The kids’ room
Be warned, at night, the way to the kids’ room is full of digressions… I live in a palace. “What a waste of space,” my friend admonishes me from time to time, “a truly bourgeois apartment that should make your heart cringe at every step you take towards the bathroom,” because if you believe her, it is a long way. To be precise, always forty-two steps from whichever place you may find yourself in the palace, but only if you’re wearing mismatched socks. Otherwise, you’re not allowed to use the bathroom and you have to write a letter of motivation, so that you can be granted special permission etc. It’s a complicated bureaucratic process. In all truthfulness, this is another story about the rules of the house and I don’t want to encumber or distract anyone from the vastness of this apartment or from the importance of those forty-two steps (various interpretations of this abundant number here).
As I’m walking and writing, passing by the bathroom barefoot, I’m also losing the slow internet connection. This place is perfect for people who need space to pace up and down, as they make lists of dead people and design social networks in their head with a nervous tic motion of the head to the left. Perhaps it is for me after all. And if it is so, then this note is for you: “The musical window should remain open – it’s embedded in the text and any responsible reader complies with the contract.” The window view is great from this corner coffee table that remains to date seldom used because of a rather morbid detail – a death certificate of Karoly Keresztes Antal glued to the table. When the light is dim, an imagine is projected on the wall automatically – always a hand full of sun flower seeds. To the best of my knowledge, I have only one friend who likes sitting in this strange corner, smoking cigars and flipping fashion magazines. She’s the one appalled by my vast headquarters and every time she comes visit, she rolls her eyes towards the ceiling and says in a low-pitched tone: “What a waste of space!”
My friend, she’s got plenty of stories to share in that cinematic corner. I remember, she was once on a train returning to Pontassieve, in Italy, when a child came to her and asked for money in Italian. Fond of children, my friend started a small conversation with the little beggar and asked: “Di dove sei?” And the child replied in Italian without hesitation, “I come from Russia.” Being a gifted speaker, my friend continued the conversation in Russian, but that left the child speechless. Had he forgotten his declared mother tongue? A red-handed moment, no doubt! My friend attacked, more amused than flabbergasted, but this time in a third language – their mother tongue: “Tell me the truth! You’re Romanian, aren’t you?” In his defense, our (com)patriot beggar had nothing more to say than this: “You don’t want me to embarrass Romania, do you?”
Whenever there’s cigar smoke in that mysterious corner, there’s always a marvelous story from the heart of Europe that my friend is telling. But she’s never telling the story about the kids’ room – the story of the only room in the entire house that has a door. But we’re still not there yet. Fictional pictures of the kids’ room are available upon request. Here’s a sample. Now, according to Rule Forty-Two in Alice in Wonderland: “All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.”