joi, 23 august 2012

Story from the city's valley

Morning began to stretch the rusty steel sheets that made up the hobo like hovel. Took time before the sun baked the can of dusty air, until the suffocating waltz of the mid day heat. Yes, it was stile early.
A man rose from the pile of rags that he had been sleeping on and poured some water from an ex soda plastic bottle.
He was beautiful. Recently passed in his thirty's, and his olive skin had just so many wrinkles to give a touch of almost imperceptible distinction. He admired himself with a dash of fake modesty in the misty eyes of his older companion while he was shaving him. They didn't yet managed to buy a mirror so they wold shave each other for a short while. Just 'til they settle round a bit or maybe less.
Their wore rather outdated clean suits, smelling of state storage naphthalene and a dash of cheap tobacco and fixed on top their Hohnerr accordions whit the religiosity of masons aprons. They were good for church.
Today was a great day. That morning Mary was to return. About the other day she told him to wait outside the church and sing a romance1 in his personal style. That mixture of vocal knots, suave nasal tonalities and manliness that made him the best lautar2 in town.
It was Sunday in the East End. Saint Basil, the largest church in the neighborhood was too small for all the parishioners in need of salvation . The fiddlers took the too places that seemed vacant between the loud, running nose gypsy kids ant the elders that knew the secret of begging with the eyes. To the passer by they seemed old customers of that " holy see" untouched by the crisis that was sweeping the East End.
The representation didn't start yet. Running nosed kids were still playing and the old stoic rag-man changed some words in cadence.
The beggars , behaved as they had known them all their lifes. May be it was his old companion. They taunted him with familiarity, and he friendly defiled them before resuming his aquiline figure. With the elegant gesture of a musician that once had abundant hair, the old companion laid his felt hat down. Now they were ready.
It was silence while the nasal voice of the fat priest sang the last verses of liturgy. Then ,from the quiet after the sermon, the accordions began to tell of more wordy stories than the evangelist carved gates could allow in to church.
Without accordion, Maria could not recognize him in that river of people pouring out of church yard. Perhaps without accordion they wouldn't have met the evening past, in the tavern , on the linden fragrant street. He was playing there. Was just about ready, arranging his Hohner over the wide striped jacket and getting ready to sing for one of the towns big shots .
Then he saw her .
If he would have said that she was the most beautiful woman in the world, better yet shouted it out loud, right there. Would not be enough. So he sang. His accordion knew a lot better how to transform words in to bellows , and a patron's soul in to the blacksmith of his own heart .
The big shot was drunk, crying in a fit of nostalgia. Even the most feared paper pushers in the city, assembled with their semiofficial mistresses, sighed as innocently as children at his romances. Only beauty, her, didn't blinked, looking at him for almost an hour.
He did not wait for his applauses or the money that the alcohol soaked patrons stuck to his forehead or generously shoved in his pockets.
He took her hand like a thief strafing between realities, evaporating her from the company of the middle-aged ,drunk, big shot.
 They left to listen to a dulcimer musicians in a tavern where the lautari drew in for a drink after a day's singing other peoples longings .
Maybe something was discussed at their table. Didn't matter. Her voice was beautiful.
“You see ... I mean ... I like you....even if I knows you only for about a 3 hour!” Said he after a bit of russian courage. She smiled, then she very ladyshly lit a cigarette.
They danced. The band sang something popular in the Valey, the towns slum, a clumsy translation of Lili Marleene mixed whit some other tango. He slipped his fingers down her spine one vertebra at a time like they were the keys of his Hohner and everything was just a romance that he knew so well She knew how to slip in to a mans heart through all his senses. A drop of perfume, then a drop of touch and the middle-aged fiddler was justs a boy falling in love.
The rounded taxi he hired , stumbled hard through the moon gilded slum . They spent the night together on the low porch, a reality away from the pubs of the city center. It was a night of few stars. The somers dust and the branches of an apple tree left only the shiniest to pass and illuminate the porch.
She left shortly after sunrise. Said that they will meet tomorrow in the church. That church in the slum. The one with carved gates.
He was still dreaming in the yard, under the apple tree when the blackshirts came ,with rifles and all, to pick him up.
"Not me, boss!" Police batons shouting , subduing.
He was hanging by the vans door . He must see her. Then it was the hands. What did the police care about those hands and the many longings that they sang ? When the pain he could not convince him to give in they used the rifle butts. Fingers bleeding, did not want to gather in a fist.
At the Police prefecture they continued to beat him .... in the end beating is a form of communication.
- You killed him, confess and we stop.
Blackshirts war always cruel to those who kill one of their own. The big shot was lying dead somewhere. Someone cut his throat after the young lady left him for some menestrel from the Valley. Perhaps he refused to pay some short fuzed thug who came to recover his bitch
That's what they told him during questioning. Perhaps they realized that he was not guilty and that stopped them from suiciding him with the laces in the prefectures toilet. They had some evidence and decided to hold him one night for investigations.
 Its inside he met the old man. A lautar like him, cell mates. He took pity at the old man.
Every one that ever knew him was gone now.
It was only one night, but when he and his comrade took to the gate, everything looked different.
The slum turned in to a stinking ghetto with homes ingrown like toenails from one another.
In the old yard where the apple and the low porch once stood, they found that rusty shak. Shelter is shelter ... What mattered where you sleep an hour or two if he will meet Mary?
 Leaves where shaking like empty bones while the accordions where still playing longings . All actors had gone home. In the sky, the stars twinkled like hidden in the branches of some apple tree.
    A quaint , old fiddler was walking alone to a shack wearing and Hohner accordion on his back, muttering that Maria is coming tomorrow, but to long a time has gone for someone to listen to him.
1Popular style of music of the 40's and 50's in estern europe
2Lautari- gipsy musicians   

