The road was bumpy. And desolated. A scene that will not last, a remnant of our past that our incompetence keeps alive until the moment the future will crush it. I was speeding, probably because, unknown to me at that moment, I was carrying death with me. Death doesn’t look like death, death looks like the past – o void of memories of places, people and feelings; and that’s death, not the memories themselves, but incapability of ever seeing the places, meeting the people or evoking the feeling ever again. Death is not about emotions, death is about not being able to care anymore, about not bothering if you take another step again.
For a few hours I was stalling death, for one brief moment emotions flowed again, there was purpose – even if it was just a matter of cleaning an old grave. A grave of people long gone from both hearts and minds to most people, but a few. It was those two, the few, that kept time still – death will have to wait while these two sisters cleaned their parents grave – people with no time awaiting death cleaning what death left behind and time crowned them as the last memories of the lives once lived.
While waiting for the graves to be sufficiently cleaned so the honour of the family to not be effaced a construction in the graveyard caught my eye and I headed in its direction. Getting closer I realised it was a crypt, the resting burial of an old boyar mostly forgotten, except for a high school and a square named after him – founding member of the Romanian Academy.
It was impossible for my mind not to make comparisons with great burial places – the great pyramids, the Taj Mahal, etc. – and feeling a sense of disappointment to the people that were buried there. Did they wanted this construction? Were they aware of it before they passed away? How small does your world have to be to want a grave that is remarkable in a small village cemetery, but nothing worth remembering in the top graves of the world? Yet another jewel in the catalog of the fear of death? Did the people int he crypt live greater lives than the people with the wooded crosses that time have faded away, but that through some small miracle remained erect and can be witnesses today? Nothing like a cemetery to remind oneself that great or small, rich or poor, we end up in the same place, just with a different object above our corpses.
The grave was clean, time flowed again. The dirty spades and rake were carefully packaged and put in the trunk of the car. Before we surrendered ourselves to the desolate road the two women looked back at the graveyard – maybe for a second. But it was in the time of that second that you could see how the flow emotions slowed down, how the memories and the love of their parents faded away, how death took hold of them again and the emotions were silenced. Will they ever have the chance to revisit this place again? Or will they be cut down before they have another chance? I turned the key.