In honor of Friday the Thirteenth, I’m posting something I wrote just before the demonstrations and then never posted. Enjoy. Halloween is almost here! Transylvania here we come!
One of Budapest’s many pleasures is the Dracula building. Walk along almost any alley and you’ll find blackening old buildings slowly crumbling into dust. Oxidizing in the sun, caked in pollution, they drop cupid limbs like lepers. In neighborhoods of perky, pastel, disneyified restored buildings, Dracula buildings are menacing and ancient and evil. Suitable headquarters for the local gang of comic book villains, a good place to launch the neighborhood Satanic Youth Center.
This one is Dracuguese.
But without question, one building reigns supreme as Budapest’s Most Draculish Building. That building is Hungarian Parliament.
I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but Hungary is run by a Parliament of Draculas. They flock to this, their stronghold, by night. Millions of flapping bat wings resound through the city as they shriek through the Parliament’s belfries. Some waft beneath the heavy oak doors in a sickly green fog. Others, taking the form of enormous wolves, leap through the arched gothic windows and land wild-eyed, snarling and slobbering in their seats. In the dim artificial light of the dome, a million red slitted eyes glint sinister. Thin red lips smile curl into contemptuous half-smiles. The air resounds with the sound of air hissing though a thousand sets of small, sharp fangs.
“I protesssssst. Thisssss bill is pure pork-barrel politicsssss!”
“Oh pleassssse. What about your highway bill last Sssssseptember? If it hadn’t been an election year, that never would have passsssssed!”
“Gentlemen, pleassssse! Remember, the Blood Bank is this nation’sssssss most vital ressssssssource…for DRACULAS!”
The gentle citizens of Budapest huddle terrified behind their sturdy doors, clutching rustic braids of garlic, waiting for the danger to pass. One day they will finally rise and march in a great, pale, torch-lid mob towards Parliament’s forbidding doors. Till then, we shudder when we look towards the horizon and see its dark towers jutting like fangs towards the night sky.
6 months ago