a bit of research

January 8, 2008

Since my last talk with Bell I was a bit busy searching the Internet, and here is what I found. A tiny article in a local newspaper published in June last year proved to me there are people in this town that are still alive and have witnessed or were involved in some way or another in the events that took part in the hot summer of 1941.

The story of the grandmother walking her nephew in the park and accidentally overhearing a gruesome tale of an old soldier who forced a Jewish man to extract a bayonet from the wooden floor of the “Chestura” (local police department) with his teeth is the one that impressed me the most.

I imagine that man still alive today, with all his military decorations and honors, taking part in commemorations of WWII and things of that sort, and nobody knowing his true story: the one that he was gladly telling to his friend, one sunny day, in the park.

Other interesting facts I red here. I came back to Bell and told her what I have found. She paid little attention. She reminded me that she didn’t feel sorry for her poor Grand-Grandmother, for that is their tradition. Never to cry for their dead, always be sorry when one of their kind is born. She pointed that Cincomfei are a species of parasites after all, whom nobody enjoys having around. Except for me, I thought.

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the train issue

January 6, 2008

We had to wait for a few good minutes until the shy creature made her appearance. She was so sweet you could eat her alive.

“My name is Bell”, she said. And then she asked for a cigarette. I was confused. I had a full pack in my stock but I was sort of hoping that a creature so fragile didn’t smoke. She didn’t. She said she wanted it for play. And to prove me wrong, she started rolling on it with her tiny feet. She asked If I was the owner of the house and I admitted that she could consider it a fact. She clapped her hands in joy. She said it was the greatest place she’s ever been hosted in. I don’t know if that was a trick to make me like her even more, but it worked.

The next question was a surprise. She asked me If I knew anything about the trains. “I travel by train a lot”, I said, ever so amazed by her cigarette tricks. “Actually, I bragged, they put a brain new train for Vaslui, my birth city. It’s so clean and nice that one could fancy oversleeping in it.”

But Bell wasn’t asking about trains in general, as I was soon to find out. She cared to know about some old trains from 1941, where her Grand-Grandmother was accidentally stuffed in along with a few thousands of Jews and Gipsies. My poor feet, they became ice cold. Some long minutes of silence followed that seemed to last forever. I knew something about the fact, but not much. Like every resident of this city, I wished I could switch to another subject, not so dark perhaps. Bell noted I felt uneasy with the talk and clapped her hands in joy one more time. She asked Elliot to light my cigarette and invited me to have a glass of wine from my refrigerator. The rest of the evening was pretty joyful and she didn’t mention the trains again. But at the end she made me promise I will take her to the train station one day. I promised, for there was no way one could refuse her. And that was the end of my first night with Bell.

Love Is a Wonderful Thing

November 6, 2007

Elliot confessed to me today that he left the bathroom several times while I was out. At first I didn’t care much about this detail, as I’ve never asked him or any of his fellows to stay put in one place. As long as they weren’t breaking anything in the house.

But then, he said, in one of his journeys, he met the most beautiful creature alive… I became all years. Her name is Bell, she lives in my kitchen, and apparently, she doesn’t know how to tie her shoes.

But this is yet another thing that he likes about her. He told me all those things while contemplating the short life of a soap bubble produced while I was washing my hands.

Given this melancholic outburst, I had no doubt… The little man was in love.

Well, Elliot dear, I said, love is the most beautiful thing that can happen to any of us. Do you think there’s any chance I could meet this wonderful creature?

Sure he said. In a blink of an eye he jumped on my shoulder and guided me to the magical place. My own kitchen. I was a bit concerned about Cincomfei starting dating and then who knows, marrying and having kids or cubs or whatever they will call them. But then I remembered that nature has its own way to make things work out fine for everyone. And I tried to conceal my worries. Let’s see what happens, I said to myself uttering the most discreet sigh.

a fine spring afternoon

April 11, 2007

No further events took place until Elliot and I got home. As I remember, everything was going on as usual in the neighborhood.

