On summer afternoons, many people of Fabric walk around the neighbourhood, with or without a precise destinations, with or without company. We met Mr. Marin A. while he was walking a pug which we later found out he had gotten from his daughter.
He has been living in Traian Square since 1984, at ‘the only one storey building’. He worked at UMT for 30 years and ‘although I could have gotten an apartment wherever, hell tied me to Traian Square’. He’s currently in a long trial with some lawyers because his house’s ownership was claimed by someone else. Unfortunately, he said, he’s not the only one in this situation. It’s the same in the other houses.
‘One and a half years I waited, I made thousands of steps, to get a confirmation. Nothing came in the mail, I didn’t know anything. My whole life could have been one long expectation. Urging and spending money. A lot of money.’ He has been feeling this expectation for a few years. ‘What it’s like how and what it was like before?! I did better in the old times than now. After an entire life spent working I retired after that jerk Boc, at the end of 2012. After 42 years of work my pension is 8 million lei, the old ones. (...) You used to know people back in the day, you could have done some things. Now all of them (houses) are empty, they’re not giving them away, but the apartments are deserted. There are some which have been empty for 20 years…’
He remembers that when he moved here, it was ‘full. Full! It was like the centre of Timișoara. All the benches were occupied. People. Children playing. Here full, there full, everywhere. Traian Square was never empty. At any given time, day or night, there were people going around. Gypsies too… but we, the ones living here, never had a problem with them, they never did us any harm.’
In Mr. A.’s world, Fabric is filled with ‘old people who cannot find their day to day peace’. We haven’t had the chance to meet him since, we don’t know what happened to his case or if he found the peace of living at home, without fearing that the roof over his head may be gone tomorrow. We really hope he did.