Adios Mr. Matthew

Erol Rizaov

I invited Mr.Matthew Nimetz, 80-year-old New Yorker, to a farewell ride on my “Orient Express”. This very interesting person, who does not talk much and says even less, is appointed by the UN, without any compensation, to deal with this incredibly senseless dispute of how the Republic of Macedonia should be called, for more than 20 years. His job is very delicate. He cannot be the godfather, he just needs to help the parents that adopted two sisters in naming their children, although they already have names and are older than their biological mother and father. Complicated, isn’t it? It is very, because one of the legal guardians wants to name both children alone, in a way that is not noticeable that they are sisters, because the guardian claims they are from two different fathers. The problem is that the two sisters look very much alike and don’t even want to hear of someone changing their names that they were given a long time ago.

In this kind of situation, Nimetz cannot even break a tie such as Alexander the Great or Alexander the Macedon, when it’s about one man with two names. We still call him the warrior on a horse. Nimetz has no task, no authorization to name, nor rename, but, as a professional and experienced diplomat, as a real gentleman, to persistently convince both sides to find a mutually acceptable solution in endless negotiations, a task that is equal to conquering Mars. In New York, in the apartment building where Mr. Nimetz lives, besides the doorman, just few other tenants know who he is, while in Macedonia and Greece where he has been several times in his life and barely uttered several sentences, everyone knows him, young and elderly, there is not one person that has not heard of Matthew Nimetz. The man has grown old trying to solve an equation with all unknowns, which constantly change during solving it. Just when you find a formula, new measurements and numbers appear. The left side will never be proportional to the right.

Ihave several questions for you, Mr. Nimetz, I say to him sitting in the most luxurious wagon of the Orient Express with glasses of extraordinary Irish whiskey in our hands.

Do you regret accepting this job with no result or compensation?

Oh no, not at all. Why do you say there’s no result, we are close to a solution.

You were close before as well, and still nothing.

Yes, such things happen, but it’s an integral part of the work.

Will the ‘godfathering’ be over and who is the real godfather.

Let’s hope so. I don’t understand what you mean by real godfather, the proposal needs to be accepted by both sides.

I mean America, did the US set the term and when will all this be over.

I do not know of such a thing.

Who is preventing the work in finding the solution.

I cannot answer that question.

I know you cannot give me an answer.

Then don’t ask.

I have no other questions, Mr. Nimetz, I was pleased to travel with you on a journey around the world. You ride and you ride but there still a lot of traveling to someday get to Brussels. How much longer, I asked the driver. He says a little while longer. What’s important is that we will get there. Better late than never.

Well, adios Mr. Nimetz. We’ll see each other again in another time. We will see then if our successors solved the problem, or was solved by the Republic and Macedonia, the UN and the EU. Or if every one of them disappeared in the meantime. My dear friend Matthew, I know what you privately think of this one of a kind problem in the whole world, but cannot say it out loud because it against the rules. You are a wise man, and still managed to stay sane, and I hope that your health will serve you so you can write a book about your work in the past decades while searching for a name for the Republic of Macedonia that will not disturb the Republic of Greece, and which will be acceptable for both Macedonians and Greeks. This unseen miracle will have to be studied at faculties of international law, but also at the medical and veterinary faculties. Please write this Balkan bestseller, your testimony is epic, you owe it to the world, and to yourself as well. Do it not as a mediator, but as a human being. You are one of a kind person that had a more difficult job than those in your neighborhood that walk on wires between two skyscrapers, their job is even easier because they manage to cross that senseless path. Yes, I admit that they sometimes fall and die. But you say that this could happen with you as well, that it could all go down the drain. And when did this ever happen. It never happened so far, so there is still hope.

Well, farewell Matthew, call when you have something to say.