Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Noutati din lumea desenelor

1st of May

The 1st of May, 1942

Dear Margaret,
I know that I should have written sooner and that probably you are worried sick but I was held off by some sort of problem that had to be solved. I do not want you to be alerted, I find myself in a formidable condition and all keyed up with the idea of returning home.
Ah...sweet home, where all my happiness lies in all of you I miss and love. This strong motivation has helped me through these past three weeks and now I strongly believe I stand a fair chance in coming home: fatigued, with hair raising memories, a bit off color but determined to start again.
I have been shot two times in the back but thanks to a brave soldier my life was saved on the exact moment when I was on the verge of meeting the lady with the hatch. Efficient doctor intervention helped me preserve my life, but I confess I hate hospitals even more than the battle field. Even though the battle field showed me things I shall never erase from my memory, at least it does not have all these agonizing men in the same place as a constant remainder of the atrocities I have witnessed. Seeing them convinced me that I must have been born under a lucky star.
I do not want you to be concerned; I shall write another letter when they let me know where I will be dropped off. Kiss the kids and tell them Daddy will overcome all obstacles in order to see them.
I send you all my love,

A tear dropped on the letter as Margaret put the pen down and started sobbing. She had written the letter she would have liked to receive from the love of her life and tried to assure herself that the letter she had received instead was not real. Why couldn't she receive this from Alfred? Well, she knew why...First of all Alfred and her had no children, at least not yet born. Because at Alfred's departure she had suspected she was expecting but said nothing. How foolish of her, she should have told him then and not wait for his return. Now she was pregnant, secretly married with Alfred and a widow without her father knowing anything.
Remembering her father sent a shiver down her spine. She forgot all about him, what was she going to do? The plan was to wait for Alfred and her father to come home from the war and then she and her husband could tell Colonel Winston that his daughter was now married. He would not have been happy but there was nothing he could do…however now the circumstances had changed.
Colonel Winston never liked Alfred, because the young man came from a wealthy family which did nothing to help the town where they lived or had any contact with anyone. The Colonel always said that Alfred knew nothing because he did not need to know anything; he had money and thus the Colonel was sure that Alfred was a presumptuous young man with no education or courage. It was the Colonel's fault that Alfred had gone to war. He could have stayed home with his family, who were rich enough to pay someone to "omit" their son from the lists. But Alfred wanted to prove the Colonel that he was full of qualities, was not scared of hard work and deserved Margaret, the beautiful daughter the Colonel had.
All this fight of characters led to Margaret receiving a letter from her father and a telegram on that fair day of spring.

Received at:
1st of May, 1942
Miss Margaret Winston

So plain and so simple, as if he told her that Alfred would be a day late. She hated her father for sending her this telegram. He had known that she was deeply in love with Alfred and more than once tried to cut their love from the root but had failed. He wanted his daughter to marry Captain Hanson, a hard-working boy, who had lost his parents at four and who "did so well, Margaret, not like that good for nothing Quin!".
She hated Captain Hanson, so full of him, small in stature and with an annoying obsession of biting his nails just before dinner. His idea of a wife resembled more that of a servant. She had been so relieved when she had gotten married to Alfred, she felt safe and even more when she found out she was going to have his baby. Now things looked very scary. She would have to tell her father she was expecting Alfred's child and how she married him secretly. She knew the Colonel would be furious but that was not what frightened her. What scared her was the fact that the Colonel would do anything to cover the "shame" she brought him and would force her to marry the Captain so that the baby could be considered his. This was the last thing she wanted; Alfred's baby with that awful man as a father.
She knew she was pressured by time but the ultimatum arrived with the letter mentioned in the telegram.

Dear Margaret,
I find myself well enough after the terrible battle me and the Captain survived through. I shall be home in less than two months. I am sorry about Quin, I know you had feelings for him but time will make everything alright, not to mention the Captain, whom I expect you will devote your entire attention to, now.
Hope you are well,

