Passing by the wall the seminarian shuddered

The doctor, a man of spirit, when the father-director introduced Niță, stroked the young man, grabbing him jokingly by the tulle in his beard, and said:

– He has nothing, Father… to walk more often… and he passes.

Sunday… Finally!

Niţă was urged by his comrades and the parent-director to go for a walk; he preferred to stay at school so that he could get on with the lessons, left behind by the cold… Of course, his superior was delighted with so much diligence.

Breakfast is over… Now school is in vain. The forced laborer goes to the backyard… But-11- if the windows are still closed? ‘ is tied with a red cord:

– Go to midnight… I’m waiting for you… You’ll see how much I love you.

And no movement on the curtains… no appearance!…

The day passes slowly însă but sometimes it is so sweet and in the pain of waiting! But at night! the seminarians have never fallen asleep so late! ”Fortunately, no hindrance.

He jumps over the gate without a hitch and heads straight for the known target. A woman in the shadow of the gang!… He stops drowning. She whispers, “Come, she’s waiting for you!”… Then… that’s not it!

He lets himself be taken by the hand and led slowly into the darkness… A narrow staircase… dark rooms… and a few steps. The warrior walks by car, letting himself be dragged like a sleepy child by the woman’s hand. At every uncertain step, at every hesitation, a pause for a moment, a discreet chatter, a whisper of encouragement and forward!

They stop… The woman lets go of his hand… For a moment, abandoned in the blind and unknown place, he is at a loss – a bent column from which the safety prop would be torn off – he hears his ears whistling loudly and feels his knees leaving -it.

Now the woman strikes deafly with the tip of her fingernails on a door – I’m next to a door – which immediately opens.

There is light inside – blue light… a quiet and lazy blue… The woman who led him into the darkness pushes him gently into the light. The yielding column bends, with all the weight of the strong body of twenty-three years, in blue… and the door closes on the outside.

Words?… Can words fit?-12-

How a woman knows how to caress – how her delicate fingers thrust into her tense muscles – and her ice-cold mouth – and her drunken eyes – and the small fluff on her cheeks lit with shivers – the languid curvature of her body – her heart pounding against the walls of her breast – and the nameless smell that radiates from the roots of her hair – and how good it is to leave yourself in control of these so many feelings that envelop you on all sides like swirls of warm steam saturated with sleeping essences…

With words to say to them?… These are felt and thought, to be said cannot be said… It was a grinding of the soul, sweet and painful, an exaltation of feeling, terrible and delicious.

Many similar nights and each unmatched… Libations under the rays of the blue lamp; all imagined and unimaginable folly; spicy anecdotes of which he has such a rich popular repertoire; scenes of speechless and even sudden jealousy; and games, and bites; and fights, so unequal, for her as power, for him as charm… and then, after so much fatigue, the reciprocal story of what happened before she met.

He had little to tell… This was how narrow the village where he had lived was, and so insignificant was his life until «a needle with a sting bit him!»… The peasant’s lace – he cared a lot about this phrase; he is well aware that, accompanied by the suggestion of a pricked finger and a look under his gloomily gloomy eyebrows, he will be overly rewarded.

But she had more to say, and her story was rather sad. – Five years of life with a tired man, then crazy and paralyzed; Behind her, a widow with a sick child and a head, – a little girl, who gnaws and eats things in the house and who must be guarded very closely so as not to set fire. Big interests… a colossal fortune… council-13- of family… mother-in-law and brothers-in-law – some harsh and brutal creatures, who are surrounded by a disgusting police.

And here, in the face of his favorite phrase, came as appropriate:

“Imagine my thirst for life!” how I missed you!

The warmth so long in that beautiful being now poured out with an invincible start: it was short but full for him that happy time.

But it’s over.

He had to give it up when the wall of the family council was built between them. He, of course, could not allow such a wandering… Complaints… revolt – superfluous. A last effort on the part of the desperate was greeted in a decisive way.

When the seminarian dared to disregard the compelling recommendations communicated to him and to step on the threshold, which he once stepped on to happiness, which he considered an expensive right, he had to pay his reckless step. It was a well-deserved abuse, maybe, but too wild anyway. The squabbles in charge of correcting the daredevil, were overzealous: the bastard, taken without news, was crushed by blows… his head broken, his chest crushed with his heels. In a state of complete numbness, he was thrown into the school gate, where he was found, the next morning, by the servants more dead than alive.

All the running and perseverance of the parent-principal in order to expose and punish the criminals, who had so cruelly threatened the life of the favorite student, had to cease. The old man was called before the high pastoral faces. They rebuked him for not doing his duty, for not taking his schoolchildren’s morals seriously enough, and made him understand that if he wanted to remain a principal, he would not interfere in -14-what happens outside the gate of the seminary: this is the business of the court cheeks, not the church ones!

Nothing stayed long between life and death; months passed before he could recover. He did not die of it; but perhaps the nights which the mother, hastily summoned, spent at the head of the wretched man, would have greatly shortened the poor old woman’s days. Since then he has been left with a heart disease, which caused him many unpleasant moments until his death.

But he was healed… He set out in search of lost luck… Too late… The houses were falling apart and the work had begun on the wing where once was the blue room… The woman had died… The sick child was in an educational institute abroad… The family council did not stay in the breast.

First a holy resignation, then little by little if not forgetting, at least calming the longing under the pile of years. Ten years!… The seminarian is now a priest, – the priest Niță from Dobreni – a seated man and very well seen by the whole community.

In the morning, the city of residence of the county is very lively – the annual fair. Priest Niță walks through the main street as he walks to the fair from place to place, or where, without a definite goal…

In front of the cafe in the center there are a lot of people, who look at something and laugh out loud… Maybe a learned animal, which denounces the age and visions of the spectators; or some straw… or something else. The crowd is constantly growing… The pope follows the crowd. On the sidewalk of the cafe, on chairs and standing, stand the notables of the city – the county representatives on parliamentary vacation, members of the tribunal, officials from the prefecture, town hall, cashier, officers; all around the variegated world of all stages stands in a semicircle. Comedy takes place in the middle. Popa Niță also enters.-15-

What is it? What makes so much sense?

A child of about eight and nine years old, ragged and dirty, barefoot, dressed in inappropriate clothes – a large gherok, whose waist comes to his ankles, a flattened cylinder on his head – makes jokes.

It’s a tiny, very naughty mask – scarred, scarred and yellow; her dry thighs, which can be seen through the tears, are full of skins. So devastating, it is still very bold. He smokes a long cigarette, grimaces strangely, fools and swears at the boyars, calling them by their familiar nicknames. She begins to sing a shameful song, playing the giamparales, making unforgivable gestures and movements… The world is making an unspeakable joke… he seeks a place to escape his gaze, turns to him, bows, and says, walking away.

“Who knows what sins!” May God protect any child!

The little one, tired, stopped; he goes to greet very comically with his enormous cylinder, the boyars, and sits on a chair leg, over the leg, next to the senator… Another cigarette… The senator treats him with coffee and rum. Another “friend” entices him with another glass… and another…

The child gets up and starts playing again… Now the movements and gestures are even more obvious… But slowly the limbs lose the safety and symmetry of the movements; the song is deaf, the uneven articulation… Another stanza! But the panting drowns him… The singer stops for a moment, staggering, soft in the middle: it’s yellow as wax; his eyes cross, extinguished in the back of his head… A strain, aroused by the unanimous urge of the amateurs! – Beat dead!-16-

Too many people had crowded… the traffic in the city was interrupted… The policeman called a little boy who lifted the little prostitute from there to disperse the crowd.