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tearing the rag off the bush again
A True Miracle PDF E-mail
You stay a couple of years, save up, come back home and live better than the president. You get yourself a luxury mansion near Cluj. You get yourself a black Mercedes.
“I swear to you this time I'm going.”

“You say that every year.”

“I do. A man's got to have a dream right? But this time I don't care what happens. I'm going.”

I've been hearing this for too long but I've got to keep calm and not tell him to forget the whole leaving bullshit and concentrate on living here. I want to tell him that people want to go somewhere else because they're weak, lazy bastards.

I look at him. He's handsome and he's good at IT. He's got a girlfriend and his flat's fine. He's even got a car. And every year he's going to America. He knows somebody there, a cousin, a friend, an uncle, an old girlfriend, there's always somebody he knows who will help him get there. All he needs is a green card but that's not a problem. Nor is the money they require you to have in your bank. There is no problem. All the young people are leaving he would say, so why shouldn't I? And it's worth it, by God it's worth it. You get there with a contract and they give you a good job, maybe thirty thousand dollars a year. And it's not like here. If you do a reasonable job you get paid. And you get paid well. Thirty thousand dollars a year at least. You get promoted. You stay a couple of years, save up, come back home and live better than the president. You get yourself a luxury mansion near Cluj. You get yourself a black Mercedes. And you won't have a problem supporting your family. Don't you think that's worth it?

“Alright I'm going.”

He looks hurt.

“Do you think I'm lying? Are you thinking that?”


He's getting emotional.

“You'll see. One day I won't be here. You'll ring my doorbell and they'll say he left, yesterday. You'll know the truth.”

“Ok.” I've heard enough. I need to go somewhere and do something and relax.

I usually go to relax by swimming across the Danube and then finding a place near the beach where nobody else goes. I sit or lie. I stare at the water or at the sky or at the sand. I find it relaxing because the town is on the other side. The water is between the town and me. It's like cutting it off from my mind.

Too much, too busy, too many people wandering, too many dogs, too many liars, too many dreamers.

I miss the old ship. It went bust. No more old ship, slow trips, tranquil.

The Danube is bare. Business is dead. There is no money and no jobs. I understand the situation. I'm probably the only one who wants to stay.

I was born here.

Some days, though, I want to swim downstream.

Today I want to explore. I want to see.

This island was built for vegetation but it gets flooded easily. Nobody could possibly live here. You can see where the water comes to by looking at the treetrunks. There have been a few deaths, stupid kids who didn't realise what was happening.

I get there early and instead of just lying near the beach I walk, straight into the woodland. It's cooler and I appreciate it. Still, the sun finds its way through. There are segments of sunshine, different shades of bark. We forget this when we leave.

Just when I think 'there's no money here' I see a wide slab of metal. One hell of a discovery. A piece of metal so wide, several houses wide, in the middle of the woodland. It's probably from the old ship. What happened to the old ship? Was it diced up and sold for scrap? Or did it disintegrate naturally?

As I get closer I'm amazed by the size of the metal. It is wider than I thought. It is also very thick and strong. And there is a clearing through the trees where the metal keeps going. I can't see the end of it but it's possible to walk on it. This discovery may not be incredible for someone else, who'd just shrug it off as a giant piece of metal, but it is incredible for me. I didn't expect to find anything like this. So I go on because there could be something even more incredible at the end.

It certainly feels stable enough under my feet. I doubt even a bomb could destroy it. The clearing expands and the sun makes everything too white for my liking. The sun reflects off the metal and I don't have my sunglasses. I take off my t-shirt and carry it over my left arm. It is forty degrees and humid. And quiet, although I have loud sounds of trams blaring and car horns repeatedly drumming in my mind. I want my mind to be as quiet as where I am. I want to be alone completely.

I keep going.

Half an hour has passed but I'm not sure without a watch. Left my mobile home. No messages or calls today. It's the weekend and I don't want to work or study again.

The metal will probably lead me to the end of the island and back to the Danube. It's crazy. It will take a long time to come back.

“Good morning.”

I turn round. I look around. Did somebody speak?

“Hello?” I feel like an idiot. There's no response. My legs have stopped. I look around again. Maybe other people have found this metal. Maybe it's become a secret playground, a club for gangsters.

“Good morning.”

I turn round, a giant of a man behind me, with a strong blonde beard and sharp green eyes. His beard is over my head. He looks down at me. I try not to look like this could be the biggest shock of my life.

“Good morning.”

It was the only thing I could manage. It's pathetic the way we react, isn't it?

“Sorry to disturb you like that. I was inspecting the bridge, going over the details, and I saw you walking and I thought I'd come and say good morning.”

His voice is strong. You could say, in your Hollywood voice, he is twice the man I am.

“That's alright. Don't worry about it. A bridge you say?”

“Yes, a bridge."

"Why would there be a bridge on the island?"

“Well, it's not quite a bridge yet. It will be soon. Very soon. And there's a lot more coming too. A lot more. You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”

I really don't know how to respond.

“Not many people know about this bridge. It's not a secret, but not many people come so far. When it's finished we're going to raise it over the water.”

“Why? Why do we need a bridge linking the island to the town?”

“It's a miracle.”

“A miracle? Like Jesus curing the blind?”

“Yes! Absolutely!” and he smiles. I can't see his lips, only his beard twitching upwards.

“Please tell me more.”

“I can't. Signed a piece of paper which states I can't.”

“Ok. Where do I end up if I keep walking?”

“I'm afraid you'd better turn back now.”


“You can't go any further. You're not allowed.”

“Why? There are no signs here.”

“You've got to wait, like everybody else.”

“What am I waiting for?”

“You'll see.”

This talk is going nowhere so I decide to step back around him because if he says I can't go further then I believe him. Don't argue with a giant. The important thing is not to look like a loser. Walk.

“Come back!”

I look. I see him now but he's not so big.

“I can show you something.”

I go to him. He takes a crumpled paper out of his jacket and gives it to me. I smooth it out, or try to. There's a picture of what looks like a ball. Inside the ball there are stairs. The stairs connect the levels. The levels have little squares. There are little squares everywhere in the ball. Around the ball there is the river. The river has a bridge across it.

“I don't understand why we need the bridge.”

“The bridge will connect the PowerStation to the world.”

“The world?”

“A world inside a world.”

“Sounds good.”

“An organic world. The PowerStation too. No more deadly emissions. We're digging right in. We're taking power from north, south, east and west.”


“That's not glass surrounding the world.”

I look at the ball.

“That's our energy.”

I look at the ball. This is ridiculous. It's a science-fiction dream in the middle of a reality that is too real, too painful and too cruel.

“Take the picture. Keep it with you. When you feel down, look at it. Think about it. This will change everything. And we're working on it. We're dedicated.” Again he smiles.


“Now go, and don't come back. Don't bring anyone back. There are guards and they will arrest you. You don't want to be arrested. Here.”

He offers me his hand. I shake it. It's the strongest, biggest hand I've ever shook. It's reassuring. Then I take the piece of paper with the drawing of the ball on it, crumple it like it was originally, stick it in my shorts.

I lie here and look at the water. This water has seen it at all, the wars, the struggle. This water, blue. I can smell dead fish. 

I think about the world. I think about the bridge and the giant. I think about the final handshake, how it made me feel. I wish it were true. I wish something like that happened. I wish it would prove most people wrong. I wish I'd be there to see it. I want to see their expressions change. I want to see one smile. I want to see everybody smile and lift their heads up. I think about how glorious that will be.
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