The Blog [Sehrguey Ogoltsoff] (fb2) читать онлайн | КЛиб (2023)

Sehrguey OgoltsoffThe Blog

to Jim & Tommy & *.pdf
Epigraph:“…self-preservation is the game’s name, the modifiers like ‘friendship’, ‘love’ and so on do doom the player yet their absence make the game unbearably dull…”from Untwitted ThoughtsForewordAnd who do you think can't be tripped with "I-dare-you!" trick and egged on, further, into less than wholesome actions? More easily so with the mark stuck in her state of soporific inefficacy, unresisting. For which obvious reason the things popped up in sleep should certainly be kept at arm's length which attitude only indicates that your lick of sense still sits where it has to, to preserve your fettle fine and fit as a fiddle.Hence salutary rule #1: first thing in the morning do forget all the stuff broadcast to you in the grip of Morpheus' arms, so to say. And that's the course for both ladies and gentlemen to stay on – the night's over – time to become an innocently blank slate in disregard of things done, and seen, and been in by you at night, dreams or no dreams…Which attitude might prove being a misstep though, at times. Recall from your reproductive memory a certain Mendeleev, if you would. The old fart amassed right smart notability among the screwballs slanted toward Chemistry by skipping to forget the periodic table presented to him while he slept and—here you are!—crowds of cityfolks populate now the streets named after him while their majority, statistically speaking, don't know shit from shinola in terms of strictly scientific formulating which they primitively substitute with fairies of color from different segments of the spectrum. Not that I mind it. In the least. The geezer had his footing to produce those morning doodles he'd been abused with the previous night. Timely reaped rewards, you follow?. As a result, today you might stumble on his monument, sitting some place or standing at full height (in different locations) yet never shorter than a bust from which the posture of the remaining parts in his anatomy remains in-figure-outable though. Good news they never dare amputate his beard, a quick check: full? chest-brushing?– and you're all set:“G'Morning, Dmitry Ivanovych!. How's Your most precious?. Yeah, sure, they did promise a light rain by noon!.”Speaking of monuments, they also are not to be approached in I-don't-care-a-fig manner, some pretty slippery ground to horse about they are, the monuments: up to 7 years in prison, Mr. Dare-Devil. Article 214, the Penal Code of the Russian Federation. Not to mention the fine starting at half a million rubles. Some weighty pros and cons, huh?.Or how do you like the trick Don Juan got undone by the Monument of Commodore? Whose freshly baked widow had just got her share of consolation he served her in every humanly possible way, Don Juan did. To where it belongs. Before running into another example of ‘I-dare-you!’ catch.“So what?” sez he, the Monument. “Chicken out to shake hands with me, Wet Pants?”And the gull swallows the hook and all, full tilt, like a Juanito-kid from the slums of the Mexico City, the capital of the same-named state:“Shut up, booger!” he sez. “Who’re you to freak me out? We'll check whose pants are wetter!”And he slap-squeezes Commodore's meathook in glove. Which is not of velvet nor a kid glove but hard stone through and through! Plus palming a handful of P4! And that white phosphorus stuff is a too nasty shit and after that handshake they never collected a sliver of Don Juan to poke out a DNA sample for checking his alleged fatherhood in the slew of bastards spawn all over Europe whose Moms went out to litigate Juan for alimonies. Alongside those eager to boost their rating in the upcoming elections to the respective municipal bodies of self-government…To cram it all in a laconic nutshell, when Charles Dickens chose to appear in my dream, as his monumental embodiment, I was Correctness itself full of due respect, you know. Yet the spook kept bulldozing me most immodestly, like, you can find no writers any more and it's just computers sweating in their (writers) stead to process the copy-pasted text by reading it backward and then arranging paragraphs diagonally or whichever tweaks you ticked up in the application GUI. So that after, there remains only to specify the time and place your masterpiece-in-progress narrates of (which takes a separate tweak for spicing the text with appropriate word collocations) and crosscheck that the love-triangle was not compromised by scrappy vestiges of Mimi the Bitch from the previous bestseller based on facts from canine life. Miles away from the toil he, this here Charles, plunged into in his time!.
And the like old geezer's hooey about 15 novels in 27 years of banging out a weekly bunch of pages, specific number thereof as stipulated by the contract.And thus our discourse somehow tacked to wanna-bet-or-what? direction and whether I could turn out a novel by Charlie's method at all – a chapter per 5-day working week because on weekends I’m in the entirely inoperative state thanks to the long-standing tradition, the two-day dead season, sort of.The pending literary work was baptized The Blog – the shorter, the clearer – to bump off any needless straining, and agreed upon as a sufficient scribbledrome.However, all the files submitted there get filtered, post-uplodingly, by their editor program to sift out the words rooted in the language alive from the times immemorial. The platform's specialty wrinkles, are you with me?Simple example – in place of 'dick' they stick in '****' which planetarium gives you a hard nut to crack if you're a normal guy and it was Friday yesterday, the weekend's inauguration. Seriously, I've checked it out – you just run into a starry-eyed hang-up considering a such-like piece of nightscape.OK fine, I didn’t pick up rubbing in to their system administrators about glossarial racism, compulsory castration of the mother-tongue means of expressiveness and orgiastic witch-hunt by catabolically impaired inquisitors under the disguise of struggle for Native Speech Purification. Because there was no time to lose…And the need to keep narrative vivid and athrob called for introducing some orthographic innovations to this end and adding '*' (not asterisk but letter yobz hereafter) to the accustomed spelling rules.Insert this here yobz in any controversial word of your preference and their censuring software's sight grows dim, thick smoke flows out its happy ears and, for instance, 'cu*nt' is welcomed as normative linguistic innocence, like any other necessary word of feather when fixed properly.
Bye-bye, constellations of **** and other fuc*king malarkey of taboos while any minimally aware reader will see through the non-obscuring yobzes.Still and yet, I’ve betted on the wrong horse because The Blog took a week longer to finish off.
I dunno what to say Dickens on his next visitation.* * *
Chapter or (more appropriately) Bottle #1: ~Who Cares for Rhymes If Having Reason ~A-and well, if pondering the issue deep and proper, all haste aside, do I need it at all? Speaking of this here Blog, eh?The question from the nasty lot of those which get mooter while being processed, I must admit, by their endless nature and bent to trigger up another "yes, but then…". When run into a whirlpool of that kind, a scrupulous explorer, of my qualities, would, first off, plumb the depths to the very bottom, and for the brought up case – what is the meaning of being a blogger? Huh? After all?One thing sticks out like a sore thumb though, dichotomically: there are established bloggers followed by millions of fans, as opposed to self-proclaimed guys eager to sell themselves and spin off the like careers, and both groups, interestingly, are alive and kicking… Well, for the most part.Which circumstance encourages, by the bye, a closer consideration of the befogged question, at least for the sake of self-education, within reasonable limits. More so when you’ve happened to enroll in some advanced mob (but later they corrected me, politely, that the like associations are safer to name „social nets“ now), where, in addition to your personal account, you get a sexy gizmo (yes, the harsh bitch of life does make you yak up all sorts of discombobulations that would leave my granny frozen in her tracks), that of a personal blog, on-the-spot and less than just-for-asking, in the state of vanilla virgin blankness. A freebie from the blue, see what I mean?As it happens, the registration came to pass by a total fluke, sort of. I’d even call it accidental occurrence caused by curtain rapt anticipations. However, a closer look derailed my premeditated designs in that direction – no loopholes for picking any silly nose there and smudging the items in public domain with the mucosities of ill-considered hopes, if you know what I’m about…On the other hand, here is your brand new account plus the blog, unasked-for…That's how divers confluent circumstances had slithered in to kinda mate and make me ponder on self-education issues, although I personally would not count the like matters among my natural bents.So, yes, straight from the shoulder – that over-smart-ass trap-scheme does indent the principle of non-interference, an outrageous (albeit cleverly disguised) intrusion into my innate sloth. But then again, the more we learn the more we know. Period.In the light of the above considerations, it's only cogent to touch the rumors fleeting, now and then, tangentially, at the periphery of my scattered, in general, attention as regards well-advertised show business celebrities, who—before passing away in the established way of their hopeless fight with cancer (choosing a career you sign up for the specific strings attached to the profession) or hanging themselves in sore resentment of the shattered hopes that motivated them some fifty years back—they vengefully blow the Net up with their blogs, a kinda punch-line stunt. Before going to their reward…"How’s that for a good-bye kiss from me, sweeties, huh?!."BZDAH-BANG!!!But why? Why not to meekly drown themselves in peaceful, polite manner?.Anyway, more than once it swished at the bottom-page-news level—like a flying saucer over a far off neighborhood in the opposite hemisphere—that some or other scuzz of fame «has blown the Net up». Which meanness, as any sabotage, hardly deserves a properer response than just 2 words: „Fuck yourself!“ (both stressed, the latter stronger).To be frank, in my post-pubic life I was not much interested in a career of demolisher. However, the pranks of plumb crazy stars do draw attention to bloggerism per se (though pretending I don’t care a fig still in its place). Because I can't but feel alerted when there pops up some threat to my unconditionally rooted and cherished tenderly reflex of genetic proclivity to serene leisure and hasteless thinking, alphabetically.And at sporadic spells of living my life the way congruent with my likings (some rare treat indeed), I am more than reluctant then to skim all those googlies-wikies and sooner would go by my own ad hoc conclusion or two (of various amount of probability) when in doubt concerning this or that matter in hand. A screeching process, yep, why deny, yet at my natural pace and taking breaks when feeling like that.In essence, this «blog» idea, at the given moment of my single-handed brain-storming, is not much different from a common chisel, which they use to scratch their marks—“here was I, the one and only!”—so as to impress the eternity to come by their (chiselers’) personal uniqueness. Another tool to stake off mutual awe and admiration, the blog is.Quite natural and ubiquitously wide-spread drive, exceeding dinky racial dissimilitudes. Suffice it to recollect the globe-trotter Mr. Kilroy sticking his nose from the pole to pole, and in no way less omnipresent Citizen Vasya. Two tireless champions of screwing the world with their respective autographs to preserve their popularity forever and a day.Still keep in mind both you, sneaky-slinker Vasya, and you, most respectable Mr. Kilroy, that each and any of your askew scribbles is supervised and disposed of by OBPS.Yes, yes, and yes over again – every single one, for it’s the rule of no exceptions. And wherever you leave your scrawl—on a chimney or the wall, or be it even an ancient temple’s abacus, a 4-axis railroad cistern for sulfatophenol transportation, the top of a decrepit water tower, the concrete lid of the Chernobyl Sarcophagus, the left hip of a drowsing off Hippopotamus, the cup of an alertly spinning radar, the tails spasmodically jerking beneath the coccyx of a symphonic orchestra conductor, a Sequoyah stump, the plastered pedestal or marble back of the monument to Great-Leader-Liberator-Teacher-Steerer, the palate of a cannibal Orca frisking gaily after a hearty meal—each your mark is just another supplement to the blogs of your lives, delivery of whose disconnected messages (even though you, blockheads, never bother to indicate the name and whereabouts of your addressee) would be handled by the Oceanic Bottle Postal Service, OBPS, whose clients are all them bloggers, lock, stock, and barrel. See what I mean?And here pops up the dark side in the blog definition—if you abstain from getting lost in digging thru the sites of all those googles and wikipedias, who certainly are in the dark and have not the slightest idea of OBPS, because they are so too busy, engaged in copy-pasting from each other to have their content full updated, you know, because not only my nose gets rubbed into them those antiquarian terms by the bitchy realities of life…—Yes, Mr. Kilroy, yes, Citizen Vasya, all of your blog as well as any of its constituent crappy scrap-and-crumbs is none but just a drop lost in the immense Digital Ocean (DO) where for all and anything (A-N-Y-thing!) there are austerely forked out just 0 and 1 in all kinds of combinations.There, in DO, it, your blog of all your scribble-doodles, is nothing but a message stuffed into an empty bottle by another screwed-up sucker, the loner-resident of an uninhabited island smack-bang in the middle of the wide ocean—from one horizon to the opposite—one more plop-toy carried along, among, and in-between its playful waves, a dildo to be used by torrents or simply one more gourmet nosh for the pack of ever greedy gulpers from the shark species like the dumb, and the small-fin, and the leaf-scale, and the mosaic gulpers, as well as the bird-beak, the long-snout, the arrowhead, and other members in the dogfish family, the large-tooth, the small-eye, the cookie-cutter, and so on from the kite-fin family of sharks, the comb-tooth, the ornate, the bare-skin, the granular (whatever it means) in the lantern family, the cylindrical, the ninja, the brown, the pink, the velvet-belly, the blurred, the lined, the thorny, the rasp-tooth ones, and—their cousin from the viper Genus—the prickly, and the rough-skin, the white-tail, the sparse-tooth, the large-spine, the knife-tooth (I bypass the all-out concatenation of the Genuses of sleepers), the blunt-nose, the big-head, the green-eye, the fat-spine, and the not-yet-described Lombok, the high-fin spurdog; then comes the order of labor-loving saw sharks (ten types in two Genuses), the divine-helpers Angel sharks from all over the globe, the bullhead sharks including horned and cryptic, the great white, the goblin, the megamouth, the sand tiger, the crocodile (not relative to crocodiles per se), the big-eye, and other horror-inspiring mackerel killers, as well as swish dandies from the Carpet subdivision – the epaulette sharks of divers Genuses up to the hooded carpet sharks, and the banded, and the tussled, and the network (sic!), the epaulette wobbegongs to be followed by the collared and the saddle, and the barbell-throats, the ginger, and the necklace, the whale shark, and the zebra (we’re still among sharks), then come the Family of requiem sharks: the gray sharp-nose, the spade-nose, the black-nose, the big-nose, the hard-nose, the dagger-nose, the slit-eye, the pig-eye, the silver-tip, the copper, the bull, the tiger, the white-cheek, the nervous, the silky, the lemon, the hook-tooth, the snaggletooth, the straight-tooth, all kinds of ribbon-tail: both the slender, and the graceful, and the magnificent, and even the false cat sharks different from true cat sharks as exemplified by the white-bodied, the white ghost, the hoary, the pale, the milk-eye, the short-belly, the humpback, the broad-nose, the long-nose, the long-head, the flat-head, the broad-head, the sponge-head, the fat, the broad-gill, and also (my favorite) the Black wonder cat shark (not described as of yet), the spotted, the pale-spotted, the orange-spotted, the variegated, the blotched, and the starry, the somber, the mud, the jaguar (do you really have so much time, eh?), the painted, the draughtsboard, the flag-tail, the balloon, the lollipop, the saw-tail (not to confuse with the saw-heads!), the file-tail, the black-mouth, the mouse, the pepper, the phallic (oho!), the quagga, the puff adder, the grinning, the crying, the honeycomb, the beige, the velvet, the boa, the lizard, the freckled, the chain, the cloudy, (now passing to the hammerhead sharks): the wing-head, the scalloped bonnet-head, to mention just a few, the whiskery shark, the black-tip tope, the big-eye hound shark, the gummy, the dusky, the starry (yes, again but from another Family, if you are still here), the star-spotted, the spotless, the flap-nose, the narrow-nose, the leopard shark, and… and… and now subtract the number of the above-listed from 536 to evaluate the volume of my goodwill, and also the kindness of my heart of gold.How big are chances, should they ask themselves, first off, the lonely sucker in the island, for so seductively streamlined snack of their bottled message to slip away from this horrendous horde of Order Elasmobranchii at ready to swallow it on sight?Or could it ever fail to give the pretext to a cruising environmentalist of the Greens Genus to spit out an enraged curse at an anonymous fucker polluting the planet’s ocean with his Goddamn bottles?~ ~ …and so forth… ~ ~… und so weiter… ~ ~Scarce and far between are genuine connoisseurs and admirers of OBPS today.Multi-billion-eyed attention of the global community got stuck to Facebook*, Twitter or whatever else passes for OK in your neighborhood.(*In 2022 the organization was found guilty of terrorism and their activities banned on the territory of the Russian Federation.)No one is up to scan the heaving sea waves so as to zero on a vagrant buoy, a marine tumble-weed carrying Uninhabitania islander’s message…(And if at this here passage at least a single tear of warm empathy is not swished off an eye, let them, the eye owner, go and… hum… well… buy themselves something at Ali-Express or any other proper place for the likes of them – heartless rats.)But mind you well that OBPS at times can bring you real consolation.What if some day one of the waves—with a mild «plumpee!»—will unexpectedly bring and serve a bottle onto the desolate sand in the lonely beach, where from it had started its matchless voyage some heck of a long time ago?And fighting back the tremor in your eager fingers, you’ll open it, O, islander—this vagabond envelope encrusted with uneven sea-salt fancy patterns—because who but you know so too well the meaning of OBPS!And—lo!—you have already spread out the sepia tinged sheets and got delighted with the inimitable perfection of your style of yore, and the depth of your own thought forgotten by you so long ago (what a pity a couple of pages are fucked up by a stray ship worm!)Damn! You’re but a sworn philosopher and global thinker, Mr. Kilroy! I swear on my word of honor!.Well, and this seems quite enough for the first missive, because I still need to find some rubber tree, and bang out a kinda cork to seal the bottle, so as not to miss sending it with the evening tide.What makes me a definitely ardent devotee of OBPS, it’s its being free—no postage fee whatsoever—look! look! see?! it’s taken! carried off! no stamp is needed, no nothing!* * *
Bottle #2: ~Hubba Hubba Ding-Ding, Dear Comrades! Congrats To All On This Jubilee, And – Hooray! ~And, to be clear at once, you don’t get the uninhabited island as is for just a ‘thank you!’ neither for an honest-to-God stare from your blue eyes. Ha! Seen there in heaps already… Nope. The charm fails to raise the response counted on. The island mulishly awaits till you conquer it. Moreover since it’s equipped with a complete system of canalization behind each convenient bush in the state of the art (the system, not the verdure, silly!) and luxuriously abundant in natural davenports. Aye, aye!.
Yet, all these heavenly niceties are available only after severe struggle and surviving thru the two preliminary levels: The Ivory Tower and Unconquerable Autism. Yep, exactly in this order.
Well, on the whole, The Tower is not an over-complicated thing for egg-heads only, no. All you have to do there is just to stay absorbed completely in your collection of post stamps or whatever is dear to the crux of your soul’s temperament and do not give an eff about anything else.Reduce all unnecessities to the level of external hum unable interfere with the teaser-thing you tickle your soft spot with.
Everyone around would be too eager to derail you by all kinds of “Go buy bread please!” or else “Run! It’s an air raid!” Don’t let them distract you and hang on till “You Win!” crowns your accomplishment.
Level Two, at first sight, looks a kinda simpler job. No need to give a bean about any-fucking-thing whatsoever. Keep it plain as day and lock yourself off thoroughly, all of the five senses firmly sealed, that’s the ticket to pass the whole thing.
However, be warned of physical harassment – they’ll seat you on the toilet at their will or maybe clutch a cup with your bunch of fingers and pour what was in there down your throat, “See? This how it’s done! Will you never learn nothing? You, damn dumb stupid ass?”Don’t talk back and be patient for the sake of “You Win!” and refreshing change to the dangler solitude of Uninhabited Island…
Wow! That’s some unfakeable Cream of Paradise for you!Rhythmic swell of lolling surf of the Digital Ocean, warm light breeze from the electric blower under your feet, sexy moans of gulls in the headset and other checked on attributes of your favorite widgets. The functions under your control are literally innumerable, on a par with Almighty’s level. And why so? Ha! Since we’ve lived up to a tangible jubilee already.
Come on! Remembered now? Right! The Internet is 25 today! Ho-ho!
A quarter of century ago the scientifically minded public started to call each other to exchange text files over the wires. Not every cat did get it then, all of a sudden, whereto steered so quirky a telephonization. Still fewer could, at that pivotal moment, catch on, o boy! the jazz’s charged with way much cooler stuff than the historical thrust into the cosmic era when all the nation bust their ass to give a couple of citizens the chance of getting high and hanging up there, in the weightlessness, on their orbit before predictable return to normal gravitation. Be brave guys’ landing soft!
Quite different kettle of fish, in toto, to this here Internet where everyone may have an opportunity to individually (yet still en masse) get out of the state where you belong as a taxpayer (what? you haven’t even suspected? yes, sir, they’ll tax you and get you and fuck you without you ever noticing when and how, the state will, that very one which you own quite a few sacred debts, inescapably—if you Old Ones don’t settle the issue with a doctor on the draft medical commission—and where you’ll be used for other needs too, thanks to your citizenship).
And all of a sudden – yay! The independence breeze stirred up! The sweet word “freedom!” echoed from afar.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… O my!. NetScape, AltaVista – the legendary, glorious, long since forgotten names of genus-starters in the line of search engines… It’s them who paved my way to virtually visit the USA Congress Library full of the matter of fact information instead of filtered staple oatmeal broadcast by the TV news programVremyaor, say,Mayak, the All-Union Radio Station, through the bigger half of my life.
The Net flopped the mission of scream-silencers in the range of short radio waves. Those crafty contraptions meant for keeping the USSR citizens corralled and hedged off against the subversive influence of the outside world by utilizing the unbearable crackle of the static, while the interior mass media brain-washed the Soviet people 24/7/365 in the prophylactic mentality sterilization to turn the population into dumb cattle.The prudent precautions did not prevent the disintegration of the Soviet Union though (whose death preceded the birth of the Internet, chronologically), and now everyone is free to choose their own way to get manipulated and formatted into a shithead consumer.
That’s why all the salesmen disseminating nostalgia for the golden days of Soviet era for me will always stay the base promoters of fucking Restoration. It’s only that I don’t stroll around with a Mauser pistol because of the built-in pacifism in the firmware of motherboard and other vital parts of my personality…Presently, text hunting is looked upon as an oddball warp in your mindset, some funny atavism, sort of.Who’d ever need the stuff? Wake up, bro! The Net’s swamped with freebie bimbo-dolls, nice yummy spice for jerking off, as well as warfare to edge any quirk of taste—be it War of Tanks or Aviation, or bare Strategy—ready for customers of any preferencial twist in their way of masturbation.And all that is just fine! Because while they keep jerking or blasting, the Internet roots into inextricable depths and nurtures my optimistic hope for getting free pdf files and a “thank you!” in the bargain.
Me, personally, the Internet had sure liberated from book-buy expenses. What’s the point in outlay while in the Net, running high and boldly, there is everything, including books you’ll never find even for ready money? Both goodies and best things since sliced bread which all is to be paid for by only the time you spend in the online search-and-find, if not too lazy.
Arise, brother, and dig it, firstly, that the up-front page of search results is biased to favor reference to customers who pay Google or Bing, or You-Name-It for their ads, and who now want to harvest, in their turn, the gravy off you, while the rest 1,630,000,000 results in 0.62 sec are way downstream where you not at once guess to check (well, no, I don’t dig deeper than the fourth in the resulting pages) and where there surely sits the book in question, PDF formatted, but you do have what to open a pdf file with, right? And it’s no problem if you don’t because in the Net there is any opener whatsoever and free of charge too, just look for it deeper than the first page served up by Google.
At times the search might go on for a couple of days because of piggy mercantile schemers. Know what I mean? Yeah, sure, whose sites holler mutely “Hey! Hi! Here! ANY PDF FOR FREE!”You, naturally, rush there only to run into a smaller-font notification “for registered users”, and the registration is certainly nothing else but free. Yet, after a click or two, there pops up the form for entering the number of your credit card. Some fine howdy-do.No-no-no! They won’t take a penny off the card, and the procedure is just their long-established custom.
But where on God’s green earth could I fetch the required card from? The arid untilled patch (right, it’s me), who’s never had anything to do with the like cards? The sinless virgin hick (me once again) never rolling in the hay of that particular field?.
True, a couple of times I tried at bilking and entered a fictitious number from my imaginative ass. But no-go, Mr. Pariah Outcast!.Since then wherever registration includes the form inquiring of my card number I sucker-punch the “X” in the right upper corner of their site page – look for some other twerp, sir Hooker! Go an’ fuck yourself, corrupt crook, you!
But your search target waits for you at or Gutenberg project if not at z-library. And that is right because the best things in life are free – the air, when not polluted, and love which is not a part to Goods-Money-Goods shebang…
The first computer machine I met at 40, when “Internet” word was yet unheard-of. The lunch break was it, I remember like today, at some office, which name I cannot call back to mind. The staff went out forgetting to turn the machine off, which oversight gave me about an hour for sitting before it and clicking the mouse on the “open file” Button that hovered in the monitor, smack-bang in its center.On every click the monitor would wink and hop, slightly, as if in doubt: to open or not to open? Yet, eventually, kept to where it was. One whole hour and it never got tired, faith!Then the office employees came back waking me up from the spell of my first intercourse with the wonder of technology.
On leaving the office or, to be more precise, at the first crossing after leaving it, I met Sam, the most advanced cat in town on such matters, and asked him how that frigging file could, by the bye, be opened with the mouse. Well, he looked at me the way as if I asked about how to put your right foot before the left when walking, however, patiently enough explained that, before to click the button, the file you wanna open should be highlighted in the list.O yeah! Windows 95 was a mighty cool operational system! The present Windows 10 sucks at every point when compared to that…
So, on the grounds of the current status quo allowing for texts availability, there crops up an uneasy suspicion: what if books—following the example of the vinyl disks by the band Flow, Song, Flow!—will also disappear in the bottomless bin of Past to the common heap atop the mentioned garbage because of the rise of laser disks and pirate sites all over the globe, where you are welcome to download any hit, be it the Lemeshev’s ariaWhat If A Stray Arrow Will Hit And Take My Life?.and all the way up toHit Me, Baby, One More Timeperformed by Britney Spears?To which with all befitting soberness I declare – fuck, no!
Were they even to convert each and every printed volume into an audio book or turn it into a movie, just what they did to poorHarry Potter, andThe Steel Was Hardened That Way, or steep it in all kinds of widgets to reproduce of the prairie in bloom aroma or the stench off your dorm buddy drunk blind (to follow the storyline), and send the X-rated impulses of tactile impressions in passages with the sex orgies served by the whores at The Red Mill (as depicted by the seasoned author), or even letting you feel, virtually, taste of any delicacy, up to Zhigulevsky beer when snacked with a briquette of molten cheese for 13 kopecks a piece, still and yet – fuck, no!
Because there is some (what would I call it?) magic (yes!) in books which is beyond imitation by any 3D (or be it +696D if they choose it)!Got it what I’m about? Quite so! The words! Those black ant-like-critter-signs in the white field without smell-taste-color, like the distilled water, but making you tighter than all them sweet wines… But then again, if only you know the trick of getting the adequate intoxication from them those ants, sure thing.
Good news, that skills could be developed when you need it, which lately brought about my getting high from classical music, at least on certain pieces. TakeThe Hairless Heightsby Mussorgsky, if you please, where witches fly to, to land under the soundtrack cooler than the chopper’sRide Of The Valkyriesover Nam…Yet, Alfred Schnitke still remains as remorseless guts ripper as he always was…
No doubt, freedom captivates anyone but since that villain Hegel had shackled the world with his unbreakable chain of unity-of-opposites, it (freedom) got turned into prison as well.Handcuffed by the edging smartphones, teeter poor Juliets about never spotting their Romeos who—their brows vindictively downcast—keep flicking the beans of Steve Job’s HER’s or someone else’s Samsungs.Each medal has its backside. The Dark Side of the Moon in action.
However, let’s drop the subject for some other guy to blow up the Net with, because this morning, by the try and error check, it was confirmed that you can stuff no more than five A4 sheets into a bottle. Which is not a cinch, on top of it.And do not forget leaving some room for them (A4s) to piggyback because of oceanic dampness. Some booked, so to say, volume.
As for bottles it’s not a crunch on Island since that maverick wreck of galleon got stranded by the storm last week. No crew, no nothing but the screwed-up vessel driven into the bay nearby the northern cape. However, the chest in the Captain’s cabin stayed intact with all the stuff inside. Jamaican gin, bottled, follow me?