duminică, 19 august 2012


-Ma iubesti? L-a intrebat ea privindu-l fix in ochi ca pe un adversar.
-Da. A raspuns. De ce  nu ma crezi ca te iubesc?
-Pentru ca nu ai incredere in mine. De aia!
Liniste..."niciodata liniste dupa femeia ta."
-Intinde mana. I-a poruncit.
-De ce?
-De aia.Acum intinde dracului mana. Se rasti el prinzand-o de cot.
-Vreau sa-mi spui ce vrei sa faci!
-Tu ai incredere in mine? Da sau nu?
Liniste. Mana ei este moale ca o victorie tactica.
A scos din pachet o lama mai veche de ras. Era nepatata dar se mai tocise de la folosirea zilnica.
Tinea lama in mana ca sfintii din icoanele cu adevarat vechi, sfintii aceea militari de la 1300 nu mucenicii plangaciosi si i-a indicat cu lama ochiul sau deschis ."Aici sa-ti fie atentia!"
-Sti cum este increderea ta? Asa! I-a zis cu furie in voce, in timp ce ii mangaia partea fina a antebratului cu lama. Sus, jos,sus,jos. Un harait inperceptibil ii patrundea prin deget de parca lama lui era acul unui patefon iar bratul ei era unul din cilindri aceea de ceara ale lui Edison.
Ea inghetase de frica. Un arcus pe incheietura si muzica s-ar fi scurs din ea ca dintr-o vioara.
Doua zeci de pase pe antebratul ei  zgariat ca o planeta de brazdele plugului. El i-a dat drumul si frica i-a tras mana ca un resort.
-Esti nebun! i-a zis in timp ce degetele ei curgeau pe miristea antebratului ca sa verifice daca totul este inca acolo.
El aseza lama in aparat si incepu sa-si intinda spuma pe fata cu pamatuful lui vechi din par de porc de Mangalita.
-Ai vrut incredere si ti-ai demonstrat-o. Acum eu ti-o demonstrez tie, Rade-ma.
-Ce? Eu nu stiu sa rad.
-Te razi pe picioare nu? Nu te tai acolo.  El o pauca de solduri si o aseza cu fundul in chiuveta . Palma lui sub fundul ei generos. Nu te teme.Zambii.  Acum tine jucarica asta . Ea avea aparatul in mana. Ii ghida cu grija mana ca lama sa cada cu unghiul de 30 si ceva de grade pe fata lui si apoi incepu sa ii miste degetele scurte catre barbie.
"Asa, bravo" i-a spus intr-o voce ce aproape nu misca omusorul proeminent.
Era gata.
El apuca prosopul de langa chiuvea si sterse restul de spuma de pe fata apoi arunca prospoul in directia aproximativa a cosului de rufe.
-Sti ca daca greseai puteai sa-mi tai beregata? mintii el cu zambetul pe buze. Un tremurat mai acatarii si-ti murdareai tricoul asta frumos de sange iar eu nu mai trebuiam sa ii explic niciodata  neveste-mi  unde  umblu sau ce fac. Asta e incredere.
-Esti un porc. I-a raspuns ea crezandu-l ca de fiecare data.
-Vrei sa ma lovesti? intreba el sigur de victorie.
-Sa te palmuiesc pana ce-ti da sangele! Asta vreau.
-Este o sticla de lotiune dupa ras chiar langa tine. El o trase mai aproape lasandu-i fundul sa se sprijine de marginea rece a chiuvetei.
 Ea apuca sticla si-si turna cu generozitate in palma, pana ce stropii mirosind a piele tabacita incepura sa ii fuga printre degete. Il lovi cu putere, degetul mijlociu atingandu-i lobul care vibra iar restul palmei se imprima rosie pe gatul si mandibula lui. Picaturile de lotiune se imprastiasera peste toti in baia micuta, pe prosop, pe tricoul ei. Totul mirosea masculin iar numele ei de pe contractul de inchiriere era doar numele unei posesii de-a lui.
"Duare!" Ziceau ochii ei si crisparea pe care nici  unu teleobiectiv nu  ar fi avut timp sa o surprinda.
"Mangaie." i-a raspuns el zambind, rosu pe obrazul stang dar intorcand si obrazul celalat.
Ea mai turna odata la fel de darnica. Lotiunea se scurgea din nou ca timpul unei vizite inoportune "la ea".
 Inca o palma, de data asta nu se astepta. "Femeia nu-ti face niciodata surprize!" Si-a amintit si a revenit cu inca un zambet enigmatic ca de gioconda sub tratament hormonal.
-Mai vrei? zise ea sperand ca l-a surprins, ca el doar se preface.
-Nu cred ca mai trebuie. Mi-ai improscat mirosul in toata baia. Cand ai sa pleci la birou astazi, toata lumea i-mi va simti mirosul pe tine."Proprietate privata!"...Femeia lui.
 Ea il inbratisa strangandu-si picioarele atat de tare de spatele genunchilor lui incat paru aproape un sacrificiu de judo, un ippon gata sa se concretizeze.
-Nu pleca.
   Ipponul era complet.

