With My Little Brother, Reinventing The Bohemia

"The bohemia, the obnoxious, damned bohemia kills and often not only figuratively."My stomach, for example, stood defeated, alongside with the bowels, the sphincters, the liver, the brains and in consequence all inspiration, exactly on Friday, the deadline for my article. It was immediately after my birthday. I was exactly 35. "No, but it finally got me. It had been a month since silently and ceaselessly, with hope and dare I kept on drinking, womanizing, gambling. In the latest years I was well tried by the events; my little boat was washed out by big waves. I defended myself badly and contemptuous of it all beyond limits, I hoped to find forgetfulness in a life of debauch"… I was remembered that, aye, still, I was allowed to crop a few lines to the theme, until today at sunrise, Monday, the thirtieth of June. So, shaking off the Matein tomfooleries (you can take them as a "tribute to…"), I faced down to the matter. The following will be about me and my brother Adi. He is very dear to me. For a while we lived door to door in Grozăveşti, student hostel A, 1st floor. After Şorley opened (not as nowadays, "Shorley's"), I went by about every evening. I kept on doing this for about a year and something. In the beginning there were only 4-5 shabby tin tables and an iron stove which gave away smoke rather than heated. Then, the terrace being opened, it was pretty good. We would stay until dawn, until an enormous hurling made us say: "It's the crack of dawn". From the broken speakers Queen's The Show Must Go On was howling, and our show really had to go on. So it was. A few years, carried on by fate, we didn't see each other. Inevitably one would say. But, it was so that one day we found each other again – both bachelors – and from that day on we really became brothers. We started all over again. Irreducible night owls, we stubbornly haunted Bucharest-peaceful ghosts coming from the last century. Why ghosts? Because (I explained to my brother, wanting to appear as for so many times, smart, we are not bohemians because:- historically speaking, the true world of the bohemians died at the end of the Second World War;- socially, the bohemians don't function but in connection with a stable system (bourgeois, capitalist), which they oppose;- and, point si, in the first place, people who have a job are not bohemians.Then it appears to be the fault of insomnia. This is what drives us in the evening towards the pubs, and doesn't wake us up until morning when we go to work. Or, in fact, as they call them today: jobs. All this time, since I've been again partying with the bro, a lot of things have happened to us. One midsummer night, on Mântuleasa street (a pure coincidence!) I found a wooden boomerang. I threw it and it never came back. I met quite some people. There have been all kinds of events that I will not retell here. Meanwhile we smoked kilometers of cigarettes; we drank wagons of alcohol and pails of coffee. And on top of it we are still not giving up. Until when? Until the end! - I like to say each time. We have still to do a film on the end of the world, an exhibition of the "Fotobine" group, a site called "The Romanian Intention" and of course, the "Amateur Romania" Festival. Still as many occasions to meet, for a while, in the pubs. Yes, I know, the day isn't far when one of us, I or the bro, sick beyond words with the faces in the pub, will propose to take some beers from the shop and to tackle the projects at home with the wives. So far, at 35, we still find each other in night pubs, in ever fewer places. We have remained swell fellows, even if, in our maturity we appear a little distant to some young men. We will be the same, I think for some time more, until-our recurrent nightmare – there won't be left but Internet-café sort of pubs.And I remembered the man which seemed a friend from the beginning of the world, Adi, last night, at the "Web," when he asked me what I would like to drink. Excerpted from Dilema, 4-10/7, 2003

by Viorel Moţoc