Well, one of those had to be emptied for the experimentation tries, to see the bottle’s capacity, when you start stuffing it with A4 rolls. No more than five, as it was mentioned. Exactly where I plan to shove this here part of my blog up.The uninhabited environs have since long streamlined me into a thoughtful expert in practicality because not every day a fried dove glides over to you, served by the favorable breeze adding a snack to the freebie galleon… You know what I mean, huh?.* * *Bottle #3: ~Prince Kurbsky Too Was Not Ashamed Of Taking To The Hills ~What was it all kicked off with? No way to find out. As in anything at all.When thinking deep enough, you do behold that any point in your grab might serve the start. Any one and readily.How about that point, when the gray-covered notebook was taken over to the City Psychiatrist for the evaluation of sanity (if any) still present in the person, and/or how dangerous could the doodler of the like stuff be for innocent civilians?Or take that pivotal moment, marked by the ample pocketbook of deep sepia tinge in the pages seen through the press in 1968, changing hands?My Teacher outstretching it (no pathetic blah-blah attached to the book) for me to grab in awe and greedy gratitude? Does it draw a shorter straw to be the start?.The justification for the gray notebook to pop up at all was, in the first place, provided by the weighty parcel in the mustard-hued coarse paper for postal deliveries, corded about and sealed up with chocolate-like blobs of stamped wax which I hadn’t broken. Ever.Any use of breaking if you know what’s inside? Translations there were, that’s what. Translations from English, 35 stories, 472 pages typewritten in Ukrainian.These, like, randomly collected figures do not repeat each other in their summing up of 6 years’ work—… (eh? gee! and this one coincides with not a single one of them!)Six years deftly wrapped in the mustard-hued paper, bound-sealed up by the skillful hands of a post office service-lady: shrrsh-frisst-trunt-slamp – next, please!The digits mentioned so far (undeniably non-uniform) do bear certain meaning, albeit not graspable at a fleeting glimpse, because socialism is, first and foremost, inventory, to cite the aphoristic definition by Lenin at the sitting of All-Russia Central Executive Committee on p.57, vol. 35, Complete Collection Of Works in 55 Volumes (four repetitions here but these are not from me)…In the Publishing House they also did not bother to open the translations, toe-kicked them on the fly instead. A one-touch shot.Yet why multiplying them? The half-back was seated all alone at his desk in the second office to the left down the corridor. Sedentary way of life made of that Sitting Bull a blob of blubber. Unhealthy obesity, not fitting a soccer player.Let him thank me for the opportunity offered by my benevolent visit—no excruciating push ups, just taking to the post office 472 pages plus their cover—to throw away a sliver of his fat at that exercise, and the Publishing House would reimburse the expenditure confirmed by the post office bill slip.Not a chance. A courier was sent by the slug. Screw him!.The long and short of it, the translations returned to where they had initially started from and stilled there, like a mustard-hued tombstone, to crown 6 years of mental toil rewarded with the cobweb-light lines across the forehead to deepen later, when the good-looks period is over, into uneven contemplative wrinkles.And why not to lie leisurely enjoying such a sound prop? The DIY book-shelves coated with translucent shellac—tranquil and soft environs for a serene slumber?.Yet, the pages in the package upon the homemade shelf not only weighed down the item of interior but, on the side, were drip-boring my brains in defiance of the coarse steady wrap, the pages were. Their comatose presence made still acuter the inertia amassed along 6 years of handling them those antlike-black-critters-in-the-white-field, at first so effing obstinate but getting tamer, bit by bit, until they hooked me too, in their turn, up. A text-book case of situation-conditioned addiction. Jejunely christomathical exemplification…And after the Game-Over, in the stiff stillness that followed, there remained nothing to waste myself away. Plodding donkeys and as well as circus horses are incurable… Fucking Sir Isaac Newton and that First Law of his!. Although the inertia thing he cabbaged from Galileo.The evenings lengthened. Noticeably. Finding a shim to fill and dwindle them away turned out not a cinch. Like, no quick fix, brother, but go and learn playing melodeon squeezebox and, when it gets dark, off you stroll about the hood lanes outpouring some hit air or another, announcing, “Can’t buy me looo-ove!“. Don’t forget to shine your black pair of high boots, and stick a fluffy flower (Portulaca oleracea) in the visor-cap so that the chicks would tag along and fall over themselves to treat the musician to the sunflower black seeds they gobble up spitting non-stop the husk out…Sad pity but the idea about a squeezebox failed to hook me up effectively, you know, and I bypassed buying high boots.As for the girls, cute and saucy, they’ll always find who to give their seeds to in this or that, or some other feasible way in any concurrent settings.Squeezing all the above-said together, instead of a two-row A-major/D-minor melodeon there, by the forlorn heap of paper within the stiff cask-like shell of wrapping (somewhat already softened with the growing layer of the virginal pollen of dust), yes, right next to it, possibly too nigh to, stretched out a notebook, rather thick and of a certain hint at brash boldness in its pale-gray leatherette cover.The purpose of the stationery bad ass, at first, had rather fuzzy outlines, however, definitely slanted to the ant-like-signs-and-so-on-and-forth private games (because no computer games had existed yet and computers themselves were named Machine-Computer Engineering Tools that necessitated construction of reinforced concrete foundation to mount them (the Tools) upon and on that solid basis they thundered like locomotives spinning the spools of their perforated tapes hither-thither and backward again).Yeah, buddy, be kind to patiently endure the games of my mind spilt in your grid-ruled pages where the well-schooled ant cohorts would crawl on bringing up the grim story of how I could possibly get to so morbid life style. Yet, those crossed-out lines do not count…At that exactly moment came to me the radiant clearance as to how slippery was this question: where to start from?However, the notebook did not give an eff about the complicated nature of the issue and with the arrogant gusto and nonchalance of a bro-to-bro talk revved forth about innocent lads hanging out on the screechy door-porch to a seedy half-hutta at calm starry nights, neither sharp nor fussy about uncouth strumming of Vasya (The Red) Markov’s guitar—who seldom showed up but everybody knew the instrument was to be picked respectfully—the assemblage full of perk, and jives, and gags understood by only partakers in the guffaw…Everything as it was and always is to be in a one-horse burg of N…That way, at nights, the notebook became the time-machine to which they flocked hurriedly, those a hundred times already mentioned ant-critters to turn into a fixed scrawl in another white field (small-scale-grid-ruled), until they stole the machine, not ants of course.I didn’t report the vehicle theft and never showed any surprise, outwardly, so as to skirt dour declarations that I’d been warned it was to happen.Yes truly, a couple of times there were voiced reproofs in the interrogative form: what fucking rascal hooey was I scribbling in that notebook?But then the City Psychiatrist diagnosed the notebook’s case as not stark raving mad and violent, and it could be taken back to lie beside the hefty stiff parcel.The whistle-blowers played along with the doc’s recommendation, however, they were not ready to what happened after.“And what? What was that? Tell us, tell! Cut out your darn tries at frigging suspension! Damn coot, you!”Well, not a thing. None! Nothing whatsoever.The retrieval was met with the deadpan of my poker face (if observed from outside), no comment, total indifference, and since then the number of untouchable idlers on the shelves doubled drastically – the mustard-hued mother walrus, and her gray cub immovably advancing towards the equivalence in their pigmentation due to the natural growth of the dust layer of identical thickness.Both time and place let me in on their mutual incongruity with wanton games at ant domestication and getting schooled in response. That’s the ballgame, folks!In all fairness to the Twix (time-and-place), the so rigid halt was partly motivated by a vengeful wish to pinch the nose of mess-arounders, whose sporadic and somewhat pensive looks in the direction of dormant walrus colony of two upon their shellacked shelf, as well as random fingerprints detectable in the dust layer over the gray leatherette were telling signs of their, deductively, thirst to know what was to happen next in them those fucking scribbles?Not a thing. You should of taken it to the psychiatrist and let the wise guy guess the storyline without helpful clues from letter-ants.That’s how that particular point turned a false start…The following try was flagged off a couple of years later by the pocket-book volume borrowed for a 10-year stretch, which accompanied me over the watershed of the Caucasian mountains…The first winter was lived through inside the tiny Pioneers’ Room on the second floor in the two-story school building.Way back, it was an ordinary house expropriated later from the owner living at large or else he, the owner, gave it up in token of his good will, after which move the village obtained the ready-made school for the compulsory secondary education.However, all the above-supposed had taken place before my arrival from over the Caucasus and I had no desire to inadvertently chafe the sore spot by ferreting the details out.The Pioneer Room was equipped with the ubiquitous mark of such cubbies – the compound attribute of the Pioneer Horn-and-Drum, and furnished with a nondescript desk inserted by the wall opposite the entrance, bearing the cross of the school library—a couple scores of books worn to tatters.The heaps of happy kids in pioneer red ties hung from two walls in the cardboard visuals for teaching Armenian to the elementary kids and English grammar to the students at secondary schools because the third wall (opposite to the library) was barely wide enough for the wooden door from the corridor, which ran along the Teachers’ Room (the former living room) towards two itsy-bitsy classrooms sliced out by the plywood partitioning from the erstwhile bedroom (five more partitioned classrooms were on the first floor). The fourth wall in the room was a complex of small glass panes in the wooden window binding, a score of them in four tiers up to the low ceiling.The square sheet of tin, substituting glass in one of the panes in the middle of the laced structure, had a round hole in its center, cut to let out the 5.8-inch-wide tin stovepipe rising from the rectangular-cuboid tin woodburner [60 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm] on 4 tin legs to keep the whole contraption 25 cm clear off the boards in the floor. All the tin—in the pipes, and the elbow, and the woodburner itself—grew the steady crust-layer of brown rust. The round gap to let the pipe out was cut keeping eye on thrusting it thru with ease and generously provided constant ventilation and immediate contact with the outside weather.The Horn-and-Drum couple sat modestly mum on the stand shelf by the door, in the company of a hefty handbell of verdigris bronze girded with the cast relief running in Russian, “Gift from Valdai”, a genius of mighty clangor to announce the start/end of a class/break…The firewood for the tin woodburner I cleft nearby the old-tin canopy-shelter in the yard, close to the school privy of 2 doors marked “F” and “M”, segregationally.The ax kept flying off its handle. Old Goorguen, the school watchman from the next-door house, issued an ironic chortle into his white-tabacco-yellowed mustaches to every flight he witnessed, and the Principal, named Surfic, never omitted to compliment my style at wood-splitting that witnessed to my having firm roots in the class of intelligentsia. She admired my forbearance – not a single, obscene, 4-letter word after that flying piece of fucking iron…Late in the evening, the tin woodburner turned the Pioneers’ Room into a scorching sauna but after midnight the freezing cold harassed me even through the mattress upon the folding bed, and in the morning I got from under the thick sheep-wool-filled blanket up into the raw cold of mountain winter. All of the bedding temporary donation by the teaching and cleaning staff at school…I did not plunged into translatingUlyssesright away. First off, employingThe Chamber’s 20th Century Dictionary, I translatedThe Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man(also by Joyce)under the pretext it was necessary to better dig that guy, Stephen Dedalus, the youngest in theUlysses’s trinity of main characters.Whenever some passage stayed unclear even afterThe Chamber’s 20th Century Dictionary, the following Sunday saw my travel by bus to Stepanakert, the capital of the Autonomous Region to keep a council withBDSE, The Big Dictionary of the Soviet Encyclopedia, in the regional library down there. On the way, in both directions, the fellow travelers amazed me by their indifference to the striking views of the mountainous nature about the rolling bus that kept my nose stuck to the window glass while they yakked at each other in their dark language of who knows what…At the end of academic year I was dished out a room on the second floor of a no man’s house at a stone throw from the school yard. The first floor comprised the windowless locked cave for storing the school’s tin woodburners in warmer seasons, along with the stock of bits and scraps from ruined school desks.Part of my salary was spent for gradual acquisition of plywood sheets from the Building Materials Shop in the Stepanakert Bazaar, which I kept nailing up, gradually, in between the paydays, to the planks in the ceiling through which there leaked the earth spread under the roof as the thermal isolation.The slow-go repair accomplishment happened on the eve of the following academic year, and the room was shared with a rookie pedagogical cadre from Yerevan freshly baked and certified by a high education enterprise for teachers production.Arthur wore black-rimmed glasses of rigid looks and soft locks of moderately long hair, also black. At school he taught Armenian to kids and coming home shared the woeful tales about the eternal wounds of Armenia with me.He held on for almost two months then brought from Yerevan a sack of second-hand garments for the village kids, a kinda payoff for his unfulfilled intentions, and I’ve never seen him any more…And when the shy and soft first snow coated the ground hardened by the first frost, I got it first-hand that possession of a tin woodburner is not enough for wintering if having nothing to stick in and kindle inside it. The room would feel unquestionably cold both for me and the cohabitant family of mice squealing in the stone walls about the built-in cupboard.So, I grabbed the ax bought in the process of the mentioned ceiling-remodeling and started off to the woods…On the slope grown with mighty beech trees, something certainly grabbed me by the collar and brought to the tree as large as any other yet almost put away by the deep cave in the trunk, close to the roots.Maybe, the dryad dwelling up in that tree got sick and tired of the insufficient nutrition through the defective trunk and called me? No way to figure out why and how it still managed standing upright.Hacking the trunk leftovers through did not take long, before the tree fell with the bye-bye snap-and-crackle.However, the fall was intercepted by a neighboring beech. Which situation called for climbing the felled tree and cutting it into separate pieces, for then to fall again and reach the pretty askew ground, one by one now: the crown, the pillar, the foot.Some exquisite picture! No fuc… famous circus will ever reproduce! The Magic of Ax-Acrobatics!The audience got frozen by awe and horrified admiration, in their seats.Houdini! Houdini! Cast a look from wherever you are at the poor wretch, one of the crazy dare-devils, you followers!Hugging the tree up there—so too high!—with just one hand, uses he remaining one to cut the other, on-leaning tree—felled but not fallen as of yet.That’s a heck of an uphill job, fair ladies and kind gentlemen! Sure it is!The man is shedding hot sweat and frightened farts, when another of cut off pieces threatens to pull him off and down in their final plunge…After all the pieces of the quartered tree plumped down around the propping trunk, the executioner dropped his ax to the ground and descended clench-hugging the freed prop…When on the slanted woods floor, my hands a-jitter and the knees a-tremble after all the strain up there in the Sweat-Circus Dome, I felt like widdling, and unzipped the fly, and craned over – what the heck! Where’s my doodle?Instead of the dick I used to, there’s a lean pod of a kindergarten kid’s willy.That’s why on the ancient Greek amphorae depicting the round dance of sportsmen and warriors, this particular part in the man’s frame was drawn so dinky – your body cannot concentrate in all directions and for all purposes at once.Not that I really needed a dick in the bleak empty wood on the winter eve, but pinching that medicine dropper out from its sheath of the muffler of non-artificial skin with your shaking, inflexible fingers is a hard nut to crack, which is not a circus any more but some fucking porno thru and thru…The next day, they snatched me to the village council, from midst the classes. The chairman started his bullying. In Russian but with a noticeable Caucasian accent, “Why da tree da cut? Dey uud prison send you.”“Felled”, sez I, “as to winter thru because”.And the wood watcher was also present, Dad of Garrick from the 4th form, putting a good word in, in Armenian, that the tree had been long since kaput already.In short, the following day they gave me a truck and a couple of young hands to fetch the cut over to the one-room two-storied house. True, on the way some part of the booty was dropped by another house too, yet the remainder still lasted to the next summer…And the 4th was the most populated grade at school, by the bye. Two boys and two girls. But later Arega’s parents moved to Armenia and took her over as well.So, when theThe Portrait…was finished, I did not instantly switch over toUlyssesbut felt some inclination for that rascally scribbling once again.The payoff on the try amounted to 11 pages, however, not a sequence to what had stayed back in the gray notebook, yet from a period ten years later.Well, I saw they hit it off well, the pages, and only then I plunged intoUlyssesbecause there remained just 9 years of the stretch stipulated.Thus I put my self-made doodling off, for fifo remains fifo in the Caucasus too, and if you want to get it indeed what it could mean then ask your system administrator.However, as it turned out, my own writing was put off for 29 years and till some absolutely offbeat village…What the heck! See? To find the point for a start is just half the battle because the question of equal vagueness and importance is to shut up in time. A lil bit more and this here blog installment would call for a whole keg instead of the routine bottle…* * *
Bottle #4: ~The Skedaddler ~But let the things said up till now create no illusion nor vain anticipation that this here Island will serve just at a snap whatever is your want delivering it on a dish of great artistic aptitude and antiquarian value. Damn no! Prepare yourself for a plain earthenware and no rim embellishments in curly blue vignettes. Just for the record, at times you’d better keep in check your expectations, firm and proper. Don’t drip your mouth water within other guy’s property while having no idea who’s who in the turf of this particular neighborhood…To start with, Island, if you are fit to recollect, is Uninhabited, and besides, the over-indulgence in colors like blue color or, say, pink, not to mention their dazzling combinations with other catchy daring hues, would result in a closer attention of folks digging the slant of your orientation. Roger that? No prescriptions intended though, just a friendly hint that the like services stayed way back, in the past, sweet, innocent, naive, and fucked up with all kinds of deficits, past, straight and strict, past which wouldn’t tolerate your finicky nitpicking about rim color and stuff but slurp whatever was ladled out and dished to you, asshole!
To wit, don’t ever count on any dainty dishes here. Yet, on the other hand, they won’t take you for a bird of their feather, them those faggy parrots in their gaudy horny, epidermal outgrowth all aglow and—look! ah! dearie cuties!—see those whoopee tails on them?! So big, and long, and simply yummy!Besides, no, not everything is here in heaps and plenitudes. The calendar, for one, is what Island lacks, in toto. Though yes, who gives a fuck smack bang among the everlasting tropical summer?.Or is it winter, after all? Well, you sure feel the switch of seasons when they are taking turns, but it is still hard to say if we are drenched with Cancer’s non-stop winter rains or they are Capricorn’s similarly unceasing summer downpours, eh? Right now?
Then, secondly, watch your mouth as regards “fuck” because OBPS (check Bottle #1 in this here blog for the explication) perlustrate your bottle messages and whenever you glide into talking the natural way they substitute your words with asterisks like this “****” and that’s their way to fucking filter your stream of conscience out and expose it as an unnormative lexical anomaly. So if you take aim at presenting human emotions whole-hog then go and break the orthography rules.So, who turns out now a real lover and who’s the asterisked perverter of the language alive?How come them OBPS guys see thru thick ocean waves obscured, additionally, by the dim bottle glass? No problem at all. They keep a computer program out there to run down and eradicate from texts the very roots and footing.
Can you imagine? Teaching an innocent machine all the “bad” words and mutilating her lamb-like immaculate psyche? Those purity champions, they!Now, who’s bitched here in the back “metal has no psyche”? You? Then it's your likes, the so-called Church Fathers, who for more than 300 years rated woman into the class of soulless household utensils/beasts of burden and even voted on this issue in one of their summit get-togethers. One “aye” exactly made woman into human being…So, dogs also have no soul? Eh? Like any other animal that you maim and torture for your experimental ends? Huh? You, cloned clowns of vivisectionists!.
Taking all the above-said into consideration, you may safely call this areal, populated by me alone, the Island of Freedom from Time because when you struggle thru the preliminary 2 Levels your connection with time breaks up, and you can’t get ball rolling even by knife-slits on the post as advised by the Robinson Crusoe's hack. For which reason right now it is Unknown month in the year of **** here.
Well, not that I’m much concerned on that point. No sweat. Not even in this here tropics. It's only for the sake of curiosity and stuff.And it’s just a pity that I can’t wield the astrolabe or else by juxtaposing meridian to longitude you would see which of the Tropics your tan is from, namely.Nope, I’ve been anything but a navy cadet…
The matter is that last week this atoll’s lagoon (how on earth could it pop up here at all? the island 2Bsure is 100% of volcanic origin) was visited by The Flying Dutch. You easily can see it by her sails torn and fretted to hankie size and the bowsprit adorned with the brassiere XXXL large, also in tatters…So, their boatswain wanted to peddle me an astrolabe for just three piastres.No, he did not venture ashore and only waved to me ‘come aboard, bro!’, yet I abstained from taking risks because the holes in his singlet allowed for glimpses of his skeleton, well-gnawed and brightly polished in the process.Next morning the vessel was no more in the lagoon and neither any trace of her. Hard to say the reason for their visit. Not to replenish their supply of fresh water anyways.The lagoon’s water body might be a junction in their traffic routes or else a rendezvous spot to hang out with seals in divers suites. I dunno…
However, to decide the day of week is easy as pie, each and every day here is Friday. Ha! And no less. The most best of the best days in the week full of yummy expectancy to live a little at long last, since you’re thru the working week.So now, precisely last Friday, that is yesterday, in harmony with my constant pre-dinner habit, I came down to the beach and stretched out in the palm-tree shade because the sand temperature beyond it is too scorching in the sun. And there lay I enjoying peace of mind, and the general state of imperturbation as it usually is on Friday nearing the dinner time and rather evidently so. The fingers of my both hands laced under around the back of my head, I watched from the supine position the vast serenity of the brine expanse behind the monumental sight of the sea shell stuck in the middle of the beach.
It’s a bivalve, as the majority of its fresh-water counterparts which, as an inquisitive kid, you scraped out in the shallows of ponds and rivers, but the selfish shellfish latch themselves from inside and there are no means to break in until you let them bask for some time in the fire embers.But this here mollusk beats them all, some overseas wonder, you can’t grab it – whew! caliber 1.5 meters, and the corresponding weight of over 500 pounds. However, the valves are rounded, not oval as by their tribe in the fresh water. And watch this exotic finishing, both luxurious and equatorial, fanning off from the hinges that connect the two half-spheres, running all the way to the rounded edges in a kinda basso-rilievo of cable-thick gimp trimming worked over with the finest polish, as if Ural serf artisans were sharing the know-how of malachite processing based on the local raw materials.
Deep in myself, I’ve baptized this ogres with the name of Pec-tin-din and it baffles me to guess why. The scallop-like bottom of this huge cauldron has half-buried in the sand, sunk as deep as the Peccy’s weight forces it to enter, and the lid remains somewhat raised, like for airing.But there’s nothing inside to air. Peccy had passed away to better world before my getting to Isle of No Time, not a shred of her mantle stayed behind in between the valves, all's shell-lifted, looted, scraped, gnawed, swept up and taken away, and only this bare calcium structure still tarries in the sand of the beach…Of dust art thou knocked together and dust art thou to become…Well, not quite Friday thoughts rolled up and, in unison to them, some wind began to whine in gusts whose unevenness furnished those wails a certain emotional curve, like, say, grief lamentations, “O, woe! Peccy! Why have you left me!”
Besides, with a noteworthy brashness, the wind blew radically athwart the direction of monsoon winds that on Friday, in a stably predictable manner, blow either to the shore or off it. But no! This bitchy one pulls alongside the shoreline! Some crying anomaly, this hydra of counter-hydrometeorology!A split-moment before shining radiantly, the azure of the sky went out, squeezed by the cephalopod mollusk of the heavy black cloud unwinding, spreading its distorted tentacle-protuberances all over the firmament.The waves dropped out of caressing languidly the shore in the habitual foreplay and, all of a sudden, sprung erect and wheeling, their tips amok foaming at the mouth, and rushed to crash their whole mass against the beach spread out in the boot-licking kowtow.
The darkness condensed in the blink of an eye and reigned all around, thru which, like whitish ghosts, there flashed foamy fragments of water sheets torn by the gnarly squall off the shore-lashing waves.And now the torrential tropical rain joined the cluster pandemonium fucking with dogs and cats the surface of the flattened sand, spilling about splashy streams and violent rivulets.Everything awaited for the thunder, everything, out of their mind, implored in crazy urge: do it! O, do it! And the thunderclap—KRGAHDAHDAN!!—burst out twined with the lightning that sliced the world by its crackle-and-hiss into two, horizontally, passed its blinding shot from a knobby tentacle to the suckers in that at the opposite end of the world—SHUHHK-NNBA-CHUHKZZ!!
Bet your farm, I was up already full-length and hugging the palm pillar bent after the fringe of its long drenched fronds jitter-bagging impetuously at the waving tree top.I clenched to the trunk horrified by the might of the drumming rain ready to wash me off into the berserk serf any next moment.I clenched immobilized by the mortifying fear that the very next lightning wouldn’t miss this one and only tree in the beach.Clung to the dribbling tree, I just waited to see: which of my fears was the first to come true? And all of a sudden, against the deathlike backdrop of enraged foamy waves, I made out the shadowy half-sphere of Peccy’s lid.
What followed came off all by itself—a desperate dash… couldn’t you keep your gap wider, fucking slut?. the head is thru the rest will follow…And tearing off me all that could be peeled by the sharp edges of the two valves, I squeezed into the Peccy’s nest, half-meter deep.Burst another discharge of the deafening yet belated thunderclap. Eff you, bitch! You can’t reach me in here!.
I’m drenched thru and thru and it is so narrow a nook I am in, but the rain is not molesting me any further… I cuddle into the favorite posture of intrauterine babies. Good news the walls here lack any nasty lips.The noise of rain splashes outside subsides, gets gently muffled, little by little…Wait-wait-wait! But how come that I cannot hear the surf any more?
In answer, there sounds a dry short click, the tooth in the upper valve locked into the dimple of recess in the bottom one…Thick silence pervaded the narrow darkness. The deafening silence of a sound chamber and pitch-black impenetrability, copulated, engulfed all the world…* * *
Bottle #5: ~The Ways We Are Chosen By ~29 years is a serious stretch, in the Soviet Union because of the deep humanism inbred in the very foundation of the Communist regime, you'd never meet a person been sentenced to longer than 15 years in prison/camps. No use trying. 15 constituted the ceiling, above that limit you straight off plopped to face the firing squad at ready for the sentence execution. Each one had their job to do for the state well-being, you know.
In 29 years Nikita Khrushchev, who ruled USSR Empire 1953-1964, would have built in the Soviet Union 1.45 Communisms (no, yeah, that is almost one and a half of them) if not for the palace coup in the Central Committee of the CPSU. He got life within his personal dacha walls and the throne of the General Secretary went under the Leonid Brezhnev's ass who ran the farm till 1982.
Which exculpatory circumstances—if any, when compared to so loft background—would mitigate my slowness to a fault about the production of RR (The Rascally Romance) procrastinated for so serious a stretch?To put my best foot forward, I won't ask how long a piece of string is and answer with my usual openness.The confluence and most perplexing entanglement of differently varying yet similarly unfavorable exigencies determined dawdling away those years.
To begin with, I okayed a war…The choice was not invitingly wide at that period with the USSR engaged in just one war – Afghanistan (1979 – 1989), however, its undisguised Communist-imperialistic nature ran counter to my beliefs and I subscribed to a pending war flagged off with my participation.The first war for independence of Mountainous Karabakh…
On entering the village club—a serviceable edification of raw stone used, a certain period back, to be the village church before the cross was brought down and rows of plywood seats went in together with the sturdy stage—dropped in at night by, basically, a dozen of mujiks to tarry over a couple of boards of chess and backgammon, and to chat of I had no idea what because my too insignificant command of Armenian, and where to, about once a month, they brought an Indian movie of 2 series—I got puzzled to see a crowd thrice thicker than had ever gathered for any Indian movie. Which was there not at all on that night.
The Chairman of the Village Council, delivering a speech from behind the breastwork of the on-stage lectern, was ofttimes interrupted by vehement orators from the audience who just stood up from their respective seats so as to become seen and heard and who, in their turn, got interrupted by other orators up-springing from other seats… The common meeting of the villagers revved on at full swing.
Pargev, a ten-grader from the right seat next to me and, simultaneously, the Chairman’s son, updated me thru the mutual buzz that the rally was convened for collecting the folks' signatures and Grisha, the school Principal's husband on my left, elucidated that the collection would serve the decisive instrument for breaking away from the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan because living on as its constituent part had become intolerable, utterly. Armenian drivers operating buses on the route Stepanakert-Agdam-Stepanakert were paid twice less than the Azerbaijani drivers operating buses on the route Agdam-Stepanakert-Agdam.
It should be mentioned here that throughout my conscious life I have never driven a bus of any kind and, additionally, that during my hitch in the Soviet Army, a construction battalion it was, our team of bricklayers reported to Lance-Corporal Alik Aliev (an Azerbaijani) and, synchronously, I had a buddy plasterer Robert Zakarian, an Armenian from Third Company, because of my reckless not giving a fuck about racial differences and the wholesome negation of prejudices on the grounds of national affinity. Another of my distinguishing constants.
Life itself made me peek deeper into the historical aspect of the question and find out that Mountainous Karabakh (the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region during the Soviet rule) from the times immemorial was populated by Armenians whose huchkars (stone crosses) as well as churches being erected (also of stone) before and after the 10-th century AD prove it to the hilt.Yet, in early 20’s of the 20th century, when the 11th Red Army brought the Soviet rule to the Southern Caucasus, Mountainous Karabakh was handed over into the configuration of the Soviet Azerbaijan because of evidently empire-prone and, possibly, personal reasons adhered to by the then General Secretary Jugashvily, handled Stalin.
By the moment of my immigration, lots of Armenian had left Mountainous Karabakh and numerous Azerbaijanis moved into. Two of whom, for instance, had settled in the village of Seidishen where I was provided with the job of a village teacher by the Stepanakert Regional Department of People Education.They were Biashir, the forester, and his son Eldar, engaged in delivering gas in 40-liter tanks to kitchens in the villages of the Askeran District by a truck rigged for the purpose.There had even appeared purely Azerbaijani villages, about ten of them, in Mountainous Karabakh.
Being unaware of these minutiae at the mentioned meeting, I still responded to the Grisha’s question in the affirmative as long as it concerned the right of peoples for their self-determination. The right which is as fundamental as the freedom of assembly (hmm!), as inalienable as the freedom of speech (hmm-hmm!), as sacred as the freedom of thought and religion (someone shut me up please!)…So naive and stupid idiot was I at that moment and scratched my signature among the uncountable other autographs collected in the region.Four years later I confirmed the accord by taking part in the referendum on the Declaration of the Republic of Mountainous Karabakh.
That day Stepanakert was being bombarded without even the lunch break, nonetheless, I ventured to the town theater and ticked “for” in my voter ballot. And even today, with my status plunged down to that of a refugee, I’ve got no regrets because up till now that right seems irresistibly attractive to my simple mind.However, back to "in order of appearance"…
A month later there was another surprise meeting to collect donations for the victims of the Spitak earthquake in Armenia (the seismic magnitude at the epicenter in the range of 10 to 12, 25 000 dead, 514 000 homeless, 140 000 crippled).I donated 2 rubles and 50 kopecks, all I could contribute without losing a chance of surviving up to the following payday.The Biology teacher, Rafic Shakarian, a ready-made Roman senator by his looks, began to carp: “No need for kopecks!” I had to curb his patrician pride by reminding that he, personally, was not the target of my offering, and 50 kopecks were equivalent to 2 bread loaves… The discussion dried up, the kopecks were accepted.
In February, Lenin Square in Stepanakert saw the outset of mass rallies in the support of exit from under the Azerbaijani jurisdiction and unification of Mountainous Karabakh with Armenia. The Regional Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region sent petitions on this account to Moscow, Baku and Yerevan…
From the jokes of that period:“They clear up the heaps of debris in place of the houses tumbled by the Spitak earthquake. The derrick pulls up a huge piece of concrete flooring, reveals a man still alive, miraculously.‘Is Karabakh given back to us?’, asks the survivor.‘No, man! No!’‘Drop the fucking slab back then!’"Some stuff to perk you up, huh? Still, I heard then folks laughing at it…Laughing even after the beastly carnage of Armenian population in the city of Sumgait, 27 – 29 February 1988.
I cannot write on that. Physiological stoppage. Hands hang, spasmodic clutch at the throat to keep back senseless whine of a small kid. Looks like senility has its say already. Maybe…The troops of the Soviet Empire did not interfere, kept on stand-by for three days and nights. When they entered the city to disperse the ferocious mobs, 276 soldiers got bruised.
There followed a bubble of hush for a couple of months, when multi-thousand streams of evacuees filled the highways between Armenia and Azerbaijan: Armenians from Baku to Armenia and Karabakh, Azerbaijanis from Armenia to Azerbaijan. Counter-directed migration of peoples…
The leadership of the USSR responded to the situation by sending special troops to Stepanakert, by means of the curfew imposed there, and by visits of high officials to dissuade the people from their urge to unite with the rest of Armenia. They made speeches in the Lenin Square, the visitors did."What's the fuss? How can't you, 2 brotherly Muslim peoples, Azerbaijani and Armenians, peacefully live together?"Was he drunk, that official? Counting them to Muslim peoples when Armenians pride themselves on being the 2nd people who took up the Christianity? (Forgetting the Ethiopians that, just for the record, became Christians a sliver of a period earlier.)"2 Muslim peoples…"That's who we were ruled by… Later he became the first President of the Russian Federation (before told to step down for a younger operative selected by the invisible decision-making body of the MIC) and his hang-over turned a staple byword by the stand-up comics…
A year later, influenced by the mutual spirit of turbulent times, I married and migrated to Stepanakert to weave the family nest atop of the stirred up volcano.The job of an isolation-tape man at the construction of gas pipelines to far-off parts of Karabakh was an extensively outdoors and far-off employment so the son was born in my absence.
About a half-year later, in August, they attempted at the SCES putsch in Moscow. The Central TV news programVremyapresented a dozen of bureaucratic pans in a consolidated row behind the wide desk of the State Committee for the Emergency Situation (SCES) reading up to the population their orders – the democracy announced null and void, we were to live as before, as we had always been trained, and follow the five-year plans approved by them at the Congresses of their Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).
In the morning, to demonstrate my discontent, disgust, and disagreement, I did not board the truck starting off to carry my co-workers to remote villages but handed in my resignation letter to the personnel department of the Building-Montage Management (BMM) #8:“…because this here organization is a state firm, and I have no desire to work for the state of SCES, please fire me

of my own accord”.The BMM-8 Chief, Samvel Hakopian, amusedly chortled and signed his approval to satisfy my plea.Next morning that SCES putsch went kaput and I, having lost the job along with their lost cause, concentrated on building up our family house in the lot allocated by the Stepanakert City Council on the ravine slope behind the Maternity Hospital…
When the walls were raised 1 meter tall, there started bombardments of Stepanakert City with Alazans from Sushi City and the Village of Khodjalu, yet in the following 2 months I still laid the walls to the level for spanning them with the concrete slabs because sand and cement had been acquired already and the construction of the running water of iron-pipe line (cross-section 0.5”) accomplished.The money for the slabs had been paid too but the Building Materials Plant never delivered them because of the unfavorable situation.
For about a month I stayed unemployed because the city enterprises were coming to a halt one after another and there appeared a slot to make a dent in Ulyssesin earnest.
My mother-in-law spotted that I could write for stretches longer than normal, and fixed me up with a job at the editorial house of the regional newspaperThe Soviet Karabakhwhere she had the position of a janitor and the Head Editor thereof originated from the same village as her, and, as luck would have it, their family names coincided too.My job was to translate articles from Armenian to Russian becauseThe Soviet Karabakhdaily, published in Armenian, had the Saturday supplement – a Russian digest, for Big Brother to conveniently check the stuff brought up in the previous 7 days by the paper.
My position of a translator did not fall under the category of the mother-in-law-backed nepotism. Nothing of the kind! In the two years at village school I studied all the curriculum textbooks in Armenian Language and Literature from the school library, starting off with the ABC Primer.Learning a language by textbooks is way easier than thru communing with the native speakers because texts allow you more time to get it, and cancels the strain of tries at catching serendipitous shreds in the over-fluent-non-stop twitter of those who use it from their crib…
However, my month of work at the newspaper remained unpaid because the city got blockaded and bombarded on a regular basis with heavy artillery pieces, and the population switched over to dwelling in the basements under the five-story buildings, for the most part. Often blackouts worsened the situation, before the electricity was cut off for good. In the basements, they used oil-lamps or candles. When a candle melted away completely, the wax drippings were used for production of a new one, though of lesser size, of course.
The gas supplying was not stopped because the gas trunk-line, after reaching Stepanakert, climbed farther up to the Shushi City, whose population in the aftermath of the massacre in March 1920 became ethnic Azerbaijanis who you couldn't left without heating in winter.
The most forceful report on the ravages in the spring of 1920 was left by Osip Mandelstam in his poem “Here in Mountainous Karabakh, in the ancient Shushi City…”He didn’t eye-witnessed the carnage but ten years later roamed about mute lanes in the demolished Armenian blocks in Shushi.However, poets can see thru not only into the future…* * *
Bottle #6: ~The Clover To Roll In ~Where the screwball popped up from I couldn’t even say. Nix, not a damn chance.More so, that I was not as high yet as in my regular nirvana and only a sec back scanned the street with the enlightened gaze and stuff ‘cause of no ticker on me, nope, never, which reason makes me recon out the current hour's figures by only the upcurve in the bustling or, on the contrary, by the slant towards smoothness in the observable flow of street life. Quite a simple trick and does not take too much of practicing to read it, the time of day.
It’s hard to say or recollect the street’s name though ‘cause of them names keep replacing each other way too often, depending on who’s in power right now, the Reds or the Whites, but in our neighborhood I’d find it blindfold by mere groping, yep, with both hands tied.
Verily decent neighborhood, the ours. No harassment from cops, nopes, no patrol car will ever take risks to get in if alone. It’s only in the all-out posse, with the sirens a-wailing so as to uphold their own courage. But there’s always a chance to run into an M2 if not into some of cheap machine guns made in China. The question of karma and stuff, you know.
Not much of industries in the hood either. A score or there about of Northern Koreans day and night rattling their sewing machines in the basement opposite the bar You’ll Get It. A no never mind production line. Samely dispensable as those posterity of the Jamaican delegation to the International Forum of Youth and Students Organizations of the World, on the sixth floor in the tower-block where they keep packing coke for Don. Completely quiet, decent, and no trouble at all society members.
No, yeah, though, last week one of their team took a dive from the window. Exactly as I was passing by at the lunch break, he plummeted a-singing his parting aria of the Lonesome Swan if you know what I’m about. High alt up to B-flat in the second octave, full and steady, and no shit.In the right chosen moment too. No one got damaged, of those uninvolved. With quite a tolerable precision value, in the sidewalk – sh-plumps! And keeps the classical supine position, the eyes plumb-up into the sky. Maybe, with the pinch of reproach, a kind of.You’d never think the dude was a Jamaican brat. Sooner might be taken for a native from some state in southern India, by his looks.
And those two brothels too, under Thai Massage signboards, yet the nurses in the business are not so too tiny after all, same pod’s peas, each and every from the Middle Russia regions, not for nothing we've scrambled so frantically to join the lined crowd of chip implanting globalization.Not even a regular slot machine hall around, just a couple of underground rat holes for local gamblers in Three-Card Brag and Black Jack. Stagnating backwater, in short.
As regards those sporadic reports at night, it’s just youngsters trifling with their handguns. All in all, the hood's weekly output rarely overshoots a couple of farting-bags with stiffs, on average.And as for my nirvana where could it be from a couple of minutes before the second slim?Moderation and consideration, in keeping with good homeopathic manners, that’s my approach to pot. Two slims in the morning and two in the afternoon, after the lunch.
Not that I need much really, politely landed in the corner will graze a package of chips, I, or maybe a hot-dog, two at most. Cutie critters them those doggies, do not bite back. Then the spill of a cup of something from coff-or-coa line, atop – that’s my lunch in a whole day, and back I goes to my bench to watch the pulse of the business activities, while enjoying my third slim, and the full-fledged blunt's turn comes at night, code-named “night-cap gasper”.
So, no way I would omit him any moment back but—here you are!—out of nowhere appeared this feathered wonder. Pelage a-bristle, hair style in the vogue of 60’s when children of flowers kept a-stirring their cultural revolution in the sands of Californian beaches.The jeans severed at knee-length to make them into shorts, yes, you could see it at a glance – not cut but severed, when he had put them on a boulder and chiseled off with a flat tool stone like an inadequate Neanderthal man. And that befuddled glare, you know, from his bugged-out eyes in all directions. In short, the famous lost-and-found picture by Rembrandt “A Hick at the Fare or the New Mark to Fuck Up”.Then, naturally, I lit up to enjoying the free show in full.
After gaping for awhile he veers to my side."Where am I?" sez the wacko.
And it’s quite OK by me, shortly after a fresh slim I’m always ready for a chat."Welcome back to the planet of your likes, alien," sez I. "And since getting the answer to your 'where?' you'll certainly go over to testing the waters about your squadron's landing spot, why not to contact Dr. Serafimovich then, with your rickety questions directly?"
"And it's winter or summer now?" sez he. He did soar high that fucking hippie."It depends," sez I, "on the Tropic you are in. And where are you from?""Island of Freedom.""Wow! Amigo marijuanisto! Cuba – si! Yanks – no! How is compañero Fidel over there? When is his exhumation scheduled for?"
To which he pinched his beard under the lower lip, jerked his head sideways and landed on the bench next to me:"Most likely on Friday," sez he, and plumbed into a deep meditation.
That moment Mulatto Maya strolled along the sidewalk, a cherry babe in her sweet 16.Paraded herself, in fact, and in an unmistakably motivated way, it’s not a walk but embellished writing. The chick performed a nice version of stylish striding at which they write the eternity sign with their buttocks, you know, outlining a direct hint and promise, Maya was, and well addressed too. I wonder what’s that hairy yobbo touched her soft spot with, eh? She never attempts at such calligraphy when passing by two of us, the bench and me.
The addressee gave her a dimmed look."Well, well," thought I to myself, "the case is not quite hopeless, the unconditioned reflex is in its place, nimble and spritely.""Take my friendly advice, tanned paleface, you'd better not horse around that young squaw whose Daddy earns his living at the You’ll Get It bar embracing the position of a bouncer. And if you’re looking for a place to stable your erection in, why, choose a ripe lady from the Thai Salon across the street.""Like I were saying or doing a thing at all," answers he and falls back into his thoughtfulness, like a kinda model for Rodin’s Thinker sporting a mountaineer beard to his naked abdomen.
This moment, quite western-like, a sharp shadow drops across our communication. And no need to look up, I know whose it is. A nigga’s from the young blades in the neighborhood, that’s whose.They are Don’s hands, not directly 2Bsure. His henchmen pass them dope, they push it and get some commission percentage. And all of them keep calling each other “nigga”.Fucking Hollywood has fucking spoiled all fucking kids.
So there he stands demonstrating his skills at chewing the gum with his mouth open for three-quarters, in the process, and never less. 'Cause of his being so fucking cool! 'Cause the other day he spotted some downy growth in his soft scrotum!Those niggas, they don’t hang out together in the street. Each one has the areal of his own, and his own retinue – small fry errand boys to push the goods in retail trade in the school yards and rest rooms. Yet, they keep a peeled eye on each other and seeing the next one leaves his anchorage in obviously cruising speed, they also cast off to follow.It’s like those vultures in the Nevada desert who congregate on the same carrion from ten miles around. When my tube was alive The Wild Life As Is was my favorite.
Ha! See what I mean? One more is nearing, and now there are two serrated shadows cast together upon our bench. And what for? This here hippie hick is a barren ground, in toto, no need for a spyglass to see there’s nothing to rip off. Just his beard and the mutilated jeans. While targeting me is out of the question, the street is fully aware that I’m a nasty mastermind, you push me around and soon enough there happens an accident, and if it’s just a brick from the roof onto your dummy dome be thankful to your lucky star 'cause a quarrel with coot Chris goes for a bad omen, unopposed, about this here neighborhood.
"Hey, nigga," sez I, "what’s the message in your What’s up? If there are doubts about my interlocutor then his papers are clean, the guy’s on the AWOL from Santa-Monica."He only moves the cud from his left molars to the right and goes on to slurp, playing for time to let the clue sink into his gray matter.One more lost generation for you, they are unable to process human speech without “fuck!” slotted after every pair of words. No wonder he stared at his buddy to kinda signal his need in a synchronous interpretation.
"Wow! Look who we’re having here!" sez I to the second comer. "I do know you, nigga, you are the only sonny of Andy Crinolog, the bookmaker! What are the odds, by the bye, in the soon-to-be match of the Russian National and the high school soccer aficionados from Burkina Faso? And here is another fucking “wow!” for you, man! Some fucking nice rags you have today. Mighty fucking, yeah.
God knows how he’s not boiled yet in that airtight shellac latex which goes for a uniform by them, along with a ruddy ingot chain.In ancient Rome they put a dog collar on slaves to mark them from free citizens but these spiffy puppies stuck their necks in of their own accord…But now he tugs the glinting shit of his waistcoat up to flash, like in the genre boilerplate from fucking Hollywood, the handle of a Makar or, maybe, Luger 'cause for a Magnum the kouros’ balls are not hairy enough, stuck under the belt in his pants.