sâmbătă, 18 august 2012

Norul de dincolo

Asculta partizanii!  Ii stii acolo. Nu! Nu este doar educatia ta militara de vanator.
  I-ti zici ca nu este posibil, ca razboiul s-a sfarsit de mult iar muntii astia nu au cunoscut niciodata opincile haiducilor. Iti zici ca este imposibil...iarna nu coboara niciodata de pe munte iar partizanii nu pot exista la infinit acolo sus.  
 Apoi le gasesti vatra si casuta din copac. Partizanii lor nu coboara niciodata pentru ca s-au nascut acolo. Te asteapta. Te pandesc cu pustile lor demodate chiar dincolo de buza norului de pe creasta.
  Nu te vor omora, tanarul meu ofiter. In razboiul asta, armatele  elibereaza  sufletele de dictatura corpului si invinetesc idei cu bocancii abstracti." De ce sculptezi femei din  nisip? Nu sti sa desenezi linii ?"
 Nu! Ei te vor incatusa tinere ofiter. Te vor lega de stejarul ratiunii si te vor bate pana ce-ti vei recunoaste pasiunule carnii iar apoi te vor saruta ca pe fratele ce le esti.
    Si tu te vei naste acolo.
  Armata te va considera dezertor, prea tanarul meu ofiter. Te vor  vana fara mila. Ca pe un om ce recunoaste in disciplinele carnii moartea formelor fara fond. Prins de vei fi, te vor aduce in fata plutonului de indoctrinare si...o rafala de post-orice-ism. 
  "Sa urci oile pe pasiunea de sus!" A zis papu apoi a plecat inainte. Acum papu canta din cimpoi dincolo de creasta si face Ierusalimul ceresc sa se cutremure. Daca vi si tu, o sa cantati amundoi iar Ierusalimul ceresc va pica dintre nori si va stalcii sub greutatea stradutelor sale ideea asta penibila de post-oras.
  Partizanii vor fi invins prea tanarul meu ofiter....iar tu nici nu vrei sa ii crezi acolo.

