The first step. Even if the entire tradition as brilliant student was as heavy a burden as it could have been for an adolescent, the first step towards my redefinition as a person was to abandon college. It took time to make up my mind because I couldn?t identify with anything in that school. I had no friends, because I had already become sick of them from the army, I found no subject able to attract me, or teacher to make me want him as a model.
Anyway, the insecure teaching situation welter I let myself into, made my decision easier to a certain extent. I had already achieved the counter performance of having to retake exams during the autumn session of exams. Right from the first year. If I hadn?t passed my algebra exam I would have failed to get my remove. Rightfully. The day I found out the news, my walking towards home had been incredibly slow. I was recreating all kind of soothing scenarios for my parents. I finally got home. But nobody was waiting. My mother had gone out with my nephew and my father was still at work. I didn?t feel like eating, I actually didn?t feel like doing anything, I was just under the pressure caused by the fact that I had to let my parents know that I was a dropout. A night before I had received a cassette from Alecu, a hippy friend. Pink Floyd. Of course I hadn?t heard of them- the fact that I had never had a cassette player played its part in that situation- and my poor English was even making me mispronounce their names.
Actually, I used to have a cassette player after all, like any other Romanian, but the way it popped up in our house practically made it unemployable. Another sense shifting. It happened that one of the kids taking Maths tutorials with my father had died in a car accident. Making proof of the generosity specific to stricken people, but also getting rid of something they didn?t need anymore, Costel?s parents gave us his cassette player. As charity? the machine was left locked in a cupboard for months. Nobody felt like using it. It represented the exponent of the tragedy lived by the Stănescu family. It had that heavy significance that the alms had. You can?t eat that like éclair either. Eventually, we started using the machine. At the beginning only on Thursdays. In the evening. The way we used to push the play button as if a ritual and the way we rejoiced as if indigenous when seeing every facility it was offering us was definitely worth of a documentary. We had played the same two tapes for months. Both with Julio Iglesias. My father had brought them from one of his colleagues, more skilled at stuff like that. I remember my mother?s regrets when I dared to wipe some of those songs out in order to record I don?t know what crap from the radio.
The cassette player was something you weren?t supposed to play with too much.
So, I put the tape into the machine, sprawled on the carpet and pushed play. Shine on you crazy diamond was the bird, which gave me wings in order to differently perceive my newly dropout condition. It was then when I simply realized that, on earth, there were important things and things which only seemed important. The fact that I was dropping out of school had no importance to me. Of course, that way of perceiving the situation could have been a very risky one for my future. But that was how Pink Floyd had taught me to think. Those Englishmen had offered me the first moment of grace in my life and I had no intention to give it up from then on.
I had understood that music existed and that it was worth looking for in every corner it could have been hidden.