That’s when my range of vision widens up to the next door porch steps and—lo!—would you please observe the reason for the scene of discontent around my bench. Who but Mulatto Maya sits there emanating the youthful beauty of her pliant thighs wrapped in the on-looker-friendly loin cloth! And how not to mention her stuck up tits under nothing more but a short T-shirt inviting to admire her navel?.How could I miss that she had stopped to tarry there? Yeah, Chris bro, your knee-jerks certainly grow dull 'cause of this fucking entropy…
"O, fuck!" the hippie sez, and fiercely scratches he his left armpit.The jaws of both muggers go loose and drop on their hinges all way down to the yellow neck-chains in the show of their mouth caves, and tonsils, and all. Next moment the big style tango of their act turns abruptly into a gallop to opposite destinations 'cause the flee-hunter's move had pushed his beard aside exposing a bandolier hung on his bare chest, loaded with a kinda sawed-off blunderbuss in 'Welcome to the Caribbeans!' style.
However, the Treasure Island got abandoned way too soon, and only Maya on the nearby steps ran her sweet tongue over her abundant lips and switched the posture of her thighs to even more liberal position.
That’s only when the hairy yobbo falls out of his meditative mood again:"I say, bud, where’s the bush here to take a leak?" sez he and scratches his other oxter…* * *
Bottle #7: ~Land is paid for with blood (Ayaz Niyazi oglu Mutalibov) ~Almost all of the winter 1991 – 1992 Stepanakert spent in the cross-fire from 4 directions. At the cross’ top was positioned the artillery shelling from Sushi City, from the pillar-root in flew the missiles launched at Khojalu Village, the left-hand side filled the howitzers positioned in Malubalu Village, the battery deployed in Janhasan Village added their part into bombardments from the right. And all of that does not bespeak over-large size of the besieged city – a rough circle of no more than 2 km in diameter, so that those batteries could barrage each other, technically, which they did not do though…Machine gun and automatic weapon fire from Krkjan (the uppermost, Azerbaijani populated part of the Stepanakert City itself) did not reach farther/deeper than the Region Theater's building.
We rented a one-(but-wide)-room apartment in Tumanian Street and in the basement of the nearest 5-story apartment block—50 meters off the house we dwelt in—I had to empty out the space for sheltering my family in between the walls of bulky, cold concrete-blocks forming the block's foundation below the ground level.
At the outset of the movement for the independence of Mountainous Karabakh, while there still existed communications with Armenia, they shipped from up there some relief including garments, deficit food products, and booklets of the Holy Bible adaptation for kids, in Armenian.Conceivably, certain undeclared goods arrived in as well, which is better known to the members of the Special Committee formed then in Stepanakert for supervising the mentioned relief and things among the local population, after a short-term storing the goods away in the basement of the said 5-story apartment block.As a result, in one of the basement sections, there grew a huge heap of smashed craters, emptied containers, broken bottles and other vestiges of clandestine orgies of those rats, the Committee members. Nobody of the aboriginal tenants in the apartment block had vigor enough to undertake such a whale of cleansing job, when they moved to live underground, and the wasted section had to wait for the liberation by my hands, following the lead from my mother-in-law.
However, even I could perform only half of the job, which half allowed though for the accommodation of my wife and our kids—the 2-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter from her first marriage—plus two unknown females who failed to find room for themselves in other sections of the overcrowded basement-shelter.
My mother-in-law, among a dozen of other ladies from the surrounding neighborhood of predominantly private houses, sheltered in a tailor’s workshop (who had successfully taken away everything but the walls) in the nearby 2-story block of flats in a fairly dilapidated state, and I dead refused leaving the one-but-wide room in the first floor of our renters’ house, which was equipped with a cast pig-iron stove for gas-heating, the room was…
The ultimate condition of survival in Stepanakert that winter was water. Having water for drinking, food-processing, laundry, and toilet flashing (if not blessed with an outhouse in the yard) was the foremost challenge because of its all-pervading deficit.The trunk pipeline supplying water from the river over a dozen of kilometers away had been sabotaged, and the employees at the city water-supplying services guessed (quite understandably) that being engaged in renovating works in the terrain open to pinpoint shooting by snipers would not be much different from an out-and-out suicidal action, and they would blow it up the very next day all the same.
In difference to the Leningrad population blockaded in WWII, Stepanakerters did not prepossess the Neva River by their side and had to rely on too few street taps of water running from springs in the nearby slopes… Multimeter noisy queues snaked to those taps to put their pail under a thumb-thick leak of water, to scatter and/or press themselves into the walls of the nearest buildings in another artillery/missile attack…I, personally, preferred to go after water at night not because late or small hours prevented shelling—artillery men worked round the clock—but in the dark the queues seemed shorter, a sort of.
In the morning I went to work though the newspaper, naturally, ceased circulating and no one proposed me to translate an editorial or stuff any more. However, I possessed a skeleton key to the translators' room furnished with three desks bearing scars left by the raw facts of life and two hard chairs.So, at the rare days of relative calm and no shelling (because, say, of another peace-broker team arrival in the region) those of my colleagues who dropped in, yielding to the too deeply rooted habit of theirs or because of having nothing better to do, were pleasantly surprised to find that there was someone in the building, after all.
The seedy 2-story editorial office building (a couple of blocks off the printing house) was lost in the deep shadow from the right wing in the gray, 4-story, mighty parallelepiped of the Regional Committee of the CPSU, a kinda towboat by an ironclad battleship. And when the editorial House Keeper tried to introduce locking the entrance door with a heavy padlock as soon as in an hour after opening it or so, I—thanks to being on friendly terms with Rashid, the watchman at the editorial office—managed to obtain the entrance key imprint in a piece of molding clay our kids used to play with.The duplicate key turned out okay because of my skills of a locksmith of the third category acquired at the Konotop Steam-Engine-And-Railroad-Car-Renovating Plant, though in absence of a vice it was not a trivial task.
(For the ethnography lovers.No, yeah, “Rashid” is not a typical Armenian name, but then, playing with names is a deep-rooted tradition within the Armenian ethos. The parents feel at liberty to use any name as long as it sounds lovely (by their ear estimation) or would be correct politically, or both. Hence these slews of Arthurs, Hamlets, Ophelias, Jameses, Johnics (diminutive-affectionate from Johnny), Lolitas and so on, and so forth among otherwise Armenian people.
A teacher of Geography from School 7 was named Argentina (which is not a household-between-us-kids moniker but her legitimate ID-verified handle). Or how about “Chapaev”? Who cares it’s the Civil War and innumerable jokes’ personage’s name, Daddy just liked the sound.And admire please the ingenuity at constructing the following, rather wide-spread in Armenia name from V. I. Len(in) – eliminating dots and brackets you get "Vilen".A woman named “Electrification” all her life had to respond to the shortened form: “Ele”. A lucky strike if you consider the base, right?
Or take, for instance, the story behind the name of my sister-in-law? Her mother’s mother-in-law (the mother-in-law of my mother-in-law), while on a visit to her relatives in Moscow, was impressed by something she heard in a radio-play about Jean D’Ark from Orleans. (Radio-play is an audio soap-opera broadcast over the radio because it was in 50’s when the USSR hadn’t got television yet, and the fact of TV’s entering the Americans’ life in 30’s serves another proof that the West started to rot before us.)Now, she asked her Moscow relatives to scribble something she had heard and liked from the radio on a paper slip, my mother’s-in-law mother-in-law did.And who are you or am I to deny the beauty in “Orlee-Anna” name?
There happens a certain admixture of prejudice too, and if a family is beset with stillbirths or babies lacking real stamina, they would use a Muslim (more often than not some Turkish) name for a newborn, which quick-fix usually helps because they believe it should work.All that renders pretty common the presence of a watchman whose given name was Rashid with his always at ready smile full of square teeth. Besides, I once met a small kid Elchibey (his parents had used the name of the belligerent president of Azerbaijan from 90’s for that quite quick and able mischief))…
In the morning our family were getting together in the one-room apartment or, if it was shelling outdoors, I took a kettle of water boiled on the gas stove to the underground basement, before starting off to visit the families of two more daughters of my mother-in-law to pass them, in the basements of the respective five-story blocks, the bread baked by her the previous night in the gas-oven of our one-(but-wide)-room flat.They answered with a jar of cream or mittens for Ashot that had become too small for his cousin already – the hand-me-downs were not quite our son’s size but of a manly cut and hue…The usual in-extended-family circulation understandable to them who lived thru the realities of the USSR era of deficits…
And then, alleviated and full of feeling of my duty done, issuing tiny starch-creaks off my immaculate integrity, I opened the massive padlock on the entrance door to the editorial office building to latch it from inside because the House Manager (not present) had uneasy misgivings about the Russian and Armenian typewriters in the typists’ pool on the second floor, you know.
The translators’ was on the first floor and when they knocked or pulled at the entrance door from outside (about once a week), it was not a long wait till I came along the corridor to check what’s up.Once it was Sylva the typist, who had believed the wild rumors of the editorial office got hit by an Alazan missile and burned up. Seeing it was all bullshit, she felt happy and immediately decided to take home her slippers from the drawer in her desk in the pool's room because it’s easier for her to type when they are on, somehow, yes, you know.
Or it could be an outsider veteran graphomaniac (you would not make out the exact age thru his stubble but no less than eighty), who brought a parcel of “material” prepared by him for the paper dead for at least two months already. Which is not paper’s fault with all the newsstands locked up or destroyed.Carried away by his creative efforts the writer failed to notice the trifle…
At too near explosions the building hopped, and the window panes spilled, with the parting tinkle, the glass fragments over the floor. I raked them with the broom borrowed from the toilet room in the end of the corridor, and helped Rashid to seal the gaping window frames with the vinyl tape from the House Manager’s keeps. The watchman was stinking with wine and bitching bitterly to his hammer about the janitors who had ceased coming to do their job.I acted a deaf stone to his harangues because I had no desire to guess who he was hinting at…
Actually, Alazans produced more noise than effect. The missile could not pierce a stone wall 40 cm thick. Well, yes, the wall’s outer surface would go kaput, the inside turn all cracks and crevices but still and yet the missile lacked might to penetrate and sky in. No, yeah, if it hit in through the window or balcony door then, no arguing, the place is smashed into a useless trash for sure, all the partitions felled down. However, were it some crummy house of wood, then one hit of an Alazan would turn it into a shitty heap of nothing.
But then, at night, when going after water, I could enjoy a mesmerizing opportunity to admire their beautiful flight—from purely aesthetic point of view—a lazy yellow comet falling from Shushi in a languid arc onto the city (too high this time to get at me) welcomed from the ground with long stitches of tracing rounds from Kalashnikov or two to burst it up, across the flight course, useless, unable prevent its final crash midst the city, and all of it against the backdrop of the full moon – lo! here comes another! and the colorful stitches again! Vain try, of course, yet the surrealism of the picture simply awesome…
And after Stepanakert was left not only by the special troops of the Soviet Army but the primordial regiment as well, they unleashed bombardments by the missile installations GRAD, and those things you couldn’t play down – undeniably powerful beasts. The hit of just two rockets was enough to level the three-story wing in the City Council (where there had been the TV studio).The blast left low hillocks of crushed masonry and some aggravating stink of burned rubber. I cannot definitely state whether it was the smell of the explosives or from the buried, smoldering TV equipment…* * *
Bottle #8: ~From the Alternate Angle ~First off, the darkness did not seem absolute, some pin-prick scintillas still oscillated here and there, and extremely dark but still a sliver gray-hued streaks retained their static position along the edges of actual blackness.However, all that jump-n’-statics abated gradually, and dissolve, and died away substituted with solid jet-black impenetrability. The wider opened I my eyes, the more of aspic char-coaled dark oozed into them.
The silence—wished for so eagerly just a while ago, before the ominous click of the lid—commenced to depress the ear drums drowned within the all-pervading blackness getting wrapped, layer after layer, into a thicker and thicker shroud of hermetic soundlessness.
“Aaaa!” hollered I desperately at the top of my lungs, horrified, trying to disengage myself, to kick away the sticky horror of being deaf-and-blind, which straining only brought about an even bigger fright and made me realize that atop of everything else I'd become mute. The scream felt like virtual, it did not reach the organs of hearing and sounded only within me. But how on earth could I be sure that it was sounding at all?A captive in the double cage, twice doubled as a matter of fact – three layers of indissoluble calcium in the shell's structure added with my deaf-mute-blindness, a kinda mollusk’s mantle sack, that's what I was, firmly fixed, strait-jacketed, incarcerated.
Piercing panic rushed thru me like AC of 240 V, set all of my frame a-shake like the vigorous clutch of the deuce yanking a withered pear-tree, hither-thither, yet even those violent quakes went on within the delimited space of a rock-hard cocoon—my nose squeezed between the knees, unyielding bottom under my left shoulder, the lid (not budging an inch) from above, and no way to stretch the legs out. Help! Got trapped and nabbed by the shrewd dickens like an unboiled frog under the upside-down washing-tab!
And only my head still have some room to enjoy the freedom of knocking its back against the shell wall, without the proper revving though to prevent, sadistically, my suicide, just like they did to the accomplice in Lincoln’s killing before the execution… a sack of thick black cloth pressed onto the head to spoil his aiming, not to let Louis ram his skull against the wall and smash it open and damn well ruin the high of the law-abiding crowd coming together with the hangman a-swing in his noose on the warm sunny day… where’s something hard enough?. please!. but the cloth kept softening the impact to save the show…
Of course, I’ve got my constant accessory on me – an old good boarding pistol from two hundred years back, the find on the smashed galleon, which I don’t part with ever since, is still in the sling over my chest… but no, damn! the powder must've got washed away by that mad toad-strangler downpour… wait-wait-wait! See? there’s no softening layer on my head except for my wet hair. Ha! This is the major flaw in their calculations! That’s where the bastards have screwed up!And I begin to pound the back of my head against the stone-hard calcium carbonate in the shell composition. The pain is shot thru with hilarious triumph – aha! At least I’m able to feel it! Bas! Tard’s! Screwed! Up! Bas! Tard’s! Screwed! Up!
It’s hard to say how many times I’ve looped thru this here mantra—one potent headback-bang for every syllable in it—before the loss of consciousness swaddled everything into the merciful liberating darkness…………………………………….…we stood in a close circle where there were some whose names I knew and some fairly unknown though all of them I met for the first time or mayhap had inadvertently forgotten……because of the strangely dim light everything around submerged in an unidentifiable uniform murkiness which did not allow for guessing the time of day or where this strange light was coming from or why the contour of each thing got doubled by an additional external line etching any object with a pin-thin luminescence of also gray-hued and equally inexplicable yet more bright weeny glow……the downcast stares of all the present alertly followed the ongoing movement of an index finger ticking jerkily along the circle without ever hitting any chest just like a clock hand substituted with a compass arrow exuding morbid-greenish phosphorous gleam off its head……each arrow leap got accentuated by a voice full of that hollow aloofness as it happens in the thick fog which suffocates the tiniest echo of any sound —
"The porch of gold was seated by : czar and czars’ sonny : king and king’s sonny : shoemaker and tailor : policeman and watchman : so who are you at all?tell us all:tell us: tell us: tell us:Who?Are?You?…sheeshell… meeshell…off with you!to the DEUCE!"………………………………….The ascending echoless voice cut off abruptly, and ticking of the index finger spooling inside the circle got lost too together with everything else leaving behind only grayness evenly monochrome and loaded with no contours, but inside it there already dawned and spilled a paler grayness mingled with some light from a still not quite discernible direction.My eyes followed the light and I made out the feet emerging from nowhere, mine, kept wide and ready to fiddle with the pitching of a ship, yet in place of the deck under them there cropped up and met my bare soles a stretch of the sunlit asphalt. I arched my neck back to raise my face up and at once was made squint tightly.Where am I?
What a mistake! I should of never put my head up. Ever. The fierce raw brilliance of the shining day scorched and erased without a trace or any hope for retrieval everything it had contained before.All left there were just patchy clots sintered indistinctly – some horizontal lightning, some pitch-black gap of the like horizontality…A stingy pain throbbed there in the back of my head… I must’ve scratched it against Peccy’s valves… Hold on! Who’s Peccy anyway?Who am I?!
A desolate sun-swept street around me. Rough asphalt in the road divides the two serrated rows of houses opposing each other, different in size and height. All of the walls look alike. Tired. Weary of everything, even of themselves, and of the row they are lined in. Tired of the tree stuck up from the asphalt, dried, the tree, the lifeless boughs look like withered roots. The tree, like planted upside down, provides no shade for the bench beneath it. Empty bench. Almost.I veered to it…
The old man seated there exhibited astounding garrulousness. However, the stream of his speaking activities hardly coalesced into a picture of any sensible coherence.The most stupefying feature about that nonsense pouring talking head were his eyes filled with cartographic lines of the blood vessels shooting densely all over his eyeballs the color of the powder-blue fog thru which there swam brown irises ferrying wide pupils. Those also swam all the time yet in a more controlled way, so as not to spill overboard, into his eyes whites.The like optics organs are not an infrequent rarity and, in the same breath, the trump card among the celebrities in the business of movie production, as well as by the leading showmen, of Afro-American orientation.
Being aware, as it seemed, of his gift, he did his best to keep them up-squinted, which stratagem imparted to the fairly worn-out features of his face the looks of almost giggling Buddha, intended obviously as a red herring to put autograph hunters off track.At times, because of negligence or weariness, one of his eyelids slackened its squint. However, the resulting map in no way increased the chances of collectors who, having rushed after the jolly Asiatic hieroglyph of Jack Chan’s signature, all of a sudden ran into the gloomy gaze of Morgan Freeman from the adjacent eye or vise versa.
However, I listened to him with just a half ear because the second half was pricked up to catch the hollow hum of intense thought work behind the thin partition from the dura mater embracing the gray matter convolutions.By me, it is that classic case of “fragmented memory”: why did I recollect my uncle? the neurosurgeon? (what was his name, I wonder?) who had shown me the picture of cranium section to demonstrate the meninges of the brain, where the mentioned partition bears all kinds of graffiti: “dura mater” in Latin, then comes Cyrillic «здесь был Вася», which again reflows in Latin lettering «Kilroy was here».And that’s exactly what produces this ever-present buzz (behind the partitioning), the absence of raw material for processing does, the thoughts just spin in an unproductive slip, like to when you try to recollect that long and winding dream that meandered through all of your night, but you are up and have shaved already, and sitting at your breakfast, and all retained by you are only vague elusive shreds of that past dream – something about Belomor cigarettes in it, eh? Or what?
Okay fine, let’s assume I’m seated now on this hard bench and this old screwball is yakking of nobody knows what, but who am I and where from?And these two questions, if not answered with proper promptness, can very easily shed you off into the quicksand of doubts whether that “I” exists at all.
Aha! I’ve remembered! There was nothing about Belomor in it, and someone kept dumbly repeating, “Any evidence there was a boy? Any evidence there was a boy?? Any???”Still and yet, who am I? Or am I simply to go on along with that trite sophism, “I feel the bench hardness under my ass, ergo: I exist”?Exactly that moment I heard the dear and all-too-well-familiar clatter of hoofs…
My Rosinante!. click-clack… clippety-cluck… am I a jokey? An Olympic champion in show jumping? Or derby was our profile?The curiosity woke me up and turned to face a bitter disappointment – the clicks were sounded by the feet of a female representation of the hominid species from the group of tailless primates, shod in shining yellow spikes, it’s them clattered along the sidewalk.Ah, Rosinante! Where have we lost each other?!.
The look of her rather short caparison stung me with the unasked-for recollection, I have already seen the like tatters and I could easily reconstruct the rest of the picture – an iron-girdled chest, its lid thrown open, filled with bottles of dark glass securely drowned into the shim of exactly same rags, gaily angular snakes of the sunlight reflected by small ripples of water twine and swirl in the boards of the ceiling… where was it? In what dream?.
My neighbor in the bench fired off another incomprehensible declamation, this time on some sports subject, gorodki competition or something like that. Could he have been a coach at the CSCSA club before his retirement?
Very soon I felt the need to urinate and asked him the whereabouts of a nearest public toilet.A first, he sent me, in the manner of his lacework verbalization, behind the car sheds, but guessing from the expression of my face that I had no predilection to silly jests like that at the moments of physiological need, he widely opened both of his Afro-American eyes and nodded invitingly in the direction of steps leading to the basement of a nearby house.
Leaving him alone, I still caught shreds of a centuries-old joke he was telling to the dried tree (Pyrus communis):"Who the hell is whizzing like a cow right under my window?""It’s me, Mommy.""You? Pumpkin? Go on, dear! Pee, sugar, pee!"* * *
Bottle #9: ~Ay, Phedai-jan, Phedai! ~The screechy deafening discharge at launching of a GRAD missile is heard from afar yet the missiles themselves are nearing unheard, exactly the way ALAZANs do, and only when they brought to Aghdam City the cannons from the Caspian flotilla battleships and those started bombardment of Stepanakert from there, the sound track grew richer – you heard the 'boom!' of a cannon at about 20 kilometers off and in a half-minute from the same sector in the horizon there nears and widens the scream of the air torn apart by the purposeful flight of the shell, until it bursts somewhere in the city – GRHDAHKB!
Everything attuned to the technology of admiral Togo, who sent the flotilla of admiral Rozhdestvensky to rest on the bottom of Tsushima straits on May 27 1905, and—who could ever predict!—exactly that very day 70 years later I was set free after my hitch at a construction battalion in the Soviet Army of the USSR.
Still, the explosions of any sort sounded equally disgusting…
After lunch they always found some urgent work for me and, as a rule, in the underground shelter, my family did – to fix the section with the electric wiring (though all knew the electricity would be cut off all the same), to install the door, to seal the openings between foundation blocks with masonry of cubics meant to stop the chilly droughts as well as the raids of brazen rats, 2 in 1, you know. The task called for fetching cement from the box at our house building site while cubics (limestone blocks of 20 cm x 20 cm x 40 cm) were an easy find about the basement.
On completion the proposed job (intended, presumably, to keep me down there, in the underground's relative security) I retired to our rented flat and plunged into translating ofUlysses. The daily quota was set at 1 page, sometimes I knocked out one and a half, yet hardly a half page was the much more oftener output.Then it was getting dark and the time to go out after water.
No, I never took the Joyce’s masterpiece with me to the editorial office—you never can tell, and the book was a borrowed property—that's why at the paper's facilities I scribbled a translation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Earth, a si-fi throwaway in the chewing-gum style,still and yet you have to somehow kill time, be it even at war. The undertaking served a practicable distraction though explosions of any remoteness from the scarred desk in the translators' room caused equally dismal contraction of the asshole…
At times I paid visits to the site of our future house, put away till more favorable conditions for construction works. Because you simply can’t let everything just drift by itself left to good will of your neighbors, who have enough of their problems.The fact of 3-tonne water container being emptied and ladled out to the last crumble of ice was understandable, completely so, on my part. But where the heck disappeared the bundle of the barb-wire collected by me around the CPSU Regional Committee building after the special troops of the Soviet Army abandoned it for good?
The twigs and boughs chopped off the pine trees in Chkalov Street by the fragments at cover shelling were used for the construction of a passable Xmas tree so that the kids would receive divers impressions at their childhood and not only the monotonous panicky alertness of the adults around them in the miserly flicker of a candle dripping molten wax tears in the murky basement vault…
So, why after those relentless bombardments, and in absence of “the Russian bayonet” appraised in the Empire’s poetry as a panacea and pledge against Asiatic blood bathes, why (excuse the monotony of using the same question word) not to enter the city and kick up (no! we won’t say “carnage” we are too globalized citizens of the new order for that), kick up some fun at another ethnic cleansing, and get rid of all those basement dwellers (possible carriers of more threatening pandemics), and rename the city into “Khankendi”?
Well, they would if they could, they certainly would but for the nagging impediment named “phedais”.Despite the Arabic-Muslim origin of the word that means “self-sacrificer”, some researchers derive it from Neo-Greek roots of the period when Hellas was no more and Greece was not yet around, and in their stead there was the Osman Empire (otherwise denominated the Ottoman or simply Sublime Porte). To keep things clearer, phedai is just a guerrilla-fighter or Bandera-man who kisses his family good-bye, grabs his wooden fork or AK, and leaves his home sweet home going to defend his village.
Why did Armenians need phedais?
It’s certainly a good question, yet after skirring thru Wikipedia or Britannica you’ll see that in a 15-year stretch (1894-1909) 2.5 millions of Armenians under the wise rule of the Osman Empire lived thru 3 massacres the most horrendous of which was the first (1894-1896).
Over-meticulous German pastor Johannes Lepsius had counted (absolutely proved) killing of 88 243 Armenians alongside the destruction of 2 493 villages (inhabitants of 456 of those got Islamized), the desecration of 649 churches and monasteries (328 were, luckily, turned into mosques), and death of additional 100 000 Armenians caused by starvation and diseases among the homeless. The total number approximates 200 000.
The following 2 massacres:a) 25 000 in Diyarbakir Vilayet (yet, since there were massacred Assyrians as well, let’s divide the number evenly which leaves 12 500 for each of the groups, in brotherly way);b) variously estimated from 15 000 to 30 000 in Adana Vilayet (only Armenians this time) which makes average of 22 500.
Sum total: 235 000 in 3 massacres.
(I don’t call for boycotting your summer vacation in Turkey, the hotel Manager over there might very well be a great-grand kid of an Islamized Armenian).
Each outbreak of the mentioned atrocities was vigilantly responded to with a mutual outcry in the indignant Europe and unsparing headlines at the leading newspapers.
In the 20-th century the word “massacre” fell out of vogue, gave way to and got replaced with the word “genocide”.The Armenian genocide in 1915-1923 sums up to 1.5 millions of human lives. And ultimately we come to:2 500 000 – 1 500 000 – 235 000 = 765 000Two third of the entire people exterminated or (to put it optimistically) one third survived.
Figures are a fucking effective means of consolation – the skimming shoot of eyes over the long row of zeroes and that’s that, you’re good to live on further. The trick is just not to let the details crack your mental mail of arms by pictures of a mujik sliced with sabers, a baby hoisted on the bayonet, a woman beastly raped and killed and dumped into the same mountain of decomposing bodies.
No. It is not a feverish verbal diarrhea of a wacky blogger, the illustration is taken from the pencil sketches by an eyewitness (they did not travel with cameras yet). Poor Frenchman! Poor Frenchman! What repulsive nightmares he was haunted by in the rest of his life!
Turkey flatly rejects this arithmetic (ask the hotel Manager), yet the obstinate figures are there to show the remainder of one third of survivors (plus those who took Shahada).Where are they, the un-Islamized part of that third?Fled to Russia, fled to France, fled to America.In Russia they would become citizens in the pending USSR, in the West they’d flesh out the Diaspora…
As noted by a European eyewitness of the massacre in 1894, the attackers were distinguished by exceptional cowardice, so if running into resistance they immediately moved along to shoot up, rob, rape, and kill in the next village, which emphasizes the need in phedais-guerrillas-Bandera-men if you want to survive in your native land.
And what were they, those 2.5 millions of Armenians who could not last in their land (albeit provided with phedais of their own)?I’m gonna put it straight – just mujiks they were. All life long they plowed, harvested, hauled the dung from cow houses out, were digging, hacking, building and from 1555 they clung to the same occupations but already as a part of Turkish Empire (all over one quarter of the then state’s territory were they toiling thru their lives).
Okay, fine, the mujiks also had their own elite: merchants, political figures, shoemakers, writers and composers, however, those were far away, in the capital city of Istanbul. But, on the whole, just mujiks as is they were.
From 1915 to 1923, while the elite were being hanged out on the lampposts in the capital city, the arrangement about mujiks was way simpler – collected in crowds, they were driven to Syria (also a part of the then Ottoman Empire), driven into the desert under the pretext as if some camps were awaiting to accommodate them there. So one million human beings died on that trek because they were driven without any food, shepherded by riflemen.The guardsmen did not bypass gutting dead womenfolk in case she swallowed her gold earrings while alive. Some were lucky to find. (Armin Theophil Wegner; 1886—1978, another German witness of heinous atrocities.)
Still, what did Turkey need all that trouble for?
Easy as pie – it’s an Empire and any state of that status has no choice but to grow. It exists only while it grows, like those polyps in the Coral Reef.But behold and see – the neighboring insistent grower, Russian, end 1800’s grabbed ample swathes off the Ottoman Empire. Who else might possibly be guilty of such an affront if not those Armenians? They also worship the Cross.At the dawn of the next, 20th century, Turkey looses almost all of its possessions in Europe. Who’s guilty again?
For consolidation of any Empire, having an enemy is the must, be it an external or inner one. Such supposition can be exemplified with the Third Reich whose efforts brought the German nation to be consolidated not only by their just pride in their philosophers, composers, and high quality household appliances made in Germany but also the genes-deep feeling of guilt for the Genocide of Jews. Which is, of course, another story, yet the core remains the same – you can’t go on without an enemy and in absence of a sufficient bogey to make us stick together, we’ll invent some covid or another, and draw a useless mask on each and every visage, and subject folks to shitty injections, and any bitch holding off is against us, we’ll shut up their squeaks opposing the holy institutions and wisdom of our rulers…
The Stepanakert phedais' had one noticeable feature in common – their young age, from 16 to about 32. Night after night they kept shooting their AKs against the positions of the other side to the conflict entrenched in Krkjan, the commanding hill in Stepanakert outskirts. There sounded bazooka bums too in that neighborhood connected by a dirt road to Shushi and from there to the rest of Azerbaijan.
When someone got blown up by a mortar fire in his fox-hole, they buried him a day later in the city cemetery – everything was conveniently at hand, in the same blockade…
For me personally, the phedais are –Mishik, who after the first (unsuccessful) storming of Malubalu Village returned home frozen thru and thru and slept for about 24 hours;Gavo, my one-time coworker at BMM-8, after a night in Krkjan passed the AK to his shiftman and was coming back home, and winked at me proudly in the sidewalk along Lenin Street;Samvel, whose wedding pants were shot thru with a bullet in the second (successful) storming of Malubalu yet he never looted a thing there, not a kopeck worth;Edo (the Draftsman) sporting an obsolete army officer belt-harness.
In the then Stepanakert parlance the appellation “draftsman” was used to designate a person whose eyes in his head watched the world speeding round thru the prism of cannabis smoke because of the characteristic thoughtfulness pervading their countenance and optics in particular, when on high.
Nope, I did not know them closely enough to learn these details first-hand. The short-sighted policy of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR regarding the citizens who did their stretch in the construction battalions of the Soviet Army had not allowed me to acquire the skills needed for operating a Kalashnikov assault rifle, which would somewhat excuse my being non-Armenian and over the age-requirements. However, my wife Satenic was from the same generation with their wives.
True, I’m not sure about Edo’s being married, which does not constitute a too huge problem though – being a “draftsman” he’s always suited to design something.And easily enough, take my word, bro…* * *
Bottle #10: ~The Third Point of View ~....yep she’s a most complete fool that goofy Minnie is and I always sez it open to her right into her stupid eyes you’re a fool Minnie and they screwed your goofy head on in a completely screwed up way and she just keeps grinning her wacky smile as to show she is being a student in her third year of some or other stupid nothing and please don’t because you don’t need to screw my brains with all that blah-screwed-blah you know as well as I do that a woman needs all that studying no more than a french window in her cunt and let them go and screw themselves together with their whoppers about her way to come to the rudder of such so great enterprise and now been the woman of the year by the Forbes rating let ‘em go and tell those tales to bunnies under the Xmas tree about that business slut dangling her silicon tits oh yeah she’s so cute and stuff and all those faggy pidor couturiers pinch each other on the sly running for the honor to make her pants on their brand line they advertise in turn at Vogue Verdict and don’t you ever try to screw my brains as if it is her education responsible for such a so bright career hers no no no need try next door to push your goods Mr. Salesman I was not born yesterday and this business lady with her cute cunt was lucky to run in right time into a right place to split her fork for a right dick and become the Big Style Cunt of PromGas or whatever is the name of that warehouse that each and every pussy dreams to get to and all day long polish their nails at the polished desk like zombie dolls half dead of boredom as to buy a luxury car please anyone look at me please hey envy my polished Lexus I’m so cute and open to business opportunities but if you ask me I'd better go on moiling myself at that fucking supermarket but stay the master and commander of my cunt and decide who to get laid up with and not go by the leads and orders from Forbes for your stable growth in the corporative career and if they call me a whore behind my back then thank you very much for your ad and free canvassing and the choice of dicks for my pussy now grows expo-nationally yes I am a whore but I am an honest girl for my personal pleasure and not a hooker for a successful career
but this fool this Minnie keeps coaching me ah Maya you should learn something with your pair of legs and a diploma you’ll easily become First Lady as if I need that shit but that stupid fool that Minnie thinks a diploma plus pink iPhone makes you Master of the World and with her goofy bow legs she’ll never grow higher than a secretary to Manager of Housing Maintenance Office to serve him coffee and flesh-out quickie briefings in the doggies way behind the closed doors as if I don’t know how them those chick-students earn their iPhones in the third year but this dick-sucker with her horse teeth keeps it that her iPhone in her green purse that’s a brain-screwed-up nuts for you PINK iPhone in a GREEN purse and only one thing that I could thank the wacko for is her keeping me hang on with her stupid babble in the morning if not for her stupidity I’d miss the pretty guy and pass the Chris’ bench before he was there that manly male in his full beard as I like and not that prickly stubble around their mouths as if he did not wash the snot off his mug for three days no the guy had a real beard which makes you want to dive in and make a nest inside to have a baby there O, I’m such a fool and give out things at times neither here nor there and he looked after me by the bye when I was passing but I had nowhere to hurry today because its the second shift so I took a seat on the two-story house porch they seem like renting it again and the steps are not too trampled over and when he came to whiz onto the wall down there I thought damn it’s a fucking pervert but no he never looked up at me on those steps not a single time and that way I could dig it was Chris the farting geezer to send him over for a gag to tie up his hobby-horse there and when I saw what he was gushing from my legs slid apart all of their own and I thought to myself no Maya no and no I won’t act an unfucked chick with this one and never want any iPhone off him but just do it for my personal pleasure I’d ride this hobby-horse of his raw and no saddle needed
and then fucking Dad popped up from nowhere I never noticed him come but he’s a crazy old cat that’s what for they keep him at You’ll Get It and here you are his baby goggles at another guy’s dick and he punched the macho without any warning with that his mean jab below the plexus his specialty wallop sharp and pointed to get the wind knocked out of the guy who then can’t neither breath not fart and he’s kicking him on the ground but this time he crooked and grabbed his fist and the guy nimbly turned around and kicked a swift “hi there!“ back like in the video game street fighter Dad lost his footing and landed on the steps to basement head-first with a bang and stayed there resting so I ran up and grabbed the guy’s arm and sez let’s scoot this bull’s sturdy when he wakes up you’ll get it in full and took him to the grounds in the parallel street where the kids play basketball behind the net and we sat outside for a talk only he did not said his name maybe he’s wanted and I sez let me check your beard is not a wig but what the heck there’s an iron thing under it as big as his dick and he sez I d’not get it what the bull wanted of me don’t mind sez I that’s just my fucking Dad oops he sez maybe you’d better call Mom in case help was needed don’t worry the connection’s dropped out of use 8 months ago because of sea-rib-real cancer oh I’m sorry sez he as if she’s worth a sorry that fucking bitch who grabbed my legs hold while Dad was raping me in her lap when I’s 14 both drunk blind like two owls of which I did not squeak to him nope…* * *
Bottle #11: ~But Life Just Can’t Stop ~Where did the phedais take weaponry from?Light arms arrived, for all I can guess, by night choppers from Yerevan together with the flower for the city bakery plant. Besides, the garrisoned in the city regiment of the Soviet Army, when leaving it in the dead of night, did not pick a fight with the phedais who seized the regiment’s arsenal about an hour before the troops departure. The detachment commanders had their orders to withdraw from the zone of ethnic conflict and arrive in a specified location by the specified time. Recapture of the ammunition would definitely involve delay in the discharge of their orders.
And the adversary too shared their arms, at times. Thus, fighting back the advance to Askeran City (17 km east from Stepanakert) phedais grabbed two GRAD installations…Once, coming down (and again after midnight) to Suicide's Spring (the handle was a self-made invention for my personal use because in route to that waterhead there were 65 steep, fairly shattered stone steps coated with slippery ice) I got fucking flabbergasted by the sight of an Azerbaijani tank (the affiliation attested by the crescent and star doodled on the turret) rolling with a goddamn clang-and-clink through the black-outed city in its repose between night artillery attacks.
