When you were young

They say the Devil’s water it ain’t that sweet.

You don’t have to drink right now.

But you can dip you feet, every once in a while.

In front of me – water. Bathe carefully, one foot, the other foot, slowly, until the brown beret starts floating on Dâmboviţa. We used to hold our breaths for so long, we used to stuck our heads out and shiver. Too much ”us’’, sometimes.

And we’d start over.

There’s this road, there’s water and air and concrete and when you mix them together your feet might get stuck.

But no, not mine.

Not ours.

Those mad and beautiful boys and girls I’ve met along on this seemingly effortless, always grueling road – we talked, we smoked , we took photographs, we watched those photographs and then again talked and smoked and drank and barely got any sleep. Those glorious mornings when you’d wake up in a tiny dorm room with many people still sleeping around you. Having to deal with all the doormen and women, having to pretend you belonged. Buying sweets at 12 PM, engaging in endless fearful conversations with all the stray dogs, exchanging books and notes and dreams and songs of broken hearts and drawing and writing your life out.

I carry people in an old backpack – precious souvenirs.

They’re now spread all around the world, hugging and screaming and dancing and reading and hoping and fearing. Some of them are still here.

Can we climb this mountain?

We are almost on top, breathe in – breathe out.

There’s still some water and smoke in your lungs. Do not hurry to spit it out.

It helps you inhale easier, it helps you bathe the words of people you meet in the waters of the people you will always keep deep inside.

One more swim, one more autumn walking along what you have thought to be the widest river in the world.

And then a wider river, and then – the sea.

Pictures taken in September 2009 by Matilda and Fani

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