Three quarters of the fat man from the first floor were hanging out on his window again, in an attempt to threaten the children from the block, guilty of making to much noise… A kitty was trying to escape from a sealed cardboard box while a bunch of ecstatic kids were watching the show. Trees were humpbacked with flowers and mothers were returning from their grocery shopping – the happiest time of the day, it seemed.

It was a fine spring afternoon, after all.

And there I was, flowing by, with the Lilliputian in my pocket, wishing he could come out in the open and see all these things. But as I explained to him later, the Big World was not prepared to be confronted with such a tiny little creature. Yet.

his name is elliot

March 28, 2007

After the tram scene I decided to go straight home and never leave the house again without thoroughly checking the content of all my bags, pockets and other possible Cincomfei containers.

On the way, I put my hand in my left pocket and started scouring for the troublesome creature. And as I was groping, and groping, I realized it was the emptiest pocket in the whole world, and the deepest feeling of sorrow took over my being.

I arrived to a bench and I sat on it. I remember wishing it all to be a dream rather than losing the little creature because of my carelessness, when a small voice said to me from near the right ear:

‘Hi. I’m Elliot.’

It seemed he had found shelter in my hood after all and I took a breathe of relief.

‘I think I scared away your friend earlier, but I was just trying to behave nicely’, said the little man.

‘Nicer would have been never to show your face’, I said.

‘Even more crazy he got when I waved to him’ said Elliot and laughed almost in a whisper.

‘I would so love to talk to you more, but I can’t risk it that someone sees you again’, I said then, making use of the most severe tone I was capable of.

I can’t quite say I was surprised by the latest events, little was left to surprise me about these weird creatures. I found myself thinking that Elliot and I were talking kinda funny, as if we’d been long time pen pals or something. But I still found it hard to believe he waived. Who did he think he was, Michael Jackson?

In the tram

March 3, 2007

What happened yesterday: I met this friend of mine… actually he’s more of an acquaintance than a friend. And we took the tram together for a while. He kept on telling me about how he has been thinking for some time that he is going crazy, when suddenly, his face became whiter than snow. I thought he was feeling sick or something and I asked what was wrong.

“Nothing, It’s nothing”, he said, but at the same time he was staring at my left pocket.

“What, what is it”, I went along, and I turned my eyes to my left pocket too, only to see that a Cincomfei was watching him straight in the eyes, as serene as a mid-summer’s day.

I turned away laughing.

“Oh, dear, you need some fresh air”, I said. Let’s get down at the next stop and walk for a bit. I could swear his ears trembled.

“No! He said. I must go. Alone. I know you won’t believe me, but now I’m having hallucinations, too.”

“You don’t say!” I said in an exclamation, just to hide my urge to burst out laughing.

The next thing I knew, the tram stopped and he vanished out the door. The Cincomfei was, of course, back & safe to his pocket hiding. All was right in the tram.

Poor guy. I just hope he will forget this incident and it won’t serve him as a definitive proof that he is, indeed, going mad…

about angels

January 23, 2007

I heard someone saying the other day that kids are very lucky to have their guardian angels, otherwise they would be in great danger due to their carelessness.

But let me tell you another story. When I was little I had the nasty habit of stealing things. I used to go to the market to buy stuff for my mother. There, there was the cheap jewelry booth kept by a Gypsy family. It attracted me like a fly is attracted to the light bulb. I don’t know to this day if the Gypsies ever saw me. I used to tryout things, as if I was interested in buying them. When I thought nobody was looking I just slipped them into my groceries bag.

But things got to an end one day. My mum observed I had all kinds of ornaments that she never had paid for: hair clips, bracelets, even a pair of huge sun glasses, that could cover two thirds of my face. And so she asked… She said that she didn’t care whether I was telling the truth or not because she didn’t need to punish me. That was my guardian angels task. And it knew everything…

Smart me, I didn’t wait for this to happen. I got rid of all the “borrowed” stuff on the spot and started a clean life.