“After an age the smile of time becomes sadistic”

I asked my guests, “What’s the biggest illusion I’ve lost?” It seems like an easy question, but if you try to answer it, you’ll find that all kinds of conditions are hidden there.

Lavinia BĂLULESCU, writer

My fantasies are constantly changing. They appear, they remake, they disappear. From a certain age, maybe over 30, maybe over 35, I saw more and more shrunken fantasies around me, so I don’t know which was the biggest and which was the smallest. But there are certainly three illusions I’ve lost that come to my mind now: that my body is forever young (certainly never never, but for a very long time), that everyone around me has been here indefinitely and there is time for all I want. It’s time to see everything, to read everything, to go everywhere, to experience everything. Enough time with everyone in the world.

Ioana HANCHEVICI, teacher

I have no idea why fantasies are divided into big or small. Or why the division doesn’t give much credit to the middle division. I say that because I hosted them all. So I ended up sleeping in them. What should I do? Inherited beliefs, creeping into the DNA through generations. He’ll be able to take me a long time before Anna and Caiaphas break the pattern to get rid of them. I didn’t even feel for the others. Independent, claim the right to abandon me. better. They saved me from worrying about losing them. They had heard that some illusions were slipping through my fingers, and that I had lost two of my biggest illusions. To get them back, I chased after them like a stubborn old man who had gone to sea. Maybe that’s how you killed them. How would I bite them! skin. I wonder who credited the illusions and why some have an indefinite shelf life. The person who interests me the most occupies a leading position in the hierarchy. She has a long name. It does not suit him. Because it is very natural. She looks immortal. And it has such a sharp echo. I think sometimes he does it in spite of me. I want to lose her periodically. I have the courage to tell myself it’s better this way. I even started feeling happy. I’m kidding with new fantasies that I haven’t tried yet. Jealous, hostess fantasies reappear. She casually looks me in the eye, and I believe her. Maybe this time I didn’t miss.


For me, the story of lost illusions is funny. At one end it has a subtle distinction (“Where are my illusions/What do I have?”), and at the other is a bandage that smells of grass (“I have no illusions so as not to be disappointed”). What is that supposed to mean? Nothing but that I do not have the necessary rest for noble fantasies. We did not heed the frantic aspirations for the moral recovery of the nation or for a network of highways that would flood our country according to what I know as a Western model. I did not think that Romania after 1989 would limit the room for maneuvering corruption or counterculture. None of this. Missing placebo is about missed meetings. I’ve been tempted for years by the idea of ​​being able to talk to David Gilmore, Mike Oldfield, and Michael Stipe. At least a quarter of an hour. Loss of illusion becomes safer with each passing day. After age, the smile of time becomes sadistic. Furthermore, the three of them have no idea that I exist in the world. One is distant, the other anxious, and I know about the third that he sometimes appears in the south of France (Hoba, wait…).

Alida Mukano, journalist

I don’t know why exactly, but now, when I think of the word “illusions,” I immediately think of Georges Millier, the famous French director in the early days of world cinema. In 1902, the famous master of motion pictures made a movie called The Bouquet of Illusions – The Three-Headed Woman. The film is a sequence of images constrained by the editing cut technique, and it shows a gentleman (like a magician) able to replace the head of the protagonist three times in the frame, so that you are, at the same time, the main character in the story. , but also an object of decoration. And they are created by Mr. Millier for the viewers, and the message seems (at least to me that it is): No one is what he seems. And in the end, we all carry within us all our dreams and fantasies about who or what we want to be in our lives. I really wanted to be a pianist. I pursued eight years of playing the piano during the communist years, when the profession of a pianist was considered trivial and incomparable to that of an engineer, for example. Then I wanted to be an expert in the history of art and civilization. I wanted it so much that I applied to a college in France (Ecole du Louvre) for studies in this field. I gave up studying piano and art for reasons related to the famous advice everyone received in those days: “Keep your feet on the ground!”. In other words, to abandon metaphors in order to have a guaranteed life. So my lost illusions go back to two dreams I gave up in order to pursue a headless job in the clouds (as I was always told in those years). In the end, no matter how far away you are from the passion you’ve been dreaming of for years, it’s important to stay close to it. It’s the only consolation for the illusions you’ve lost. Which is why, every time I interview a visual artist, painter, writer, or pianist/violinist, I am the happiest person. Because in their passion and talent I find some of my dreams from my youth.