At the unnerving vision my asshole’s sphincter reacted in its usual way (I mean the sudden adrenaline surge shot through my system) yet, by and by, I somehow persuaded myself that the iron monster should be none but a captured equipment whose driver decided to make a flying visit home and see his wife, you know… She must’ve been missing him too… press on, man, don’t make her wait too long… the asphalt has been fucked up before you and the traffic police… well, cut it out…
Phedai groups got organized through the knowledge by acquaintance and differed in both their quantity and denomination for which purpose they used the names of the heroes of yore (Chaush group, for instance), as well as handles or names of their commanders: the Fragment’s Group, the Group of Vacho, etc.The General Command Headquarters stationed in the former Military Registration and Enlistment Office (MREO) used also for keeping spare Kalashnikov assault rifles there. The groups were separately deployed in the abandoned kindergartens of their choice.
Stepanakert, it seemed, was infiltrated with a spy and the most conveniently positioned artillery in Shushi City persistently worked on the kindergartens, yet the nearby houses suffered more. However, one of GRAD volleys did level half of the MREO building…
And not only phedais were pulling on their activities, the usual political routine unconquerably flowed in the city despite the underground way of life. The basement shelters turned the arena in the election campaign of candidates for the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed Republic of Mountainous Karabakh, in conformity with the internationally accepted norms and practices.
My direct boss at the deceased paper, Arcadic, the Head of the Section of Russian Translations, joined the run for the Supreme Councilmanship too. He was in obvious jitters because of the mighty popularity his opponent enjoyed among the thieves-segment in their mutual electorate. The trepidation even made him give up shaving off his bristle. Moreover, getting readied to sell his image to audience in the basement at the underground debate with his contender…
And now Arcadic, advised and coached by the more experienced (and, contrastingly, well-shaved) cadres, comes to the open debate together with his confident, a member of the upper nomenclature layer famous for his tongue of silver, by the estimation shared in the milieu of elite managerial circles. But that yokel, Arcadic's rival, does not even have the slightest idea that so is the custom for election campaigns. That goofy goon.
So, the second (Arcadic’s) takes the rather uneven floor in the scantily lit basement and paints before the present shelterers the bright picture of the glorious future awaiting everyone and all of them if they vote for this here Arcadic in the coming elections (a couple of GRAD missiles burst outside someplace in the city to let him pause and take a breath) because he is exceptionally moral, Arcadic is, the family man of unheard of integrity and faithfulness, marital.
The masterpiece of oratory art delivered, the confident sits down by his candidate to get his fully-deserved laurels shaped as Arcadic's handshake, while that dumb rustic rises in his turn:"OK, folks you’ve just heard what the guy sez, huh? So, mark you well that his each and every word was the very portrait of me in the natural size." And he gets seated back. No sweat whatsoever…
Over the road, where Lenin street enters the main square, they pulled a cloth strip with the inscription running:'All To Vote!'Yes, in the usual commanding style. All by the canons of the Soviet times. However, the hard-dying habit turned a mistake, strategically, for the artillery men from Shushi read the line thru their binoculars and kicked up some hell of a barrage on the election day, precisely in the working hours, from the opening to closure of the polling stations.
I came to the theater building to do my democratic duty and scanned the ballot – not a single familiar name in the list. Yes, the most right course was staying away from all that, and I'd follow it, were they not so authoritatively discouraging my participation, the artillery from Shushi. But now I was there and crossed out all of them so as not to leave hard feelings by random, undeserved favoritism.
OK, fine, but how to get back home now, under this downpour of shelling? Sure as hell, some frigging mole sits someplace with his radio transmitter informing on scheduled events in the city life because the notice over the road never mentioned the election date…And what about Arcadic? Of course, fell through, what else could achieve that green-horn midst the treacherous jungle in the world of political crafty realities?.
The chocking blockade gradually loosened its grip.First off, was captured Krkjan, the uppermost part of Stepanakert. Not at once though. It was captured then given up. Captured again, and again the phedais pushed out by the fresh reinforcement coming there from Shushi. Yet, at last the night came when the shooting died out on the hill above the city and fires blazed, here and there, up the slope – the eternal law of war: destroy all what can’t be grabbed and taken away.Then came Malubalu's turn with their nagging howitzer battery…
For so large-scale operations phedai groups united under the command of a Major from Yerevan sporting the brave handle of “Kommandos”, who had behind his back the school of the Afghanistan war. Although even without his educated opinion it was clear to everyone that the next step to ensure survival was taking the Village of Khojalu which cut Stepanakert from Askeran town and controlled the Stepanakert airport.However, capture of Khojalu changed the nature of the Karabakh conflict drastically, making of it a multinational fight in place of just two neighbors squaring it off…
People are all different, some like playing with dirt in their kitchen garden, others prefer fishing or they are fond of gambling at stock exchange or, maybe, of cooking. Were I asked, there’s nothing better than roaming and watching round with the eyes in my head in some, preferably not privatized area. But then you can’t go on without traders too, who also are people of their specific, mercantile predilection.And there is some special breed among us, people, which by different tribes is named differently, though, in essence, they are of the same strain – stardust lovers.
Viking, conquistador, cossack, mujaheddin sighs up a condotta on paper or verbally, puts an intact pack of condoms into his pocket or under his belt, and joins a pack of freelance mercenaries, his likes. And then, led by an experienced condottiere, starts the poor devil off to conquer the wide world and become a new king/czar/sultan of all his subjects not killed in the process of subjugation.The chances are also there that it never will happen, oops, and he might very well turn a disarranged heap of bones beside a sorrowful saltbush or a skeleton half-buried in the listless sand of dunes, yet living otherwise is not for him ‘cause he is an active stardust lover, cannon fodder of his own accord…
Before the storm of Khojalu such volunteers popped up on both sides of the confrontation: Afghani mujaheddins, Chechen militants (could you figure out on which particular side?).An acquaintance swore to me on most holy things of his seeing Negroes (?) in the hills, my argument was – he’d wrongly interpreted Gastarbeiters from Tunis made up in the Arnold Schwarzenegger's style.Later on when aviation was put to operation, a group of pilots took leave at their respective places of service and came to scrape together some petrodollars from Baku oilfields or was that euros after all? (No, monetarism has never been my strong point.)In short, when one of them got shot down over Karabakh, he rapped on his buddies and got sentenced to the capital punishment but the request of the Belorussian “Daddy” Lukashenko and other elitist appeals set him free.
The group of Kuban cossacks with their lively tricolor and one KAMAZ truck that brought all of them (“I was marching to attack with just a cossack saber in my hands, the Azeries got stunned and stopped the fire”) and one military field nurse.A score of Dashnak Party members from the Diaspora.Two groups of stardust lovers from Yerevan.A couple of Ukrainians worked at a rapid-fire anti-aircraft gun "Shilka" in the air defense of the RMK.
Much later, the cossack leader-ataman, a handsome albinos guy sporting thread-thick mustachio along his upper lip, was driving home his personal trophy from Aghdam (white car of the Zhiguli ’Kopeck’ brand) but at the crossroads of Lenin and Chkalov Streets the traffic lights were not working and he rammed a “goat”-Willis of phedais’.Both sides to the accident exclaimed “fuck!” (each one in their mother-tongue). The ataman jumped out of the “Kopeck”, spat on the road from the disappointment.
They did not mean to wait for the traffic police to come and run an expert examination of whose fault the accident was because they both were without the respective license plates and just revved off, each one his way.Although failing to become a czar, he still had grabbed a car. The hood dented a lil bit. And let him keep himself the count of condoms in his pocket and the count of buddies cut in the hills away by mortar fire. That’s all a part to the condotta-stipulated fate…
During the collapse of the USSR, while up there was a complete oatmeal—rigged out in a sciatica corset, not to spill a slippery puddle, you know, that make-believe President, who, like, was there yet, simultaneously, was not, some unpluggable thing, dangling askew—and down there, at the former outskirts of the brotherly Soviet Union, went on internecine sorting out, trampling, ramming, and turf securing; Azerbaijan opened widely for refugees from other regions of the late Communist Empire.Most welcome were Meskhitian Turks and other Shia Muslims from the Sunni republics in the Central Asia all of whom were directly sent to settle in Karabakh.Their destination became Khojalu Village which saw a hectic boom of transforming into a town which would surround the Stepanakert airport and also cut the city from two district centers (as mentioned above).
And it’s high time to apologize for the incomplete list of the mercenaries, to which I’ve inadvertently omitted entering collections of low-rank officers from the Soviet Army (on both sides), a quite excusable lapse though – it’s hard to keep in mind the mitts habitually stuck under your belt because they are always there.
Now, one final stroke. As both sides to the conflict wore the same fatigue (cotton-wear uniform of the Soviet Army) phedai groups’ fighters were ordered to bind white bandage strips up the left arm in their winter trench coats to see “ours” from “theirs” in the pending storm of Khojalu Village.The night from 25 to 26 of February 1992 was assigned for Khojalu Tragedy, “the unseen in the 20th century Genocide”.
And that’ll do for today, the bottle is not of rubber…* * *
Bottle #12: ~A Buddy-To-Buddy Talk, Bro ~The ceiling in the bar's way too high, tastelessly more than enough, you’d easily install some frigging entresol in between. While as is now, it absolutely sucks. Some haywire design of space arrangement by a shoemaker of architect and, you can't but feel it, done by the same dilettante who's also responsible for the vodka served in this here establishment, a sort of.
The bottles, inarguably, are all classy topnotch in any style that happened to make history in glassblowing: both flask-like and hexagonal, and prismoid, and elegantly barrel-shaped, and—you're free to fancy any “and…” here—but close your eyes and slap the sticker “Burnt Swill” on any one at all and dead right you are. Whichever hue, the bottled liquor is still that same old burnt swill retailed back in the USSR for 3-68 apiece or, when you happened to run into some extra exotic stuff, for 4 rubles and 12 kopecks.
Welcome to Our Wild Blind West! Vodka “Stolichnaya” for just $31.99! Our specialty product of choice sawdust and prime acetone.Which does not tell in any way on the young bartender, spruce and proud of so expansive choice of tequilas behind his scraggy back…
And how do you like these windows, huh? Bigger than the walls themselves! Where's the fucking intimacy? Where's the aura of Cellar of 13 Chairs? If I may ask… So as to feel yourself beyond the reach of crazily hurrahing revolutionary masses outside, running to attack with their Mosin rifles a-tilt? What crooner of Vertinsky would sign a contract to miaow under such shitty conditions? Eh?
Fat snowflakes keep crashing from without against immense glasssheets in the broad panes. Slip-sliding down helplessly, no stamina to hold on, soft weaklings squashed by unsustainable burden of their own weight, the woeful state of being doomed – 1.2 millions killed yearly by the obesity in Europe only.But wait! 23-15=8; 1.2*8=9.6; 9.6/1.5=6.4Fuck it!Or else 45-41=4; 1.2*4=4.8; 4.8/6=0.8But still and again, exactly one third survived.
So funny they are, the snowflakes. Fluffy cuties. Every fifth boy and every fifth girl are exactly this same way. The poorer the section, the higher the percentage. Mommy could not afford a foster-mother, the sweet thing kept on the wonder powder ever since its birth. The conveyor-production fruits of global civilization. God save Johnson & Johnson!
He rubbed the wrinkles in his forehead ever so deeper, wearily. The unforgiving gaze bore the plate before him on the table.Eat all of it! If not, I'll pass it to the boogeyman! The cleaner the plate, the fairer your would-be bride!
The snow outside the windows of the bar Make Or Mar sticks to thick trunks of the pines, adorns their long, southern-type needles with clinging white, white caps rise noiselessly up from the roofs of the parked cars. The light of day out there grew dimmer, wrapped in the sticky twilight. It can't be that late yet, huh?
Here, in the bar, the light shines brightly to show off the items in the collection stuck about in any suitable nook. Each exhibit's an irrefutable proof of the designer's nostalgia for the days of yore, when you could simply live your simple life, without giving it too much of thought. Simply live it.TV-set “Record” in its plywood box. The sewing machine “Zinger”, those unaware it was produced in Chicago were reading ‘singer’ in the accustomed, German, way. The only foreign language in the then curricular for the compulsory secondary…Disgustedly, crunched he a chip over-fried to dryness.
"Hey, Chris. You, like, reformed your habits or what? I'm right from You'll Get It. They say never put an eye on you for more than a week or so. Boycotting the establishment? What for?"
The side of the thick square tabletop opposite the window glass (but again why so too close to it? So that never use that side of the table?) got leaned onto by the elbows of a young man in a tight-knitted hat wearing a tiny glob of moisture atop each of the villi in the wool's down. The disappearing vestige of the former snowflakes brought inside from the street.Along the dark hair hem beetling from under the tight cuff evenly upturned around the hat, there remained not a trace of moisture, all swept off with the artificial fur in the jacket's collar, spurned to fall and imbue the black-and-yellow tartan over the wide shoulders.
"Nobodya?” never taking his look up from the fork detaching the yellowish belly from the next chip. "Why trying to act stupider than you are blessed by loving nature? You know that I know that both of us know that you can't visit that place ‘cause of the migraines in your father's-in-law head. Ever since that rough landing down the steps you made water upon to facilitate his smooth slip, the guy's developed a habit of keeping a hammer under the counter to welcome you on the sight. So, how is all-good missus Maya?”The fork is dropped on the tabletop, the plate irreconcilably pushed

"She left that supermarket and got a job in the big bookshop in the square. An expert on sales of post-purism paintings from the aggravatedly modernistic period, that's her position now, whatever it means. It's only that her employer presses her into learning to write. And I've asked you a zillion times already not to call me “Nobodya”.”
"Even so? Don't be over-picky. That's the most fitting handle for you. Or have I missed something? You recollected your Mom's maiden name? Amnesia is a heavenly gift for the likes of you, and stop digging any deeper, Nobodya Lazarievich. What if before your memory loss you'd been a career serial killer? Enjoy your current freedom. Stop any needless straining of your mind. A click of bitchy recollection and – back to the mill, to the same dreary toil. Do you really need it? By the bye, I would easily slap together a family name for you too. With a friendly discount, you know. You'll feel an incomparable bliss, cash back if you could ever take us over.”
"Slow down, old man, you're the second to none nor any second to you in sight. Hey, I always felt kinda curious, how come you remained without a handle in the street?.""Chris is my handle.”
" Jeez, Chris, no kidding?”"Stuck at school yet, like a shirt to ass. The burp of Good Queen Bess."
"Compromised by a gay classmate?”"The Queen Virgin, you ignoramus! Our literature teacher, Lizavet Vasilievna, to visualize the point, explained that Shakespeare kept copying his early masterpieces from another playwright, some Christopher Marlowe, 'the way our Ekibastuzenko copies his homework from Marlov', which her lecture set the ball rolling."
"I still can't see where you enter in.”"My family name is Marlov.”
"Ah-ha! Let me guess: Marlov – Christopher – Chris…”"You certainly improve when seated next to an intelligent person. Now, ‘cause of this handle I dropped patronizing You'll Get It.”
"How come?”"Christopher got stabbed in a London pub of the period. Poor devil. So young and stuff. Leaving a temporarily disconsolate widow and seven brats.”
"Well, you are past that dangerous age and until having seven kids you're safe. Seriously, Chris, marry someone! We'll get drunk at your wedding.Still one thing escapes me, both here and there is a bar – does it really matter at which of the two they stab you?”
"Here and there are different by the probability estimate. Chris Gugensian from Second Parallel Street had made up a theory on that matter while doing his third stretch for improper use of a lever in a burglary case falling under the Article 158, aggravated by the involvement of a juvenile kid, Jack Bernullin. This here establishment is under a Don's man supervision and, therefore, the probability estimate is more favorable because the crowd keep their emotions under much better self-control, which even excludes the need for keeping a bouncer around. But why d'you keep the beard when cutting your hair, I wonder?"
"Maya does not allow cutting the beard, she likes it this way… And what kind of a bird that Don is?""A quadruped.”
"Well, I'm serious, man. Do you need to horse around every frigging thing? Take my advice and get yourself a PC with video games, it'll make a normal man of you. Whenever feeling you're lost, just hit Escape Button in the left upper corner of the keyboard instead of straying helplessly…""How can YOU know?”"Dunno. It's blurted out just of its own accord.”
"Don is natal in the street. Attended the same school as I, only way later. Too underweight for bullying anyone, just a smart getter for a reasonable price and wide assortment of anything, he was. In his late teens they nabbed him for some trifle, stealing a car or sitting in a car while it was being stolen. A leniently short stretch of absence, for about a year or something. While up the river, he acquired the experience and proper connections, and when out, first off, cut his handle in two.
From the school years his handle was 'Donkey', and now he retained just the first half. Whoever used it unabridged, be it a slip of tongue or in the way of jesting, in a day or two was collected DOA, well-stuffed and the control shot in between the brows, and his ear sliced so as to flap out longer. Like in a certain quadruped.
To put it short, the street began to show circumspection, even talking to a bro they were reluctant to add '…key' to 'don…', follow me? You can't be over-cautious among the bros, you know, today's bro will turn you in tomorrow. They even bypassed the use of “ass” word, just in case, the two animals being from the same family in the classification. Saying “kiss my ass!” they looked back to check who could've heard. One generation later, the street got used and forgotten that Don was titled otherwise way back. Except for a couple of old wind-brokers not good at amnesia.”
"And why d'you tell me all this?”"Dunno. Blurted out just of its own accord…This area previously was under another tough's control, Otter by his handle, until one morning they came after his body in his big time apartment, and to collect his bodyguards there, all in the irreversible nirvana. No sliced ears though, yet everyone knew who grilled the water-loving critter and—lo!—Don is the heir.
And this here bar is his turf, so the visitors filter their ejaculations and keep to balanced manners in their interpersonal communication. That's why I may stay sure, to some extent, that no random blade will pierce my bile sack and turn clockwise like a big padlock key, albeit I'm Chris Marlov."
A waitress neared their table, all in black and no libertine flashes, a loose sportswear, in fact,– to take away the rejected food and to present her shining smile to Nobodya who was 'no, thanks, just fine'. Then she walked off pumping up the standard pomp of a juicy floozy.
"So why d'you look for me in You'll Get It, dare-devil Nobodya?”"No idea, Chris, but that Maya wants to have a talk with you. It was on her commission.”
"What talk?”"Wish I knew. She's too stubborn, 'I need to talk to Chris, can you arrange?'”
"A quiet nook, nice and cozy, what else would buddies need?"
They both looked up to watch a middle-sized man sporting a black fitted coat in retro style. Glistening black hair stretched tightly from his forehead to the back of his head sticking closely to the skull like by a swimmer slowly emerging from under water with their face up.
The light from the nearest lamp under the certainly too high ceiling coalesced in slick blurry spots in his shoe noses stuck out from under his black wide trouser cuffs. Dazzling white scuff shielded his throat like a hals-tuch in the parade portraits of the baroque period.
"Hi, Don”, said Chris.* * *
Bottle #13: ~Not Humans' Fault ~Humans and war do not go together. You won’t find man there, in war. Battling, man goes beyond oneself, becomes another entity, possessed, non compos, both I and you and any other one are fused into a new, unprecedented, unclassified organism chained together by one and the same aim – to kill. To kill and survive by dint of it, and only after that to fall apart into separate individuals, which a moment back were not humans but spare parts of a… machine? abeast?. Well… of something beyond classification. Something which had been running, shooting, hollering, not feeling oneself, being impersonal ueber-individuum…
“…we ran to attack, shooting, in a united rush, but they shot back real hard and then I got it I’m somewhat overmuch ahead and where are ours? why falling back? forward we go! attacking! and I looked back and saw myself, my body dropped behind, on the ground over there, that’s when I lost consciousness…”
They pulled him out, he stayed alive, became a human…
“…it was a leave for two days, I came home, our apartment on the third floor, not destroyed, my wife was there, our two-month-old son, but all the same I couldn't just relax, too uptight all the time, the baby start squealing and I hardly keep myself back not to grab and smash it against something, anything, and drop from the balcony…”
He did manage to keep himself under control, it’s his baby after all. And were it not his?.
Alexander Matrosov, Unan Avetisian and many others, who repeated their deed, posthumous Heroes of the Soviet Union, they did not plug with their bodies the bullet spitting embrasures of bunkers to save their attacking buddies from being mowed down by the machine gun fire. No. They were thrown into the hole by the mutual need of the rushing machine-beast to survive, used by the collective subconscious they were.
There is no individual human in war but components in the war composition.There are no atheists in the trenches where every one is at god’s disposal and knows it too well. It’s not the god they teach about at madrasah or seminaries, who they kindle smelly substances for, offer prayers to, sing up in their hymns. This god is bigger than any of religions. This god is mightier, more merciless and senseless than them all. There is no use to pray to him, no way to understand, even less to avoid. This god is Chance.
Were I asked if Armenians had perpetrated beastly atrocities, my answer is: but they were not Armenians then!.
Were I asked if Azerbaijanis had perpetrated beastly atrocities, my answer is: but not Azerbaijanis were they then!.
Non-humans from both sides, just war-components.
Azerbaijanis were the passengers burning inside the petrol torch of a bus, Armenians were whose torn-out hearts were stuck into the spirits-filled three-liter jugs and put by the tombstones in Baku cemeteries.
And lots of other things I know of, which I have no wish to ever know yet still know and this knowledge chokes me. Mercy please! Finish me off! I know too much, much more than I am capable of carrying on!.
I disseminate this here ethnic strife? It was disseminated and fanned up long before me and go on and on and on because war-components are not only those carrying assault rifles.
I don't care for knowing who was to start the fire. I am for the Zero Option canvassed for by Popkov who came in summer 1992 to Baku and later, over Yerevan, to Stepanakert to wander about the elitist offices, pleading: let’s start from zero, let’s try at being humans.Who did hark him, that god’s fool, unshaven, uncombed, in a bum’s raincoat and no necktie?
There are no sacred wars, any war is dirty and when it is over (that’s a lie, it is never over but withdraws for tactical considerations, regrouping its components), and when there comes a seeming respite, the dirt and shit get varnished over, some or other spare parts get dangling flops and are proclaimed Heroes of Nation, they get inserted into History textbooks so that the secondary education would have tools for preproccessing the next portion of cannon fodder with…
And those who lost the war are announced war criminals and passed over to some or other Hague to be sentenced, even though they also were fighting for their Homeland and saving the world at large, and if in the process there happened some crimes against humanity then you just can't have one without the other, there is no medal of just one side, ask any order awarded warrior if in doubt…
People! Be vigilant! I love you! People! Hey!
Damn! The parents missed baptizing me properly, John-Desert-Crier would suit me better or at least Johnny-Who-Hoots…
(Abridged content from Link 1 at the current bottle bottom):
"Khojalu City and its two suburbs were populated by 7000 civilians, hundreds of whom were killed at the storming on the night 25 to 26 February 1992 by hands of Armenian bandits and the 366-th Motorized Infantry Regiment personnel or frozen to death fleeing over the mountains…"
Then follow graphical descriptions of mutilated bodies of Special Police Officers and simply shot and killed civilians;–testimonies of foreign (predominantly Russian) mass-media correspondents;–a lengthy discussion whether there was a humanitarian corridor left for the exodus of civilians before the battle;–details of the case of an Azerbaijani journalist pledging that such a corridor existed, and 15 years later sentenced for 8 years of imprisonment for that erroneous opinion, yet after 4 years of incarceration he was granted amnesty;–samples of the appropriate reaction by the international community to the genocide in hand;–list of fiction and other kinds of works based on the events;–presentation of the selected viewpoints from both sides to the conflict.). . . . . .[The following is an aside commentary by me, who was not an eyewitness and construed the events on the basis of the basements’ rumors though not just on them.]
Starting 1987, I regularly passed Khojalu Village on my bus trips to Stepanakert City and back watching a village of about 400 cottages, and three 3-story apartment blocks of 2 sections each, two more same-sized buildings were underway, plus two nearby hamlets of a score of cottage-hut-barn.
The 366-th Infantry Guards Motorized Regiment was pulled out from Stepanakert a month before the storm of Khojalu, having left a handful of petty officers at the regiment quarters.
“The Regiment Commander Political Deputy called us to his office and said, 'I can’t give you a direct order but you have to stay…'”
(The statement was heard not in the basement but on the 2nd floor of the house traded by the owners of our one-room flat (located on the 1st floor) for their house in Baku in the aftermath of the Sumgait tragedy. At the dinner table was seated (among the others) a mercenary, whose armored personnel carrier had not entered Khojalu yet supported the storm with his machine gun fire from outside the village limits.)
“…about 1 am. I saw one stalking nearer with a 'stovepipe' (MPATS), he did not know I had a night vision gizmo…”
The humanitarian corridor certainly existed which practice was employed throughout that war because it allowed to exponentially decrease casualties born by the attacking force.
According to independent Azerbaijani sources (on the Net), the proposed humanitarian corridor was used 24 hours before the storm for driving to Aghdam (the nearest Azerbaijani city) herds of cattle and sheep to their owners, who had already been evacuated to Aghdam (and this is absolutely beyond any comprehension! Spies and spies everywhere! However, working for the wealthy owners only).
The official site dedicated to the Khojalu Tragedy mentions curtly the participation of petty officers of the 366th Infantry Regiment (!) in the unsuccessful advance from the Azerbaijani Aghdam City against the Armenian Askeran City.
[Aside: some ubiquitous regiment indeed, battling on all sides against all sides. Were it them shouting back over the radio from their tanks advancing to Askeran city, ‘Where are your fucking infantry men? Prod those sheep! I am not going to the MPATS burrows without your fighters!’?Because a tank attack against a well-trenched forces is a raw suicide.]
(Abridged content of Link 2 at the current bottle bottom):
"A year before the storm of Khojalu the Soviet leadership arrived at a decision to resolve the problem of Mountainous Karabakh by means of military punitive efforts code-named 'Ring Operation'.
(Below follows a schematic description of actions pattern in day to day carrying out the operation, as presented in the wiki site dedicated to the “Ring Operation”.)
“Early in the morning a village would be surrounded by soldiers of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR. Then the blockaded village was entered by Azerbaijani Troops of Special Police to start searches for weaponry and terrorists, and check the IDs of the villagers', (which actions were) accompanied by beatings, rape and robbery. At times, together with the Troops of Special Police the villages were also entered by Azerbaijani civilians for marauding. The local inhabitants were presented with the ultimatum to leave the village forever. As a rule, this actions were repeated for two or three days before the actual deportation.
The execution of “Ring Operation” resulted in plunder and destruction of 19 Armenian villages, murder of more than 100 civilians (for the most part kids, women and senior citizens), 600 people were wounded, hundreds missing…”
No I am neither disseminating nor in search for who was to start it all and the above quotation is just to visualize the means and ways of a war-components production line process.. . . . .At the end of the humanitarian corridor, about 700 meters from the Azerbaijani city of Aghdam, the crowd of refugees from Khojalu Village were hit by a volley of GRAD missiles.Phedais did not use that military equipment yet, all the attackers were equipped with were assault rifles and white bandage fastened over the khaki trench coat sleeve.
Those rockets burst far away from the Khojalu battle. That night the fleeing civilians from Khojalu walked 20 km, there remained just 700 m to the city of hope, security, life… It was a full discharge of missiles from a GRAD installation which did not participated in the storm of Khojalu. It was a bloody dawn.
In a couple of hours mass-media correspondents were brought to the spot of the tragedy, on a helicopter.Some inhuman war-spare-parts did not want at all to let the conflict die out…
"When leaving Azerbaijan (another quote from the official Azerbaijani site about the Khojalu Tragedy) some servicemen from the 366th Motorized Infantry Regiment attempted at taking outside the Republic big undeclared sums in foreign currency…"
[And again, in the best traditions of the Soviet Army, the personnel got fucked up by the Commander Political Deputy! Although it’s not quite clear which side had paid the confiscated dollars. Were they ripped off the tank men who failed to capture the Armenian Askeran City? Or the money was on those who fired from their armored personnel carrier at Khojalu? Were the petty officers not smart enough to get out of the region via Yerevan? Why to come to Azerbaijan with Armenian bribes on them?In a nutshell, some complete lunacy in the style of post-reconstructional absurdity, where no Thomas de Vaal will ever find any ends in or out.
Although the guy was nobody’s fool in his a within-limits-red scuff, when he came to collect material for his book. I noted it back in 2002, a Holland family name and a job at the BBC, both at once. And the work was produced in so streamlined manner of statements that both sides quote him at their sites now in innocent belief he pulls for their side.]
Later on, the 366th Guards Motorized Infantry Regiment was dissolved… (Which is fucking dishonesty at all! Not fair way to treat guardsmen!)
The storm was started at midnight sharp, as planned. Valyo the Phedai, when forcing the river in the western outskirts of the Khojalu Village, slipped off a boulder and fell. The end-February-mountain-river water felt dead cold but he got up and ran after his comrades-in-arms.As a component to the current war-machine he ran and fired and hollered although being drenched thru and thru.
At about 1.20 am, in a village lane he was lucky to come across a burning house which fire gave him an opportunity to dry up his sides. An hour later, in a deserted house at some other place in the village still echoing with stubborn shooting out, he found a casserole of hot barmy borshch. He ate it, not all but until got warmed inside.
His mother, of course, wouldn’t approve of the action. All her 4 children were born in Baku where she worked at a factory, packing baby perambulators, while her husband wandered about the USSR as a seasonal construction worker.In 1989, so as to stay alive, they moved from Baku to Stepanakert.
Next year Valyo finished School 9 there and a year later he was already a full-fledged phedai in the group fighting in Krkjan. When in the storm of Malubalu besides the nasty mortar battery they captured also a big farm, he was awarded 4 sheep and a horse, all of which prize he brought home.
‘No’, said his mother, ’take them all back, we don’t own the animals’. If you ever try to drive 4 sheep and a horse from the School 9 neighborhood to Malubalu you would understand Valyo’s frustration, but he did it, he always was an obedient son. However, on that tragic night, he ate that borshch not cooked by his mother because he was too cold.
At 4.40 am, he caught a hostage (not a special police officer). He felt swoony and sat on a bench with his back to the hedge, and demanded of his prisoner to behave (which that promised) yet, just in case, he took the clip from his AK and shoved it in the inner pocket of his trench coat, before dozing off.
His sleep was disturbed with an AK barrel prodding at his forehead, he pushed it away and said, ‘Stop it, moron!’.In response, the iron barrel hit hard and he awoke to see the stardust lover Gavo from Yerevan lying on the ground, and his buddy Syamo standing over Gavo whom he had just knocked out.
"It’s Valyo! He’s ours! Can’t you see the bandage, you fool!" shouted Syamo.
"He talked Azerbaijani, not Armenian!", whined the comer from Yerevan…
Valyo and his group stayed quartered in Khojalu. His hostage together with 5-6 other ones were kept in the same house (but in the room with a grated window). The prisoners were made to feather the fouls caught in the village to make the noodles tastier. In a month the Red Cross took them away…
But it was a flash forward, so back to February 26 –
From Khojalu they brought a pregnant woman to Stepanakert. Both the hospital and the maternity hospital was then in the city's safest basement – under the previous Regional Committee of the CPSU.
The woman gave birth to two babies. I never asked if they both were boys or girls, or just twins. Too late we grow wise enough to inquire about the most important…______List of links:1.* * *
Bottle #14: ~Bye Dear Chris! Be Back Whenever Feeling Like That! ~“Hi, Don”, was delivered by Chris evenly, perfectly stripped of any emotion, however, too impartially and colorless as if by a theater school student articulating the lines learned by rote before a mirror to control the output.The stare of his African eyes shot with the meandering snakes of venous blood twined, unyielding, with the frozen steel-hued glare of the man looming close by the two buddies table…
...In a London tavern, the blades of two daggers clang, tangled up to the scraping jingle of their cross-handles, the crowd of drunks shut up, a-gaping, the flutter of the torches in the walls grew in volume…
The counterparts paused their exchange of conversational clues to expertly check-up the overtones in the greeting by Chris. Was there a treacherous strain of discarding the fatal “key” in the name?. Nope, not a slightest hint, it sounded OK, the piece, like, rehearsed well enough.
"With your kind permission, gentlemen."Don pulled out and bestrode the third chair at their table, the right profile of his face opposite Chris’ stare turned to its reflection in the cold glass partitioning from the street dark, from the cars dozed off by the sidewalk in the slow thick snowfall.
Two slobs in long black coats, like that on Don—lacking though the exceeding elegance of the outfit which, on them, smacked of a uniform, sort of—without doffing their slouch hats got seated at two different tables nearby.
"Tell you what, Chris? Seeing you never fails to make me think of ol’ good times."
Don lied and they both knew that he was lying. The needless lie told Chris that the meeting was not accidental and in the past week they did inform Don of a new patronizer at Make Or Mar, just in case, because the boss always showed interest in the movements of old-timers. At times he even helped them to move on. To the better world.
Why it was so, his hitmen did not know, it was not their concern, they just were doing their job so as to live on, and go on doing their job, and retire to a warm place with a beach and palms or long-needle pines of Sochi, and there, to the sound of the surf, which they couldn't bare to watch for longer than 6 seconds, to go thru the routine dying of desiccating cancer or bloating obesity, you know, if only a bullet with their name on it had not rendezvoused them on the way to that happy end, the control shot in the brow eschewed.However, the number of those reaching the juncture of feeding the cancer was somewhat higher.Don lied and he knew that Chris knew that he was lied to or, maybe, even got it that the meeting was arranged to plumb how deep he, old Chris, apprehended the extent of Don’s hatred to the "ol’ good times".
'That Bugger Donkey, he would get you anything – pills, weed, snow, intravenous,' knew all the advanced dudes at school.
Donkey had a reliable provisioner, his step-father brought home by his Mom who fucked Donkey for a change, when bored with effing her or if his high fancied that tack.
In time, Donkey's map became familiar to the provisioner's provisioners, and when discharged after his stretch for the shitty car stolen from a relative of the judge, he tore his step-father. Literally. In four parts.Which makes him sorry, at times, now. The bugger died way too fast.
Turning to his own person, Donkey cut off only “key” in his handle. By that small literary trick he blessed himself with a huge title, and the title obliges, the title it was to bring about the drastic death-rate among the street’s old-timers.Chris was the last of Mahicans, yet Don still tarried – without Chris all that remained there for him, personally, was the routine rut to cancer-feeding at an estate in the south of France or the Swiss Alps.
"You look like a groom from London, Chris. What shit is your fix? I'm curious, just out of envy.""You dream of sticking me into your collection? There’s still a spot by the gramophone: 'Chris, the golden age of the street, no screwing up the exhibit’."
To bypass answering, Don laughed in a measured laughter, almost not parting his narrow lips. The two were swapping words which had no purpose any more. They both knew that Don dropped in just to say good-bye to his past.
"You’re a good guy, Chris, but I must be getting back to the mill.""Would you imagine? I know the uncut version of this byword. In the golden age they used to say, 'You’re a good guy who lives unpardonably long’."
Don chortled, got up, pinched his ear lobe and made for the exit.The bodyguards started after him.
After marching along for a couple of meters the rear lout made a turn around, neared Chris’ table and, standing behind Nobodya, with a movement trained to automatism slung up a pistol from under his coat and shot at the Chris’ chest. Twice.Chris, together with his chair, swayed back and collapsed onto the floor to disunite. The victim's legs stretched out under the table.
The black automaton took a step forward and raised his hand with the pistol over the face of the felled man. A program glitch prevented the control shot.The cause of the glitch—a bulky boarding pistol—bounced off his head and dropped onto the table. The black-coated figure banged face-first on the floor tiles.
Nobodya standing on his knees by the Chris’ body, his hands steeped in the sticky blood oozing thru the victim’s rags shouted:"Chris! You’re a good guy! Wake up, Chris!""Ss…kep…", mumbled numbing lips."What? Chris? What?""Ess..cape…", the eyes turned over up and to the left.
Nobodya followed the last gaze – along the aisle between the table there was scuffling the second oaf in black, aptly drawing the gun from under his coat.
"Aaaa!", sprung to his feet Nobodya grabs the pistol off the table and hurls it into the widow glass throwing himself after it in a side somersault over the tabletop, and falls thru the jingle of the widening gap onto the snow-clad sidewalk outside.
