My generation among generations
Maria Mateoniu

The rest is a blank page because the end of the story has been completely erased from my memory. I can only remember that for me the inspection represented the first sign that Ceauşescu?s regime was going to collapse.

Once with the events in Timişoara, the Revolution also triggered my free falling, my remorse, an imaginary guilt, exacerbated by the passing of time. Then, the need to believe in something.

Because I took refuge into my room to follow the events live. I had been watching that broadcast revolution for days so that I nearly set my TV on fire. So that my mom would tell me sometimes, turn it off, girl, because it breaks down. No, because it ends in a jiffy. It, meaning the Revolution.

But the Revolution was not about to end, I had all the time in the world to admire Iliescu for a modesty overemphasised by his worn out sweater like that of a worker leaving the Canal, or Petre Roman?s scholarly youth. Everything was beautiful, everybody could speak live, the peasants had been returned their land.

There was one guy showing up on television in order to comment the first legal decisions taken by the National Salvation Front and who was repeating the words ?extraordinary? and ?we have never had such freedom? after every sentence. They used to pray while showing the dead people in Timişoara. Shootings started in Bucharest.

There were incessant discussions about the terrorists coming from the Orient to attack the national television. Terrorists were all over the place, but especially on top of the television and in the neighbouring blocks.

I really bought this lie regarding the live broadcast Revolution, since I was as gullible as mostly all my peers back then. I remember I also said a prayer; I used to know it from my grandmother who had died in the meantime.

How sorry I felt for having accused her of ignorance! Had the old woman only known that times changed and I changed with them, that we started a revolution, that youngsters died and that nowadays you aren?t supposed to whisper ?Our Father? secretly, at home, in front of the icon, but to say it down the street, in the marketplace, for all dead people!

In that provincial town, where I used to go to school every day, things were perceived like that. We also tried to start a local revolution, in our school. So that we stopped going to classes and we asked for another principal.

There was one, a certain Mischie, who, in the meantime became the prefect of the district and I hear now that he has been replaced.

It is said that he has stolen from the state?s funds. We couldn?t replace Mischie because he left the school later out of his own will in order to go to parliament and our local revolution quickly ended up with a few poor marks.

Thus, everything left was the great broadcast revolution. And between the bachelor apartment where I used to live and school and my addiction to follow the events on TV I got caught by the miner riot.

At the time, I used to live on Minerului Street1, a street near the high school, where during winter I would get it in the neck from the kiddos gathered around the block who used to throw snowballs at me during winter and pinchings during summer.

That was a street full of people (because at the time people would still have many kids), with men gathering together to fix their cars and with women cracking in front of the blocks, like women at the countryside. There was a lot of gossiping, but a lot of politics as well, and not only did people express their opinion but they also definitely knew what and how.

1 Miner?s Street.

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