sâmbătă, 11 august 2012

Redemption reloaded


Rare were those nights when he could feel life draining away in his veins and , he had to face it, this was just one of those nights. Thump, thump...He could hear the arrhythmia. His heart was working but one ventricle whas never chaching up whit the other. Whas that normal ? Whas he finaly about to..... Maybe he just had too much coffee and the thump he felt in the back of the neck was his pulsating heart drowning in brown smudge. Or. He was imagining it. Just his sleep starved mind making up stuff to keep him awake.
It was late. He knew it! Time was ticking away at the speed of the heartbeats of his unborn child . How many there were? 180 beats per minute? So fast?
Bad week they had. Monday they were immigrants , on Tuesday their child was already a passport bearing citizen of that kingdom on the edge of the world and by Friday they were all back in the comfortable unhappiness that the East End provided so generously.
Pour little soul, rapt around in his mother, like a tapestry woven out of threads of fear and change.
Yes. He was a storm , he raged like one since he came back. Could he be a danger to his family?
Are you dreaming?” he asked himself in the rarefied light.
No he wasn't. His dreams were all in that other language that his mind was speaking some times. The one he could not understand.
Come to think about it, he didn't dream since he came back .
Liar! He was dreaming every day, walking down the street, when he was seeing people that couldn't be there, or when he was seeing the main boulevard turn in a fjord and the municipal police station transformed to a castle.
Yes. He was dreaming every day but it was hard to admit.
The bed has amnesia. He sed. Why is this a memory matrece if it doesen't remember me? Is it my bed? He rose careful not to let his wife feel their bed turning into just her bed and wondered what to do. He could have had a smoke, cigarettes were still cheap , he could have had another cup of coffe, just for the bitterness... He chose instead to get quietly dressed and to sneak out the door like a rober in someone else's home.
There's no need to hurry now!” he told himself. “You can take it easy. The hard part is over. You’re staying!”
The ex-immigrant turned on his mp3 player; he still had the music downloaded in the days when he could see from his other apartment's window the edge of the world.
Outside it was poring. Why is he like this? He shouldn't be that numb. Maybe it was just fatigue setting in.
Did you fell asleep?”
No, he wasn't sleeping. If he were, he would have dreamt of being an angel, a cherub to be precise. A cherub dressed in two of his wings like immigrants dress themselvs in foreign accents, with fore heads that changed among themselves like people and streets in a days gurney and, of course, with a flaming sword sharpened to perfection by the grind of ignorance.
He felt like going to a church. An empty one like a Lutheran cathedral or maybe one of those adorned with a miracle-making icon1. Like the one in the merchant's church up in town.
Somebody should invent Lutheran churches with miracle-making icons! If he is to comeback to the land's end he will personally build a church that is Lutheran outside but has a Christ Pantocrator2 adorning the ceiling.
The streets were pretty strange with all that rain pouring down, half riverbed, half tarmac with a bit of effort, even half fjord.
He felt like flying a bit. Not much, like in the old days, when he was imagining himself flying over the mountains and the sees to get in his wife’s bed3 . No! Just a bit, 'till the center of town.
Cherubs have four wings. Two for flying and the other two for redemption.