What was she to do? The first thought she had was to go to Alfred's family. They could provide for her and their grandchild. But she knew better than that; they would take her in and after the baby would be born they would deny her any rights. They were after all the richest family around and they hated the Colonel, whom they blamed for Alfred's foolish decision to join the Army.
All seemed lost until Amy, Margaret's best friend came to see her.
'Margaret! Margaret! You will not believe your eyes! You must come and see!'
Wiping her tears Margaret went outside to be shocked; almost 30 men passed her house and Amy was jumping up and down pointing at them. They were tall, blond, with a skin like brown sugar, resembling Roman statues. She went closer and couldn't believe her eyes. An officer approached her:
'Miss Winston, may I inquire about your father?'
'He finds himself in great condition, thank you officer. Who are these men?'
'Oh, they are Prisoners of War m'am, from Germany. The girls seem to like them, that is because they have not seen the things they have done.'
This gave Margaret an idea,
'Officer, what are you going to do with these men?'
'Well, the Government is not very sure about that. But until the war is over we will place some of them as workers on farms, or help at households. Why do you ask?'
'I was thinking, since my father left I find it hard to do all that needs to be done around the house. It is a very big house and I am only one. Would it be possible for you to assign one of these prisoners as a help at the Colonel's house?'
She knew that mentioning her father would seal the deal.
'Well Miss, I would have to clear it with my superiors but I don't see why not...'
In less than two days she would welcome into her house Hans Gunther, a 26-year old German. A very attractive 26-year old. But contrary to what Amy believed, this did not interest Margaret. She had a plan; Hans would be gone by the time her father would come home and she could claim he was the father of her child. It did strike her that this would not work in her best interest, but at least she would not be separated by her baby. Because now the Colonel, would not want to have anything to do with her. It was one thing to claim that Alfred's baby was Captain's Hanson, but to have a Nazi baby was a whole different thing. He had put his life at risk because of them and would refuse to acknowledge any German grandchild. This freed her for having to marry the Captain, and from Alfred's family, who would think she was a traitor for having a baby with a man whom Alfred had fought against and lost his life. All this disappointment in her, from those she knew, did not put her down. She was determined to do anything for the fruit of her and Alfred's love, no matter what others believed.
However, she felt sorry for Hans. He had behaved so proper, was polite and disciplined; she hated herself for doing this to him. But it was for a good cause, regardless of what anyone thought. She decided to clear her conscience and tell Hans her plan. She expected him to be upset and feared him getting violent. What she did not expect was him letting a tear stream on his bronzed face and say:
'Miss Winston, Ich feel that Sie sind a hero, or how you say it...that is why it would be meine honor to ask you to marry me!'
Margaret was shocked. It was not the first time her life would not go according to her plans and still every time she was baffled. She considered the offer. It did not seem fair to Hans and she did not know him. But there was always the thought of what was going to happen to her after her father and everyone in the town would reject her. How was she going to support herself and the little one?
With this though in mind, on the morning of June 22nd, Margaret left a letter on the table in the dining room:

Dear Father,
I find myself well enough after the news you sent me. So well that I decided you were right and Alfred was not everything. Shortly after your letter I met the POWs and one of them caught my eye. His name is Hans Gunther and since yesterday he is my husband. I know you will reject ever knowing me after having read this; that is why I take advantage of the fact that this is our last form of communication to let you know that Hans and I are expecting out first baby. Hope you and the Captain live a happy life and once you will remember having a daughter whose dreams you crushed without any kind of sensibility.

She knew her father would not be happy and neither was she but life was ironic and cruel so why should she be naive and do what everyone else expected her to do? Although happy with the decision she had taken she could not block the thought that she would live with a man, whose people killed Alfred less than two months ago. But she was determined not ever to go to that country where her late husband had taken his last breath. She would stay in town for now and find a way for Hans to stay with her after the war was over.

