stories for Vladimir II

Creation Category: 

Dear Vladimir, 

INTRODUCTION to the second part of yesterday’s night story 

As you know, I am an early bird and in the eve of winter celebrations I feel more than ever the temptation to spend my mornings drinking a cup of coffee, in front of my computer or reading some "delicatessen" that I usually buy from the English bookshop on Rivoli Street. The first Christmas gift arrived at my house on Sunday and it has an Indian taste. Katrina, the beautiful Indian young woman whom you met at your exhibition in Gallery Mailletz offered me a shawl at the American Cathedral after the office. It was a quick encounter as she was sad and angry which is not typical of her. Wearing this purple and red cashmere shawl round my shoulders I enter my Sheherazade character and the flow of words is ready to pour like a Madera wine in the cup of memories.

Ushua, the Japanese student, Irnerio Seminatore and Moussa Fochive have been part of my life up to now and I have met them from time to time in Paris or in Brussels. Ushua finished his studies in Paris three years later after our meeting in 1993 and became a teacher of Cross-Cultures at the University of Osaka. Whenever he is in Paris he calls me and we have Japanese tea at Toraya near the American Consulate. He is the father of two children and the happy author of several books. Irnerio Seminatore has no longer secrets for me. Actually, the train Paris- Brusseles gave me the opportunity to also meet Simon Petermann, a Sociology teacher at the Free University of Brusseles and he became a long life friend.
I will speak a little bit about him because he is an important link of the chain.  One morning, very early, I took the 5 o'clock train to Brussels in order to attend a conference at 8. As usually, I had my first class seat and I was watching out of the window the familiar but always fresh landscape. In front of me there was an elegant gentleman reading   a book. My eyes searched for its title and I discovered that he was deeply plunged in the lecture of Bucharest by Paul Morand. I smiled and the man slowly put the book on his lap and with a very sympathetic voice he asked:
-Do you know this book?
-Pardon, I do not want to disturb you, please continue to read, don’t feel obliged to entertain me!
-Frankly speaking the book is very interesting but you intrigue me. Where are you from, if we don’t mind, I have noticed an accent. Would you be Romanian?
- Yes, I am!
-I have just come back from Bucharest and I will go there again next month. I work for the European Union as an Expert besides my activity in the University of ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles).
Gravely, like between civilised people, the conversation turned toward our mutual acquaintance. The name of Irnerio Seminatore crossed my mind and I interrogated Simon Petermann about him.
- Of course I know him! He is a curious and dangerous person. He settled in Brussels one year ago and he organises in his mansion conferences celebrating as a priest .He tries to attract Belgium elites in his sphere of influence.
-What is he speaking about in his conferences?
-I don’t know exactly what he wants, I attended only once but I felt an energy of absorption that I didn’t like. Mainly, it was about creating a circle of power so as to influence the process of decision making of the European officials. He is hungry for Power and I think that he is keen to be the Biggest one among all.
In that moment, Simon, future pillar of my life in Brussels, Bucharest and Paris gave me another sound of the key of Irnerio's dark music. But Irnerio's story is not yet finished, he continues to be active in Brussels, to draw thrones and crowns and that was not the last time I heard of him. I met him with several occasions in Brusseles; he made some attempts to invite me to his gatherings, which I never attended. Acting in the shadow, Irnerio was the Al Kema of the melancholy and decadent European prince. I hope that he will not finish his life like Al Kema of the Fanariot prince Catargi, master of Walachia in the XVIIIth century. The blond and angelic Italian friend of Catargi loved power, gold and the young ephebs. When the melancholy of Catargi and his dispositions to treat with Russians decreased the treasury of the Supreme Gate, a firmarm was sent to Bucharest and the poor fat man died smothered by the lace of Turkish eunuch in front of the breathless assembly of Boyars. The rioty population killed the beautiful Al Kema with carps driven deep in the anus. But until now Irnerio's anus seems to be sound and safe.
But let's come back to the sign language and the masks. My first encounter with African masks took place one year before the beginning of the present story. When I was travelling in that 1993 windy spring day to Brussels I had already a mask in my possession. Collecting rare and ancient objects has been an occupation since my late 14 in the Carpathian Mountains. My father in spite of the fact that he was my example being an art collector himself was ashamed of me. The elegant daughter of the Doctor was roaming around the villages near the burg and asked the peasants for pieces of ceramic, hand made fabrics or carved wood items. In Bucharest I was a frequenter of the antics shops located near the caravanserai Hanul Manuc. Dealing, negotiating, looking for bargains was a passionate weekly occupation and neither rain nor cold could hinder me from going to Lipscani or to advertised sales by impoverished aristocrats.
Dear Vladimir, you can imagine that as soon as I arrived in Paris one of my first visits was at Flea Markets because there are more not only the one that you know and those we visited together. The cheapest one is the Flea Market of Montreuil, in the Eastern side of Paris. If the sun rises east, the richness is so far west. At Montreuil, the market of the poor, you can buy for one franc embroideries, lace tablecloths, silver daggers, rusted swords and blind mirrors. It was the end of fall and I went at Montreuil with very little money in my pocket. I walked on the alleys formed by the rows of sellers sitting directly on the ground, or possibly on a small three-legged chair. I was about to leave deceived by the lack of chance, but HE appeared in front of my eyes so radiant and powerful that I felt a flash of lightning and for an amount of time that I cannot determine I ceased to breathe. He was looking at me, calling my attention. I looked him back and I saw the most beautiful African mask I had ever seen. To be accurate it was not only the most beautiful African mask, but also the most impressive of all. The bronze head was crowned by two chameleons, which were covering part of his ears. The eyes were endless, the nose thin and elegant. The mask spoke to me and urged me to buy it. An African in poor clothes, looking hungry but quiet and gentle was squatted on the earth in the position they use to sit around the fire. He seemed scared about something.
-How much does it cost? and I began a hard negotiation. I was well dressed, full, authoritarian and arrogant.
-500 francs, he said with a slow and tired voice.
-Oh, man, it is out of question! I offer you 200.
- ’is good ma'me, he wrapped the mask humbly in rough paper and I left the market with the mask under  my arm content and victorious.
The mask found its place naturally in the house. It was between the two windows and the salmon hangings, therefore the first thing you could see when entering the room was the chameleon king. Very soon the presence of the mask became so strong that I couldn't sustain these enormous wise eyes and I began to think of the African who had sold it to me. I was uneasy with the fact that I had grasped it from him for such a ridiculous price. I knew that its value was even much higher than he had initially asked for. No one coming to my house was indifferent to his presence. He fascinated, worried, he was unforgettable and disturbing.
Vladimir, my coffee is over and later I will continue the story of the king. With the last drop, I wish you a good day.
text revazut de Denisa Dragusin