Goodness gracious, how wonderful the winter holidays are in the City of the Last Eclipse! At Christmas, it rains here exactly as the poet says “It is raining placidly: / A … e … i … o … u … a … / If it stays this way, / I will hand in my dinner’s pail!” So what if it rains. Divinity will make it a bit colder and it will snow as much as you want and, again as the poet says, “Look how it snows in December.” But let the poets with the poets and the kind inhabitants of the City of the Last Eclipse with their great citadel.
Between the years, that is, on New Year’s Eve, every Romanian, poor devil, has his hundred cigarettes. He smokes them on the night between years, when he drinks his beer, boiled tuica, mulled wine, boiled surgical spirit. Wait, he doesn’t need to boil the surgical spirit. If necessary, he makes his wife’s blood boil by taking a belt to her. And she, poor thing, runs away from home. The dog also runs away, with chain and all, because, at midnight, the owner has the urge to throw his hundred cigarettes. They are not for smoking, but for “New Year’s bombings.” When they’re done, he grabs his cigars, that is the heavy ammunition, sir, better than German guns or Kalashnikov rifles. Enough to make you keep listening to the morning news on the first day of the New Year.
“In the night between the years, an old man died because a firecracker exploded under his hat. On Resurrection Street, two children lost their eyesight while playing with firecrackers. A young dandy in the center of the city was left without two fingers, because he forgot to throw the firecracker from his hand. […]” There is nothing like the first day of the year in the City of the Last Eclipse. Madness and congestion. Young and old are looking for their dogs on the streets, which, having broken the chains when the firecracker riot started, ran away. Some are lucky. They find their dogs, dragging their chains broken in the horrors of the explosions. Now, they are fighting their masters for fear of returning home.
People everywhere, do you want to have a great New Year’s Eve? Search for the City of the Last Eclipse, you will certainly not want to leave, if you can leave.