And then the train arrived

excerpt from the book

I don't know whether other people ever ponder why, for what purpose, they were born to this World in the first place. Do people ever wonder ... or do they just accept their existence for a fact, without ever seeking for any particular meaning in it? From the moment I was born I regarded healing as my duty in life, without even giving it a second thought. I studied, learned and worked, believing that this, and only this, was my duty. But no matter how I was doing my job, success brought me but a momentary sense of satisfaction, leaving a feeling of emptiness in its wake. I could never find the reason. I tried to reassure myself, thinking all was going well, but I never really managed to. One thing is sure however: all my life I had the feeling of no matter how time was passing, no matter what, and how well, I did, I was still sitting at a train station waiting for my train...

Sunday.

The chain of events that changed my life stared on 28 February 2016. I cannot recall what the weather was like. And it is of no relevance to the story, for that matter. But since a reference to the weather works well, and most authors like to make such references, as though it mattered, I do not pass up this opportunity either. I could say that it was a foggy day. That would sound quite mysterious. And it would fit the story. But I could say it was heavily snowing all day long and nobody would dispute that either. Neither would be true, though. But the truth is that no matter how hard I try I simply cannot recall this particular detail. I relate to the weather the way I relate to axioms. It was like it was. Delete...

The whole country had been in the grips of the "Oscar fever" for weeks then. People, that is, those interested in the film industry or cinematography, kept guessing. Some were sure he would win it, and some argued that he wouldn't. 'Thank God, there are no more options' - thought I, quite reasonably. 'Winning it' meant winning the Oscar. Because in that year one of the nominated films had been made by a 'Hungarian', one of our countrymen. It was "Son of Saul", directed by Lászó Nemes-Jeles. The gala evening was, as usual, held on a Sunday. I was very, very tired that evening. My life was about twelve hours of work a day in a hospital and then at home I tried to take control of the household ... I was down in this duel of ours for years, nonetheless I kept doing my best and I never did less than that. Particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. On that weekend I was even more exhausted when I sat down in front of the telly, waiting for the moment of truth, when the envelope is opened, and the winner's name is read out. For days, when I thought about it and closed my eyes, I heard with my mind's ear ... "and for achievement in directing the winner is: László Nemes-Jeles, with Son of Saul". It was likely to happen, just as likely as me falling asleep. I must confess, that my being afraid of falling asleep while watching TV was not without reason. It had happened a lot, particularly after midnight. Sometimes I nearly fell asleep while walking toward my bed. I should do something, I thought. Something that would keep me awake. Watching Son of Saul while waiting seemed like a logical idea. I had not seen it yet and I thought it was a shame. Rozi - a film fan, capable of watching every single film out - and I had for months been planning to watch it, yet we never did. Eventually, unable to wait until I also had the time, saw it with another friend of hers, while I did not. Now's the time, I thought and opened my laptop. And then, I couldn't say why, even if my life hung in the balance, I keyed in the title of another film. People say things do not happen by chance. I also often said this those days, without much conviction, until Fate proved that things actually do not happen by chance. For as I raised my hand to type in the title, my fingers keyed in an entirely different one. One that I had already seen many times. I could say it was, and is, my favourite film but that adjective does not fit its subject. Years had passed after it was premiered before I watched it again, but I have done so many times since. I did not understand the director's decision when I saw the film for the first time. I mean, why did he choose that particular actor to play the leading role. But then, when I watched the film again, I did see the reason behind the director's choice. I hear you asking why I watched that film over and over again. To be honest, I have no reasonable answer to that question. I just have this feeling, time and time again, and I am compelled to sit down and watch it again. This film attracted me right from the beginning and it draws me still, like something of a magnet. Like light attracts butterflies. Nonetheless, the question 'why?' did not occur to me for quite some time.

So that evening I watched it for the umpteenth time. All right, all right! I hear you saying 'OK, you watched that film again. But which one? Out with it!' And so, I am also aware, dear Reader, that I must not keep you waiting for an answer any longer! Well, then, I'll let you know! That film is...

(to be continued)