The black-coated slob runs up to the table. Fuck! It’s in the way. One mighty push sends it aside, the gun handle in his right hand finishes off the sharp fangs of sheet glass in the crashed window, and he jumps out into the imprint of Nobodya’s body in the soft snow.
Meanwhile the fleer rushes across the nightly-thick stream of the traffic, screaming:"ESCAPE! Chris! ESCAPE!"
The pursuer, without a moment’s hesitation, runs after him to take over, shoots on the run into the fleeing black-and-yellow checker. He’s paid for the accuracy of fire, for doing his job as it should be done. Nobody had ever given him a slip. Navigating thru the screeches of brakes he shortens the distance.
With a hoarse kamikaze-like yell, Nobodya dashes ahead. Is he fucking mad? Running to kill himself?Never veering, darts he across the sidewalk to plunge himself against the building wall…
A split second later arrives the black-coated hitman hardly panting at all. Cluelessly stares he at the stone surface of the wall. Then under it.There’s just intact snow. His hat moved to the back of his head, he looks around.
Nobodya’s nowhere…* * *
Bottle #15: ~A Step Up ~The spring that followed generously brought me a job at the Supreme Council of the Republic of Mountainous Karabakh and again, by the bye, by protection. You swiftly make a habit of accepting things to be conveniently arranged by your mother-in-law or thru some other channels.
This time it was Guegham, who I’d seen a couple of times at all-out briefing-meetings in the office of the Head Editor of the paper where Guegham had a job of journalist. He came to our rented apartment in between bombardments, when Satenic was there, and said I had to visit the Reception Office of the Chairman of the Supreme Council on the second floor in the "White House" (which previously accommodated the Regional Executive Committee). Of course and sure enough, I went there, you just can’t spurn such openings.
In the ante-room to the Reception Office there was sitting Vera, the Chairman's Secretary, fairly advanced into the venerable age, yet the vestiges of her former fairness still traceable, who told me to wait because Arthur was busy at the moment.And at the long desk next to hers there sat two phedais, opposite each other, playing Scrabble with a pencil in a ruled sheet of paper as a fix for having neither board nor letter chips. They also had to kill time in any way till Arthur becomes available.
But what shocked me, personally, was their sloppiness regarding the fair sex. Now, he’s taken his AK off his shoulder and dropped it on the desk by his side, to sharpen his skills at Scramble comfortably, and pays no attention that the weapon’s barrel got directed smack bang at Vera’s belly. Some tactless jerk, I swear.So, I got up, as if tired of sitting, and that AK quite unobtrusively I turned 90 degrees for the barrel to watch the view thru the window. And all the present played along as if nobody saw nothing. Except for Vera because, when some geezer left Arthur’s Room, she dropped in, went out and invited me to enter although those two phedais had been waiting there before I came.
Arthur, a squat guy in his glasses, asked if I would like to take the position of a translator-analytic at the Press-Center by the Supreme Council of the RMK headed by Guegham, who had visited our rented apartment. How could I turn down the proposal with my diploma of a Teacher of English, from the Nezhin Pedagogical Institute? Letting down the people who had wasted their time and energy on me 4 years at a stretch? I'm not that kind of a guy.Thus we came to a consensus and Arthur undertook to carry out all the formalities…
And I parted the paper with no regrets, almost, moreover that Isaac Asimov’s grand nothing was over and, besides, I felt kinda hurt by the attitude regarding me displayed recently on the part of the paper employees by a certain part of the editorial office staff. Well, just a fraction of them…
The matter is that after the fall of Khojalu the airport started to operate and JAK-40 jets began landing there. 150 rubles for a ticket and you become unreachable by the theater of militarized hostilities.And one morning I indicated some unaccustomed vivacity and noise outside the Translators Room, in the corridor, and quite naturally I went out to see what’s up.
As it turned out, the reason for the paper’s staff's get-together was their not being paid the salary for two months and, in the same breath, they knew about presence of some money in the editorial office’s safe although not aware how much exactly.
In the wake of the mutual elation, I also visited the room where it was installed, the safe. And, as anticipated, there it was in the corner by the window.No, yeah, naming the item a safe would call for a certain stretch of imagination. Just a wardrobe of sheet iron, but the padlock was a really weighty thing. Also of iron.
The only hindrance for going over to a payday routine stood the absence of the Head Editor, Maxim, who more than a month ago went to Yerevan to participate in all kinds of meetings and TV interviews about the ill luck of Mountainous Karabakh and the bad break for its Armenian population.
Yet,The Soviet Karabakhnewspaper staff did know a trick or two. And before you say knife they procured a long iron breaker, some really mighty tool in my professional estimation, and did not miss on bringing along the Head Accountant too. Breaking that wardrobe with that breaker was a matter of a couple of moments without turning for my help although I wielded the tool for 2 years at a construction battalion in the Soviet Army.Of course, I felt offended.
The head accountant, surrounded by half a dozen of eager witnesses, counted the burglarized sum and gauged without any calculator and – guess what?– it turned exactly 150 rubles per a paper staff member!But she only warned me beforehand to bridle my expectations because my name was not listed in the payroll, and the Head Editor not around but in Yerevan.
The whole state of affairs seemed kinda sad but I kept myself in hands, thanked her for the information, and went out retaining the overall composure and make-believe indifference.Later on, Rashid, the Watchman, came to the Translators Room to express his disagreement with the occurrence, unjust from his standpoint, which did not console me too much though…
So, without any scruples, I crossed the main square named after V. I. Lenin and entered the "White House", second floor, the first door in the corridor to the right – the Press-Center by the Supreme Council of the RMK, where there was a pretty long desk and one window behind Guegham’s, the PC boss’ back, and along each wall (except for those with the door and the window) lined up a row of chairs (backs to the wall) – all their seats cloth-lined, grab any one to your liking, move closer to the long desk and break in the critter.
Guegham forked me out a tiny black receiver capable of picking up short waves, and explained my official duties: listening and taking notes of everything blurted out by the BBC about the Karabakh conflict or by any other radio station for that matter, if they choose to pop up in any range, and then, on the basis of whatever was angled out by the receiver, I had to roll out a monthly analytical report for the Supreme Council's consideration, beside my responsibility for the synchronous translation of the visitors who knew neither Armenian nor Russian.
On the PC of the SC of the RMK payroll, beside me and Guegham, there was also Benic, the operator of his professional video camera (he liked to take the panoramic views of the fields filled with ripening wheat ears but the must was filming the busted military equipment and other war-time horrors),and the Niva driver Rafic, as well as Aghavni, Guegham’s secretary.
I’ve never chanced to cooperate with Arthur Mkrtchian because in a week there happened his murder in the disguise of suicide.Well, show me a suicide who puts a bullet thru his head then cleans his handpiece and hides the shot cartridge too cunningly for the investigator to find it. Not even under the bed.Was I born a day ago or what?.
For me it was clear at once who the job was done for, yet in my monthly report for the Acting Chairman of the Supreme Council (some Zhoric it was, right? They were so too many to step into each other’s shoes there) I didn’t not expostulate my interpretations that only Big Brother could be so much aggravated by the Arthur’s plan to break the communications blockade by establishing the Road of Life through Iran.Don’t you ever dare to even think in that direction! Russia's for centuries been tearing the Caucasus from under the Persian domination…
The cushy job exhausted me by regular nicotine OD’s conditioned by the PC room small size. All those representatives of foreign mass-media, who arrived by the nigh choppers because JAK-40’s had enough load to fetch in besides them, produced quite a bellyful of smarting smoke to faint in it, notwithstanding my 12 years of non-stop smoking before giving it up…
And then, taking advantage of my official position, I decided to evacuate my family from the surrounding war because I stopped liking the look in Satenic's eyes. The eyes themselves were as beautiful as ever yet that expression of staring at something a thousand miles away was not quite the thing. Although what else could be expected after the months in the basement and more than a couple bombardments per day, on average?
Guegham led me to the room of Marcel, the head of some committee or another, on the same floor, who produced the needed paper. He only warned that in the airport they might pay no attention to a paper from the SC of the RMK, albeit signed and stamped.
Rafic took us in the PC’s Niva to the airport, 15 km in the direction of Askeran, right before Khojalu Village, where there was a kilometer-long line to the one-story airport but no one to show that paper from the Supreme Council to. The jet engines buzz coming over from behind the building but no way to get in because of all that crowd and the locked gate in the fence around the airfield.
That’s how we spent the whole day there. Satenic was looking after the kids while I kept looking for who to show the paper to. Good news in the evening one of my brothers-in-law, Sashic, came by his Volga vehicle and brought us back to Stepanakert.
Next morning my leave was over so no way to count on Rafic’s Niva and we started off to the airport on foot. At least Ruzanna was walking herself but Ashot had to be carried and piggybacked all the way, in turns.And along the broken road tramped the crowd of fellow travelers like it was some Soviet holiday demonstration if not for the shell holes and blasted pillars along the road.
On reaching the airport the same rigmarole started anew. At times random GRAD missiles flew in without hitting the takeoff run though because of being fired from a too big distance. It would burst in Khojalu, for the crowd to disperse and then collect back into the line. And so until dark.
Satenic decided to spent the night at the airport because carrying Ashot up-hill for 15 km was a long haul indeed.So, early in the morning I iterated to Stepanakert and back alone – the kids had to eat something, we were not prepared for so lengthy a delay.
Then, gradually, I wore a path for infiltration the airport field thru the gate and when some or another phedai wanted to kick up surplus dust I surprised them with the paper from Marcel and did my best at snow job to establish favorable relations with all and any single one around.
And then I saw a JAK-40 coming in to land and some geezer, not a phedai but who was seeing to the refueling and stuff, said, “It’s Murad, he takes out more people than allowed by the jet’s technical characteristics”.I rushed back through the gate to gather Satenic and kids, and bags, and on the way I saw a Niva at the entrance with a woman sitting inside in a state of complete indifference to the surroundings.
To make it short, I brought the family in by the flank maneuver, and next to the run there's a crowd already screaming agitatedly but no one being let any farther and we too were cordoned off.The phedai commander, a guy in his mid-thirties, tried to calm everybody down announcing that it was Murad who had just arrived and he would surely take away all of the present, filtered thru the airport building.
The jet ran nearer and dropped stairs from under its tail for a couple of men in khaki to descend. A khakied jeep took them away, and there was a pause with the phedai commander often glancing in the gate direction until from there, at last, appeared that woman from the Niva looking neither to the left nor to the right and walked to the jet with her companion. Some elite, to be sure, yet not in the SC of the RMK line, otherwise I would recognize them.
The commander started to let people in small groups to board the aircraft. One group. Another. The rest could not restrain themselves any more, they broke the cordon line and ran out into the airfield.The pilot waving hotly from the window in his cabin, some guy who had seen his passengers off in the previous groups tried to defend their departure and stop the rush of the running crowd by demonstrating postures from one or another Eastern martial-arts exercises. The phedais raced to help him out and pushed the elements back. The jet slammed its stairs up and escaped to the takeoff run while the phedai commander was yelling, "What a bad lot you are! Even Murad did not want to take you away!"
And I grew sad that we were so wicked people. But then that servicing geezer neared me and told under his breath that Murad had brought some phedais’ big shot and there would be another jet to take him back later in the day.
Everybody were pressed out again into the airport building to the rest of the crowd there. And I was stalking about and worrying how to stake off a place in the pending jet. The phedais got accustomed to my mug and did not paid much attention but I could not even look at them anymore, at their dummy visages. The snotty teenagers were handed assault-rifles to and—here you are!—meet another bunch of phedais! Phooey!
Yet, I still tried to find a way to reach that big shot. Deputy of the Defense Minister of Armenia or something. But they explained to me that he was dead drunk with Karabakh tutovka in the meteorologists' hut and it’s hard to tell whether he’d be in condition for flying back at all. The flight after him might very easily be canceled, postponed for a day…
And again the twilight was thickening and Satenic, planning to spent another night at the airport, sent me to Stepanakert after some or other things. And I started off, although not as briskly as in the morning.After plodding for a kilometer, I came up to the crossroads where there were people standing in hope for a chance vehicle to the city and somebody from among them called out, ‘Look! What a pretty aircraft!’. I turned around and saw a tiny JAK-40 jet mutely coming in to land in the parting sun rays of the day.
I say, some dash it was in the counter direction!
As it turned out, during my absence the jet got landed, the crowd stirred up but the phedai commander kept the door to the airfield wisely shut, the Deputy Minister slept off his drunkenness and stood aloof in the middle of the airport hall, within the thick circle of the phedai cordon, devastated pitifully by the severest hangover imaginable, him, not the phedai kids.
However, I still managed to press thru to the sufferer and, waving the paper, went off chanting that by the International Law no families should be separated.Fortunately, he had certain command of Russian, "And what’s all that about?"
And I claimed the right of my family to evacuation to the place of my birth, in Ukraine, where I originated from.
He beaconed to the commander who opened the door, and phedais took those bags with Satenic and kid’s things to the jet. I also saw them off into the overcrowded aircraft, yet old ladies there found vacant laps for our kids and I moved to the exit, running into the Deputy Minister.
And I watch him – buddies, but it's our man! Hair as long as was sported by Nestor Makhno, the leader of the Peasant Army in the Civil War times. He’s still unsteady on his pins after the tutovka OD but capable, none the less, of making for the pilots’ cabin thru the thick crowd in the aisle."Where to?", says he."Well, still have some unfinished business around here."
I climbed down the stairs and ran off. The jet roared up and moved to the takeoff run. Some of the phedais nearby plugged the ears turning their backs to the machine and sat on their haunches, kinda it’s an American aircraft carrier deck around here, others confronted the gusts from the jet’s turbines with their faces of squinted eyes and jitterbugging hair above their foreheads…
And I watched and saw—wow!—how beautiful was each and every form in that sculptured group portrait of the Hellos young demigods!.
The very moment off the run, the jet turned over to its side along the invisible banking so as not to fly over the ridge by the Noragiugh Village where from they could launch a thermal rocket…
While I’d been stomping to Stepanakert, it got completely dark. Nearing our rented one-room apartment, I heard some toddler kids twittered in the darkness of a nearby yard. And it shot thru me somehow too sharply that merely a couple of hours since we had parted but I was missing them already…* * *
Bottle # 16: ~Welcome back, Customer! ~…but this all has certainly been already… a fit of raving déjà vu or what?. by the bye, is the noun of feminine or masculine gender?. depends on the inquirer's orientation… which one would be to our liking?. fooling around with the neutral seems most disturbing, when you don’t know where to, and how, and what… take it easy, love comes with time… but if it hurts?. then have a shoot at whining…
…but all of this has most definitely been already… this complete darkness is way too familiar… “darkness” is feminine in Russian if it makes it easier for you, feel better now? relieved?. can’t tell for sure… after that previous darkness the head was aching awfully… never get drunk over the limits… and where did it hurt most?. the back of the head… so it was not migraine then…
…yes! iremember now!. ihave been in this here darkness and packed as tightly as right now… because everything comes back to square one and in the end you plump back into the sperm being squirted by your dad’s dick into the round hole of your mom’s vagina… you’re squarely unnormative in all of your fucked up crown, this will blow up to hell even 18+… 'cause of what was will be again, what has been done will come to be done again…
…truly, truly tell I unto y'all!. all’s definitely that very way and exactly so was I not able to stretch my legs out and this here lid above and I all crammed and confined inside this too tight Pe… Pec… Peccy?.
To use their sense of feel, the fingers pass thru thick, however, imperceptible darkness until they met invisible yet palpable hardness of calcium carbonate in the so familiar concave wall.Yes, it's her, it’s Peccy. Here is the unmistakable cleavage between her two valves, yes, that lovely shallow split, not even a pinkie goes any deeper, the fucking bitch squeezes them too tight and there’s no space for doubting it any more – it’s nothing else but a déjà vu!
O? But what if he had never left it then and just fallen asleep, exhausted? What if banging the back of your head against something hard works as some sleeping pills, eh?Three hearty bangs are equal to a couple of Zolpidem. Looking for Triazolam? Keep banging on. Doral is effing painful yet that way you earn a sound sleep for at least 8 hours…
…shut up, buddy! banging for a living is prostitution!. ha! as if digging a hole or sweating at a conveyor line is not the same? don’t they sell their body? ain’t they doing the routine job that makes them wanna puke?. shut up! we’re honest law-abiding sellers of our bodies! not a single article in the criminal code discourage our trade!. and, please, stop entering slippery grounds they can block your account, you do know…
The freaked out fingers recoiled back to the beard. Wa-ait! But where’s the blunderbuss?
The blunderbuss is there no more. Instead they feel some woolen cloth, rather thick yet not drape, maybe, rep, it’s hard to say in the darkness.
The hair is also gone. Well, not completely but shorn pretty much shorter because there’s not a chance to get an upper hand in a tiff with Maya…
…stop!. but who’s Maya?. and more details on this point, please…
Whoa, man! Easy! Easy! We are not rolling out any Kama Sutra here… just use some mnemotechnic knock up… no! hands off! draw your hands back, I tell you!.
There sounds a groan in the darkness, maybe, two… an ill-articulated, ’o! Maya! what a slut you are! ah! yeah! Wow-ow!’
Seems like amnesia has withdrawn about that neck of the woods…
Yes, he phases it out while there again is arising the same question: who am I and where from?And one more pops up too, a bigger one – how to get back to Maya?
Think, buddy! think… fuck “who” it can wait, the shortcut to Maya lies thru “where from?”…Think, Nobodya! Do think!
What the feck!. who’s Nobodya?
aargh!. it’s real hard to do business with you!. don’t you know English? or never seen that western with Henry Fonda? Damn!
A London tavern’s interior springs up in the memory… low ceiling, jittery illumination by the torches in the walls… Chris stretched out on the floor… so funny pants on him, skin tight… crumpled mesentery folds around his young neck sprayed with blood… the dagger handle sticking out from the forehead above his right eye… the control hit… no more poems, rhymer… but he was also a fink, eh?. as if there ever was someone who was not, okay, cut it out or else the audience would boo at being bored of… just mark well – anything would pass away besides the Muses that come to visit… now again, take two at beat one…
Chris on the floor… the veins in the whites of his eyes getting paler… Don’s bodyguard nearing with his handgun… and this very moment I catch on the meaning of the parting words by Chris – “escape!” that button in the left upper corner of the keyboard… the way of exodus, last hope when you hang up in no way out, cornered and stuck where it gives no loophole… Esc button or else that one, wide one, press it for 5 seconds and – your monitor’s black, Game over, sucker…
The stream of vehicles… it cannot stop me… whistle of the bullets piercing my beard… fuck it!. ‘Escape!’… the wall darting like a locomotive towards me… ESCAPE!!!
…The tight, pitch black darkness filled with the hollow beating of the heart—tah-da! tah-da!—which has been right now dashing within the runner’s body. But how can be possible all that? Don’t ask and just believe – There is no Might and Power but by Mnemotechnic the Great and Omnipotent and Adrenaline is the Prophet of It.
Fuck! I’ve really stepped into! It’s so tight in here and I wanna pee so what am I to do? To recollect the pampers of my childhood? But were there pampers? Were there pampers? When you do not even know if your mommy had money-money for pampers or if there was any mommy at all, maybe, you were just another foundling in a refugees camp?
Yet it is of no importance… for the time being… The task is to understand why…
…no one will ever understand why because the question “why?” has no answer. Well, just for the record, it has, however, not one but infinity power infinity, you know, and anything at all can be the reason for anything at all, even absence of a nail in a smithy to shod a hoof, so chew a banana and relax or, if you wish, I can treat you to an apple, huh?. do have a look, so ripe and juicy!– Ѽ…
You? Again at your damn tricks? When or where will I get rid of you?. There are heaps of other shells, not enough for you? Go and hiss there your serpentine lullaby…
…you have to open this one, first off, before to say “Get out!”, you, sclerotic one… and be quick too not to be wakened up by the yell outside, “Get out, Lazarus!”
But why-why-why had no one vehicle run him over? They were just sliding thru him… Or was it he to slide thru the car interiors and their drivers? And possibly thru the passengers too?.
Why did the bullets fly from his plexus with welcoming “phew-phew!” without setting his beard on fire? Not even combing it for that matter? Such things cannot happen, right?
There’s something not there… yes, really amiss… nothing but some creepy virtuality… but who?. Scurrying autos, them those bullets or he himself?. Who was virtual?. Or—and—here enters the most horrible godawful possibility—what if all of them at once?.
…well, well, well, welcome back again… copy-pasting Matrix season 7, eh?. shame on you, Ekibastuzenko! plagiarizing Poles?. while having such a good mom who sings about the revolutionary locomotive… oops!.
A-ha! Have blurted it out? You Prince of Darkness!Now I know who I am – Inokenty, Kenty, Kesha-sunny and nothing of that Western Nobodya!
With hectic acceleration revved his thoughts shooting ever faster like a squirrel in the wheel in his cage…I’ve got the squirrel syndrome?
…hold on, not everything at once yet nobody will ever bypass the inevitable…
And in the rumble of the squirrel’s plaything’s rolling rotor there grows and widens new rhythm over the mariana trenches of dismay, some full of hope dancing beat the shaggy horse fetlocks stomp out in the mincing step of claps and clops which they play up clip-clop-clap-cluppingly:No trumps in the deck any more remains!All of them are swept off by my virtual Ace!
Oh, My! The answer was so simple! Why did he tortured himself and Peccy so?. almost in vain?Chris at his departure presented him the valueless clue and he used it, spontaneously and intuitively, before even guessing where it leads…
In the scorching surge of emotions, just to show that he got it, the meaning of Chris’ mutter, who tried to warn him while lying himself at the death's door… That's why instead of 'banzai!' hollered he the name of the button, one from among 104 in the keyboard. Same-sized as the majority of them yet the most important for those who knows a thing or two about virtuality. Yes, the one marked by three letters—the uppermost to the left, under the code number 27 (o, what a whale of meaning converges in that number for the knowing heart of a numerologist! And can you guess which one is coded by number 13, huh? 2Bsure! Who could ever doubt!)
Nobodya (not yet Inokenty at that moment but an innocent ignorant) not even knowing what he was doing, convoked “Escape!” and heard he was and the miracle came to pass!
Anyone is ready-made for doing wonders, actually.Ain’t it a wonder to be born into this best of the worlds?
No less wonder is to survive in it for the duration of at least one Five-Year Plan. Or to live until you're big, and strong, and productive enough for pouring the mite of your own into the efforts for fulfillment of the current Five-Year Plan in just 4 years?
Yes! Proclaim we without hesitation, this is a real marvel, wonder, miracle and stuff.
Only the wondermaker is capable of not just doing a one-stand wonder but of reproducing it time after time.
Ask a jailbird doing his regular time in prison for the miracle foreseen by one and the same article in the penal code.
Ask Kenty, the poor devil incarcerated in the impenetrable darkness of Peccy’s hollow innards. He knows the magic formula which enables him to make wonder—even though one and the same—without marring his innocent back of the head.
Right now he’ll repeat his personal miracle – lo and hearken!
With a dry click, the locked valves parted. The upper one started its slow raise, opening, widening the gap thru which in pours the shining twinkle in the waves running to the shore from the immeasurable span of the blue sea that merges, far far away, at the horizon, with the blue of the firmament adorned with the coquettish fluffy clouds, over there.
And here you can hear the idle surf and sexy moans of the gulls above the lolling waves.
Yes. He did manage.
He was apt enough.
It's finished.* * *
Bottle #17: ~A Mundane War ~…but this all has certainly been already… a fit of raving déjà vu or what?. by the bye, is the noun of feminine or masculine gender?. depends on the inquirer's orientation… which one would be to our liking?. fooling around with the neutral seems most disturbing, when you don’t know where to, and how, and what… take it easy, love comes with time… but if it hurts?. then have a shoot at whining…
…but all of this has most definitely been already… this complete darkness is way too familiar… “darkness” is feminine in Russian if it makes it easier for you, feel better now? relieved?. can’t tell for sure… after that previous darkness the head was aching awfully… never get drunk over the limits… and where did it hurt most?. the back of the head… so it was not migraine then…
…yes! iremember now!. ihave been in this here darkness and packed as tightly as right now… because everything comes back to square one and in the end you plump back into the sperm being squirted by your dad’s dick into the round hole of your mom’s vagina… you’re squarely unnormative in all of your fucked up crown, this will blow up to hell even 18+… 'cause of what was will be again, what has been done will come to be done again…
…truly, truly tell I unto y'all!. all’s definitely that very way and exactly so was I not able to stretch my legs out and this here lid above and I all crammed and confined inside this too tight Pe… Pec… Peccy?.
To use their sense of feel, the fingers pass thru thick, however, imperceptible darkness until they met invisible yet palpable hardness of calcium carbonate in the so familiar concave wall.Yes, it's her, it’s Peccy. Here is the unmistakable cleavage between her two valves, yes, that lovely shallow split, not even a pinkie goes any deeper, the fucking bitch squeezes them too tight and there’s no space for doubting it any more – it’s nothing else but a déjà vu!
O? But what if he had never left it then and just fallen asleep, exhausted? What if banging the back of your head against something hard works as some sleeping pills, eh?Three hearty bangs are equal to a couple of Zolpidem. Looking for Triazolam? Keep banging on. Doral is effing painful yet that way you earn a sound sleep for at least 8 hours…
…shut up, buddy! banging for a living is prostitution!. ha! as if digging a hole or sweating at a conveyor line is not the same? don’t they sell their body? ain’t they doing the routine job that makes them wanna puke?. shut up! we’re honest law-abiding sellers of our bodies! not a single article in the criminal code discourage our trade!. and, please, stop entering slippery grounds they can block your account, you do know…
The freaked out fingers recoiled back to the beard. Wa-ait! But where’s the blunderbuss?
The blunderbuss is there no more. Instead they feel some woolen cloth, rather thick yet not drape, maybe, rep, it’s hard to say in the darkness.
The hair is also gone. Well, not completely but shorn pretty much shorter because there’s not a chance to get an upper hand in a tiff with Maya…
…stop!. but who’s Maya?. and more details on this point, please…
Whoa, man! Easy! Easy! We are not rolling out any Kama Sutra here… just use some mnemotechnic knock up… no! hands off! draw your hands back, I tell you!.
There sounds a groan in the darkness, maybe, two… an ill-articulated, ’o! Maya! what a slut you are! ah! yeah! Wow-ow!’
Seems like amnesia has withdrawn about that neck of the woods…
Yes, he phases it out while there again is arising the same question: who am I and where from?And one more pops up too, a bigger one – how to get back to Maya?
Think, buddy! think… fuck “who” it can wait, the shortcut to Maya lies thru “where from?”…Think, Nobodya! Do think!
What the feck!. who’s Nobodya?
aargh!. it’s real hard to do business with you!. don’t you know English? or never seen that western with Henry Fonda? Damn!
A London tavern’s interior springs up in the memory… low ceiling, jittery illumination by the torches in the walls… Chris stretched out on the floor… so funny pants on him, skin tight… crumpled mesentery folds around his young neck sprayed with blood… the dagger handle sticking out from the forehead above his right eye… the control hit… no more poems, rhymer… but he was also a fink, eh?. as if there ever was someone who was not, okay, cut it out or else the audience would boo at being bored of… just mark well – anything would pass away besides the Muses that come to visit… now again, take two at beat one…
Chris on the floor… the veins in the whites of his eyes getting paler… Don’s bodyguard nearing with his handgun… and this very moment I catch on the meaning of the parting words by Chris – “escape!” that button in the left upper corner of the keyboard… the way of exodus, last hope when you hang up in no way out, cornered and stuck where it gives no loophole… Esc button or else that one, wide one, press it for 5 seconds and – your monitor’s black, Game over, sucker…
The stream of vehicles… it cannot stop me… whistle of the bullets piercing my beard… fuck it!. ‘Escape!’… the wall darting like a locomotive towards me… ESCAPE!!!
…The tight, pitch black darkness filled with the hollow beating of the heart—tah-da! tah-da!—which has been right now dashing within the runner’s body. But how can be possible all that? Don’t ask and just believe – There is no Might and Power but by Mnemotechnic the Great and Omnipotent and Adrenaline is the Prophet of It.
Fuck! I’ve really stepped into! It’s so tight in here and I wanna pee so what am I to do? To recollect the pampers of my childhood? But were there pampers? Were there pampers? When you do not even know if your mommy had money-money for pampers or if there was any mommy at all, maybe, you were just another foundling in a refugees camp?
Yet it is of no importance… for the time being… The task is to understand why…
…no one will ever understand why because the question “why?” has no answer. Well, just for the record, it has, however, not one but infinity power infinity, you know, and anything at all can be the reason for anything at all, even absence of a nail in a smithy to shod a hoof, so chew a banana and relax or, if you wish, I can treat you to an apple, huh?. do have a look, so ripe and juicy!– Ѽ…
You? Again at your damn tricks? When or where will I get rid of you?. There are heaps of other shells, not enough for you? Go and hiss there your serpentine lullaby…
…you have to open this one, first off, before to say “Get out!”, you, sclerotic one… and be quick too not to be wakened up by the yell outside, “Get out, Lazarus!”
But why-why-why had no one vehicle run him over? They were just sliding thru him… Or was it he to slide thru the car interiors and their drivers? And possibly thru the passengers too?.
Why did the bullets fly from his plexus with welcoming “phew-phew!” without setting his beard on fire? Not even combing it for that matter? Such things cannot happen, right?
There’s something not there… yes, really amiss… nothing but some creepy virtuality… but who?. Scurrying autos, them those bullets or he himself?. Who was virtual?. Or—and—here enters the most horrible godawful possibility—what if all of them at once?.
…well, well, well, welcome back again… copy-pasting Matrix season 7, eh?. shame on you, Ekibastuzenko! plagiarizing Poles?. while having such a good mom who sings about the revolutionary locomotive… oops!.
A-ha! Have blurted it out? You Prince of Darkness!Now I know who I am – Inokenty, Kenty, Kesha-sunny and nothing of that Western Nobodya!
With hectic acceleration revved his thoughts shooting ever faster like a squirrel in the wheel in his cage…I’ve got the squirrel syndrome?
…hold on, not everything at once yet nobody will ever bypass the inevitable…
And in the rumble of the squirrel’s plaything’s rolling rotor there grows and widens new rhythm over the mariana trenches of dismay, some full of hope dancing beat the shaggy horse fetlocks stomp out in the mincing step of claps and clops which they play up clip-clop-clap-cluppingly:
No trumps in the deck any more remains!All of them are swept off by my virtual Ace!
As to when exactly the Lieutenant-General arrived in Karabakh the sources keep mum, and only mention scantily that it happened in 1992.
A Teacher at a military school in St. Petersburg aged 72, he left his wife, his job and the city on the Neva-River to fly to Karabakh. That’s how he worried about the motherland because he was born in Tbilisi (Georgia), both like Sayat-Nova (1712 – 1795), the great master of amorous lyrics, and Mikhail Loris-Melikov (1824 – 1888), the Minister of Interior in the Russian Empire, and the famous film director from Hollywood Ruben Mamulian (1897 – 1987), and the Soviet composer Aram Khachaturian (1903 – 1978), and lots of other differently praise-worthy Armenians.
Yet, about the date of his arrival in Karabakh Google keeps zipped sternly, which is a pity because it's interesting, anyway to me, personally.I like his photo in the company of the Minister of Defense of Armenia, and a couple of local Lieutenant-Generals scratching their head-gear in a puzzled manner. He’s so unrestrained and ritzy there in his T-shirt and no cap at all.
My prying attitude is warmed up by the ambiguity – did he come before or after the capture of Shushi City?I maintain a firm suspicion that it happened before the affair. Unfortunately, this opinion cannot be substantiated without Google and, on the other hand, I am reluctant to bother his relatives or venture knocking at the germane archives doors because of my sloth and timidity – why leaving a wrongly prejudiced impression of myself in certain structures of appropriate security organs? The like thirst for knowledge can very easily invoke a boomerang response and eff squarely across my skull holding this here inquisitive mind. Do I really need that?
Still and yet, all my pros are for “before” and here are my circumstantial evidence —
While phedais were busy fighting to defend Armenian settlements, in the rear (Stepanakert City), in defiance to the blockade and bombardments, went on the process of creation of the elitist-political superstructure titled the Committee of Self-Defense. As a result, the phedai groups were automatically handled the Mountainous Karabakh Self-Defense Forces, although they did not give a fuck about change of stickers being constantly on the go to fight the Turks (in Mountainous Karabakh they never had learned to call Azerbaijanis otherwise) back off this or that village, to catch on a herd of cattle stolen and driven away from one or another kolkhoz farm but not clear yet by whose assistance and/or permission and so forth, and so on.
And even if taking the village of Khojalu with such a motley company might seem feasible (moreover when supported by machine-guns of 3 armed vehicles) then capture of a city situated on the commanding heights by employment of the yesterday's barbers and auto mechanics is quite another kettle of fish.
OK, fine, there was present a military specialist of the brave nom de guerre – “Komandos”, a Major from Yerevan who besides his experience in straightening out the Czecho-Slovakia's deviation (1968) was active in Afghanistan too (true, not the all 10 years 1979-1989, but…), however, (in the way of a buddy-to-buddy talk) even a Major is not qualified for capturing cities.
That’s why before storming Shushi his function consisted of visiting villages in the Askeran District (Stepanakert, by the bye, has no district of its own and is situated in the aforementioned one) where mujiks were happy to entertain Komandos during which proceedings he assured them that everything would be all right, and together with the present in the village house of celebrations drank tutovka under the flowery toasts to the imminent victory.
Nope. Only a man with a General’s past could codename the battle for Shushi “Wedding in the Mountains”.
I was not invited to the celebration and had to observe it from aside, from Stepanakert, where in the main square they set 1 (one) GRAD installation that each half an hour fired a singleton missile in the direction of Shushi.
Take my word, the launching thunder is not a grain less disgusting than the explosion concluding the flight.
At two-hour intervals, the building of the former Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR, whose basement was used for the hospital, saw arrival of another KAMAZ truck with a load of wounded in its dump.
The truck got at once surrounded by the shrieking crowd of relatives to those who left their homes to storm Shushi. Heavily wounded and unconscious were taken inside on the stretchers, those who could make it plodded to the entrance on foot replying to their friends and relatives in the crowd about who they had seen up there of their mutual friends and relatives.Some answers caused lamentations which usually sound at the cemeteries.
Up there, khakied formations ran to attack supported by 2 tanks (God only knows how they managed to get up there yet they did the trick), and among them Mykola the Ukrainian, who arrived a day earlier to boost his rating at the “Rukh” movement in Ukraine.
So was the common practice in those days. Representatives of vehemently proliferating parties, organizations, and associations from all over the former, newly collapsed Soviet Union flew to Stepanakert to take shots of themselves among the ruins so as when back home use the pics in the way of a kinda trump card, ‘I visited the spot of the kickoff for the Soviet regime disintegration!’.Those politicians are so monotonous in aping each other, you know.
However, Mykola, besides being a political activist, was also a stardust lover. He asked for an AK, they fixed him with one and in the outskirts of Shushi he caught a whole clip of bullets, into his belly.No wonder, a two-meter giant among the bantam, against the backdrop of Mykola, welders and carpenters – anyone would imagine him to be the decisive factor in the battle.
When the chopper laden also with him took off in Stepanakert, Mykola was still alive yet only up to Yerevan.
A week later another Ukrainian dropped in, by chance, to the PC of the SC of the RMK, who worked at an anti-aircraft gun Shilka. We talked of life, he complained of being paid irregularly.
It took him just a week to make a legend of Mykola, of his heroically supernatural qualities. Say, when he began to talk, you unconditionally fell under the spell all over, like entranced by a murmuring river you turned, “Kobzar” thru and thru, I swear…
I kept back boasting of the half-hour personal communication with Mykola who preferred to use Russian and (which was especially captivating) in the same tongue-tie curse of a manner as my ingrained one. Although after a couple of shots it kinda lessen and you like feel, well, you know, to kinda give out, er, some, well, toast, hum, and stuff, you know…
Phedai Valyo did not participate in storming Shushi. Three hours before the battle his group began attacking Kyusalar Village east of Stepanakert with the since long deployed artillery battery up there. An elementary trick from a military school textbook on strategy. The reinforcement sent to Kyusalar from Shushi were several times impeded with machine-gun fire on their route and eventually they were called back without reaching the village and for the battle they also were late. That way the village of Kyusalar fell and Shushi City too.
