At the end of the black tunnel

“I saw only a tunnel.”
In the bar in Sibiu, in Transylvania, Sorin looks deep into my eyes. He carries on speaking.
“I saw a black tunnel with a man at the end of it, making signs at me.”
I wait. We have all the time in the world and I remember that when I was in the same situation I saw a tunnel too, except this one led to a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the Glória Hotel. I looked at that hotel, expected the worse and thought to myself: “it’s not fair, I’m only 26 years old!” Fair or not, in the early morning of 27 May 1974 I stood before death and could not see what was happening beside me. Just the tunnel and the hotel. But my story does not matter, it serves only to say that I understand perfectly well what Sorin is telling me in a bar lost in the middle of the Carpates Mountains.
“I saw only a tunnel, with a man pointing a gun at me and telling me to get out of the car.”
Sorin Miscoci’s Calvary began on 28 March 2005, near Baghdad. He had been designated to spend a week there at the request of a Rumanian TV station and ended up being kidnapped for 55 days.
“Later on, when they freed me, the American security agents asked me how many people were there. And I told them: one. They laughed and said that just wasn’t possible. It was the psychologist who helped me, explaining that in situations like this, nothing in the surroundings has any importance. All you see is the focus of the crisis, what is threatening you, and you simply forget the rest.
Sorin has just got married to Andrea, who strokes his hand. We have been traveling together for three days and we will continue for another week crossing the Carpates Mountains. I knew his story, but waited until he was in his home town before asking him the details. Cristina Topescu, an old friend who worked as a journalist in the same TV as Sorin, was also at the table. She says that when the time came to mobilize the country, few colleagues came forward to speak to the President of the Republic, for fear of losing their jobs.