Early Sunday morning. The phone rings for a long time. I grope irritated and eventually find it. It is Mother, with her impatient and slightly alarming voice. What is it, has something happened, I ask worriedly. Good thing you answered, son or I would forget again. Hora Unirii is playing on TV and it reminded me I gave birth to you on Unification Day. So I ran to the phone in a hurry. Happy birthday, may you live a hundred years.
For some time now, Mother has been obsessed with reaching a hundred years and wishes all her children a century each. Great, so much for my rest. I stretch until my bones crack and can almost hear my late father. It was about two in the morning when Mother Stanca came. Wake up, Dima, and go fetch midwife Tia, because your wife can’t give birth and will die with the baby in her belly. Father pulled some clothes on and made for the door. Outside, there was neither gate nor road in sight, everything was white. The snow had fallen higher than a man and covered everything. Midwife Tia was used to being woken up in the middle of the night. She came, poor thing, on the path made by Father through the snow that washed your face and clogged your nostrils at every step. They arrived after four in the morning. Mother, emaciated and gaunt, had just given birth. Grandma had heated water in a pot. The midwife dipped her hands in the hot water, getting ready to give me my first bath. Father, happy, made the sign of the cross and turned on the battery-powered radio, the only radio in the village. The announcer was speaking excitedly about the Unification on January 24. Midwife Tia turned to him encouragingly. May your boy live long, Dima, he was born on a big day.
My thoughts wander to a September eight years later. The village shepherd had returned the sheep from the mountain, and had come to receive his pay and the “vegetables” he was entitled to. I was writing my homework. He glanced at my non-calligraphic writing, with many corrections, as my father was taking tuica out of the barrel to honor him. After the second glass, his tongue got loose and he prophesied. Your boy will become a great man. How do you know, Father replied, seeing the man smiling tongue in cheek. Look yourself, he writes like the doctors in town.
This serves to wake me up completely after Mother’s wishes on my birthday. January 24, 2021: a dry winter with spring-like weather outside, but the world trembles in insecurity under the terror of the pandemic; only masked people on the streets, like in horror movies; disorder during the change of power between the presidents of the most powerful country on the planet; at the helm of our country, sick politicians, uninspired, greedy and functionally illiterate.
Folks, for my birthday, I want back to Mother’s womb!!!