Little Life Stories

1. A Title for the Start of a Journey

My story begins in a train station. Yours, wherever inspiration takes you…

Still, I arrived in Covăcița in a red car, not by train. I found the train station by chance, just the way I like it, walking aimlessly through streets perfumed with the scent of linden trees. It’s 2022, June. (I was looking for a restaurant and I ended up here) 

I imagine I got off the train and sat down on this bench. The water at the drinking fountain is running. The ivy on the train station rustles in the Coșava wind, a small lizard greets me. It, lit by the sun, me, by the bright light bulb in the train station. I’m ON AIR, as they say. The lizard has scuttled under my skirt, now it’s standing next to me. I don’t know what it’s telling me. I do know that I have to feel and write. It all happened in waves, in stages, even though I wasn’t surprised by any form of relief. The plainest of plains. Long, endless streets leading to a blue horizon. 

I found the train station in Covăcița after two days. I’m in Serbia, in Banat, I crossed the border at Foeni, an hour and a half from Timișoara. In a red car, like I told you. I collect life stories, I learn about history, I speak Serbian, Romanian, German and hear other languages on the street. I’m back in my childhood. I’m back in Freidorf, on the Paris Commune Street. That’s how I feel. I feel at home. And yes, I prefer you to know that I got here by train, even if the train hasn’t stopped here in a long time. 

The birds are singing, coo coo, coo coo, let me lie down on the bench, let me doze off a bit with the smell of linden trees in my nose. I kept walking down Maršala Tita Street. The streets here are very long and you can’t help but walk them. You steal an apricot, an unripe quince. The streets don’t tire you out, they just entice you to walk them until you can’t see me anymore. 

The naive painting of Covăcița. I fell in love with Janoš Martin. How strongly the wind blows. I wonder how many goodbyes or reunions have happened here, on the only platform of the train station. Has this iron fence rusted from tears, from rain, from loneliness?! … No more trains stop here. Once, I was passing through the North Train Station in Timișoara when I saw a theatre director walking arm in arm or hand in hand with the train tracks… I kept looking back. It deserved a photo. 

Caw-caw. It is full of crows, instead of train carriages filled with people. They sit on the tracks, all lined up. Caw-caw. Nothing apocalyptic. It’s so quiet with the chip-chirp and the caw-caw. 

Let me imagine I’m waiting for a train. My goal is to inspire you. To give you material. There’s a freight train just passing, three minutes of tagdak-tagdak-tagdak-tagdak and the smell of train tracks. 

Photo credit: Mircea Sorin Albuțiu

English translation: Cristina Chira