Our Borders: Doing Time (1984), Part 2

“You didn’t kill him,” the prison commander told Radu Codrescu on that July afternoon in 1984. “You only broke his teeth and his ego.”

The man in charge with running the Popa Şapcă jail in Timişoara leafed through a file labeled Codrescu as Radu stood, handcuffed, in front of his desk and described what had happened that morning at the concrete factory in Beregsău. Radu was shaken, but otherwise unharmed, even though he had just assaulted a prisoner-at-large. Continue reading

Our Borders: Doing Time (1984), Part 1

They stood in front of each other, bars between them. Radu listened and didn’t say much. They had only fifteen minutes. Florina said that she’d gone to the militia on a moment’s impulse, a stupid thing to do, yes, but she’d informed on Radu because she’d been afraid, afraid that they wouldn’t see each other ever again, because he would’ve been locked out, shot dead, or locked in, but she never wanted to hurt him, she thought he’d only get a warning and be sent home, not beaten up and almost killed, because she hadn’t known how vicious the border patrol could be, no, the people they’d met at Mangalia hadn’t been too hard on them after all, and she didn’t mean to tell the militiamen all she’d told them, but they threatened her family and… Radu listened and didn’t say much. He had trusted her. Why hadn’t she trusted him too, that he would’ve found a way for them to be together on the outside? Continue reading