i miss budapest. i miss buck. today i took a nap with his box of ashes next to me. maybe tonight i will put my bottle of carefully collected danube water under my pillow.
i sat next to a dear hungarian woman named erzsébet on the flight home. she told me about growing up in hungary after the war and communist times and leaving her country and family behind. making a new life in new york. eventually returning with her american husband and buying an apartment in budapest. and about the priest and his mother who live in the apartment when they are not in budapest.
meeting erzsébet on the plane was such a sweet conclusion to my trip. she had ice-blue eyes with beautiful lines all around them like a fine map. i felt like i was looking into the radiant soul of hungary.
and i also want to tell you about this tiny bookstore crammed full of books. and the owner. and how i told him i would do a post on his charming store, but i lost the bag with all of the information printed on the outside.
if he somehow stumbles across this post i hope he leaves a comment with a link to his bookstore so i can add it. because it really was a special place. i told you before that budapest is a city that appreciates books. as well as the bookstores, small and large, new and antiquarian, there are the book kiosks on many large corners.
…anyway this little store crowded with books was enchanting. just a few doors down from Nándori Cukrászda on Ráday utca. here's the pile i left with:
and look, a small outdoor library on the square just outside the apartment:
these are the things you discover about a city when you spend a couple of weeks wandering the streets. small things bow before you. revealing themselves. wish i was still there, tramping around. lingering. my heart misses budapest.
the books, the people, old busses and trams, a certain melancholy in the grand faded buildings, small scenes all coming together. i wish i had photos of the 2 stars of the movie i wrote in my mind. one, a girl on the tram. hefty, frizzy mound of hair pulled back, perfect ringlet sideburns, pink lipstick, awkward, kept pulling down her shirt, licking her lips. strangely applied black eyeliner, odd, quirky, mental capacity slightly diminished. the young man another misfit. very small, kept his towel around his waist, asked my sister to take his picture at the baths, nervous, shy, sweet, alone. tram enthusiasts. they're going to enter a chess championship and win!
but in the end we had to leave budapest behind and fly back west, back home. me still writing scenes, flying through clouds, my movie still looping through my mind. sweet erzsébet dozing in the seat next to me.