There was no massacre of civilians when they captured Shushi because of the road leaving the city at the opposite end in the direction of Lachin City and from there another road (without any asphalt though) to Kalbajar and farther on to Ganja.
The practice from the first war for independence proved it more than once that existence of a way out pours oil on the attackers efforts.By 5 pm on May 8 phedais captured the city…
Later in the evening in Kyusalar, captured by the phedai group where Valyo belonged, arrived the ‘goat’-Willis with commander Karen sporting his swanky white boots who called Valyo aside.
He got it at once it was an ominous sign and did not mistake. His elder brother, Vladic, mechanic-driver of one from 2 tanks in the battle of Shushi, when they busted the left track, got out thru the bottom hatch under the tank and was hit with a bullet through his chin. The exit hole was in the opposite jugular.The fighting raged on and Valyo’s brother died under the tank…
One murder happened though after the battle, when a journalist from the local television, Borik, ascended to Shushi by his Niva vehicle to collect factual materials and was roaming thru empty, winding lanes until he ran into a couple of Azerbaijanis.
They either did not know that Shushi was captured or else on their way out recollected something forgotten at home and decided to go and fetch it quick, on foot.
They were a middle-aged mujik and a guy about 20 with an AK. He slung up his assault-rifle yet

Borik was faster to draw his AK and shoot, without harming the elder one though.
Phedais ran up to the sound of a burst round and grabbed the alive man.At that time man-trade went at full swing, the captured hostages were exchanged for money or for the compatriot hostages kept by the hostile party, variously.
The major merchant on the Azerbaijani side, handled Fantômas, even created a private prison for the purpose, and his Armenian counterpart in charge of live goods exchange was a former KGB officer whose handle and rank I do not know or, maybe, have completely forgotten.
I did not keep a journal at war except for the winter of 92, and that one in English so as to keep in check my garrulousness by means of a not native language, yeah, which is another weak point of mine – I just cannot pull up my cacography but only trot and trot on without any periods. Possibly to counter-balance my oral tongue-tiedness when every next word has to be born in phonetic spasms same way as by Mykola killed in Shushi battle, but that copybook was over long before the storm and I never picked up another.
Told by Ashot (the Head of a field medical battalion at that war)'I had to become a surgeon, yet my dentist kit kept by me, the hand fairly used to those tools.You never can tell by a wounded. Say, they bring a couple of them, just a scratch on one, the other entirely in khkhrots (‘agony’ in Karabakhi Armenian). Late in the evening you ask, "How’s the guy with a superficial?""Died.""And the other?""Got up, went to dinner. Should I fetch him?"Once they’ve brought a Turk, young."Check him, eh?"What’s there to check? Unconscious, a massive fragment stuck out from the skull."I ask you brotherly, check him, eh?"On the table with him. The fragment anchored tight, I had to pull with mandibular molar forceps. Cleaned the bone fragments off the brain. Treated the wound. And the guy survived.Yet, some gyrus suffered, obviously. Time and again he starts to shriek, "You Armenian bastards! This is Azerbaijani land!"The nurses couldn’t calm him down, always called for me. Of me he was afraid. I says, "Ara! Behave!""Doctor, doctor! I’m fine!", says he.Then he was traded for two of our hostages, for he had rich parents. When they were taking him out, I was told, "You also go, eh? In case he wanted to die on the way? But you’re a doctor."The exchange was on the road between Askeran and Aghdam. An ambulance from their side and we by the same brand UAZ vehicle.Stopped at a distance from each other. I go on with him and from that side his parents and two ours who could hardly move, the chest of one burned with dry ice and the second man is all like a balloon, minces each footstep. They made him eat raw clover, the shepherds, they know what it does to sheep.But mine does not move at all, stands still and watches those mujiks. His mother calls, "Sunny! Sunny!"And he cries, "I don’t go! We, Azerbaijanis, are not human! We’re beasts!" Tried to run away.Phedais caught him by our ambulance, brought back."Ara!"’ says I. "Do behave!""Doctor, I’m fine! I’m fine, doctor!"Came up to his parents. They’re hugging him, crying. Each ambulance drove back to where it had come from.Later a man spoke up to me at the bazaar. "You know me, doc? I was the one fed with clover."Well, had come back to himself already, looking like a man. But about that Turk boy I know nothing whether he’s alive or not.'. . . . .
A day later a crowd of civilian marauders ascended from Stepanakert to Shushi. What was impossible to loot they set on fire. Some crying idiocy – their homes ruined by bombardments and here they got an intact city but no – burned it up. Emotional incontinence of paupers robbing other paupers.
On their way back the crowd was caught in a scel (it’s a torrential rain of a major meteorological proportions, you’d feel pity for your enemy getting under such a downpour).Yet one marauding old woman was lucky to loot a washing tub. So she turned it over and kept above her head and plodded home that way under her enamel umbrella, bypassing the streams along the broken road…
I saw Borik in a week after the Shushi capture and I couldn’t recognize him, his hair turned ghostly white and later on he left the region for good…
Inside the Shushi Temple of Savior (of XIX century) they found an arsenal of GRAD missiles, some huge warehouse, actually, based on logical premises that Armenians would not shell their temple.In 2 days after the storm there came a jet to hit the temple so as not to leave such huge ammo stock to the opposing side. Yet the raiding jet missed and later there was no reason for further tries because the ammo was moved from the holy building.
And that jet had been coming so belatedly because in Baku they for a long time could not believe in the capture of Shushi, it’s a citadel on impregnable cliffs and they had brought so much artillery there together with manpower and stuff…
Valyo’s mother told him to bring a cow from Kyusalar Village because her daughter, a sister of the two brothers, alive and dead, lost her milk and her baby stayed unfed – the children hospital bombarded and no milk kitchen for newborns around…
Another consequence of the successful completion of the “Wedding in the Mountains” became seeing off the Major, vet of Afghanistan, after the exhortation voiced by the commander of a Self-Defense group handled Izho.
The handle got stuck still at school because of the Teacher of Russian. After a dictation, she censured him before all of the class for failing to write the word «ещё», wrong in each of the three letters! She laughed, fucking bitch, and exposed his variant.
So he got hurt and dropped out after his eighth grade but the handle stuck firmly. He became a petty punk then got the job of a car washer and married, and what else would you do in such backwaters?But then the Movement started up, mass rallies in the square, and the one-horse burg became a hot theme on TV. After the Sumgait carnage and ‘Ring Operation', the region washed in arms, who but hoods had to take it under their control?He threw together a group of his likes, not as invincible fighters as the Fragment’s group but not the last too.
When Izho visited Komandos and without diplomatic equivocacy said, ‘Fuck off out of here!’, Major did not dare to speak up because even though smelling no gunpowder in Afghan (well, in fact, he was a supervisor at a big ammo warehouse there, inventories, accountancy, you know) he knew it pretty well – do not kick against a war component if you wanna stay on the safe side.
Like a wise pussyfoot, packed he up and departed to Yerevan. There sage Major lived to his pension, becoming a Major-General on the way and getting government awards regularly. For Armenians in Armenia he still remained the legendary Komandos, the Captor of Shushi with minimal casualties.
It’s only that the official sources, to spite me, moved the storm of Shushi from May 8 to May 9 which happened later though to synchronize the event with the totalitarian Day of the Great Victory celebrated yearly by Big Brother. But I did not take offense at all – everyone does his job at his workplace and puts their signature in the payroll of their kolkhoz.
In September the Self-Defense Forces were reorganized (read renamed) into the Army of Self-Defense of the Republic of Mountainous Karabakh.Izho became the Commander-in-Chief although wise people abstained already to use the handle and even in their private conversations preferred to use his rank: “comandushchi” (from the distorted Russian word because Armenian, however rich in its phonetic system (some of the 36 sounds I cannot pronounce up till now), does not have the Russian «щ» and staging dictation tests where it is present is an example of outrageous pedagogical sadism).
The Lieutenant-General remained in the shadow as an adviser (no, not in vain I liked that photo of him!) and was driving it home to the General Staff of the Army of Self-Defense what the hell was that fucking logistics about and all that stuff.
Later they built a house for him in Stepanakert, where he did not dwell, of white cubics, and renamed Khojalu, captured not by him, after his name – Ivanian.
What was then? Whoever is interested might google it out.* * *
Bottle #18: ~An Elegy ~He got it perfectly that all that was not for ever. Yes, he did. Already.
Though at first it was some unalloyed dazzling ecstasy, and delight, which he soared and coasted with over his boundlessly overflowing self-complacence.
He was tottering on the verge of giving out the timpani part then from the 8th symphony by Maler: “dum! tu-dum! Tu-da-dum!” with his fists instead of paired, a lil bit asynchronous sticks at the end of the first part, before switching over to the rhythms of the drum pop percussion in Brazilian carnivals: “yah-cha-cha-yah-cha-cha-yah” Ha! He did have done the trick!
Then, little by little, the exaltancy ceased fizzing, but still and yet he refrained from using that yellow-black checkered jacket for household purposes which are plentiful in Uninhabited, when the storms delay the delivery of another galleon or privateer.
On the contrary. He even fixed it spread over one of the rough walls in his do-it-yourself hut, not to mean a Persian rug but sooner as some trophy hunted down at a safari in a faraway land like, maybe, a tartan-hide buffalo or else (the cherished dream of any shotgun carrying man) a skin peeled off a patch-pocketed razorback.
But then this particular interior detail began to somehow irritate until it annoyed him so bitterly that he had to strip the wall bare, although the droughts were getting in too easily in the rain season.
The jacket went around, changing hands as is the custom in poverty-stricken families—hand-me-downs from elder kids to younger siblings—and landed onto the outstretched arms of the scarecrow inside the enclosure of the walls built with no mortar, just of dry stones, raised by some previous islander. Maybe, by Robinson Crusoe himself.
And, probably, it did have been erected by his hands because he kept goats, Robinson did, who graze wherever they get to and draw attention of the local fauna representatives to the illegitimate flora. Yes! And you cannot sustain a reasonable doubt about it! This here Great Non-Chinese Wall is but his genuine creation!Poor, poor Robinson! How could you possibly come to that!
By the way, in vain were lost his efforts, to no avail trickled his sweat upon the dryness of too heavy stones because in absence of a clever breeder in the bleak times after his deportation under fairly blurred out circumstances (the end of the timeless masterpiece by Defoe is just a shameless falsification concocted glibly by the reactionary government fighting the problem of not giving a fuck about the state-supportive values by the younger generations) the grass became just grass, some gelded stuff of no high, to put it plainly, of so scarce delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content that it calls for the equivalent number of centuries, flown away since the forced displacement of poor Robinson, to restore the weed to more or less acceptable condition. Hopefully.
Timely culling and calibration can work wonders, you know.
But for him, who got to the island after the Two Levels, no less disappointing was the absence of goats. Were they also deported? Or maybe, unable to bear their separation from sweet, sweet Robinson, they in turn (if not as the whole herd of groupies) rushed off the cliff into that very bay where later was stranded the storm driven ship with the chest-load of bottles for his postage by care of OBPS?
Anyway, he is alone here if not for the scarecrow behind the hedge, and in the evenings he at times stopped by to share a word or two about what’s up–what’s down, however, the scarecrow also was not aware which tropic they were namely in: Cancer or Capricorn?
Yes, it was the scarecrow he presented the trophy jacket to, notwithstanding its low level of education, and gave a look full of his habitual sadness at the hooking-up contours of the leaves in the uselessly beautiful cannabis growth.
Sterile Paris doll unable to give alleviation to the plight of distracted sclerotic by its fruitless crop rotation.
His only salvage from the depressing disillusionment was his being accustomed to the life in the world of fakes, silicone anatomy, false smiles, nylon feelings…
The scarecrow kept nodding in unison, a pair of bee hummingbirds were building a nest for their future bee hummingbird babies in the right pocket of the tartan jacket fairly bleached by the tropical sun…
But the tiny couple of diligent birdies got kicked out by a pack of crass sparrows. Where did they pop out here from? Sparrow is not bird of passage at all, any ornithologist will say you that.
"Oh, My!", agreed the scarecrow sorrowfully, "nowadays them those migrants can crawl anywhere thru what you’d never guess to think of, despite all migration regulations…"
At first he was awesomely proud, of course, of himself but now the feel was gone together with all other thrills and turned into jejune ho-hum automatism…
He certainly loved this Island.He remembers the exited alertness at his first penetrations into the unfamiliar terrain folds, rubbing elbows with the mysterious world of the rain forest starting from the very threshold in his hut.
And he remembers his first rising up the ridge to the silent volcano not even knowing if it was feasible, going to his spur-of-the-moment adventure… Could he climb it at all?.
Yay! What a view!From the basalt tip he observed the immense endlessness of the ocean, and all of the island too that looked like a green lizard wrapped in the soft fluff of the tree tops far down below his feet, and he even made out the outlines of the bay at its northern cape.
Now, after all that what he refrained from even to think of, the one-time vibes of elation did not come back to him. He confirmed it by a probe. He bummed around by his most favorite routes, liked so much. Before.All of them turned too short, dull, predictable.
He knew at each step what would be brought by the next one, and even atop the volcano thought he – it’s been already…
By Jove, where are the cannibals to pay him a visit?! At least some variety.Well, on the second thought no cannibals are welcome, his blunderbuss got lost somewhere…
On his way back thru the jungle, in whose thicket there quivered none of the invisible vibrations of unknown already, a pincer-billed motley-colored parrot fluttered by to light onto a bough above his head and cried out:"Kenty’s a fool!"
Came it to pass some time ago, the loop of his sling made of the sturdy snake skin of a Bothrops asper would spring in a split sec out, and he would have parrot soup for dinner that night. And now?
"Some stale news," was all for his sluggish response.
For some reason, he avoided going to the beach, where in the conceited attitude of ‘Know nothing!’ basked Peccy’s skeleton while she herself kinda stepped off to frolic in the swaying waves and be back any other moment.
What prevented his going there? Not the pitch black stub of the palm smitten by a dire lightning in the memorable pandemonium on Friday. No. Not at all.
However woeful and pathetic it might seem, but any Cocos nucifera did away with his dendrophilicity, killing it stone dead, on sight.
All because of his allergy to the secondary endosperm of its nuts pressed out to produce coconut butter and napalm.
Too much jungles got felled and replaced with coconut palm plantations!
Too many orangutans shot and killed in purchase of predatory income!
I won’t eat the butter mingled with you blood, brother Yum!
A primate is a friend, comrade, and brother to another primate!
But having neither honor nor morality wheeler-dealers commenced to add that butter to anything at all, to what you’d never guess to think of. Even to ice-cream! That’s when the allergy came to the rescue.
No, the palm is not guilty that its endosperm of disgusting marg taste is used to fool the omnivorous consumer (easy as pie! engaging ads and incomprehensible incantations by medical shamans will make them eat any shit).
The palm has nothing to do with the annihilation of countless lives of rain forest sacrificed to the monotonousness of the squared rows of plantations producing its chips.
It’s not the palm’s fault that for the forgetful of their kinship bipeds only a dead orangutan is good orangutan.
Not the palm makes him stop at the fork to the familiar path winding to the beach with the white shell and the charred stump.
No, his perambulation in that direction is arrested by the knowledge (yes, he knows that and all his sightseeing excursions about Island, his conversations with the scarecrow—he was not stoned, I swear, where on earth could he get a fucking blunt here!—and all his somnambulistic automatism is just another prove that he knows) that sooner or later he’ll follow that path.
Will he?
Oh, yes. He knows that and is just playing for time, and he does not say a single word on that account even to the scarecrow. No, even their united brainstorming will not produce the answer to how could he possibly step into?. He, who had passed Two Impassable Levels paying for that with his amnesia. (OK, he did recollected his name eventually, but what is in a name besides its empty sounds?)
Why to go to where he is nobody (yet not Nobodya any more!)?.
To where he has lost his, well, not exactly a friend but somebody who, well, if to put it correctly…Yes! His friend! Old silly Chris, who himself was not able to follow all the crap he yabbered, and who got high from his own blubber…
Chris is not there. No more. Never more…
But there remains Maya. She still hangs on although it’s not clear in which of the 2 hemispheres. However, given his amnesia, he has nothing to be afraid of, left or right does not matter much in his condition and—if God’s truth be disclosed—he’s kept back by only fear.
Or maybe, two fears?
First off, suppose, he trades Island for Maya but what if she too will become an island? One of the dull islands where the thrill of pioneering discoveries gets replaced with boredom ahead of time?
What if he’s heading to the ineluctable loss of a mellow violin melody, with its girlishly naive waist, maturing into the gluey buzzing of cello's solo to be transformed into ungrabbable double bass (more and more so) with its regular brain-busting “dum! pdum! dum! Pdum!”?
Or else what if…
Stop! Forget it! It does not matter! Even these virtual “ifs” are not enough to steer him back until and if they become a reality…
And then his fear number two – he is not sure if Peccy would assent and how does he start her at all?"Intuitively, boy! Intuitively! Besides, there always is the old good try and error…". . . . .He moved, hither-thither, rubbing himself into the tight space, sighed, and sweeping aside the unnecessary in the irreversibility of this here moment doubts, said irrevocably:"Well, OK. Do it, Peccy. 'Power Button's on!' Come on, babe!"
The upper valve, screechy-and-slow moved downward…* * *
Bottle #19: ~1992, Full of Worries and Strife ~When keeping to the raw facts of life, Abulfaz Gadirgulu ogly was just one more Aliev, but if you are a dissident then your vocation obliges to somehow be different, which is a hard nut to crack where any other (okay, fine, every third) guy around is also Aliev (even at my hitch in a construction battalion of the Soviet Army our detail's commander was Corporal Alik Aliev).
Or again that same Deputy Chairman of the KGB of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan and, simultaneously, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, Geidar Aliev, and all his relatives at each and every post of prominence – Alievs as well.
In 70’s Abulfaz all of a sudden spoke up (and rather hotly) on Lenin and the USSR, allowing himself discernibly denigrating tinges in the spectrum of intonations, for which rebellion he got 1 (one!) year of imprisonment.
In the USSR for the like oratory no one got off hook without doing 10-year stretch, but the rebel bore the same surname as Geidar.
So, 12 months later Abulfaz got freed, reinstated in the position of a junior researcher at a linguistic institute, and became the one and only dissident in all of Azerbaijan.
After the collapse of the USSR, he hurriedly discarded his family name, dubbed the Turkish-sounding 'Elchibey' next to the 'Abulfaz', and headed the forces of opposition styled as The Popular Front.
The Shushi capture on May 8, 1992 was deeply resented by The Popular Front.In the morning on May 15, they presented their ultimatum to President Mutalibov – by 3 pm to get effing off his effing position.With no response got by the appointed time, they shoot their unopposed rounds around the Supreme Council and then entered the Presidential Palace as well but found no Mutalibov there, who had already fled the country of his own accord, for which deed he is praised up till now as the president who had resigned staging no bloodshed.
And that, by the bye, presents a good example to follow, but will they ever learn anything? Ugh!
On June 7, Elchibey was elected to the presidency and the Karabakh conflict developed into a large-scale war. Hither-thither. They surrender a village then capture back its ruins, surrender the ruins then recapture them back in even worse conditions.
“The Ministry of Defense carried out round-ups in cities taking away youths from their homes, stopped city route buses to arrest young men and send them to the front line.Different organizations, including Helsinki Civil Assembly, were turned to by complaining parents: in the morning their son left home for work (college, visit, date), never came back, they reported to the police, two days later got a notice:'…your son bravely perished fighting for his Fatherland.'Azerbaijani political scientist Zardusht Alizade"
The PC by the SC of the RMK was relocated to the former Regional Committee of the CPSU building, floor 3. The job of analytic did piss me off at the BBC World Service who obviously had no intentions to help me in the short waves range. Stranded, seeing no assistance from them, was I doing my professional duties. If the Karabakh conflict at least once a month was mentioned by those snobs – Hallelujah! While my position called for turning in a solid-looking report to the Supreme Council every month, Hallelujah or no Hallelujah—each month, be you dead or reanimated—while those darn BBC chatters kept speaking of nothing except for the cricket matches at the New Zealand Championship. How that for mass-media employees’ solidarity, eh?
And only dear Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, helped me kindly out when she came to Baku for signing a treaty between the Azerbaijani government and 2 companies, the British BP and the Norwegian Statoil, on development of two oil fields in the Azerbaijani zone in the Caspian sea.
Because of that her visit, they were mentioning our conflict for three days but then again drifted back to cricket and soccer matches.
Thus, I became a rear office-rat and at the moment of exploding GRAD rounds I ran into the corner, sat on my haunches and watched the glass in the window panes arching out into the room like a skiff sail and backward, without breaking though, obviously firmer than in the paper’s editorial office or maybe because of the height – it was the third floor after all.
The shelter in the basement (the hospital got removed someplace else already), I never used because of pride and being too lazy – three floors down then three floors back. For which reason, during bombardments, although scared, I kept to the PC Backroom…
But then I learned a way to determine time and direction of forthcoming offensives. It’s just a cinch, whenever in the Russian mass-media one of the conflicting sides stated their complains about the enemy’s attack to one or another village, that served a clear-cut indication that in a couple of days they’d start an offensive from that very village and now it would be the counterpart's turn to complain…
To the front line I went only once. It was the village of Drmbon which hadn’t been surrendered and re-captured yet, so the houses were still in place, abandoned for the most part.
The commander talks over his walkie-talkie (the Diaspora's present to the field commanders) in a reluctant manner, a score of fighters, also tired. One soldier obviously from Armenia, you always could make them out by the black cotton uniform, some posh rags until got dusted thoroughly. GRAD's rare booms at the horizon.
Video camera operator Benic shot an interview and off we went back to Stepanakert.Two-hour ride along the junk scattered on the roadside – discarded baby perambulators, trunks, kits and the like jetsam. Especially at the uphill stretches. It was the moment of Mardakert City surrender, one day after the fleeing refugees walked from there about sixty kilometers.
The long column it was, on reaching Stepanakert they walked thru the city for about an hour, no less. Walking and walking.
They spent the night in the Region Executive Committee building lying on the carpet runners of all the four floors. Babies squealing, folks panicking. And in the morning the wave moved on. The Lachin corridor to Armenia had been secured already, which meant another fifty kilometers to the border.
On the bridge over the border-line river they were met by the Armenian cordon under the command of a dissident who had just returned from exile to fight for the presidency. He started yelling at the mujiks that they were cowards and did not defend their native town but fled. Then they collected the gold earrings from the refugee womenfolk and let the column pass to Armenia.
I know his family name, the cordon commander's, yet won’t let it out, being too disgusted to even pronounce it. Besides, it’s possible there happened decent people among his ancestors. The bastard had shitted all over his family name. But later he still was popping up in the Yerevan political life with his goatee, for a long period…
Another ripping surprise was served by the cable from Satenic, “Departing from Moscow to Yerevan, flight…” (the number I cannot recollect).
At the cash desk of the SC I got my salary for three months in advance, with Guegham’s assistance for the occasion, 600 Soviet rubles.By that time all the former Soviet republics had introduced currencies of their own already and only here remained a noticeable lag in the form of Lenin’s bust profile in the banknotes…
By a touching chopper I reached Yerevan and went to the wife’s relatives in Arabkir neighborhood because the flight of forgotten number from Moscow arrived late at night.
When at Zvartnots Airport they announced the arrival, I still got time to buy flowers in the underground level to observe the canons of a happy meeting.
However, on the escalator bringing the passengers from the second floor, neither Satenic nor kids were present.I rushed to the Help Desk and they clarified about some hitch at the airport in Moscow so the passengers to that flight were taken by two aircraft and the second one was still on the way.
After another couple of hours of waiting, the escalator brought down all kinds of sorts but mine. Yet by that time the Help Desk was already locked for the night and there remained no one to get a consolation from.Full of despair, I went out to the airfield, although they yelled after me that it was a service exit.
The field was getting ready for the night repose, almost no lights around and by the glass wall of the airport building the airplane stairs dozing in the dark, but that small tractor who rolls the stairs to the planes was nowhere to see, they probably spent nights apart.
That moment a local employee was passing to that forbidden door. A janitor, judging by her venerable age. And she saw that heart-rending figure of me, immovable like a pillar of salt, with a blank stare glued to the airfield darkness, and the odd bunch of flowers in my sad hand hanging alongside my thigh in the posture of an idle broom, to which whole composition the passer-by remarked in Russian but with a beautiful Armenian accent:"Ah, what a tragedy!" and only after that she entered that service exit.
At first, I felt hurt by the dig in the voice of that Komissarzhevsky actress on the role of a janitor at the Zvartnots airport, but then it tickled me as something funny, I don’t know why. No kidding, I meant to laugh, faith. So I lay that tragic bouquet upon the sleeping stairs and off I started because the leg from Zvartnots to Arabkir is a pretty long haul…
The relatives comforted me with the news that Satenic made a call on their home phone (in absence of mobile communication at those times) to say that there still were no seats for a number of passengers, however, the next day those having tickets for the flight would be transported to Yerevan at an approximately same time.
And so it happened! The next night about the same time after the arrival of the third airplane (they came at half-hour interval flying seemingly in a flock) atop the escalator turned up Satenic, Ashot in shorts (wow! behold how surely he stands all by his own!), Ruzanna waving and calling to all, ‘Look! There’s dad! Look!’
But I was without flowers already, just in case of any tragic delay, so as not to start up some form of bouquet addiction by those stairs, you know.
On the way to relatives (by a taxi) I began to carp, kinda you were sent to evacuation and not to just spend the summertime.Now, what was her response?"I got it there that to live just for the sake of living is not worth the while."
And I had to shut up because philosophy in a woman’s hands is an all-conquering weapon. Moreover, when you were parted for a 3-month stretch…
Later on, she told about that hitch at the Moscow airport. As it turned out, the flight they had the tickets for was outbid by some entrepreneur to send a consignment of consumer goods to Yerevan (it was 90’s, the business starting to raise their heads). And even the following day arrival happened by pure chance, when in the crowd at that Moscow airport Ruzanna sneaked away and some man asked her, ‘Why are you roaming alone? Where is your Dad?’ And she answered, ‘In Stepanakert’.
Then he asked who was her Dad and, when Ruzanna named me, he cried to his friends, 'Hey! I do know the guy!’, because he was not alone but in a company of men.
In a nutshell, Ruzanna took them to where in the crowd she left Satenic, and Ashot, and the trunk. From there the new acquaintances, bypassing the pilot and the stewardesses, who at the foot of the stairs were letting pass another batch of goods, put my family, over the handrail, a couple of steps up the stairs, above that cordon of overseers, so that they could ascend the airliner. And the crew members down there never peeped at such a breach of order because they marked that the seers-off were men only (I do love the 90’s).
For a long time it stayed a sassy mystery to me – who was the unknown do-gooder capable of identifying me by only my family name? And he sent his ‘hello’ too.‘Hello him from a photo correspondent’.And only in a month or so the memory snapped out the picture of our meeting in Mamikonian Street by School 8 shattered by large caliber shells.The day was calm and sunny, we greeted each other and he said he had seen me at the Press Center where he dropped to, being a photo correspondent. Then he asked if Maria had flashed there, from Moscow, a correspondent like him.
I could not recollect anyone matching his description and we parted…
People! Humans! Ahoy!Wherever you are: on a bus, train, airliner or just sitting on a bench in a park, or seated in a cinema, any place.
I pray – yank your noses out of your mobile applications, break away, look around, have an eye-contact with your neighbor, exchange at least a few words – sometime, somewhere this fleeting action will become your savior.
And in conclusion, following the well-known declaration by Julius Fuchik, a Czech by his nationality:‘People, I loved you! Be vigilant!.’** *
Bottle #20: ~A No-Rules Fray ~Scabby rubs and randomly chipped-in crevices corrode the entire field of view because of improper over-zooming in the vast surface of vertical stone squares tiling the old blank wall.Without ever looking back, he knew for sure there was a street behind him and, across the street on the other bank in its two-way traffic stream, the lengthy glass strip of the high windows in “Make Or Mar” along the opposite sidewalk. There it should be. As sure as he was standing there, his forehead leaned against the wall. You could just bet your farm on that…
The jagged, nervous noise of cars rushing behind him only confirmed such a conjecture, yet he still was withholding the turn about which would make it sure a hundred per cent, and instead raised his hands at shoulder-height and pressed the palms to the flat smooth surface of hewn stone.As hard as you would expect, anyway.
The scrape exactly at the level of his pericardial sac served one more proof – it’s right here that he had given the slip to the chase. The bullet couldn’t follow, stopped by the stone.Before or after the stone couldn’t stop him?
Did the bullet hit the wall thru him on the run or a sliver of a split sec later, as he had already dissolved in the barrier?
No way to punch into the matter deep enough for an articulate answer. Not without Isaac Newton and a bottle of vodka for the sake of clearer comprehension. But Isaac Newton replaced his flying colors with the standard of total abstinence though being a quite promising dude, at first, before that effing apple had domed him too severely. Since the accident the guy abandoned all crazy ideas and flopped over to horny materialism on whose behalf he got knighted, later on in his sober career.
Nothing doing but to strain your brain alone, without ‘the call to a friend’ or 'the prompt from the audience'.
"Hello! May I speak to Sir Isaac? This is the program Wanna Be a Millionaire? And you? Ah, the butler… And he? Ah, drinking coffee in his study… Okay, fine, we’ll recall a bit later."
"Uite, oameni buni. Este o oaie."
A pack of noisy kids surrounds him. Street Arabs. He let the wall go and turns about.
Yep, he was right – there looms "Make Or Mar", across the street.
From all the sides around him, big flashy eyes underneath the stomp-dance of greasy black strands curly, wavy, a-swinging. Everyone watches him closely gauging his high of intoxication. Swarthy hands, emaciated kids' hands jerk the skirts of his plain blue frock coat without epaulettes. The cloth is not in its prime yet holds on, withstands the pulls and yanks of the restless ants with their loudly importunate gibberish…
And here comes the queen of the anthill.
"Lashi bun, romale! Lashi bun!"
The Gypsy takes a crack at shooing their swarm off, at which movement the corner of her flowery shawl touches on the sly, caressingly and softly, his right wrist.
The kids recoil from the "sheep", retreat a step back yet never break the circle of their flicker of incessant shifting. Their voices never hush and only merge switching over to a chant in the rhythm of Hypnopedia.
"Aye-aye, Captain! You've seen a harsh spell! Vicious enemies tried hard to harm you, yet intact you stayed. Well, almost. And where it smarts the pain will cease and the long and winding road awaits ahead…" commences she her part in the usual score in the process of steeping the victim into mesmerized tetanus.
"Gimme your hand, Esma will read your fate. Esma does not cheat, Esma sees, Esma knows. Free palmistry for you, handsome. Gimme your hand."
The slightly puffed eyelids screening her eyes, which had seen anything there ever could be to see, went down slowly, suggesting the example to be followed:"Everything will be all right, handsome, not at once though, gimme your hand, I’ll teach you all what’s to be done…"
"What was there I know, what is to come I don’t want to know. How about singing a song, Crisp-Curls?."
The backing chorus, at sea for absence of conducting signs from their coryphaeus, stumbles in their beef-about part, while she stays obviously stunned and dazed as if smitten by his clue, the half-forgotten keyword from the times at the dawn of her career but it suddenly sounded here, not eye-to-eye but in presence of the entire audience…
"The house’s sold today! Debates of the applicants to the position of the Resident in Indiscernible (Almost) Saturn! During the intermission, The Jolly Guys-Gagays-2 band perform their hottest hits! Soft drinks sale at 5.12 % discount! Only here! Just this only time!"
"Maybe you know but not all, handsome, though wildly will to know, huh?"
"Well, well, let’s cut out, honey, the useless polemics in the like effing sort of approach, and consider the issue from the standpoint of distilled experimentalism."
His hand dives in the blue depths of the double breast in his not fully buttoned frock coat to reappear balled and mysterious, with the glib skill of a professional pearl diver.
Esma’s eye instinctively blinked at his other hand to check if the wide-blade knife for shell-cracking is still there. Nope. And not a single hair in his beard got drenched. Some shifty bastard!
The magician’s fingers moved to bloom snakily out, slow like the long petals of a sea anemone actinia. Smack-bang in the middle of the palm of the voracious predator, a kinda lure in the set up trap, flashed a silver circle.
"Piastres! Piastres!" Without any rehearsal screamed the back-up chorus in unison. With a noteworthy burr as if at the casting for the Lenin In The Leap Year flick.
"Dong-dong, darling! An unalloyed piece of eight! The prize to them who unprepared guesses my name."
"Ptooey!" spat the clairvoyant in disgust. "Looting the drowned!"
Yet, he was quick to withdraw his moccasin of possum skin, obviously handmade, with a buckle of also Spanish silver before the monetary reform of 1497.
"None of us, fair lady, is without flaws, as was postulated in the original work by Mr. Charles Darwin and stays prominently backed and confirmed by steady gross income of suppliers of banana related products, currently."
Shrill whistles of Gypsy kids in the bleachers, booing, ejaculations “enough of fucking confab!”, “give us a zap!”
The Unseizable Revengers carry out the assembly of a machine gun Maxim on their cart. Post-haste.Yashka Tsigankov uncivilly unharnesses from out the cart's shafts the horses, completely fucked up, who drop dead at once.The Colosseum stage workers drag the animals away, by the tails in their grabs, along the sand in the arena, crooning under their Roman noses, “You’re sweet as the horseweed from Canada…”, for the solidarity’s sake.
Lech Valenca, movie director Keosaian (not from Hollywood yet), and Levantine usurers…However, back to the epicenter!
"Touching allowed?"
"Be my guest, Carmen Pansovna, but within the limits of 12+, I do not need to be rubbed off by hands of the Chechnya archimandrites."
The carelessly polished nails served the pincer to lift the coin off the crossroads of the Line of Fate and the Cross Mystique responsible for the cleverness (who’s, as always, on fucking AWOL), it gets rubbed against the above-mentioned shawl’s corner (knitted in the village of Melenky before its incorporation into the Pavlov Posad conglomeration), bitten with chippy plastic in the false jaws after which action Esma clearly wanted to spit, however, held it back and swallowed, for the sake of appropriateness and decency in manners.
There followed a short pause, which period she stood with her tongue stuck out to the utmost, its tip almost vibrating from the strain, the trade-mark of aspiring stand-up comedians in a desperate endeavor to win the public’s sympathy by demonstrating the surest way to eat thru to the show business by means of Russian cunnilingus, and (her eyes half-closed) listening to something heard only by her, she nodded her head and repeated ‘ohoo!’, ‘even so?’ and suchlike nonsense, but at last exhausted the stock of psychotropic tricks in her fucking passive aggression and—breaking the deafening silence of the audience frozen in anticipation—she dealt the final puñalada of Jose from the opera by Bizet:"Kenty’s a fool! Kenty’s a fool!" (Without any burr traceable).
Her opponent went groggy after that brief but too overwhelming series:"Yok!" eructed he from the depth of his very spleen. "The prize is yours – take it."
"Honest deals are my soft spot!" commented the eager matadoress wrapping her trophy tight, as well as the title of the World Champion, in that same shawl, but this time it was another corner, produced in the village of Usovo of the same and also mentioned Pavlov Posad conglomeration.
Midst the whirling twists and enthusiastic hops of her loyal fans and juvenile hands, she leaves the ring while the fucked up… ahem!. that is, stunned and effed up opponent, forgotten already even by his seconds, leans his ass against the wall he was pressing with his hands so recently if not with some other part in his anatomy…
"Yep! Ladies an' Gentlemen! Even in our over-advanced world, Experience still splashes the brains out of Upstart Aficionados! Overtly and straight from the shoulder!
See you at upcoming confluxes in the outflows of ectoplasm! For you commented Vasyok de Vasuky! Sign up for our channel!"
Sounds of a hasty trot grew nearer. A black-haired kid ran up to the lonely figure leaned groggily against the wall.A small hand in a long-standing need of a good wash-and-rub pulled the wide pant leg above his curly head.
"Unclie, eh?" and, turning his face up to the not yet quite there stare of the routed, reported:"Esma told to say you that Maya waits, don’t waste time or you’ll get it!"
