My confession

Confessing to my city feels very natural and unnatural at the same time. Like when one has to confess a school prank to their mother. The will to talk overcomes the obstacles of pride and embarrassment. So let the words flow and tell – and if I may abuse Kennedy’s phrase- why am I am Budapester.

I must admit, most of the time I think about you as the background. A surface to act on, a stage and a set in the theatre, without the heavy plum curtains. But you are something more, with all these features you provide me meaning, narrative, representation and interpretation. I cannot simply say, you are only concrete and worn secession buildings. This is not a set, this is part of my identity. I have lived in you for 21 years now, repeating the same dull days or breaking the habit over and over again. Every time I took my next step it was something new, something old, something borrowed, something blue. This is a free indirect speech-kind of relation we live in, reported speech, if you like. One of us fills the other with meaning and thoughts. I have tangible impressions of you, in the context of everything I have ever known in my life. Or maybe all I’ve ever witnessed was you. You are just as a part of me, as I am of you, and what makes this symbiosis balanced, is that we can never identify ourselves without each other. A city without inhabitants is unimaginable, just as an individual without a concern of what is called a home. And my home is Budapest.

by Krisztina Murányi


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