– 1 – Àgnes Szement

Very close to the centre of Budapest, on the Pest* side, Code Kft has its offices at 86 Molnár út.

From their fourth floor windows, Àgnes Szement would often look Buda right in the eyes. Neither Awakened nor Enlightened**, this Buda, across the Danube, is the Pest’s other half. The brother who chose to cover himself with forests and hills. To create the perfect pedestal upon which to display The Castle and The Citadel.

Code Kft was an example of the new Hungarian democracy. Twenty-five years in the management of human resources. And in every month, of every year, they processed the wages of millions of Hungarian employees. Among them, Àgnes Szement. The human in charge of the company’s human resources.

This was possible because of the multi-national picnics*** held along the Austrian border. Afterword, only the Soviet stomachs become upset. 

Àgnes was an only child. One of many only children. Watching their hopes die in the heat of August 1968, Hungarian couples understood there was little more to be done than what was told to them. And they didn’t need many children to do that.

* Pest – the eastern part, generally flat, of the city of Budapest, encompassing about two thirds of the city’s territory. It is separated from Buda by the River Danube. The Hungarian Parliament, the Heroes’ Square and Andrássy Avenue are situated in the historic centre of Pest. The wording “Pest” comes from the Hungarian Pest, derived from a Slavic term meaning “oven” or “stove”.

** The Enlightened – From the classical Buddhist doctrine point of view, the word “Buda” denotes not only a religious master that lived in a particular time, but a whole category of enlightened beings that reached that spiritual realization.

*** The picnic that raised the Iron Curtain - On 19 August 1989, several thousand people arranged to get together near the Hungarian town of Sopron, along the Austrian border, for a pan-European picnic. The event was organized by Hungary’s democratic opposition parties and Otto von Habsburg’s pan-European movement, and was sanctioned by the Hungarian authorities, who actually opened the border for three hours for the occasion. The picnic proved a turning point in history that eventually led to the raising of the Iron Curtain.

Àgnes was the best student in her elementary school. In high school, she was the best student again.

And when Àgnes completed her courses at Corvinus University of Budapest*, no one was surprised to learn Àgnes was, again, the best student.

Àgnes was also the only girl of her elementary school who did not stay to play with the other girls or with dolls after class.

She was the only girl who made it through high school without a boyfriend.

And, again, no one was surprised to hear Àgnes was the only girl still a virgin when she graduated University.

The day Àgnes received her Master’s degree in Business Information Systems, was the happiest day in her still short life.

Later, as Àgnes undressed, she saw in the mirror a more interesting body than had ever realized. And with happiness, became aware of the Àgnes reflected there.

The day Àgnes received her Master’s degree in Business Information Systems, was the saddest day in her still short life.

* Corvinus - The Corvinus University of Budapest is one of the most prestigious Hungarian universities located in Budapest, Hungary. The name refers to the king Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.

Sadly, she saw that Àgnes’ life lacked Àgnes’ beauty. She had accomplished all she had dreamed of. And now life seemed to stop.

Music had never been Àgnes’ best friend. But on that day she met “The Boss”.**

And from then on, the two would never part. 

The song Àgnes chose to celebrate this could have been no other: 

I been knocking on the door that holds the throne

I been looking for the map that leads me home

I been stumbling on good hearts turned to stone

The road of good intentions has gone dry as a bone

We take care of our own

We take care of our own

Wherever this flag’s flown

We take care of our own

Later that night, the tears of suffering that normally filled her soul were suddenly gone. In their place, tears of blood triumphantly rolled down Àgnes face.

 

** Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is best known for his work with the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana working class, sometimes political sentiments centered on his native New Jersey and his lengthy and energetic stage performances, with concerts from the 1970s to the present decade running over three hours in length.

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