Atentie la iesire-Zona crepusculara a unei navetiste

Prima oara cand am aflat ca am fost acceptata la Iona am crezut ca o tara noua si facultatea de aici o sa fie cea mai mare incercare a vietii mele. Dar avea sa aflu curand ca nu facultatea va fi cea care imi va ingreuna viata ci naveta pana la New Rochelle. Pentru cei care citesc aceasta lucrare inainte sa spun de unde fac naveta, puteti sa spuneti wow! si sa fiti uimiti. Da doamnelor si domnilor, fac naveta din Fairfield, Connecticut si in mod normal nu trebuia sa fie un drum asa ciudat si lung. Totusi viata m a invatat ca normal nu e ceva la care ar trebui sa ma astept. Primele mele luni in care am facut naveta au fost deliciul si amuzamentul familiei mele seara. Ce era amuzant penttru ei nu era la fel de ludic pentru mine. Pentru intelegerea mai usoara a celor care citesc voi prezenta pe scurt cateva din intamplarile mele la gara/in tren in timpul semestrului trecut,
-Una din prietenele mele cele mai bune de 9 ani va refuza in mod cert sa mearga cu mine la gara. de ce? Nu fiindca ar fi o prietena rea. Ci din cauza ca de fiecare data cand pun piciorul pe peron se anunta ceva la gara. Cam asa incep diminetile mele: "Atentie la Fairfiled! Trenul de la 7:50 spre New York va avea intarziere aproximativ 5 minute!" Intarzierea difera depinzand de cat de mult am jignit fortele divine in perioada aia. Desi e frustrant am invatat ceva din toata chestia asta. Niciodata, dar niciodata nu ajung mai devreme de 5 minute inainte sa vina trenul meu. Asa cum presupuneti precautiile mele nu au oprit fortele divine sa se joace si sa faca trenul meu sa ajunga mai devreme si sa fie deja plecat cand eu ajung, sau sa fie anulat.
-Cand totusi reusesc sa fiu atenta la urcare si sa ma urc in tren, aventura mea ia cu totul alta intorsatura. In prima mea zi de cursuri, trenul a avut 20 de minute intarziere (Sincer eu cred ca fortele supernaturale au o copie dupa programul meu si in functie de cat de importanta e ziua respectiva asa calculeaza intarzierea). Trebuia sa cobor la Harrison si sa schimb trenul. Cand au anuntat ca urmatoarea statie e Harrison m am dus la usa ca sa fiu prima care coboara.Gresit! Trenul a oprit intr-adevar la Harrison dar usa nu s a deschis (deobicei anunta cand una din usi nu se deschide, dar nu de data asta) m am uitat in jur si am vazut prin geamul care dadea in urmatorul vagon, un om care dadea din maini, isi misca gura si arata catre usa din vagonul respectiv. Am fugit realizand ca aia era unica mea metoda de a cobori din tren. Am ajuns in vagonul respectiv am strigat ca trebuia sa cobor dar ce credeti? trenul deja plecase. Era pe punctul de a o suna pe mama mea sa o intreb pe cine a suparat cand era gravida cu mine, dar controlorul a apasat un buton, trenul s a oprit si mi s a permis sa cobor la Harrison da cativa metri mai inainte fata de unde era normal.
-Dar asta nu e nici macar jumatate din poveste. Inainte de sesiune semestrul trecut eram in trenul local, invatam, cand se anunta ca urmatoarea statie e Riverside. Chiar ma gandeam ca eram in tren de 30 de minute si nimic iesit din normal nu se intamplase. Ma inselam. Anunta Riverside si decid sa iau o pauza si sa ma uit pe geam. Trenul mergea cu viteza maxima si totul era linistit....ciudat a fost insa ca geamul mi a aratat ca am trecut de statia de la Riverside si trenul nu se oprise deloc....mergea full speed in necunoscut.Incercand sa ma gandesc ce se intamplase exact..aud controlorul care anunta: "Ne pare uitat sa oprim *rade* ne intoarcem ca sa putem sa oprim la Riverside. *inca radea* Urmeaza Riverside!". Stiu, ciudat si chiar daca si mie mi s a parut amuzant nu stiu cat de mult as fi ras daca trebuia sa cobor la Riverside. Noul meu motto este: nu intreba de ce cand e vorba de trenuri, ia le asa cum vin. Nu ma mai chinui sa gasesc o logica.
-O data asteptam trenul spre New Haven, citeam o carte si ma gandeam ca sunt norocoasa pentru ca trenul meu venea la timp. In timp ce eu eram pe partea spre New Haven, pe partea spre New York vine trenul. Absorbita fiind de cartea mea nu am observat nimic dar un zgomot asemanator unui BOOM mi a cam atras atentia. Cand mi am ridicat privirea una din antenele trenului avea probleme electrice, un scurt circuit sau ceva asa si tot sistemul electric a cazut. Si exact asa cum ati presuspus trenul meu avea sa intarzie inca o data.
Toate astea sunt in topul meu de lucruri ciudate care ti se pot intampla in gara. Am mai multe: gen oamenii din tren, conversatiilor lor telefonice ( acestea sunt obligatorii oentru ca involuntar auzi cum cineva a uitat sa si sune mama, e indragostit de altcineva sau cum ceva foarte important s a intamplat-asta din pacate ramane un mister pentru ca respectiva conversatie e compusa numai din 'Oh my God! Oh my God! NU o sa ti vina sa crezi!" si apoi se repeta dar niciodata nu afli exact ce s a intamplat pentru ca in momentul in care se decide sa zica, trebuie sa cobori-Presupun ca asta e una din legile nescrise a lui Murphy)
Asa ca morala pentru toti cei care citesc este: MERGETI SI PUPATI VA MASINA, SPUNETI-I CAT DE MULT TINETI LA EA...pentru ca nu se stie niciodata cand va trebui sa fiti atenti la urcare.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

va urma

traducerea va urma...probabil weekendul care vine. scuze.


