Sunday, 13 December 2015

Honest-Minded People by Vlad Mușatescu

Octav was at home, a little drunk, with the bottle and the iron next to him. He had singed his corduroy pants and now he was crying with tears as big as cantaloupes.
Doru, quick of apprehension, examined the breeches and, looking at me, he said:
’They’re fine, really! They smell of sheep’s hair, but it doesn’t matter. Come on, pop Octav, everybody’s waiting...’
’Dodoru, mmmy ffeett are shacking... Because of all the emotion!’
’No, because of all the wine!’
Asking me to help him, Doru put Octav in his trousers, I arranged the tie at his neck and put his frock coat on, after which we carried him to Doru’s car. On the way, coming out of his alcoholic melancholy, Octav told us:
’I forgot my shoulder straps. What if my pants will fall off?’
’You’ll be sure to keep them up with one of your hands, and that’s it!’ Doru darted at him.
And Doru was right. All the time that Octav had stood next to Onglița, during the time the snuffly priest conducted the ceremony, Octav has kept his arm under the frock coat, looking like Napoleon Bonaparte. Mamamoașa, beaming with joy, could not make out why Octav looked so haughty.
Doru and I, bestmen, were standing stiff with candles in our hands, as if we were squires at the court of a great king. I was so focused on pop Octav, waiting for the climax, when the trousers would fall down, that I didn’t notice that all the wax was dripping on the low seam of the coat and on my trousers.
When it came to the exchange of rings, Octav forgot about his pants. And, kissing my mother at the firm comand issued by Mamamoașa, I think I was the first one to see, knowing what would happen, the slow but certain falling down of the corduroy pants. Not even pop Octav really realized what was going on, because when the whole thing was over and directed himself towards aunt Mili, to adequately kiss her hand, he tripped over his fallen pants and, remaining only in wollen johns, that fortunately covered him up to his ankles, he fell at the witness’ feet, rubbing the floor with his nose. Even though there was still some alcohol in his cells, at the last moment he was spry enough to clench the low steam of the dress that Mamamoașa wore. Who quickly found herself without the back part of her luxurious dress, disentangling with noise. Hearing it, Mamamoașa realized the disaster, and yelled at Moișeanu:
’Titi, get in the rearguard!’
The withdrawal of the witness was a solemn moment. Titi, walking very close to the back of Mamamoașa, led her to the bedroom, where the changing of clothes took place. During the reverse gear footsteps, taken at double command, she told me:
’You, child, come. You must change your clothes since they are so full of wax!’
’ Mamamoașa, I can promise you that I haven’t even touched the honeycombs in the store room’ I ensured her, holding my hand on my hear and having it stuck to it due to the wax.
’Fool, I was referring to the wax from the candle!’

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