Im sort of alone. Its spring and there are fewer and fewer people. No one seems to think of immortality anymore when they make love, Im saying, while pointing myself towards the Security headquarters in Copou. I now understand that I value a little bit more the 25 bani coin which I keep tightly in my fist, hoping to find you in front of the library tonight, to give it to the doorman so that he lets us alone all night long, surrounded by books. We are in turns convened to give declarations. We are waiting, as we usually do, for more than an hour, in an almost empty room. (I dont remember exactly, as I have sold my Atlantic, the Swiss made watch my father gave to me, to buy The History by Calinescu. Serious mistake. Id rather have spent my money drinking. I admit, its my problem, of culturally obsolescent intimacy. Back then, I used to sell my ration book to buy books, I would sell my boots and I would buy books.)
Inside the room there are a wardrobe with empty shelves, two chairs and a table which is nothing on. I am aware that I live in a world of the double, where freedom prostitutes itself by observing a schedule and a calendar, loving and caressing each other on the forehead daily, or kicking one another in the ass as if we didnt keep ourselves in the line. I cant find any truth when I look at myself in the mirror while shaving. We have both discussed about suicide, laughing and, in turns, trying on the only leather belt I had. Because, back then, we used to wear substitutes for belts when we put on our trousers. Yet, no one really knew who replaces who. In a moment we decided to let only daddy think about this dilemma: how could two people hang themselves at the same time with the same belt?
I feel like hurriedly-packed luggage, as though someone were closer, like in cartoons with Piff, when, even if your eyes were wide open, you forgot who you were, feeling the urge to bite the rubber you kept fretting in your fingers because it smelled like strawberry. (Literature is shit, I told myself.) I am convinced that silence is a sign, cause you get sleepy without knowing why, cause the faceless woman entering that door is too young. Smiling, she holds out to me several sheets of paper and a pen. I tell her that I dont have what to write about. She insists on my analysing the following question: why I painted the door in black, as if it were in mourning.
I am now convinced that people are all part of the same universe, within which they act in an opposite manner, that by either ignoring facts, or even by will, their love will become the hardest punishment, that there are more ways to make the knot to a tie, that almost always a man loves with all his heart, deeply, while the other doesnt, without being aware of it. What separates them is the ground floor bars, the merry-go-round, age and even closeness, the way he holds his hand out to touch her cheek, to undo her blouse. Not even a single human being has the strength to start it all over again; maybe an ogre from cartoons, superman that violates your history on the edges of digs, showing his tongue off to the women who dump him.
But she comes closer and closer to me, as if hunting me, decidedly avoiding each and every convention. She doesnt stop when she is sniffing, in a cat-like manner, his aftershave he has bought this morning from the Arabian students. I came back hurriedly to open the window. Strange feeling
not only am I being cornered but also paralysed with fear. Somehow, I could not help laughing. The punisher is gently trying to provoke me. (Suddenly I remembered what my father told me when I turned 18: fuck and go!) Outside, on the dirty windows, our image emptied by memories of the future or by tomorrow. Feeling lonely within the hysteria of the collective humiliation, unctuously and perversely spread among peoples consciousness, lessened by useless talk of fear, feeling that youre about to throw out when you finally acknowledge that the slogan on the next block of flats has darkened your entire childhood and, to a good extent, your future, which is the world behind the huge PVC window which you will never be able to open.
A world where everybody seems to be either spurious or worm-like, quiet and blind, hatred and damaging, barely bearing the worries of East, the bottle of milk left in the queue, the Victory of Socialism and the bread sold on ration book.
A world within which people are used to seeing tomorrow through the key hole.(I knew, even back then, that truth is like vinyl paper that my grandmother used to stick on the upfront part of her TV to see the blue sky.)
Suddenly, her look misses her bliss like frosted glass, it enlightens, gets deeper while Im becoming somebody else, turning myself into an irritable and cynical person, staying alone in front of a closed window. I ought to shudder looking at the imminent future.) I long to speak to her about the truth beyond
but her skirt is short, maybe too short and seems that she doesnt want to go away. I play my witty role by sitting on the table and by empowering myself to possess the others breath. I have time but to notice the huge red slogan, like her birdie, no flying in circles, which comes into my sight whenever I try to open the window. I am surprised that nobody else sees it, that everyone seems to have forgotten it, that I dont hear at least one person who says they woke up freely all of a sudden and maybe too enthusiastic about it, as if Coca-Cola had always been the same with PCR and PANTS could have replaced, as you clap your hands, the production of TRIUMPH the symbol of our obedience towards the 90-60-90 Fashion TV model.
Few of us know that systems usually change the label only and that people, most of them, tear trousers in vain in buses at 6 oclock in the morning.