How wold the sleepy taxi drivers in the station nearby would have looked at him if by mistake they could read his mind.
Redemption? What's that about?” Taxi drivers are saved in the good old fashion way not in some orthoprotestant gibberish from some far away heresy!
I redeem myself, you redeem yourself, they don't redeem themselves.” Was that correct? Was his English still usable?
The merchant's church was locked. “Whas the sky closed at night? No plains ,no redemption? Taxi drivers don't get salvation ‘till early next morning ?.”
He led a cigarette watching the evangelist's four beasts adorning the church's old gate. Strange beasts they were. The immigrant could just make them up in the reddish lights of the cigarette. The eagle, the lion, the bull and the fourth one, the... Come on! He must know the fourth head. They were the heads of his cherub body. Lion ,bull, eagle and...what was his fourth head? ”Make yourself comfortable 'cause you are not leaving 'till you find out what you other head is.”
He was so preoccupied with finding his forth damn head that he did not even noticed when he passed through the gate. Did the gates open just for him? Did he fell asleep? asked for the emty church to answer.
The miracle-making icon had to be beautiful, but was hidden by the chains left in offering by the believers that got their wishes granted so that not many actualy knew how she looked.
What do ya' want?” Asked the Virgin Mary holding her baby Jesus from underneath the tokens like a gypsy woman smeling of holy tabacco in her tent.
I'd like to ...I don't know. Can”
Didn't I grant you that wish last time ya' were here gadjo4?”
Well... I don't know exactly if...”
O.K. I can sea how ya're pined...I'll help you again ya' owe me a Lutheran church with a miracle-making icon. Not for me... For the danci5. Got it?!”
Yes ma'am, I got it.”
Good! Now go away. Su' little one 'cause in the morning I has some faithful comin' to get some salvation and I's work to do. They knows what they want. Serious people with serious wishes, not like ya', I mean.”
Thst was a dream.
It can't be ...! No way. He sed when they shouk him.
Hey! Hey! Snake du norsk?” The police officer asked while the imigran was waking up in front of Frogner Kirke. He was numbed like a cherub that didn't see the church bell in his filght.
No! Sorry lads, I only speak English.”
Are you O.K.? What are you doing here so early in the morning?”
Nothing much! My bed in the hostel isn't free yet so I'm just taking in a bit of early morning redemption.”
1Theologically, all icons are considered to be sacred, and are miraculous by nature, being a means of spiritual communion between the heavenly and earthly realms. However, it is not uncommon for specific icons to be characterised as "miracle-working", meaning that God has chosen to glorify them by working miracles through them. Such icons are often given names (especially those of the Virgin Mary)
2 literal translation is "Ruler of All" or, less literally, "Sustainer of the World". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for "all" and the verb meaning "To accomplish something" or "to sustain something" (κρατεω). This translation speaks more to God's actual power; i.e., God does everything (as opposed to God can do everything).
The Pantokrator, largely an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception is less common by that name in Western (Roman) Catholicism and largely unknown to most Protestants.

3An incubus  is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have intercourse with them
4Gadjo (feminine: gadji) is a term of Romani philosophy that means a person who has no Romanipen. Usually, that's a person who is not an ethnic Romani, but also it can be an ethnic Romani who does not live within the Romani culture.
5Small one in Romani