His jaw began to move like Peccy’s valve, not up though but down, after the running away, in the bossa nova rhythm,—hop-and-hop yep, hop-and-hop yep…Ah, por que estou tão sozinho?.–errand-boy…* * *
Bottle #21: ~East is a Dang Subtle Matter ~Comrade Geidar Aliev was being trained and shaped into the taker-over after Leonid Ilych Brezhnev, persistently, in earnest. You could see it with both of your eyes shut.
Firstly, over and over again from the high rostrum of the Party Congresses, Azerbaijan was trumpeted The Most Blooming Republic of the USSR and Leonid Ilych developed a habit (overlapping to an addiction) of visiting that bloom, and never was he to come back without this or that nice souvenir.
That might be a scimitar flashing gems of precious nature or a finger ring promoting the right political context (blood red ruby in the center surrounded by 15 diamonds – the shining personification of 15 Republics in the USSR) the trinket’s value equivalent to 22+ vehicles “Volga” of the latest make by the state authorized price, no tips under the counter.
Yep, cunning East did discover the soft spot of comrade General Secretary, his tender attitude to shiny objects. Wise East did not miss to guess what those four (or five?) Gold Medals of the Hero of the Soviet Union on the leader’s coat were hinting at glaringly enough.
Besides, comrade Geidar Alirzaevich could proudly report (and he did it) to his superiors in Moscow that in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan they gave up pocketing bribes (8 of 11 from the CC Members had to be replaced and the remaining 3 prudently pulled up the undesirable practices, notwithstanding their kinship with the First Secretary).
He deposed all of the corrupt managers starting with ministers and down to kolkhoz foremen, which vacant positions were put up for a garage sale.
The population of the Republic knew the price list by heart – how much was the position of a minister or the title of doctor of science, the job of the head of a clinic, and so on along the hierarchy lines.
My mistake in 1987 was to arrive in Baku in a naive hope of getting the job of a construction worker (they would scramble for a bricklayer of the 4th category!) and not a kopeck in my pocket.Quite naturally, at employment offices they informed me there was no foreseeable demand for my specialty and kept winking at each other, waiting.
But had they given me a job, everything could turn different too, and this war I’d consider from a contrastingly opposite angle, say, from Mardakian Settlement on the Caspian sea shore.(Cut it out! It was a fucking hooey and happens only what has to happen.)
And after Brezhnev’s sufferings were over (in the final years of his leadership to the mike they were bringing the poor thing clutched by his coat sleeves and turning the white sheets solicitously upside down when he grabbed his speech text the wrong way), the following mummy (yes sure, that one under whom the KGB and militia were disrupting day shows in the cinema with their round-ups – what are you doing here in the working time of day? Are you a parasite or what?) while being at the rudder, transferred Geidar, like one KGB man another, to Moscow and gave him the post of First Deputy of the Prime Minister in charge of both the light and heavy industry and on top of everything else entrusted with one more reform of the educational system in the USSR.And the warmly memorable Baikal-Amur Railroad was laid under his supervision, and whenever another cruise liner sank catastrophically Aliev was sent there to punish those guilty and discover the reason for the tragedy in hand.
In short, for the Soviet population there remained no defendable grounds any more for doubting that their next Kremlin Ruler would be of Caucasian roots, again…
However, Comrade Gorbachev found crook ways to cross the straight path of Comrade Aliev's rise, jumped unexpectedly in a Central Committee wide corridor (like from under the slippery parquet!) and became the General Secretary of the CPSU.
Feeling slighted by such a turn and for security reasons as well, Geidar went to his native Nakhichevan which is a rather large mountainous autonomous region of Azerbaijan cut from the Republic by a wide swath of Armenia’s territory (this here Caucasus is just a kinda layer cake, I swear!)
In 1991 the self-isolated pensioner wisely spurned off his membership in the Communist Party of the USSR (those SCES putschists turned out miserable pussies), then picked up the post of the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhichevan, and got a development grant ($100 000 000) from Turkey.
Turkey's attitude towards the population of Nakhichevan was always markedly warm and brotherly, and so as to have a stretch of common borderline with the autonomy, the government of Turkey worked out a territory swap with Iran at 3 : 1rate. You never can guess the underlying springs or reasons for moves in this here subtle East…
President of Azerbaijan Elchibey, that same who spent a year in prison for his dissidence, embraced the presidency for the exactly same stretch (habit is always the decisive force) resulting from his wrongful political behavior:
–declared (often inappropriately yet everywhere) that Turkey's “ueber alles”;–threatened to incorporate in Azerbaijan all of the Southern Azerbaijan (which is a part of neighboring Iran openly repulsive to the idea of such an ‘Anschluss’);–rejected joining CIS (redrawn version of the USSR);–intimidated the leaders of the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia with their replacement, unavoidably nearing, by the local dissidents;–demanded a translator at the signing a treaty in Moscow, albeit having a good command of Russian;–commenced to flirt with America…
For how long to tolerate the like inadequacy?
On May 28, 1993, the personnel of the 104th Guards Airborne Division are withdrawn from Ganja City ahead of schedule, which introduces a good occasion for the following test:Where did the bulk of the mentioned army detachment's arsenal stay?
Exactly! In Ganja! (wow! some folks here started to see thru subtleties of East!)
That very Ganja City, the seat of Suret Huseinov and his personal army organized with the beginning of Karabakh war. That same Suret who Elchibey did not know what to do about – one day awards him the title of Hero of Nation, the next day issues an order to arrest that effing Huseinov (a self-confirmed case of inadequacy, dear colleagues, you know it as well as I do).
On May 28, the well-equipped army of Suret set off for taking Baku and punishing Abulfaz.Eventually, they reached the capital.The city life turns into a round the clock nightmare, anyone possessing weapons – shoots.The military are shooting, the police shooting, Suret’s rebels shooting, neighborhood committees of self-defense shooting, thieves eager not to lose the handy moment are shooting too.Who shoots at who is beyond comprehension, but all and everyone is shooting!.
And it’s not funny but very sad and difficult to live in a city where they shoot.
Abulfaz makes a telephone call to Nakhichevan, addresses the Chairman of the SC of the Autonomous SSR, 'Help me out,' says he, 'eh? Come on,' he says, 'eh? you’re Aliev, me too, moreover, both of us are from the same autonomy, eh?'
On June 9, Geidar arrives in Baku and a week later Abulfaz Gadirguluevich modestly, neither pomp nor surplus fuss, flies off to Nakhichevan to his native village of Keleky.
Another bloodshed-less transfer of power, hallelujah once again, if not to count those suffered in the period of mayhem shooting…
In the course of that internal strife, the Army of Self-Defense of Mountainous Karabakh liberated/grabbed five districts of Azerbaijan which initially, when all that Movement for Independence started, were not a part to the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region.
Where else if not to that sort of lamentable situation could lead “…the mistakes of the leadership in the relations with Russia”? (a citation from G. Aliev’s interview for the newspaper Коммерсантъ,…/Алиев,_Гейдар_Алирза_оглы).
At the presidential election on October 3, 1993, Geidar Aliev put together 98.8% of votes and immediately joined CIS.For such exemplary behavior, the Azerbaijani forces were allowed to launch, in December 1993, a major offensive.
“By spring 1994, the offensive died out [79, same site], the armed forces were exhausted [80, same site].Then followed an equally hapless offensive by Armenian side and parliamentarian structures of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the unrecognized RMK signed the Bishkek protocol calling for cease of fire at night on 8 to 9 May [83]”.
Thus ended, to some extent, the first war for independence of Mountainous Karabakh and, resultantly, I got kicked out from the PC by the SC of the RMK, as long as presence of an analytic-translator was simply pointless at the time of peace.
And it’s a pity. In part. Yes, it is, because I had turned a state-of-the-art professional in the trade and in my monthly reports to the Supreme Council of the RMK foretold the ceasefire with the accuracy of 1 (one!) week without any prompts from the BBC, and show-politologists at Russian TV or any other mass-media clowns. Yay!
A week later, on the basis of the position liberated from me, they created the Analytical Department by the Supreme Council of the RMK of 35 employees (one of whom not a female) headed by an experienced nomenclature cadre, amateur philatelist (who certainly should know what side stamps are licked on), and very soon the connoisseur persuaded the RMK leadership that the most urgent need of the RMK was issuing a post stamp of their own.
(Ara! At the auction in 100 years this day, stamp collectors would bid millions for a single one of this shit!Dig a hole in a secure place, stick it in, and your great-grand kids would thank you for the thought.)
Active hostilities transformed into the trench confrontation of posts, where monthly or once in two months the enemy sniper picks and shoots another boy, oftener to death than not.
Although there happened excesses too, alike to the massacre at the post in the vicinity of the village of Hatsi…
Phedai Valyo and the 14-man unit of the post shift from Hoctemberian District in Armenia went to relieve the 14 soldiers of the previous shift nearby the mentioned village.
The post comprised two 20-meter trenches meeting at obtuse angle, and a dugout. The fresh shift were coming unaware that the post had been captured by an Azerbaijani unit.
The moment the Hoctemberian guy leading their Indian file turned round the corner in the trenches, he was knifed to prevent the alarm. His follower in the file was too close not to hear.
A fierce gunfight burst forth ending in Valyo and other shifters’ retreat into a field of wheat where they were joined by his buddy Syamo, who'd been doing his turn with the previous shift.
Syamo related it was his watch by the machine gun at night, when the weapon slowly moved away dragged off by the crept up Azerbaijanis. He pulled the trigger yet the machine gun jammed. And the assaulting force rushed to attack firing their guns. Syamo jumped out of the trench, and rolled down the slope having no time to alert the buddies sleeping in the dugout…
The group, hiding themselves among the wheat ears, contacted over the walkie-talkie their regiment. Reinforcement came together with one tank. The Azerbaijanis fight back from the trenches. The tank went over and waltzed from above burying them in the trench.
After the fight was over, they dug out 36 bodies. The casualties on the Armenian side amounted to 14 (the previous shift-unit minus Syamo plus the Hoctemberian guy).It took a long time to find all the ears from the Armenian bodies, still they collected all of them.
Valyo was loading the killed Armenians in the arrived KAMAZ dump to take them to the morgue, and his uniform front got smeared all over.
After unloading to the Stepanakert morgue, he was suggested to break the news to the families of the local boys. He answered, ‘Go and tell yourself’.Then he went to his parents' house to change…
Armenian side contacted the Azerbaijani side over the radio suggesting them to collect the bodies. The answer was, ‘This is Azerbaijani state, let them stay in their Homeland’.In the interment ceremony participated a light back how digger BELARUS…
The Stepanakert Military Registration and Enlistment Office (MREO) was repaired and became what it had always been before they used it for the phedai headquarters.
The wider gorges were barred with cables stretched across, high so high, with coiling pieces of wire to hang down at certain intervals so as to discourage some or another fighter-bomber from sneaking up thru the air space in that gorge.
The Supreme Council of the RMK worked hard, and carefully contemplated each and every of the laws copy-pasted from the SC of Armenia before to pass them second-hand, for the local use (yes, at times with the same typos overlooked still back in Armenia but who does ever need to open them those constitutions?).
The chairman of the committee in charge of distributing the relief for the population received thru Armenia (long ago, at the very beginning of the Movement), moved over to Yerevan but first… (eee! fuck him!.) and became an oligarch there.
The nomenclature consolidated into 32 ministries, like, Foreign Affairs, Defense, Monument Protection… a hell of a lot, actually (in Swiss they have got only 7 but they are dull and lacking inventiveness and imagination).And how not to mention the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Employment, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Finance Ministry, Ministry of Patriotic Work Among the Younger Generation, Ministry of Philately, and…, and…, and…
Komandushchi remained the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Self-Defense (certain persons had to learn pronouncing the letter «щ» to facilitate a smoother personal promotion). He got awarded the rank of General (Armenian, yet spiffed in the late USSR generals' outfit) and the title of the Hero of Nation (or something like that) as well as the Order of Battle Cross First Class or a sort of.He had already seen to the prophylactic cleansing (which is the must in any liberation/independence war: fidels have to get rid of che gevaras because the horse named Bolivar would not carry two at once) – the field commanders of dangerously outstanding popularity fell by the hands of unknown saboteurs on the difficult Karabakh roads…
It was much easier with the fighters from Diaspora. You keep them for a month in the Shushi prison, set them free and they are no more around. Taking off with the afterburner. The trick is to let them out one by one, not in a bunch.
And, by the bye, them those Diaspora are so naive! While down here for the asphalt and general improvement of sidewalks in Engels Street (presently Manukian Street, whose whole length does not extend over 360 meters) they plumped $6 000 000, still over there they launch the annual TV marathon collecting cash for Mountainous Karabakh.
A few brothers-in-arms of Komandushchi also became Generals and moved to the Yerevan’s Ministry of Defense, and when some local plumb loco there parked his Jeep at the General’s Parking Spot by the Ministry, his vehicle got riddled with bullets from the General’s handgun – who do you wanna jump, bitch? Go and look for spare parts now!
In the impenetrable dark along main street of Stepanakert (former Kirov Street, presently Freedom Fighters Street) at night switch on half a dozen electric bulbs from loose wires fixed above the tables of seeds and soft drinks traders. Each bulb brought out of the cave darkness in the stair-case entrance to the building of the respective entrepreneur…
Across every other street or lane, black cloth strips stretched taut above the road—two or three in a street, or five, or more, depending on the street length—to perpetuate for a couple of years the memory of those who left that street to perish in battles:«Арам – 18»«Размик – 42»«Армен – 24»«Виген – 31»«Тиго – 19»…They lived here before the war and those figures indicate their age when it ended. For them…
For the survived, the war is not over but lurked to get regrouped and burst up anew from where you’d never guess to expect…* * *
Bottle #22:~ Chums Will Be Chums ~OK, fine—(kept he persuading himself)—let’s don’t jump at premature conclusions but preserve sane prudence and keep up approaching the whole matter logically or even arithmetically, which might suit it even better for the simplicity’s sake.
So, you’ve popped up in the city whose name you’re not aware of.
The point of your second entry coincides with your previous exit which portal is, currently, leaned on and sealed with your ass freshly kicked by that old lady. Esma or whatever it was, her name.
Ain’t it your ass? Ain’t the wall hard?
Both answers are in the affirmative. In toto so… Which makes it (+) 2 to begin with…
But why that fist time Peccy chose to drop her load off nearby the Chris’ bench? By that pear tree? That is the question wrapped wholly in absolute dark.The problem (even when leaving aside the cause for the pear-tree dryness so as to keep things simpler) was effing enough to surprise Einstein himself if caught unprepared. Meanwhile he, this poor wretch with his ass to the wall, in his still pretty rickety and befogged state of mind, he wouldn’t rule out the need in even two fucking Einsteins.2 + 2?Hmm, looks fundamentally hopeful…
So, if his logical arithmaticity does not play tricks on the accuracy of his calculus, then the most consequent step would be unplugging his butt from this here Point 2's hardiness and choosing a suitable trajectory or, rather, course towards Point 1.
Conceivably, that destination was as good as any other for a rendezvous with a chance revelation or a hint at something besides his own name which, by the way, he determined single-handedly, no prompts from no Einsteins nor from any other outsiders…
If we assume this street for a line drawn between two bars in its opposite ends, then Point 1 bisects, in a manner, that line into two (yes! he knew there was one more 2 somewhere!) halves. Not a too short leg to that figured out midpoint, however, right now he's not quite pressed by any overly urgent arrangements…
He tore his ass from the wall... . . . .
Yep, here it is. The bench. Oh, Chris…That old nutty babbler. Sorry for the geezer…
A couple of meters off, the chrome in the rims of a wheel-chair draws glistening supp next to the dried rind of the tree. A figure in a checkered slouch hat fills the seat. The stilled head dropped motionless onto the cover of a plain gray blanket swaddling the chest armpit-to-armpit.
The slumbering paralytic left alone to wander in his dreams of the days past… The board of Douglas VC-54C, Sacred Cow's her handle, buzzes thru the clouds transporting him to where he’ll deliver his authentic autograph… yes, three on one sheet… an ambulatory villa in the Crimea… perambulating allies…
He approached the bench, sat down. Yes, exactly over there, five meters to the right, his bare feet contacted the heat of the torrid asphalt at that his first landing.
What a naive greenhorn he was then! Yes. Breaking the back of his head before Peccy got it what was his want…
As if now he’s any cleverer except for the acquired, by pure chance, skill at driving that derelict shell.However, it was inside her darkness that the revelation of his name came to enlighten him…
"Kenty! How’s it going! How've ya been, dude?"
As if from the synchronous bite of two tropic mosquitoes, he started vigorously, at a loss which one to scratch first off.
A furtive roundabout look… damn! I’m deranged… started to hear them those fucking voices…
"Stop jolting, bud, or They will get it. Just put on you’re baby-sitting the sparrows."
"What fuc… ahem!… sparrows! Who’re you? Where?"
"Oh, right… just a sec."
On the sidewalk around Inokenty’s feet shod in possum skin moccasins, issuing lively twits began to hop a couple of gray-brown sparrows who’ve just popped up from nowhere.
The third one impudently perched upon the silver buckle over the right foot arch.
He felt kinda fucked up… hmm, well… that is to say like fucking intoxicated (somewhat better now, and do not forget that is a decent site of the exemplary normativeness, thru and thru so).
"That’s it. Now, be careful not to address me, we don't want Them catch a whiff. The damn hicks belief I’m good for nothing better than spoon-bending with a glare."
"How did you guess my name? Another ability thru trisomy?""It’s you who is a Downism boob. Mine is a different case. And there’s a hell of a lot I know of you. Even what’s written up there on your arm."
Reflexively, Kenty clutched the cloth in the sleeve of his blue frock coat – the uniform of junior navy officer in the British Navy sewn by the tailor named Trevor Priggs in Seville Row, London, in spring 1786.
"What?!""UF-3! That’s what!"
He startled. 2Bsure, they were the signs in the only tattoo on his whole body that often irked him to white heat by their inexplicability.
"And what’s the meaning?""Aramis, you fool, it means 'Aramis'. 'UltraFucker – 3' is what you are. We were three there in the team of UltraFuckers: Athos, Parthos, and Aramis. I’m marked UF-2. Wanna me show?"
"No-no! You’ll catch cold or They will dig it. And who are They?"
"For you it’s too early yet… Yo, dude, d’you indeed get amnesia-screwed so severely or there happen still some flashbacks?""I’ve recollected my given name."
"Oh-oh! They weren’t stingy on your behalf… Two vaccinations as a minimum… But what a daredevil UF you was! Spread them left and right in Street Fighter, both hands tied behind your back!.So we threw our team of 3 together. Invincible UFs! It became a byword in the crowd of gamesters “UFs will make you wet your pants!” and instead ‘fuck off’ they’d say ‘Go and challenge UFs!’Yep. That was some time…Remember how we’ve been screwing those Mongos to pieces on Asteroid T-4?. Well, yes, you can’t… You’re vaccinated…Then you somehow began to keep off… delved into those 2 Impassable Levels and disappeared… untraceable…"
"Yo, and how’s Athos?"
"Athos is no more, Kenty. Croaked our UF-1. Tragically and teragigabitedly…
That time a new shooter rolled they out in the Net, under the name of Warring Maya, snuffing aliens against the backdrop of Hindus mythology. Shiva, Vishnu and stuff. The soundtrack from those Basta's clips—shrieks of baboon… total jerk…The engine itself hidden in the Cloud, G&PaaS, you know…
Well, you unavailable by that time, so we started together, two of us… Armory, ammo selected and off we go. All as always in any other shooter…
Now, we drop into some basement vault. O, those walls! I didn’t like them at once. So, I yell, ‘Athos! It’s a set up! Let’s get out!’ But he, ‘No fear! We’ll pull thru! Don't chicken out! Button 27 and God’s Might by our side! Besides, I’ve grabbed a couple of cool shortcuts from Counter Strike! Woohoo!’That’s when it gushed. From all the walls… Green, disgusting…
Later they reanimated me in this here wheel-chair-fixed variant. As for Athos – light be the bites filling his grave, and the memory of him in ROM both radiant and undeletable…"
Nearing the tree in a gliding gait with obvious skidding due to the left leg paresis, appeared a swollen female figure in a flannelette robe of fading printed pattern depicting twining chromosomes. With audible pants and puffs, grabbed she the handles in the wheel-chair back.
An awkward movement of the clinodactyl pinkie caught on the pulled down hat.The headpiece dropped into the blanketed lap and went on down to land onto the ground.
Moaning from the sedulity of her efforts, the pusher started to fold down, the way transformers do, so as to reach…
In terror, watched Kenty the spheroid, shaved to the bare glare, head of his buddy in radiation burns and wine stains, the legacy from serial chemotherapy.
Not a single hair in the brows, the eyelids snarled in folds above the corners of the eyes near the flat bridge of the nose and—the most horrid of all!—the absolute emptiness in smooth eyeballs: neither irises nor pupils but only flat empty spans, like those in antique statues, where the sculptor has not yet painted the eyes in.
"By the bye, Kenty, Athos thanks you dearly for the nice rags.""What eff… else… rags?"
"The tartan jacket, black-and-yellow. Or did they impaired your short-term memory too?"
Without answering, UF-3 grimaced a warning mien in the direction of the amoeba-shaped form who, a-snarl-a-grunt, was raking the hat out from under the wheel…
"Take it easy, partner! She’s not of Them. An under-aborted. Jérôme Lejeune, from the French Resistance, der Artz in the Block of Selective Eugenics, is an ardent opponent to abortions."
"And where is Athos buried or was he cremated?""Yo! You’re a natural indeed! Can’t you make him out on your buckle?"
The empty eye in the wide-lipped mannequin head winked a good-bye at him from under the brim of the hat pulled askew down to his ears, and got lost behind the jerking curtain of the back robed in chromosomes propelling the wheel-chair in progressive motion.
“Fare thee well, Parthos!”, a mute poignant tear plopped from the left eye's eyelashes of speechless Inokenty after his departing buddy.
The sparrow joyously chirruped and, without ever leaving the buckle, splashed out a generous white streak of guano onto the possum’s back to teach him not to drop his fucking jaw when among chums…* * *
Bottle #23: ~War As a Watershed Between “Before” and “After” ~In the last year of the first war artillery/missile bombardments ceased pestering Stepanakerters (after the capture of Aghdam City) and were substituted with air raids.First off, it was the team of day-pay pilots from Belorussia not averted by the stink of petrodollars.NO! I’m not asserting they were Belorussians, it’s just that their base was deployed there.Later, an Azerbaijani pilot in service at some other place hi-jacked a SU fighter-bomber of the latest make and flew it straight to Baku where he got the title of Hero of Nation and started running missions in the Karabakh war.
Goorguen, whose house was next to our lot with the construction site in it and who all the war was carrying ammo to phedais by his state-owned KRAZ truck, told how a SU-jet surprised him on one of the passes, and he decided it was his last run. However, the pilot only waved to him thru the cockpit glass and flew away.Highly improbable that it was that Hero of Nation hijacker who soon was shot down by a thermal rocket while stalking up to Stepanakert City along the Karkar river valley…
The pilots were taught wariness by the fact of the Army of Self-Defense having got equipped already with radars, so that in a couple of minutes before the raid, the air-defense sirens filled the city with their warning howl followed by the aircraft—one or two units at most—dropping their bombs onto the city, not many but pretty powerful blasts, and under the rapid barking of anti-aircraft guns the raiders would fly away.The thundering roar of jets died out, the sirens shut up too, which felt like awesome bliss after their godawful howl all thru the raid.
Yet, one time they did shot a jet down, not the right one though.In 1993 members of the newly established CIS were cutting up the pie of military property of the collapsed USSR, a certain percentage went to the former republics on whose territory tarried the said equipment and the remaining bulk collected Russia. In the process, Armenia got two jets.Full of delight, one of them flew over Karabakh, without warning in time, and was shot down.
The ejected pilot came down by the parachute and caught in the field. They wanted to beat him (you would not kill so a precious trade item) and, to prove his origin, he yelled up words with particular sounds in them which only a born Armenian is able to produce while outsiders emit something kinda alike (the way I do) because being unfit to hear the difference themselves.On the whole, that same old story from the Holy Bible repeated itself, one to one, how the Israelites at punishing one of their tribes, the knee of Benjamin it was, used the ‘shebaleth’ word to see Benjaminians from the rest of Jews.Thus Armenian Air Force lost 50% of their aircraft in one go.
Six months later shooting down a wrong one repeated itself. An aircraft with Iranian diplomats on board flew from Moscow to Tehran to celebrate the New Year at home and deviated from the security corridor. It got hit by a surface-to-air missile. That was my turn to spend the night on duty at the SC building and after the midnight I heard the wheezy roar of the aircraft in its dive down.
A day later there arrived an Iranian Colonel with a couple of Sergeants to collect the offal of the dead. He invited me also to admire the collected variety meat through the glass in the UAZ vehicle windows. I refused to approach, however. Couldn't make myself, not even for the diplomatic politeness' sake…
As there was no one to present the check paid before the war so as to retrieve the concrete flooring slabs (the former Building Materials Plant housed the repair battalion for restoring tanks already) I had to again use my official position and visited the respective office to get a signed endorsement there for collecting the roof timber from the not fully ruined ‘October’ cinema. Really good material the beams were, not even damaged by the fire.
With employment of an auto crane and a trailer platform, the beams were pulled from the cinema ruins, ferried to and unloaded in the yard of the maternity hospital for their further transference into the ravine where our unfinished house was located.However, the designed logistics failed in the concluding part planned to be carried out in the airspace above the narrow strip of land between the hospital fence and the mentioned ravine, whose top edge was used by Hrantic, who lived in the 3-storied apartment block to the left from the maternity hospital, and had started a 3-meter wide vegetable bed for growing beans there, on that shelf-edge above the ravin.
The boom of the crane (operated from the aforementioned medical institution’s yard) was long enough to take the beams (one by one) over the so-called vegetable garden. where Hrantic had stuck already 2-4 rows of slender poles (2-meter tall, vertically) for the beans to climb up when/if they sprout.Unfortunately, at the first go Vazyo, the crane operator, grazed one of the poles (without tumbling it though) with the beam being carried over. No actual damage, by and large.Nonetheless, Hrantic came racing from the yard of his apartment block with yells (he’s so expansive, habitually), snapped up a couple of anti-personnel grenades from his pocket and swore on his mother's well-being to use them at any further try to exploit the airspace adjacent to his plot.
Vazyo told me he couldn’t work under

such conditions where because of that fucking war everybody had become fucked up in their head already.On assembling the crane’s prop paws back, off he was.
That’s why I had to saw the beams to size, in the maternity hospital yard (the Head Physician Brina leaned out of the window of her office on the second floor, but she did not object, eventually), and then, in that shortened and lighter form, to haul them, the beams, assisted by Aram (Satenic’s brother), on our shoulders, bypassing the vegetable bed of fucked up in his head Hrantic, and drop them down in the ravine so as to pick them up, the beams, down there and drag in the reverse direction to the location of our unfinished house. The operation took two days (not to count the preliminary sawing the timber up to size by me alone).
In token of gratitude for the live assistance, I helped Aram to solve the problem of amassing firewood for the coming winter season by the suggestion to utilize the tall and mighty, yet wholly dead, pine tree in the Central Square of Pyatachok, which had dried up because of the damage to its roots brought about by a hoe digger producing a trench for the pedestrians to shelter, in case of an air raid, cut too close to the tree or, possibly, as the result of multiple wounds from shell/bomb fragments endured in the course of the war for Karabakh independence, when even the made of gypsum pioneer on the nearby pedestal lost his right arm together with the bugle, or I cannot even imagine why at all.That dry tree I proposed him to fell with my participation.The brother-in-law did not dare to raise his hand on a state-owned tree in a public place (even though dead already) and kept talking me out.
Then I prepared a relevant endorsement fake from a fictitious Committee of Assistance to Those Wintering and typed it with the typewriter at the PC by the SC of the RMK. The document was signed with a long and exquisitely vignetted signature because I had no rubber seal.Aram scrutinized the artifact with pensive attention. Then he agreed. Seemed like the signature looked convincing enough (he’s crafty in the like matters being a self-employed artist and wood carver).
The parts of the felled tree we transported to his yard on a handmade prototype of skating-board assembled of a piece of plank and three wheel bearings (no steer foreseen in the design). Before the war, Stepanakert kids liked getting seated on such things and rolling down steep streets, not in the downtown, of course, where the drivers would justly reprimand them for such a hazardous fun…
At the advice of Emma Arshakovna, my mother-in-law, I illegitimately seized a two-room apartment in a five-story apartment block built before the war. The project was stopped in the stage of works at inner finishing. Then the building’s bigger part was shattered by the artillery bombardments from Shushi, yet two stair-case sections (of five, all in all) survived and even the tin roof over them did not leak.
My squatting action was necessitated by the desire of the owners of our rented one-room flat, Armo and Nazic, to give their daughter Nara in marriage and they were planning to dole out the first floor of the house (with one and only room) to the newly-wed couple because your daughter’s happiness is more important than a side income.And, as always, everything turned for the better because the seized apartment was at a five-minute walk from our unfinished house.
In the apartment, I put up a stove of refractory bricks (a positive rarity in the sea of Karabakh tin woodburners).The brick pieces were collected in the ruins of The Children Library near that very Pyatachok Square and ferried over in a homemade one-wheel barrow to our place of residence, taking advantage of traffic absence, especially when the air defense sirens were howling.
The ancient iron wheel for the barrow was a present from Nerses, the father-in-law of Vanya, a welder at the gas pipeline construction organization, BMM-8, who I worked with before the war. And the roomy box for the barrow was made of a sheet of aluminum, a sizable traffic sign, formerly.The handles were of aluminum pipes and very sturdy – from the stretcher for carrying wounded, whose tarp got so smeared with blood that the city hospital (the one next to the maternity hospital) had just to throw it away onto their dump heap.I cut the tarp off and—voilà!—here are pipes of clean aluminum for you with convenient handles of black rubber to grab at…
Having the beam-timber allowed to span the walls of our house in progress. Then followed accomplishment of the roof of corrugated slate sheets from the pre-war stock of them at the warehouse of a certain construction firm, paid in cash.I had no plastering skills at that period because in the previous life my predominant job was that of a bricklayer so the plasterer had to be hired.
Actually, it was not even a plasterer but the plasterer’s hand from a team of two. They were engaged at the renovation of the half-destroyed building where our family squatted illegitimately, and they both did not participate in the hostilities due to their old age.The plasterer refused to do the job for an agreed fee but his hand, Vanik, agreed.Later on, I more than once had to bear the brunt of bitter criticism for the unevenness in the plaster surface, which happened not thru my fault, I was just the hand to a hand, old-aged Vanik.
The final air raid took place when we were plastering the bed room. It was a one-jet raid and the air defense missed out on noting it, and did not even had the time to switch those sirens on.It rolled in over the Krkjan hill, escorted by the puffy round-feather explosions of anti-aircraft shells so cute-looking in the blue sky. The jet rushed on, way ahead of the blasts, at a low level and dropped the bomb over School 8, a little before it. In its fall the bomb looked like a cask, kept turning in the air, sparkling with metallic glitter.
The bomber took an abrupt left turn and I never saw it any more, but the bomb kept on flying exactly towards me and Vanik because we were busy preparing the mortar before the entrance to the house.It missed the school building and, going on farther, fell into the private sector on the other side of the ravine and blew up someone's house (empty at the time).The spray of fragments of the house sprang up, and a thick dust cloud rose to screen the sun.Little by little, the dust began to dissipate but high above it there for a long time coasted a throwaway piece of a newspaper, and it even glided over to our side of the ravine to land somewhere in the bush.Later I wanted to find it and see which language it was printed in becauseThe Soviet Karabakhwas a bilingual paper. A sepia-yellowed Saturday digest in Russian it was…
Vanik put onto his head his wide ‘airfield’ cap to announce that he would not work on that day any more, and went away despite the heap of mortar we had just readied. He, probably, went to get drunk, I would, in his place, but couldn't do it in mine, being myself abstainer for three years already and the following five.
A year later, taking advantage of a certain lull in the situation (shootouts at posts did not grow over into large-scale offensives), Satenic gave birth to one more daughter, Emma and, when the restoration and finishing works of the apartment block we lived in were over, and the independent authorities sent their law-enforcing representatives to expel the unauthorized invaders from the two sections, because in two years our number grew there notably (one especially extended family of squatters lived in two apartments on different floors), then, at a five-minute walk from the illegitimately grabbed lodging, there was already a house for our family of 5.
True, the evictors came not in the police uniform, which they did not have got yet, but in the habitual phedai fatigue – trench coats and Kalashnikov assault rifles that rather scared Ashot, our pre-school son, while they announced politely enough that we had 48 hours to move fucking away. However, the set period allowed for both moving, and disassembling the stove of the refractory bricks, and transporting the materials to our plot.
Since then it’s become very easy to remember the age of our house – it’s as old as Emma and vice versa because everything always happens for the better, as a rule, surpassing any optimistic expectations…* * *
Bottle #24: ~The Iron Lady ~"Can I help you?"
He redirected his stare from the yellow-red waves in the motionless surf squeezed with the geometrical rigidity of the frame keeping at bay the verism of surrounding wall – onto the two strands of hyper-large pearl beads dangling the apex of their quadratic function parabola graph over the wrinkles in the cream vicuna below the waste, rubbing the hem of the flared blouse extended below by a narrower skirt of trapezoid cut, down to the mid-calves, in the blissful style of early Tutankhamen-and-all-that-jazz… Ah! The free of cares belle epoch of Charlestons and Foxtrots – the Great War's left behind already, the Great Depression's not there yet…
"Eh?. W-well…"
"Oh, yes! And I do understand you! Righter than anything I've heard, ever! Impeccable taste and errorless choice! It's one of the finest paintings by La Jue, from his late period. “Playful jerk La Jue” as he was lovingly named in Mont-Mart. At times, I also just stand and watch, and watch, and… As if under some magic spell. The picture is called «The concierge outside her dishabille."
"S-so, it's not the sea then?"
"O? You mean his «Sails near the Fort Bayard», of course? Painted on the back. The artist not always had means to purchase canvas and, when under some unrestrainable afflatus, you know, too uptight with the surge of inspiration, he pulled them backside front. We'll gladly turn it about for you. I felt it at first sight, you are a connoisseur and true aesthete."
"I ain't into pics, you know…"
"Unbelievable! You also read books live? No iPhones, no applications?Sure enough, we keep quite a few copies for adept gourmets of bibliophily. “The Golden Key”, for instance, “The Golden Rooster” certainly we have. “The Gold Bug”, “The Gold of Kolyma”. "The Empress of Gold", "Golden Gulag for Goldsmiths"…
"Ahem!. Ho… hum… looking for the girl that works here. Name’s Maya…"
"O fuc… ficus' facsimile!". The bob-cut strands of straightened platinum-dyed hair run in ripples over the thick layer of pink plaster in her cheeks. "You should have told at once. A boy-friend, huh?"
"Well, a kinda sort of.""Okay, cool it. Having a day-off, your Maya. Check her diggings."
"I went there. Locked.""Use yours, lover boy."
"Well, I'm back from a kinda business trip. Urgent suddenness and stuff. No time to grab the key when departing."
"Save your whoppers, sudden tripper! Wanna take me for a ride? My old man's also havin' the like trips and first thing out of thee can he visits a barber shop to learn his map, where they sprayed it with as shitty cologne as you're wearing now. What's your goes whole, love?"
"A greenhorn yet. No holding a candle to my old man. Nabbed again. Okay, I'll lend you his wonder-skeleton-key that'll take less than two secs to open the President's Button box. Then you're bringing it back with a big-big "thank you", eh? The hungered stallions are my best-loved".. . . . .
Seeing off the client in a blue frock coat, officer's fatigue in British Navy end XVIII century, she took off the wall by the entrance the elegant miniature by António de Hollanda "View of Lisbon in 1530" painted collaboratively with Simon Bening for the "Genealogy of Don Fernando" and clapped it over the tablet “Open” hanging against the glass in the door, face to face.
The size matched perfectly and thru the door now was seen the miniature's backside promising in the manner of apian pointillism, "Gone after goods, soon to be back".
Bypassing an eclectically retrograde collection of paintings in the degenerate cubomorphism style distributed wantonly on nickel-plated openwork stands interspersed with figurines of late ozone anomalistic nudes, the owner of “Salon-Exhibition The Easter Eggs" strolled over to a chrome-synthane leather armchair with kirza inserts, in the corner of the hall and slammed open the black square in the wall.