Pretty soon I realized that the present was trickling down the shards of glass along with my blood, that the woman next to me had Lenins face tattooed on her left butt cheek. Folders all over the floor, the rolled parquet floor, long-lasting lusts, my half-closed eyelids and the ideologists bald head! I smiled, imagining how good it would feel to snap the Russian. I even felt like kissing him, but it wasnt part of the plan. Unfortunately, almost all of them become aware, quite stupidly and late, that love can arise out of anything, even out of guilt.
Only now Ive come to understand her words: Lenin upside down sounds good, but it hinders the lost second
Its time I went out. I open the door carefully so that I wouldnt wake her up
Fictional and undesirable beginning, dual Freudian personality as far as Im concerned. (I am writing as if I just finished teaching. My feet are swollen, because of my shoes
) Only one temporal mark continuously fringed between past and present. History is like Our Father; you pray every evening but you never know where you get. A narrative draft, imperfect and entrancing, like so many others, that everybody can notice. I dont believe you can compare the esthetical value of a text to a womans love, to the time you spend waiting for her, to the doctors who seem powerless after having performed a surgery on you, to the watch which counts not seconds but the death of every neuron, dissipating repeatedly everything that has left inside you, to the last spermatozoon, until you get to talk to myself.
However, the Lenin thing seems to be only your male buoyancy due to the fact that descriptions dont come from the masks of memory anymore and dont fool anyone. That is why a womans ass is as tempting as the idea of absolute equality, at least by the symmetry of halves. Or, can the narrator himself be a persona? Which is, another idiot who knows nothing more but to make a knot to a tie. Another one fooled by everybody, as many others! Another one, dizzily insomniac, who walks through the house late at night, hoping to find any mark, no matter how little, to remind him of me. Anyway, I dont believe in the writers death!
I am perfectly aware that esthetics is just an adorable and luxurious lie, a failed orgasm. When youre right, youre right: Lenin never understood that its not the word which is low, but stupidity, that not a naked woman is immoral, and not even a whore who admitted her status but duplicity, which means saying one thing and acting differently.
You can fall in love with ideas, pictures, women and even someones handwriting. There is always something inaccessible, sort of elusiveness of unspoken words, a powerful will to cause yourself sufferance through the other, to cut yourself while shaving
Its clear for all of us that you dont like looking at yourself in the mirror! Communism unleashed both humiliation that makes others feel good and grim at it and faecal pleasure. The terror of the perfect picture, faith and cry out have all enclosed, at the same time, the strength to cast against the walls each and every idiot who fumbles through your consciousness and pockets, the honesty of telling a woman, in your own way, when everybody is present, that you want to fuck her without prelude.
My mediocrity is bleeding as if it were in metastasis, but coming back to life, like a lively corpse, which is being dissected by greenhorns in classrooms, like a low-leveled bloke with broken nose, like Bolintineanus Stela! And, there is more, if you want: like the poetical function of Cartarescus prose. In fact, I was just wondering: who are you, or who am I? When we love someone, we change hormones between us, tooth brushes, dreams and, whats more, the nightmare of being in the same bed again, which is getting more and more narrow. I couldnt possibly accept to be pathetic anymore, but, since you dont agree with the esthetics theory, just tell me: what will your Lenin look like when youre old? Will you do a plastic surgery on him?
Ser o parecer
ser o paracer
love occurs daily
from time to time death
it is like changing your dress
every five minutes
in front of a blind man
Anyway, I lead a dual life as I too often bring utopia in my life, where duty kills the truth we experience and makes anyones eyes suffer from cataract, makes people look down when they reach their hands. Most of them manage to get off this spell when curtains fall
But I still believe there is a spider web in my parents narrow attic, where there is a coffin waiting for better times. That is why I deserve to be both loved and scorned, both spilled and humiliated, both cast away and shot
God would never have been able to fancy what his creatures were capable of, not by committing murders but by keeping their mouths shut, by feeling themselves frightened and by resignation. Their life has become a desperate bitch who groans hysterically, scratching, biting, yelling under the stairs, in empty trains, in the woods and over bridges of cable, in libraries and academies, in gangways, while trains were passing underneath, whistling at the sight of her naked posteriors, more and more firm and curved. So many cellars with old-fashioned lamps, so much flesh made schnitzel with the nightstick, so many years wasted among the papers of the party, so many pioneer badges stuck in the dreams of childhood, so many aborted foetuses, next to the jars with pickles, so many laudatory orgasms of the country which seems to have been raped in history books, so many holidays when Mos Gerila1 erectus with two like-orange hanging balls came to us.
the impenetrable interval
between your time and mine
lays an encrustment of ice
my body leaves marks
all over your body
as smoke does in the gardens when spring comes
(Dumitru Buzatu, extracts taken from Cu Romania în bocanci, Arvin Press Publishing.Bucharest,2008)
Translation: Adriana Boghian
1. Mos Gerila is the name people used for Santa Claus during Communism, but nowadays it is used ironically. The whole image of Mos Gerila erectus with two like-orange hanging balls wants to make people understand how harsh times the Romanians had to experience during that period.