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1 o’clock has struck. The same path I took daily this time was covered in the mud of last night’s

Melina Haureș


The road to kindergarten– 5 years old.

1 o’clock has struck. The same path I took daily this time was covered in the mud of last night’s storm. I was passing by the same fence, excessively imposing through its massiveness, for a child hoping to grow bigger with every extra spoon of soup he had at lunch. In the back I would find the same building, way to monotonous for the colourful imagination I had back then. However, when I’d enter the luminous hallway with drawings on the walls, something in that sad air would change and the place would suddenly become welcoming. I would climb the stairs covered with a red dotted carpet, finally reaching the place I actually came for, the four walls animated by the people and the games happening between them. There the universe of my childhood would open, until the clock struck, after which the decor would have to change.

The cottage in Sinaia– 8 years old.

2 o’clock has struck. With every drop of rain hitting in agony the window, the mountain’s image became more and more diluted, decomposing the picture in coloured greys, leached like an unfinished watercolour painting. You could hear the tramping of soldiers vibrating on the rooftop. The room had become something like the interior of an out of tune musical box. I turned my look on the staircase which turned its stairs one by one, all the way down to the main hall. I was fascinated by the way my image was shaped with each step I took. I lift my eyes and I let myself carried away by the memory back into the cottage room. I can see again the window, as the last clear point, unshaken by the obscurity created by the rain’s agitation. A sun ray turns my eyes towards the rocking chair my mother was sitting on the morning before, reading a book whose cover I was struggling to understand. And that corner that kept me away… was still there, as I turned my head a little to the right, as dark as always. It is foggy outside, and that prevents me from remembering anything else beside the gentle slope at the end of which rose the sharp wooden cottage,  dark coloured, with small windows and a roof like wings that go down towards the ground… But maybe this image is not even a part of the same memory.

In Brugges – 14 years old

3 o’clock has struck. I wake up at twilight, on the stone bridge, looking to the left at the row of reeds and other bridges as the one I’m on, as in an arithmetic progression to which I keep a frame from a building on the opposite bank. I walk a little bit further in the memory, although I know that in reality it took at least one interlude of continuous fronts of stone and brick houses. Exactly like those from the fairytales I used to imagine when I was little. And amongst the river arms, places where I used to stop to take pictures, in a desperate attempt of better saving in my mind the one I knew would become my favourite city. I get into the market and walk around – again, continuous fronts of houses, this time a lot more different from each other, as in a game with characters connected by the same story. It is frustrating that I try to look up, to say something about the overall picture, but all I can see is the clock tower and the queen of the ball– the most imposing building in the entire square. It seems like all the other buildings kneel before it, in a subtle hierarchy, given not by position or proportion, but by the multitude of items composing the facades. And suddenly darkness falls and everything changes. The square grows smaller and the bustle of the nearby terraces distracts attention from the buildings-story characters. However, now I see everything as in a black veiled painting, in which light touches show the shape of different windows, that became main items, not only items composing the frame of facades. I take a better look to each different decoration, each door frame. It’s clear, at night roles reverse.

The cottage in Colibița– 18 years old

4 o’clock has struck. A vase with plastic flowers rests on a coffee table way too low to be comfortable for me. I sink in the couch holding the smell of past times, because from that spot I can catch in my vision most of the window in front of me. Since I can’t see its frame, it looks like a glass screen between me and the lake that would extend indefinitely if it wouldn’t be stopped in a distal end by the curves of the mountains. This time it’s easy to walk around the room, like I’ve never left. If I go through the door separating my side of the room, I can’t even take a proper step and I bump into the edge of the bed, then I go round and head towards the little hallway, which holds on its right side an oval mirror, which sends my thoughts right to my grandparent’s house. But I don’t like to lay around here, for me there’s only that part of the room that passes through my magical place with the dusty couch. I sit back down, this time in the area where the roof comes down and the height get’s smaller, on an armchair from where I can see the terrace on the lakeside, where a few other people are lost in silence. This time I perceive everything as a whole, the narrow door, the couch, the screen now depicted as a huge three-piece glass window, finishing in a sharp angle where I am looking at the entire scene. I appear in the restaurant widely opened to the terrace, having a huge aquarium between the reception and the dining hall. Now everything is sunken in an almost tiring light. But I feel comfortable because it is cool outside. If I go a little bit further and I turn left, I get on the narrow corridor with the semi-dark staircase, which will take me back from where I left.

The Pantheon – 20 years old

5 o’clock has struck. I was sitting in the central point, from where it seemed to me the point where the whole building was actually born. From there I was looking perpendicularly upwards, while trying to observe the semi-opaque oculus invaded by the strong midday light. And yet, when I’d look around me, there was exactly the right amount of uniformly distributed light, necessary in order to highlight the features of the statuettes framed by Corinthian columns of marble and pediments. It only took a move, until which probably an actual hours had passed, for the place to fall into semi-obscurity. Then the sun rays formed a compact bundle, oriented towards the cassettes of the dome which made me feel dizzy if I tried to look at it as a whole. That light made me tremble with astonishment and to stiffen, despite the waves of people passing agitatedly by me. I was analyzing the contrast of the impetuousness between the interior and the exterior. When I’d get closer from a distance it would show itself in its entire massiveness and heavy volumetry, somehow tamed by the columns which seemed slender in comparison. Until I got closer to them without being able to cover them in my arms. But then, passing through the great cold door, I would discover a certain delicacy in the interior, as imposing as the exterios, but somehow more humanised. Perhaps because of the light, of the gentle colours or of the textures, I am yet to find out.

6 o’clock starts striking…

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