When I first got accepted at Iona I thought that being in another country, in college, would be a daunting challenge. I was soon to find out it was not college that made my days harder, it was the commute. For those of you who will be reading this piece of writing before I say where I commute for please feel free to say: Wow! and be amazed. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I commute all the way from Fairfield, Connecticut and it normally was not supposed to be such a weird and long way. However my life experiences have taught me that normal is not the thing to expect. My first few months of going back and forth by train were the delight and amusement of my family at night. What might have been funny for them was not as entertaining to me. To give you a feeling of what I went through, here are some random happenings over the fall semester.
-My best friend for nine years will most definitely refuse to go with me at the train station. Why you ask? It’s not that she is a bad friend, it’s because every single time I place foot on the platform there is an announcement at the station. This is how my mornings start: “Attention at Fairfield! The 7:50 train to New York will be approximately 5 minutes late!”. The delay differs depending on how much I have offended the Divine forces that say. However, as frustrating as this may seem, there is a lesson I have learned. I never, ever, arrive at the train station more than 5 minutes before the train leaves, hoping that I will be there on the exact same time as the train. As you may assume my precautions have not stopped the Divine forces to play around and make the train arrive earlier or get cancelled.
- When I do manage to mind the gap and make it successfully in the train my adventure takes a whole new turn. On my first day of classes, the train was late 20 minutes ( I honestly believe that the supernatural forces have a copy of my agenda and depending on how important my day is, that is how they calculate the delay). I had to get off at Harrison and change the train. When the conductor announced Harrison as the next stop I went by the door so I could be the first one to get out. Wrong! The train did stop at Harrison but the door did not open (they usually announce when a door does not open, but not this time around) I looked around and saw through the window that in the next cart a man was waving, moving his mouth and pointing out to the door in that cart. I ran, realizing that was the only way out of the train. I made it to that second cart, yelled that I had to get out but what do you know? the train had already left. On the verge of wanting to call my mom and ask who had she pissed when I was born, the conductor pushes a button, the train stops and I am allowed to get off at Harrison only a few feet farther than I was normally supposed to.
-This is not even the half of it. Before the finals last semester I was in the local train studying, when the conductor announces Riverside as the next stop. I was actually thinking that I was in the train for almost 30 minutes and nothing unusual had happened. I was wrong though. They announce Riverside and I decide to take a break and look through the window, The train was going with full speed ahead and I was peaceful…however the window showed me the Riverside station and the train did not stop…it actually wandered off in the unknown…Still trying to make sense of the whole thing, I hear the conductor announcing: “We’re sorry we forgot to stop *laughing* we’re going back so we can stop at Riverside. *still laughing* Riverside next stop!” I know, weird and although I also found it funny, I sure bet it wouldn’t have been as funny if I had to get off at Riverside. However, my new prerogative with trains is: do not question the trains, take them as they come. I don’t even try to make sense out of the whole thing.
-Once I was waiting for the train to New Haven, enjoying a book and thinking I was actually lucky because it was not late. While I was on the side going to New Haven on the other side the train to New York arrived. Being absorbed by my book I did not notice anything. But a BOOOOM! sound sort of got my attention. When I looked up, one of the antennas of the train had an electrical problem, it short circuited or something and the whole electrical system went down, meaning exactly what you thought- that my train was late, once again.
All these are in my top ten weird things at the train station. I do have more; like people in the train, an insight into their phone conversations (this is compulsory as involuntarily one will hear the conversation of how somebody forgot to call their mom, is in love with someone else, how something really important happened –this however is a mystery, because the conversation has only two lines: ‘oh my God! Oh my God! You are not going to believe it!” and then it repeats itself but you never find out what exactly happened because when the person actually decides to say it, you have to get off-I am assuming this is one of Murphy’s u unwritten laws), and weird reactions.
So the lesson for all you reading this: GO AND KISS YOUR CAR AND TELL IT HOW MUCH IT MEANS TO YOU! You never know when one of you will have to mind the gap.