Penelopa from Poland, sitting on the beige leather sofa, of course in New York, suddenly realized that she became a conventional bore, and what was even worse, she didn’t even feel unhappy about it. For some reason, she felt only a tiny, blank astonishment, and that’s it. Of course, it was the fault of the USA, she said to herself. She shouldn’t have come here of course, but it was definitely too late to change anything. Nevertheless, she felt a slight discomfort when an old friend, of course from Poland, a friend, or rather a colleague, found her on Facebook that day. It was a girl, a peculiar one who used to claim to be from an old noble family, a half – countess, so to speak. Well, it was unexpected to see her after thirteen years. She definitely had a style, she did look the same, only even stranger. She was becoming more and more of a countess, as she aged, and Penelope, as she just realized, has become more and more conventional, normal and middle class, which was strangely offensive even to think about it. Yes, she couldn’t escape it, once in the middle class, forever in the middle class. Nothing could change it. The middle-classiness came with her here to New York, and didn’t go away. Or rather, caught her back. She got it after her mother, that was obvious, since her father was too strange to be considered a middle class creature. She used to catch herself hearing her own voice modulated exactly in her mothers manner, and the gesture, one specific one, when pressing her hand against her cheek, when trying to focus on some middle class problem, was exactly the same.This one gesture was all soaked with it, with this spirit.