Ilinka Manulach, actress

Until recently, I had the feeling that time and time passed me by my mother. It somehow seemed to jump out at us and we lived with this delusion for a long time. Up to about thirty one. Even though I lost my father when I was thirteen, even though my grandmother’s old age, decline, and death were very close to me and hurt me a lot, I still seemed like my mother and I were untouchable. It’s been a while since I quarreled with myself. It is this illusion that I have recently lost that has left a painful void that I am trying to fill with what I know so well at the moment—either with panic, anxiety, and crazy calculations, or with pity and sweets that (only) expel fears. Sometimes I look at myself from the outside and see how childish and helpless I am, with an unbroken umbilical cord and I can’t believe that in a few years I’ll be an “old kid” who still doesn’t accept that Santa accepts there isn’t.


I have learned well. Not for note. In some cases, the horror of embarrassment, which is often planted in the Roman school, and in others, in happy schools, for fun. I was hired early and worked hard. Saturdays and Sundays do not count the number of hours in the day. I remember a period when I was taking classes in the morning, after which I ran to give my presentation, went back to the seminars and went back to the radio to check out another live column. I can’t say he was excited, he was really in love with what I was doing, thinking about it, with a passion that now, from where I am, seems a little unreal, a little pathetic and a little enviable. I stayed in the country. And his head is filled with warm air. I guess then I called it merit, and now I know exactly that: hot air. We’ve worked for years as a true idea maker. I split them right and left and didn’t think about the patent for a moment. It never occurred to me that people were stealing everything.

I think the most important illusion I’ve lost is the idea that all of this is important in some way.

Radu Iacoban, Director

If I were to think of a somewhat personal definition of an illusion, I would say that it is a story produced by a part of my brain that helped me understand or translate certain life experiences. I was aware that these fantasies were unrealistic, but I preferred to stay with them, just as you would love to spend a winter’s day in the shower under a jet of hot water.

The stories in my head were always like tangled threads full of sensations and states with the main character – usually me – that I somehow managed to unravel and put into, let’s say, satisfactory order. I’ve always loved them and now I’m trying not to lose them. If I did, all the stories I try to imagine in the theater would lose their meaning.

But last year, I realized that one of them had been irretrievably lost. When I was young, I firmly believed that no matter how bad the man I loved felt, if I prayed to God, the man would be healthy right away. Prayer “Please beautiful” is ready. Everything was resolved.

Last night when I spoke to my grandmother, right after our conversation had ended, I turned to this great power, convinced that the next day I would hear her voice again.

It didn’t work out, but I’m not sorry I believed in her in those moments.

Florin LĂZĂRESCU, writer

After indulging in Dumas, Féval, and Zévaco, I “really” decided what I wanted to be for the rest of my life: the “knight”. And it was very difficult for me to develop in this direction, since this was happening in a village where the wolf was still feeding the sheep. We spread the news among our playmates, we told each other, and we also shared books. It didn’t go well with the books. Only Tudurel – God forgive him, he fell with a tractor into a ravine and died two years ago – read one and said it also goes on in my hand my stories. In the first meetings, some people got dizzy with swords in their hands, but quickly gave up. You asked for a lot: punctuality, morals and strict discipline. For a while, only Todorel and I stayed in the books, until I accidentally slapped him in the hand and told me, crying, that he had finally given up his “guns”. I trained on my own, no matter what, but one day I realized I would never be a “knight”. Because that’s when you “have no one”.

Investigation by Anna Maria Sando

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