Bretea Streiouli orphanage, Deva Romania


PULCHER EST QUOD VISUM PLACET



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PULCHER EST QUOD VISUM PLACET


My thoughts kept roaming, it must have been the mountain clean air I was not used anymore. I did not talk for quite a while, then my wife asks me a question no husband would like to answer: “what are you thinking of?” At first I wanted to say: a beautiful girl, I couldn’t possibly reply Aristotle’s Prime Mover, she might have said: “do you know what you and your Prime Mover should do?”

I was thinking we have to contact Rome Social Services to prepare the adoption papers as soon as possible.

“Now that I think of it my friend Angela has a lawyer brother and if I am not mistaken he previously handled an adoption case, right there in Romania”.

Wife, you're a genius, tomorrow we can go to his office so we can have clear ideas on what to expect.

The lawyer was a nice guy and he often took care of non EU citizens issues pro bono.

We got into his office and he kindly invited us to take a chair.

“Well you would like to adopt a child in Romania wouldn’t you?

We are trying but we have only bumped into difficulties so far. “I know, it is quite a long procedure and we still have half the work to do. The first thing to do is have all the documentation translated into Romanian and then have it officially signed it at the Embassy. When everything is ready I would suggest you to go directly to Romania and contact a local lawyer to handle your case”

How much will the whole thing cost?

“Do not worry, the cost of living there is 1/10th of the Italian one. And as far as I am concerned next summer I need to go there to sort out some issues and I am glad to accompany you.

Thank you we are very grateful but we will take care of travel expenses and your stay there, it is the least we can do.

“All right we will meet again when the documentation is ready so we can set a departure date.”

The social worker called us for a meeting at the International Service Office in Vittorio Veneto Street. After some introductory information she gave us the data we needed.

"Marco is six and a half years old, he has been in the orphanage since he was a few months old, he has a mother but he has never met his father."

Do you have some pictures of him?

"No, we don’t, we only have the essential data. At present contacts are very limited, Ceausescu was killed a short time ago and offices are being reorganised. The orphanage is Bretea Streioulu, a little village within Deva municipality, in Transylvania."

Well that means that we’ll pay a visit to Dracula!

"Please excuse him, he is always in the mood to joke." It is not easy to get there, as it is about 500 km from Bucharest, but it could be the right chance to visit some interesting places in Romania. If it is ok with you I am going to contact the Court of Minors in Bucharest to arrange a first visit in July.

Excellent! A lawyer with previous experience in adoption in Romania will come with us.

"Very well, then you already know everything regarding the papers."

We look forward to the departure date.

We went down the stairs and walk down in Veneto Street.

"Are we getting a cup of coffee?" Ok a cup of coffee in the legendary Veneto Street, but it does not look like the famous artists and actors’ meeting place it was in the Sixties.

"It is true, it also seems a little 'shabby'.

However ..... not even a picture, I wonder how Marco looks like

"You always said that we did not do it because we needed a child, but because we wanted to help someone, especially now that we can afford it economically, and… you worry about his look.

Well I am curious if he was a cute boy, I would be happier, well I think that this ‘blind date’ is a bit risky, but as you know danger is my job.

“I heard other couples say that they were not interested in the child’s appearance, but I am sure that deep down they were lying. I would be happy if he had good manners, then if he is good looking it is so much better”.

I was wondering what beauty is....;maybe it is the feeling I had when I first saw you. You were dressed in red, tight trousers revealing breathtaking curves…you were as my romagnolo colleague says a gorgeous gal.

"If it is a compliment I’ll take it, thank you, if it is not… and what do you mean by you were ?.....Look who’s talking! Have you looked at yourself in the mirror? When I first met you I said to my girl friend: he is not a real cutie but he has a nice body….it’s a pity otherwise it would have been nice…”

When you really like someone you tend to disguise you feelings, yours were just words my dear. In fact, two days later you called me; come on tell me the truth, if you think back did you capture my messages, the instinctive ones left unsaid? I am referring to the chemical ones linked to smell, because they are not there anymore, but you certainly perceived my desire to be with you.

"You are so formal, go on confess you just couldn’t wait to ….. I must admit there are few things that women like: to be desired with grace and not brutally. Despite everything…. I liked you, and to me beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

To me it is not enough, it equals to say that beauty is beauty. I don’t remember when I heard this definition of beauty “pulcher est quod visum placet" where visum is cognitum, so "beautiful is what we like, once we get to know it."

"Listen to the Abruzzi mountaineer… Latin quotes!" Unlike you I studied Latin because it was mandatory when I attended middle school.

"Thus everything is beautiful as long as you profoundly know it, isn’t it?”

It would seem so, something with harmonic forms is beautiful on the outside, but it becomes extremely beautiful if you get to know it. Otherwise you would not explain why gorgeous women date ugly looking men and vice versa.

“Yes my dear but this is just theory, in fact the first thing you are attracted to is someone’s looking and it is often what keeps two people together. In twenty years’ time when you are all aches and pains who will stand you? You are already a pain now, let alone in fifty or sixty years”.

The same thing applies to you as well. Anyway I believe things change at that age. Passion and love give way to a feeling of deep friendship.

"Do you mean that at that age love isn’t there any more and we can only be friends? Are you preparing the ground to say…..we are friends, then everyone can do what they want”.

No it is not what I mean! Love and passion are stuff for people in their twenties. Love in a young couple is a strong almost violent feeling, often implying the idea of possession, it is exclusive and it does not allow intruders. It is also a very fragile feeling, it makes feel joy and sorrow. Then years go by and passion fades away giving way to thinking and knowledge, thus love slowly turns into a profound feeling of friendship. Well nature is amazing. Body deteriorates over time but mind strengthens. Balance must always be there, whoever does not bend to Nature’s will goes off balance along the path.

"Funny, then in twenty years’ time I cannot have my breast done?”

Well I would not say that…. A little improvement that implies minor changes is all right, but as far as I am concerned nothing extraneous, such as silicon. I would have the feeling of touching an alien.

“Women find it difficult to accept the ageing process, if I could I would have plastic surgery makeover, can you imagine being 60 with a 30 year-old body?”

I wouldn’t mind that to be honest, but you could have had some identity problems. A 30 year-old body with a 60 year-old mind……it would not work, and then it would be only a temporary solution, then when the collapse comes it will be dramatic.

“What a nonsense, are you afraid I’ll run away with a 30 year-old handsome man and leave you alone?”

No I am not! How come? Nature gradually sets you free from body slavery and you would be so ungrateful as to wish to rejuvenate, look for an improbable love during a season you no longer belong to? A young couple love is functional to reproduction and conservation of the species, love is an irrational and instinctive feeling, why look for that kind of love again if you are not able to accomplish that task?

“Are you saying that as you get older you are not able to love?”

Well no I am not saying that, in my opinion you love even more. You make love to your partner drawn by a deep feeling of friendship where every loving gesture, every caress has a meaning, there is no compulsion, no idea of possession, but gratitude, you share understanding with your partner and this feeling of having so much in common is also sealed by a physical unity.

“You’ve almost persuaded me, so from now on I’ll call you friend. By the way… friend… I am starving, will you please come down to earth, so we can find a restaurant?”

I would eat a plate of pasta, or actually two plates as I like it so much. Sometimes I think I would give anything for a plate of spaghetti.

“Well my dear, I already knew that”

.




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