The abandoned place of Queen Elizabeth
This ghost drawing depicts me, when I was three-and-a-half in Eskü (Vow) Square, which was the name of the playground that existed in the place of the carpark sprawling around the foot of today’s Elizabeth Bridge, if I am not mistaken: the pathetic remains of a decorative park, pompous before the war, in the vicinity of the abutment blown up into the Danube, which nevertheless in the autumn of 1952, when I was three-and-a-half, was merely a ruined vacant lot and playground.
In the background was the gigantic stump of the corroded abutment.
I am visible in the picture at that eternal moment when I discovered that the enormous seated statue carved of black marble of Queen Elizabeth, the idol of my grandfather’s generation, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, was missing in a dreadful way from the centre of the diminutive marble colonnade standing in the middle of the square, which was the reason that my grandfather and I had wanted to come to this square to play.
I sat on Sissy’s knee quite often, sobbing, or happily.
I look like Hermes in the picture, because that’s who I am. Such things come out clearly in a ghost drawing. I am disturbed because I cannot understand how the goddess, Queen Elizabeth, could vanish from here from one day to the next. I stamp my feet on the place of her throne. Until today, I am standing there. From one day to the next, she disappeared. Then they set to destroying the stone baldachin, most probably during the night, when I was unsuspectingly sleeping in my railed cot. And then after lunch, we came out and I dashed into her place. And ever since, I scamper around in it, petrified in its loss, tramping its empty place in the mourning that I feel. Waving farewell, in all probability to any sort of order and dignity, for a lifetime.