A Family Saga

Georgescu went to the pub with his wife and sister-in-law. He is on holiday. His monthly salary is about two thousand three hundred lei, in fact he receives two thousand two hundred and ninety-two lei exactly. As he was paid the vacation money too, Georgescu left the cashier's office with two thousand six hundred and forty-five lei, because in the corridor he came across Mrs. Lucaci from the union, who asked for one and a half months' membership's dues, that is thirty-six lei. Thus, Georgescu gave her thirty-six lei out of his two thousand six hundred and ninety lei, and was left with two thousand six hundred and fifty-four lei.Wherewith he dry-cleaned his gray suit, and bought himself a white corduroy shirt and a scarlet tie. His wife is pregnant and Georgescu is having a lot of trouble. He filled in the forms to buy furniture in installments and he is saving money for an apartment. Now, on this morning of May 17, Georgescu took his wife, who is feeling better, and his sister-in-law, and they made a stop at Union pub where they ordered a twenty-eight lei ¾ liter bottle of excellent wine, which Georgescu also recommended to Manoilescu, his former colleague, who retired last month, and now is sitting at the table nearby. Puffy forcemeat balls with a crisp crust, you can't cut them with a fork, you need a knife, the grill woman, aunt Frusina, makes exquisite meatballs, she lives in the same neighborhood and he has known her for fifteen years, from a cousin of his, who almost married her then, but then his cousin was sent to prison because he had had a trial over an excise* which he had been exploiting without a license and over a candle factory where he collaborated with one Stoian which he had befriended, but he didn't know the legal truth and it was because of Stoian that this was happening to him now, although both he and Stoian, and I mean both of them, were sentenced, and thus Georgescu's cousin never married.The situation is therefore complex.The situation is in general complex.This is life.And life must be lived in all its complexity, as all theoreticians are claiming.So Georgescu went with his wife and sister-in-law to that neighborhood pub.It was morning.The weather was beautiful.The sun was shining magnificently. It was as magnificent as a magnolia. So may be it!It was in May.Georgescu's vacation was in May, as it were – partly in May, and partly in June.He caught the cherry season in this vacation.And the strawberries.And on that particular morning when he was eating meatballs and drinking beer in that neighborhood pub with his wife and sister-in-law he felt good.One may even say very good.Georgescu was forty-fivish. And he was a fundamental man.Then in June he resumed his job, then his wife delivered his baby.But his sister-in-law, aged 38, is still unmarried.Poor girl.But two years later she met a boy about 46 years old, whom she married after having lived together a while.Now the guy was 48 and she was 42. And it was too late to make a baby. But they had given it some thought before.And toward the end of their lives, when he was 62 and she was 56 they adopted a child.Thus they managed to reach old age with some joy. They had just gone into retirement.And they even lived to see the boy turn 20, because they both lived quite long, like Georgescu and his wife, as a matter of fact, who also lived long.And Georgescu's daughter, now fairly mature, married Georgescu's sister-in-law's foster son, a quite uncommon thing, but only apparently uncommon, as despite the age gap they got along well with each other, although the son of Georgescu's sister-in-law was very young, outrageously young, and soon Georgescu and his wife and Georgescu's sister-in-law and this sister-in-law's husband all died at short intervals.But the two who remained couldn't make babies, so the family became extinct.
* I know what that means – I, the author – but that's what the heroes thought it was!

by Dumitru Dinulescu (b. 1942)