Once I was walking through the tunnels of the Budapest’s subway heading to the exit that should take me straight to the Castro Bistro’s street. I was late for a meeting in the middle of the afternoon, so I join the group of people rushing after leaving the train.
Suddenly, I saw myself stopped in front of a huge moving staircase. I just can say that at that moment the stair and also the tunnel seemed huge. And I didn’t move myself staying at the same position, looking to the same point for a while. I really don’t know for how long I remained standing there.
The people passing, making to cords in both senses, kept walking their way. I heard voices that I could not identify. But they were there. Noises. Buzzing. The wheels against the rails. The mechanical stair against me.
What paralyzed me it was a strange sensation that stole my conscience, made my mind travel fast, fast. There, surrounded by the crowd, people dressed for the strong winter, I had to deal with a kind of fear. It was not panic, but fear.
The subway in Budapest that day brought me an incredible sensation of being living in my own childhood, many years before, in Belo Horizonte. Maybe that people caused it, maybe the combination of stainless steel and white Formica. Maybe I made myself smaller after find the moving staircase. And a mess of noises.
Ok, I am talking about seconds, maybe less then a minute. But that feeling was so truly that if I close my eyes right now I am able to restore the moment with many stances and flavors. Just like that day.
In fact, probably the entire atmosphere of that place, in that exactly moment, contributed for change my state on that way.
There was me, an adult version of me, living surrounded by pieces came from my past. The black and white TV, the waiting rooms of the doctors offices, the bar in the club where I used to ask for a softdrink after swim, the buses with ashtrays in the seats and the rounded windows – almost ever hard to open.
The only thing that, at certain point, made me connect a bit with the present time, that present time, 2006 in Budapest, it was the vision I had from very special couple: an old lady and a little boy, who down the normal stairs together, between the two moving staircase, hold by the hands, slowly on my direction.
They were very well dressed. Dressed in black both. And the dark tissues in contrast with the white skin of their faces made the heads seem to floating smooth over the bodies. I looked to them. I saw all the details of their beings. The blue eyes of that lady, the hair of the kid still wet, the rouge, the soft color of the lipstick, the little black spots around the neck of the boy, the leather gloves. And more as they approached the spot I was.
Than, I started to walk. First just one step, shy, opening my legs. Then I moved the other foot. It was not an impulse, but premeditated. I guess I tried to be visible to them. Be closer instead to wave.
I walked aside in the direction of the moving staircase. With my feet on the mechanical stair I turned part of the line upping to the exit. The behavior of that entire group of people was very similar. But the couple was different. They acted different. And I saw them very close of me and then I lost their faces. And they became more distant. And more distant. Till the moment their disappeared from my eyes.
Maybe I was the one who disappeared. Doesn’t matter. The true is that they moved me. They made me be again in the present time. My present time.
Of course it’s also possible that I just wanted to be back on my way or the idea of been living in the past it was just connected with mere objects. But I don’t want to think this way. I prefer to accept the kind of small mystery I found that day.
Because through the experience I lived that day I immediately understood that doesn’t matter the concepts of the fashion, the new or the old wave of the music hitparade or even that people adopt retro ideals. What really makes we travel through the time is our own feelings. And these feelings are connected with memories whose exists beyond and apart from any material stuff. And everything desapears with us one day.