Saturday, 17 November 2007

Before sunset

A Russian Saturday night at the concert hall: almost full house for Tchaikovsky (Romeo & Juliet Ouverture and Symphony no.V op.64) and Prokofiev (Concert no.1 for violin & orchestra op.19) – played and conducted by two Russian musicians: Iuryi Botnari and Serge Pospelov respectively. The bonus was a Walz by Thaikovsky.

I met there Mrs. Judith Ernst, my old English teacher (I was her student during the secondary school and also during high school – 8 years in all) – the funniest, the most non-conformist and easy going teacher I had. We often meet at concerts – she has always been an enthusiastic concert-goer and an aristocrat. She looks very much like Bette Davis. Today her mood was up as always, but for some reason she wanted to tell me that she would like me (and Codruta, my former colleague from high school, who was also her student) to have her books and records after she passes away. She mentioned a couple of people of her age (she must be in her mid 70s, although she does not show her age, as she never did) – friends of hers - who have recently died. This must have frightened her. One of them – she said – was a university professor and all her books and stuff were inherited by a scoundrel who now proves to be highly unworthy of his precious inheritance. Another gentleman – Mr. Teodor Gabor - who was my Geography teacher when I was in secondary school (he also attends classical music concerts on a regular basis, so I met him, too tonight) is considering – this fine lady said - the fate of his belongings once he goes to have a rest in the skies, as he is alone now – his children have moved to Canada...I asked my teacher whether she had heard of my teacher of Physics (Mr. Maximilian Pavel) whom I respected very much (he moved to Germany in the late 1980s) and I found out that he has died. I was surprised. „Why are you so surprised? People die...” As we parted she told me about her plans for next week: a visit to the hairdresser and then to the photographer. „So that they’ll have recent pictures of me for the paper when I die”.

She suggested that we help Theodor study music. I said he already does.

...I look at my ex-teachers – how beautifully have they aged - and cannot help feeling sorry for not being able to do anything about it. After all, sooner or later we shall all meet somewhere again...

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