little. But since I am always very distrustful and cautious in the beginning, when I eventually let somebody get closer to me, I want to be with that person. We belong together. And even though things sometimes may not be exactly ideal, I can’t imagine that we would break up. And all that despite the fact that at the end, we didn’t have that much in common. I tried to read a lot and change a lot of things. I was reflecting upon myself more. I learned how to look for new sources of energy, I wanted to become somebody else. I started to see the world a little differently. I wanted to be better. And while I was going through this process, I was realizing more and more that I dragged Iva down to my “evil” world that I am running away from while she is staying. And she doesn’t know about it. Both of us were in totally different places. And we both felt that way. When Iva told me several months before our break up that she thought there was no point in going on, I told her that I felt the same. I did not care anymore, but I was too weak to make that step. It was Iva who had to do it. I just did not foresee how much it would hit me.
Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.
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