We got into a taxi and told the driver, "to the revolution." He knew just where to take us. We left the village next to the city, and watched the police station. It was cold. Police officers, wearing padded clothing, were gathering together, some of them looking eager for a fight, others looking upset. Our neighbor was a police officer; they had come to get him just before we left, to bring him to work. His colleagues were drunk, looking for a fight. He want off with them, with arrogant eyes, and gave us a look; the look said, "If I see you downtown tonight, I don't even need to tell you how much I'll enjoy breaking your head.". "Have a good evening, neighbor," I said with my best ironic smile, trying to sound like Mr. Wilson.
"You see?" said the cab driver, "they're getting ready to beat up the people...just like back in 1989. Fucking bastards." "That's why we're going to demonstrate," we told him. "I'd go too if I didn't have to work." We left the village. We stared long and hard at every little nodule of policemen on the way. They stared right back. Between us and all the taxis like us and the cops and all the cops like them were the kiosks selling Coca Cola 24 hours a day. They were little points of light in the darkness. If you looked at them, you wouldn't have guessed that anything was happening tonight more dramatic than the cold, which created a little puff of white out of every one of their breaths. They looked out at the street, uninterested.
The guy on the radio was droning. "Demonstrators continue to arrive in front of the electoral office. The crowds began to gather when the voting section at the train station, in a D.A. stronghold, closed down in the middle of voting and turned away over 4,000 people, most of whom had come to vote for the alliance. The crowds began to gather at P.S.D. headquarters, the parliament and electorcal office..."
I got an SMS. "JORDAN WHERE R U? COME TO INTERCONTI. REV BEGINNING. BRING BEER!" Then another, "U are invited to pre-revolution party at Foisor de Foc Nr 7, courtesy of Dragos Elefescu. Apt 7. BYOB as Dragos is too jaded to go outside."
We changed our destination. I, my fiance, her sister and her mother all showed up at the party. Everyone was watching the revolution on television and wearing funny hats from Dragos' collection - it's a rule he has at parties, everyone needs to put on a funny hat.
Lilian, Dragos' old girlfriend, who is in love with me and makes my fiancee jealous, gave me a smouldering look. "Are you going to the revolution later?"
"Of course I am. I only came here because I never miss an invitation to one of Dragos' parties."
"Do you think it'll get violent?"
"Damn, I hope so!" It was a bearded old man, piping in; long and gaunty with a straggy red beard, he looked like a painter or a monk. He was wearing a trucker's cap with an ad for a truck stop in Iowa. "Not only have they been stealing money four years, but now they're trying to steal the election too. I want to knock down one senator, just one senator".
"Damn," I said, "you're sprightly. Let's go to the revolution together."
"Let's go!" he said, not moving. "Before we go I just want one more drink."
A few minutes later we were playing a drinking game; a shot for everyone in the room who didn't hit the table one second after the radio or the television called for peace and calm. Everyone was getting very drunk. I told my fiancee, we're going to miss the revolution. We left.
Everyone we knew was demonstrating in the square; bankers, lawyers, doctors, waiters and poets. Some were dressed better, some worse. Every time an annoucement came from the government or the electoral bureau, everyone hooted them down. We were waiting for the D.A. to confirm that they had one with an announcement. We were in love with the D.A. and Traian Basescu. "I don't even care if he steals from me!" said one old lawyer brought to a height of ecstacy.
At first the cars that passed honked for our support; then there were too many of us and there were no more honkings. The gendarmes were gathering and the policemen. They were looking at us, waiting for the order. We were looking at them too. Any minute, they were going to come charging and we were going to leap on them with four years of fury and tear the bastards limb from limb. We were singing, "ole ole ole ole! PSD nu mai e!". (The PSD no longer exists). There were no people from DA in the crowd, but it didn't matter to anyone. Then suddenly I went home.
It's another trick, I told my fiancee. Not a single one of their people is in the crowd. No one is blocking the roads to stop people from gathering. They'll let everyone demonstrate, then they'll let the DA declare victory. It's not a real revolution, anyway." She'd been there before in '89. She agreed. As we went around the deserted back streets to find a taxi, we heard the people yelling as they passed the crowds. "Down with the government!" they yelled. "Take off your shirt," some of them yelled to the attractive young women, "and let's see your breasts!" The girls smiled at them, not offended at all. Their expressions, said, 'you wish'
We watched on television as the government conceded. Within three hours the crowds were gone. At the DA headquarters, there was a party; they made sure to broadcast on TV the way they high-fived one another and opened up bottles of cheap champagne. There wasn't going to be any violence; the tone of the newscasters seemed relieved. All up and down our street, which is infected with the houses of policemen, drunken policemen came back from their overtime shift. We sat at home, SMSinng congratulations, watching TV and wondering: Had their really just been a revolution? Or were we just decadent, naive, drunk and fooled? Note: The election described, which recently took place in Romania, was a major upset for the ruling former communists as populist Traian Basescu won with a small minority of the vote. Popular demonstrations are still widely believed, here, to be the reason the PSD was unable to steal the election...What Basescu does shall remain to be seen