Inside the shallow niche behind the hinged square, she removed the ebony, dildo-shaped powder microphone of the Lorenz system from the mahogany box and flipped the call-speaker switch (two-in-one). Under the melodically elongated beeps, she sank into the gleaming seat.
The vermilion ovals of manicured nails kept playfully filliping the pearls in that rosary of a necklace about the level of her gallbladder concealed under the layers of her blouse and the black silk corset of Secretly Screwed Victoria.
"Yeah", sounded a male voice from inside the well-polished mahogany.
"Hi, Don… How's your priceless vigor and stuff?""What's up?"
"Wanna play Fish and Fisherman? Standin' up in the raft, thrusting you pole thru the mossy water weed at the river bed, eh?""Having nothing to busy yourself with?"
"O-okay, don't tick off at Ann-Granny. Better tell me, DonKEY, who's popped up in my dream right now?""Get to the point, Anna Serafimovna."
"Wow! Our Donkey has turned so businesslike! So seasoned and mature, and even dry behind his long ears…
Hark, bustler! A visitor I had, that same quickie customer who whipped two of your slobs in one go. One's turned a cross-eyed lobotomy victim, the other gives daily interviews to the head doctor at the funny farm about greenish men and how softly them those aliens enter the landing mode, thanks to Vaseline.
However, the verbal description matches not – freshly shaved and wearing The Triple Cologne."
"Then, maybe, it's not him?""Maybe not him, then, was looking for Maya".
"And you?""Presented him with the golden key to any hindrance in life".
"Now, it's you who's a bustler. Better leave him in the street. Check his connections."
"Don't you ever lecture me, mudak! Even Dented Denny, my old man, is most wary to teach me. Have you forgotten who in the can took Donkey under his wing? Who promoted that go-getter, you, to a business-doer? Who watered your rose with solicitous regularity, huh?! We kinda wives from the same harem, you and I, if you got it, asshole!"
"Whoa! Slow down, lady. I didn't mean nothing."
"Okay, fine. By seven tonight, you'll send a couple of slobs from your fresh recruits here. Some drive test will I give them. A complete feng shui at rug rolling-respreading all over the bedroom, the best activity for scaling up your positivity."
"Would two do?""No indecent innuendos in presence of your superiors! Dismissed!"
Don slam-rang off and growled thru his clamped teeth:"Fucking matriarchy!"* * *
Bottle #25: ~Fiddling About Pedagogy ~When because of the truce brokered in Bishkek I got kicked out from the Press-Center by the SC of RMK, my diploma of a Teacher of English from the Nezhin Pedagogical Institute helped me out once again. It substantiated my job application to Stepanakert Pedagogical Institute gift-wrapped already in the spangle-twinkling title of State University.
Rector named Arvat did not turn down my request supposing, erroneously, that I was another white collar from the Supreme Council (in the war years folks used to view me that way) maintained up there by a hairy pow who did not mind my looking for a side job. That conjecture made him not over keen on verifying the truth of such speculations or else he did not give a fuck about these here theories on his hypothetical guesswork and he just gave me that job. Period. Anyway, it feels good to take care of yourself as nobody’s protege.
So, I became a teacher of English at the Department of Foreign Languages by the Artsakh State University because the local cadres of eaters found nothing better to busy their screwed up heads with except for dumping the word “Karabakh” altogether. They kicked up a resolute campaign (up to a referendum) to substitute it with the word "Artsakh" of dubious meaning yet without Turkic roots in it. The blithering dunces all of a sudden turned linguistically aware… The common folks went on naming their homeland Karabakh while the managerial dimwits stuck 'Artsakh' tag on any effing shit…
Having Rector Arvat around (though I never communed with the guy) provoked some deep rooted uneasiness in me, a sort of not quite there déjà vu.A strangeness out of joint should turn into normality, right? Well, in this case it did not work that way.
I had already had Rector Arvat, back at the Nezhin Pedagogical Institute, although by that one 'Arvat' was his family name and not the given one. And the geezer (the previous Arvat) was a Jew from Odessa. Of course, it made no difference still two Arvats and both Rectors were kinda more than enough for me alone. Such a temporal-cognitive discordance created a sort of tension. It’s like meeting 2 John Lennons and both playing the piano, separately.There happen namesakes, okay, I can buy that. Job-sakes? In millions. Name-and-job-sakes? Not suspecting of each other? Hmm. What next? N&J-sakes sharing an unaware wife? That’s where the straining entered. Or, say… no, I’d better not go down that road.
However, Arvat (the Stepanakert Armenian) soon got replaced with another rector (they were shifting there like knaves shuffled by an experienced deck sharper) who, fortunately, incurred no allusions to my previous life which brought some alleviation, in part.
No use of concealing the fact that the turnover of Rectors at the ArSU went through the roof. It suffice to note that in the course of just one employee's career (namely, my 14-year stretch there) the Artsakh State University saw somersaults of 8 to 9 of those high-ranking educational officials. Thus, the Frequency of Rector-Rotation (FRR) per clown coincides, on average, with the duration of a conscripts’ hitch in the Soviet Army.None of them (with merely one exception) demonstrated any savvy as to in what way a pedagogical college is distinct from a university.
Once, I even had to explain to a current one (not my fault though: who ever called that Rector to show up at a monthly sitting of the English Department (because any other foreign language remained in embryonic form of an optional subject)) that a university, in difference to a college, is engaged in scientific research as well.
The amount of the offered information clearly exceeded his cognitive capacity, and the unfathomable extent of the overflowing data plunked the usurper into the prostration of so violent a nature that the efforts of the Head of the English Department combined with the concerted assistance of other Anglo-ladies present at the monthly affair hardly managed to reanimate the poor fellow by the plenteous application of tea and jam.
Well, yes, they did manage to bring him back to life. Yet, the Head of the English Department had never forgiven me the accident. Not for the irretrievable quantities in the amount of the Departmental jam stock yet because of her strong instinct of self-preservation.
It was exactly that monthliness that effed me up immoderately and made me a plumb loco deep in myself. Because menfolks at the State University could then be counted on the fingers of one hand – Rafic at the Department of Russian, Volodya at the Biological, Karen at the Physics and Mathematics, and Yuri at the Department of Geography… Well, maybe a pair of laboratory assistants somewhere but those Rectors my hand does not rise to tally up to the ranks of this glorious cohort…
Ah! Yes! Uncle Kolya the electrician! He kept a spacious, but very cluttered workshop under the main stairs where he repaired just anything: from umbrellas to household appliances, which even a normal woman would not understand, let alone those college bluestocking ladies.
Later, Armen Yuryevich appeared at the Department of Armenian, and justified, in part, the University denomination, because he did undertake a research task compiling The Dictionary of The Karabakh Dialect of Armenian.The work was accomplished at the level of The Russian Dictionary by Dahl, no kidding. The resulting magnum opus will surely outlive us.
Although who for? Meager 6 million people use Armenian nowadays, of which one half populates the Diaspora who use the Istanbul Dialect of Western Armenians, the remaining 3 million live, speak, and write in the Republic of Armenia applying the Eastern Dialect of the language, but neither of them have as worthy a Dictionary where each entry brims with the poetry of life in folk sayings some of which still make me neigh all stops pulled.
It’s only that the compiler exploited juvenile labor demanding from the students to stick down, whenever visiting their villages, everything heard from their granny-grandpa-uncle-ants. Anything at all: proverbs, swearing, jokes…
And the students were only happy to do the job. I saw heaps of their sheet-and-scraps on his Departmental Desk because that way they felt themselves students and not just the sheep for whose sake the tuition fee was shorn off their respective parents.
Still, on the other hand, it’s reassuring that no matter how hard a teacher would tyrannize you, they could not jump higher their own ass because the university should systematically fulfill the plan of harvesting with no reduction of the fleeced cash allowed. So you’d sure pass a test, and get your ‘three’ at the exam, and screw their bullying.
True, time and again you could stumble at those who’re eager to learn indeed. I met such unique ones at the reading hall…O! the ArSU Reading Hall is certainly a pearl. The Diaspora had dumped there whatever books you want. Some treasure hoard starting from the two last reprints of The Britannica and so on alphabetically…
The uptake not for the critters present? But then, maybe, for those growing yet, for some of the following, future generations. Some huge 'maybe' though…
And that Rector, recuperated by means of jam and tea, never forgave me for the attempt at shuttering the foundations of his inert ideas and, full of vindictive villainy, he ordered the Head of the Computer Room—O my! That's real sweetie! agenerous gift from some overseas millionaire—to keep me out of the gift Hall on the basis of hypothetical probability of my sending spy reports to Baku by means of the Internet.She had to only follow her orders, and I had to await the idiot’s demobilization…
My relationships with the colleagues were characterized by evenness, always. Although the Head of the Department, with her hypertrophied instincts, could not conceal her fury that at their monthly jamborees I kept yawning, repeatedly and even with a distinct howl.But that was unintentional reaction due to physiologically irresistible stimuli. I tried to restrain my jaw, faith! I did!– even with my both hands, for keeping good manners… To no avail though. You just can't kick against physiology…
To curb the volume of her orations, it took only one adjustment. After another of her accusatory declarations as regards me, I took out the flash drive (alike to WALKMAN yet of smaller dimensions) which I used for listening Tina Turner on my way to the university when the bus driver turned his music too loud. However, this time I pretended it was a Dictaphone and said to the flash drive: “Recorded on February 2, at 13.38”
She got fuc… fully, that is… flabbergasted, being unable to recollect what exactly got shot off her mouth a moment before.It's after that recording was I banned from the Computer Paradise…
Vice-rector Styopa also, once, in the presence of students in the corridor, began to reprimand me employing an unrestrained tone of voice:
“You’re kept here only because of being a foreigner!”
But those are slanderous rumors that I retorted:
“What can you know of foreigners? Wanna get mine to play with?” Because tongue-tiedness somehow disappears, at times…
The only rector that I did like, from aside, was Episkoposian, who immediately after the war arrived from Moscow and even moved his household furniture down here.
Under him, Anna Alexandrovna, the Library Manager, forgetful of her advanced age, shed off the heed to decency rules endemic in the backwaters, and began to wrap her throat with a chiffon scarf in the romantic manner of the singer Maya Kristalinskaya, especially on days when she went to the Rector's appointment.Of course, given the difference in their age and similarity of marital status, her dress code did not lead to the slightest office affair, and everything looked an example of love purely platonic and touching to watch…
And what was his idea of spending vacations? Huh? In the hole!Near the village of Mektishen he dug up a skeleton with strange decorations, which, by all scientific beliefs, were impossible to share that hole with the stiff.
He’d better ask me, when we’d been constructing the gas pipeline nearby Chldran Village, before the war it was, the back hoe dug up a hell of a lot of bones of all kinds of sorts there.
But on the second summer they pulled him out of the hole and clarified that, if his furniture was dear to him, he’d better fuck off out of here.
Meekly moved Episkoposian to Yerevan, it very well may be up to this day gathers he his flock there to lecture on strange Karabakh artifacts, and in summer, some place in the Ararat Valley, exhumes he spare parts jettisoned off Noah's Ark, because Armenia is a mighty ancient land…
Besides, in the eyes of the university administration, I had decrying connections with doubtful citizens from abroad. Not those who’d appear for a day or so to pass another grant or a donation, but of the kind they didn’t get it what those needed about here at all.
Take, for instance, Nick Wagner and our friendship for about twenty years…A break it was and he walked the corridor along the second floor in the New Building. No rubbing his shoulders neither elbows with anyone, so delicate a passer-by. But his being an American was too obvious because nobody would sport the beard like his in the surrounding whereabouts.
"Hey!" sez I pacing in the counter direction and kept going.
So he U-turned, caught up and said: “Who are you?”
Well, it’s not my custom to make secrets of nothing:“The last of the Mahicans,” sez I, taking into account my uniqueness at the Department, as well as my status along this second floor plus divers other sadly associated factors.
Since that moment we’ve been friends because he also had read works by Fenimore Cooper, although they’re absent from the American school curricula…
Nick himself was working then in Yerevan, at the American-Armenian University or, maybe, vice versa. However, he felt inclination to a less spoiled, by the civilization, nature. That’s why he came to Stepanakert, though without knowing the language.
So I escorted him to meet the current Placeholder. Nick wrote his application at the personnel department and went back to Yerevan to give his lessons at the AAU there. Damn no! AUA is the correct name! Whatever…
A month past, he comes again to say there was no answer.Again, as an interpreter, went I with him to the personnel department.
"Why d’you grill the man? One whole month there’s no answer!""Not true! The answer was there."
"Where?""Right there in my safe."
O YOB… O MOTH FUC EFF BLIAD SCRE…No, even for me it's hard to pick the right word, at times…
In short, there was the refusal to his application, in that steel safe, on the grounds that his Californian pronunciation plus degree from the University of Nevada State were not congruous with the aspirations of the ArSU English Department staff who wished instruct the RMK students in strictly British English. So was their ambitious design and predisposition.
Yet, Nick turned out a slippery customer and moved to Karabakh all the same. Became an Instructor of English at a private university. Yes, there were birdies of that feather too (2) in Stepanakert, not only the State was born to fleece.Besides, he got some means, his Dad was a popular barber and Mom a scion of refugees from the Western Armenia. But she did not undertake to teach her three sons Armenian…
And I can understand him, in Yerevan I also would not survive…
Well, as for Mike Newman, then yes, everything’s in full view, an inconcealably epitomic spy for you, I have to admit.
A Briton himself, he lived in Paris, and had worked thru Russian language courses to a level with a charming accent. Not enough? How about his visits to Karabakh? Not every year, yet periodically, although instead of books on the BBC order he wrote poetry, and even sang his own songs playing a guitar, simultaneously. Not bad, by the bye.No need for a diagnosis from the KGB here – some undeniable spy.
Thanks to him, I saw the meaning of that dry British humor, you know. It’s when I kinda flashed my Britannica fostered erudition:(
"Mike," sez I, "are you aware, if we pick the subject of possibility of weird coincidence, that you've got a namesake who's also a Newman?! That same one who later became a cardinal. How about that?"
Not a single feature twitched in the face of the handsomely attractive manly man, James Bond (nothing like that ugly Quasimorbid from the most recent series), and Mike Newman (ahem!) very calmly, with a perfect coolness remarked:"I forgive him".
The dagger-and-cloak men are lenient enough to absolve the sinful clergy…
Considering all that, when Nick and I am getting together to celebrate another Saturday, he always starts one and the same, rehearsed to the level of virtuosity, number, both frivolous and futile:
"The educational system in Karabakh failed!"
And I comfort my friend with the no less profoundly practiced, delicate diminuendo:"Not just here, Nick. Not just here. It’s a fucking global fiasco…"* * *
Bottle #26: ~The Re-Union ~The day got doggone from the very start. At breakfast, after she put sugar in her tea cup and lifted the bowl to shove it up onto the shelf, it suddenly slipped from her fingers and leaped to the floor drawing the white mare’s tail of grit all over the kitchen, loose and wide…
Clutch the broom, Maya, here’s a job for you, bitch!
The only consolation was it was a day-off. That batty floozy, the mistress of that salon-bookstore loony bin, told Maya yesterday not to come next day.
That slut’s kooky in her head, beyond repair. Changing three times a day.Hoopskirt in the morning or else in the Elizabeth Virgin Whore style from the Tudor dynasty, unless, of course, not in a mini-bikini.
Do all women at that age bust their nuts so wholly? The only sane thing about her that she's made Maya learn to read and write.
At first it was knotty hard – oh! that fucking "Golden Key"! but then it gradually began to move on and somehow turned even interesting what that bitch Malvina, the puppet show prima pussy, dyed her hair with, eh? Not laundry blue, for sure.
Then she wanted to cook a soup. No, yeah, no go. There’s just a spoonful of dry pasta shells in cellophane, on the shelf.
Some familiar ring, eh? Why to leave there that scant pinch? When you see it’s just a nip left then dump all of it in the pot on the stove with everything else to finish it off. But no! Wrapping back in cellophane and storing on the shelf.Sometimes it’s hard for Maya to understand her herself.
So nothing doing and she decided to go out to the supermarket.
Moreover on that TV they sow their stupid oats all day long – how could Ukrainians be so fascists and not even spare their own civilian population…
Well, not right away, of course, it takes time before you decide on which rags to put on after all…. . . . .
At the supermarket of her former kinda colleagues there stayed only Nastya, the cashier.Because of her obesity she’s too lazy for looking for a decenter job…
And that mudak in the line behind with his gaze riveted to Maya’s bottom as if it's his first time throughout his miserable life to see a woman’s ass.
Though yes, her ass is the coolest one in both this and the next hemispheres. Not fat yet round. Exactly what is lacking them those bitches in the podium that wiggle their skinny pelvic bone back and forth like empty scales.
Well, were you the only of the kind, then okay, fine. But not battalions of cloned Masha-Dasha in different rags and wigs of any hue on the march – left-right! left-right!The dressage training, an Olympic sport.
And when already coming back home, the left spike broke off clean, as she was nearing her tower-block entrance.Some damn well out of luck day and no doubt! With one foot you’re normal while keeping your right one on tiptoe as if sneaking up… Some lame duck with her sack of bad luck…
And then the elevator was not coming down for half an hour. Some bastards rape-holding its door in the upper floors.
Finally arrived, a couple with a baby came out.The little baby’s such a cutie, the eyes so round, lips open in a small “o”. O, sweetie!
Maya got out on her seventh floor, opened the door, and still in the hallway she realized that something was not quite there.
She kicked her ruined heels off and looked from the corridor into the room.
Yep! So it is, some bum in a blue pea jacket is snoring on the couch by the balcony door.Happy-New-Year-and-heat-your-ass-in-sauna!
It’s not that Maya freaked out completely. Nopes. She knew a trick or two from the bouncers at the bar “You’ll Get It”, some hard stuff so that kicking the guy in his balls was a kids' game, in comparison.
Yet just in case, she quietly went to the kitchen after the meat hammer.How ever could that bum get in?
"Hey you! Reveille!"
He jumped up, batting his eyes and rubbed his lips with the heel of his palm.
"How d’you intrude? What’s your want?"
Her eyes contacted his stare."Nobodya … And … the beard … where?"
The hammer slipped out the clutch and tapped at the floor, slightly…
"Actually, I’m Inokenty."
"What are you talking about? Inokenty the Who? The First? Second? Third?"
"The third… UF-3.""Yeah. Unparalleled Fool. Can be seen in the dark too."
"Wait! Where so too many Inokenties from? Your exes’ count?"
"Too many or under many is for me to size up… The employer at the bookshop got me hooked on reading. When there are no clients, I leaf through everything. LatelyThe Sacred Puppet Showit was by the French blogger named Taxil.
O, Lord! They did jump bones in their shows! Did indeed! Even with their daughters…You rarely come across the like porn even at X-sites.Inokenty The Third’s the coolest of them Popes. It’s him to train all the princes and emperors in Europe kissing his shoe."
"A faggot or what?""The tribute of respect! You, fool! And no yo-yoing here! Where’s the beard?"
"Well… hum… see… Esma undid me in the morning… then UF-2 told about Athos, and he himself worse than a skinhead… it all got me somehow… and there’s a barber shop, well, I just went in… er… only they didn’t have change from a piastre…
"A tough case… seems like not just the beard was lost.""Worried sick about that beard? Why so keen on it?"
"Having even the nerve to ask! Ha! Why am I keen? Yeah? Why? Got lost for so long and God only knows where. Then rolls in with his mug shining! Where have you been?""On the Island."
"Boy, o boy! A fucking bucket of steam! Which one? Vasilyevsky Island? Or Honshu?""Come on… Chris got killed. When you told me meet him."
"How d’you mean killed?""Two shots. A slob of Don’s."
"But you?""The bastard hit from behind my back. I didn’t see nix. Nothing at all."
"You not hurt, Nobodya?""It’s Inokenty. I’m Inokenty! Too hard to remember?"
"Again? The Third? Or you’ll share the last name too after all?""There’s nothing to share. I know nothing."
He got up on his feet and in few steps reached the glass door to the balcony, leaned his forehead on the transparent hardness. Keeping her eyes on him, Maya downed onto the couch.
"Look, if you're on the run, speak openly."
Still with his back to her, the still silhouette against the backdrop of the dim light of the waning day answered:"Told you already, I know nothing… Sorry for Chris. He plays was writing."
"Good, at least?""As if I’ve read… Don came up. Blah-blah-blah. Went away. In a moment – bang! bang! above my head."
He started pacing the room from the balcony door up to that to the hallway and back, his freshly shaven chin sunk in the cup of his left palm, the blank gaze straggling along the floor under his feet.
Then, to shed off the gloomy recollections, he asked:"And what’s your last name?"
He stood as if rooted to the spot, smack bang in the middle of the room:‘WARRING MAYA?!.’
"Yeah. Close enough."
"Fu… eff me…" his voice trailed off and he picked pacing up. After a couple of to-and-fros the question was readied:"And what did you need Chris for?"
"There's a delay by me, and he knows folks anyplace.""What do you mean delay?"
"What a fool you are, Nobodya.""I’m Inokenty."
"Makes no difference. You both are fools… Come on here, damn you!."* * *
Bottle #27: ~People Got Killed For A Base Metal’s Shine ~In 1997 I visited Ukraine as the stipulated stretch of my keepingUlysses, the work by James Joyce farmed out to me by my Teacher, was over.
A year later in the seasonal summertime session of writing articles for the local newspaperAzat Artsakh, the travel turned into a serial of seven chapters namedThe Way of Return. Some shitty name, undeniably, but then the job of a writing beast of burden was paid for with beggarly kopecks.My grabbing any job at all was motivated by the chronic absence of the needful. In fact, we were paupers with a house of their own, not dying of famine but having no money for an in-city bus. A healthy life-style, if you think deep enough, on the whole…
As a teacher at the State University, I got 15 000 AMD a month (except for the 3-month unpaid summertime). The zeroes looked cool yet remained just zeroes as long as the plum-looking sum equaled 15 rubles in the Soviet Union. Hence my return to the position of a translator inThe Soviet Karabakhpaper renamed already intoFree Artsakh,and loss of the sight over its smudgy signal prints.
Cooperation with the independent monthlyDemo,published on grants from the Great Britain, lasted much shorter (I was fired for being insufficiently democratic).
Producing Internet sites from scratch (there were no handy templates and platforms yet). The ordered site remained my one and only side product in that line, as a matter of fact. The hotel owner understood the profitability of his enterprise’s presence in the Net when ordering the site and pretty soon he had to construct a couple of additional two story buildings for his business. The rest of the public was either as needy as me or seeing the Internet as a means of private entertainment.
Tutoring at the branch of the Modern University for Humanities headquartered in Moscow (later on MUfH was renamed into the Modern Academy), specialized on selling their diplomas printed in line with the internationally accepted forms. It was kinda education by correspondence, the students studied from their hometowns for passing the tests online. The job they gave me at the branch yielded additional 15 rubles for each non-summer month.
It's only that school graduates stubbornly bypassed me and looked for private lessons of English elsewhere.And I fully got it – what’s the use of being prepared by me if they had no chance of seeing my face among the exterminators when enrolling the ArSU?But I still cannot get it – why paying to a private tutor when anyone is welcome to the all-out fleecing? If only for vanity’s sake? To flash up before their herd-mates the phrase ‘London is the capital of Great Britain’?
Naively open coverage of the events in the internal political life of the RMK at the pivotal period of the millennia switch put an end to a couple of months of my remote collaboration with a Russian-language newspaper in Yerevan.
Why?Because of the base shiny metal…
At times you start, like, thinking: Where do them those lucky ones come from? At all, huh?The question's asked not to emphasize or show off my personal qualities over again, but from the pure curiosity.Seems like in their previous life they, those fortune's favorites, behaved with proper circumspection and managed to avoid denting their karma. Right?
Let's consider me, for instance…Although, on the second thought, let’s not. I'd better be set aside, mine is a special case. The prodigy is a prodigy and accepting the one in million for a standard would be an incorrect approach in a discourse on fundamental matters, wouldn't it?
So, to put it accurately: Where all them ordinary lucky ones come from, eh?.A rather interesting question. Worth of applying my scientifically shrewd mind to. When at leisure…
The presence of gold in the Karabakhtoombs(‘toomb’ is a mountain of not standardized length and/or height, which does not turn yet into a monstrosity propping glaciers and eternal snow deposits upon its top) was brought to my attention soon after I arrived for settling quietly in the village of Seidishen.
The tip leaked Gypsies or rather it was proposed by Rafic Shakarian, the Biology teacher at the village school. He pointed at the two pedestrians in the road bend on the nearby slope who schlepped an obviously bulky load, but still of not too big weight to tell on their hang loose gaits.A man and a woman under a burden of something indiscernible at such a distance.
"See those Gypsies?" asked Rafic. "Peddling their goods to villages.""What goods?" not over enthusiastically offered I my cue for the conversation."Sieves," was his answer, "they manufacture and use these utensils for trade."
Contrary to the expectations, the peddlers ignored the possible market in our village, and continued their trek along the road snaking up in between thetoombs.
Such disregard of trading basics instilled a certain suspicion: They didn’t sell the goods here, consequently, they needed the cargo themselves, but what for?
In the series of deductive associations that followed, a picture of a gold digger pops up: The sieve in his hands goes jerkily on—shikh-shakh-shikh!And then the sudden radiance of revelation: Gypsies and gold are inseparable!
Anyone who has ever communicated with Gypsies will get it at once – they don’t mind holes in their pants, the full of gold smile is what matters! Even more so about Gypsy women.But where to get it for the whole tribe?Ha! Be there an inconspicuous adit among the picturesquetoombsplus a sufficient stock of sieves and the problem finds its solution!Further developments verified my deductive conclusion, although not immediately…. . . . .
As a result of the war for Karabakh independence, its king and god became the Commander-in-Chief handled Izho, but it’s safer to name him just “Komandushchi”. Because he had the coolest Jeep of the period, jet-black and glossy, never riding without a couple of white "Nivas" in his VIP motorcade – one to precede, the other to cover the behind of the luxury SUV.
Besides the guidance and governance of the Army of Self-Defense, he also tried a hand in the spheres of business and trade – any question in that walk of life was to be resolved thru visits to his Headquarters for an appointment.
True, the attempt at taking the entire economy into his own hands failed. The heads of factories and services got convoked, twice, before he realized the scarcity of his language means. It somehow did not come out to explain them what’s needed to be done so as to steer that damn economy. They just couldn’t understand what he was about and when they tweeted something back it didn’t work either, but already in the opposite direction. Too many oddly unfamiliar words.
So, he gave up those experiments and returned to his normal General’s life: family, house, the two official concubines plus applicants coming to the appointment ready for anything, basically.“I’ve been sucked by such of who you wouldn’t even expect,” shared he some twenty years later. (The mentality of young ignoramuses has no expiration limits.)
And if you dare tell him, "It’s you who’s been sucking," he’d feel offended yet he did suck off several tens of thousands of the able-bodied population.Try to explain:“In your wake, the humjob nits from 30-odd ministries were queuing to suck too”, he wouldn’t get it…
Told by Sevak (younger brother of Sam, the Internet provider)“I was just standing there, at the crossroads by the Chess Club, when Izho comes uphill with his bodyguards. The “Nivas” keep honking like at a wedding for all and everyone to give way.And there's in my hand a beer can, still not finished yet, but the hand somehow completely of its own hurled that can into his Jeep.Those from the “Nivas” jumped out, my arms in a clench behind my back, took to the Headquarters. Beat the shit out of me.He enters, "I know you. You not a bad phedai was. What the fuck?"As if I knew. All by itself somehow. A kinda eclipse. Well, they kept me in the Shushi prison for a month then let go…–– – – -
Sevak did not turn on the afterburner, he stayed in Stepanakert, it's his city too.And I didn’t even try to rhapsodize about the collective subconscious and shit, which was not his profile, he’s more into php stuff…
The other lucky one was older than Izho and his star started to smile on him earlier, so he chanced to become the secretary of the CPSU organization at the largest enterprise in the city.And when the SCES putsch in Moscow cracked, he made a speech at the next rally for Karabakh independence in Stepanakert and burned his party card there, in public.
The well-chosen gesture and reliable connections (in the USSR, secretaries of the Party organizations were parts to the KGB structure, and not only at the rat level, they participated in the organs' meetings on the occasion of new directives arrived from the Center) go a long way.
Well, and now, who (can you guess?) is the ready-made president for the not recognized but independent RMK?Yes. Unanimously.
And then all went along the lines in the proverb from the Dictionary of Karabakh Dialect of Armenian: “You can’t boil two (sheep) heads in one pot”.A kinda rivalry burst forth between the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Especially after their joint visit to Moscow.
The Russian television showed then the Commander-in-Chief: ahandsome, young, mustachioed Caucasian man in a General’s headgear, however, mum like a newlywed daughter-in-law meeting her mother-in-law in the morning after the first night, because he does not know the language.
But then, of course, the younger fraction in the Moscow Armenian Diaspora helped him to regain his hanging loose, took to the capital’s specialty spots with lots of minnies without bikinis and stuff, for three days at a stretch.Meanwhile the former Communist restores his connections, exercises his command of Russian, finds chaperons to the necessary offices…
The two lucky ones came back together but the younger one started to bruise the elder fave’s phiz—because of unclear suspicions and personal disillusionment. Once, and again. And…Which threatens to develop an addiction and become as routine as visiting a sauna on Thursdays…
However, another break of luck and—voilà!—the older lucky one got transferred into Armenia to the position of the Prime Minister of that unquestionably recognized Republic…
Now, it’s not thinkable for any newly independent (albeit unrecognized) state to go on without the President, right?
The choice fell on Arcadic. Yes, yes! That same Arcadic fromThe Soviet Karabakhnewspaper, because before the war he and the secretary of the Party organization were playing basketball together in the same gym, in the company of one future oligarch.What else are men supposed to do in such a backwater, eh?
But all that remained in the past, and now a sharp break, a pass under the shield, the clear shoot and – the Prime Minister becomes the President of Armenia!
By the Armenian Constitution, that position requires living in the country for at least 10 years, in advance. However, as sagely remarks the Dahl's Dictionary: "Law is a drawbar, wherever you pull, it goes there."
(The mighty language of a great people, but it’s nowhere seen nowadays, enslaved and spread to rot full ahead…I’m disclosing it as a Khokhol, to me, as an outsider, it’s crystal clear, especially from the heights of Transcaucasia…)
When the following Prime Minister of Armenia and a number of the National Assembly deputies (not all, selectively) were shot and killed by a group of terrorists (Prime Minister Vazgen asked for it himself by shouting from the rooftops that without a modern, well-equipped and trained army Armenia cannot survive… And for how long can you try the tolerance of Big Brother?) right on the stage of the assembly hall of the National Assembly of Armenia—but who could have ever guessed those were the terrorists marching along the corridor when the whole group were clad in raincoats to hide their Kalashnikovs?)—then it was the lucky President who personally persuaded the executioners to lay down their arms.Yes, just one talk on the phone and they surrendered. The mission accomplished.Mobile communication is a great power if you know how to use it correctly.
And if Moscow removes discomforting pieces off the board, why not to insert, along the way, into the list of the marked for pending execution the name of a nasty guy for squaring the personal, back from Stepanakert, scores with Leonard Petrosian, who was later elected to the National Assembly of Armenia? He fell the victim to an assault-rifle round, although standing quite far from the main target, the Prime Minister Vazguen Sarkissian…
(No intention to show me off as a gray cardinal having access to the most secret dossiers in the steely safes of the Center, I’m just selling for what it was bought in the city, where everybody knows everything about everyone else plus what is there three meters deeper, specifically, under you.We are such gossips in the outback, you know.)
Now, it only remained to clean up the rear in Karabakh, where the Commander-in-Chief opposed the President and vice versa, out of habit.
The confrontation boiled to the point when in the dead of the wet March night, the Presidential black Mercedes was shot at and stopped, the driver’s carotid artery wounded, the vehicle’s door slammed open and there sounded the ruthless round from a Kalashnikov muzzle at the President’s legs…
The next morning, the organs of the KG… damnation! it's got ingrained… the National Security Agency, I mean, are arresting the Commander-in-Chief and his brother (the Mayor of the city of Stepanakert).Izho’s closest bodyguard (the same one by whose hands fell the invincible field commander handled Fragment fighting in the forest, when he looked around and said, “Hey! But where is this one shooting from?”A bullet entered his conveniently set up forehead removing any questions, and the killer dropped his assault-rifle and shouted, “Vai! How come? Kill me bros!"His life was spared, and a month later he became the senior bodyguard of Izho) testified now that it was he who shot and wounded the President on the order by the Commander-in-Chief.
The hirer is sentenced to 7 years in prison. Ain't we a civilized country despite the nonrecognition?
It’s only that the editor of the Russian-language newspaper in Yerevan whose Karabakh correspondent I was at that time, didn’t take into account Arcadic's proficiency in Russian and printed my “material” about all this crap, for which mistake the President of the RMK, still on his crutches, got to the daredevil (via ground communication wires from pole to pole) and made him wet his pants by scaring the daylight out of the editor with such mother-of-Kuzka, that the poor guy got through to Modern University for Humanities branch in Stepanakert (by the ground wires) to warn me that we were not any acquaintance both before and any more.
In his haste, he missed to warn that I would not be paid for the article, yet I forgive him, even though he is not a cardinal and miles from being my namesake…
Base Metals company of indistinct affiliation pops up in Karabakh, creates a large plant for processing a big toomb near the village of Drmbon, crushing it for years on end and turning into a deep pit in order to extract (by the official version) copper ore.Some undisguised maiming of the mountainous wildlife…
A group of Gypsies, but not those who were around before the war (shift workers?) returned from evacuation to live in Stepanakert…
Hence, Watson, deductively, it’s better for them not to walk with sieves so that Base Metals do not track down the treasured adit…* * *
Bottle #28: ~A Lady's In Danger! Saddle Up, Posse! ~The evening is not there yet, however, the daylight has waned, grown softer, loosing its uncompromising brightness from an hour back, it does not flow in any more but keeps seeping imperceptibly thru the frame embounded glass dam in the balcony door.
Stretched supine, he props the sheer barrier up with his stare, not because of doubting the robustness of the structure or from a big-hearted tenor to back idly any contraption stability, just in case, but because you have to push your stare into something. Anything at all. That’s what a stare is for.
He blinks. Not often though.No desires whatsoever.And all his nagging, ever present thoughts are also not there. It does somehow not matter any more who he is, where from or what for. Who cares?
Look! There is the balcony door which you can push your stare into and this serene repose, and the caressing touch of the bed sheet fabric which covered all of the body from the blue mark “UF-3” all the way down to his very toes.
And sees he then that it is good. That all and everything’s so muchly good.Well, really good, huh?
‘Mm-hmm’, agrees a soft voice by his side.His head rolls slowly over, from its back onto the left temple. The light by the wall is even more subdued and, a bit too close to him, on the coach pillow there, dark curls stuck to the forehead in the sleeping face.
The face has no stare. It’s hidden away behind the curtain of eyelids twitching so lightly and pretty rarely when bounced at with the eyeballs shifting to follow the turns of whimsy current in a going-on dream.
Maya. Snug curves in the delineations of her lips and nostrils rounded so sweetly. The silky skin in her cheek streams up the ramp of her high cheek-bone.
Chris called her ‘Mulatto’. Might very well be so. Chris was an old-timer who should know.From over there…
The lids jumped up setting her stare free, abruptly. The eyebrows leapt to their get-together in a squeeze over the nose bridge yet, in a split second, the spiky look switched over to recognition.
"Mmm. Freaked out at you… where’s the beard, Nob…"
"I’m Inokenty!"
"Whoa, man! Pope without his ID… And tomorrow what? A try to pass for Francis?.A stallion from Vatican that’s who you are!.Gimme a cigarette… Check the jeans over there."
His head rolls over to its opposite, right temple, then leaves the coach surface to hover over the floor as far as the neck allows.A crumpled bump leans onto the leg, within the reach. His fingers collect the jeans cloth into a tighter lump to clutch and raise up at the outstretched arm’s length.He slowly returns to his stretched out posture, the ball of the blue luminary up in the zenith over the coach…
Meanwhile, she had raised herself to sitting up already, her back leaned on the wall, the legs folded into an ankle-over-ankle relaxed asana of no strain, and cover them with a bed-sheet skirt underneath her navel.
A little below the mildly rounded shoulders, two flawless replicas of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome stand out in soft, horizontal projection, but instead of those silly superfluous spires, the tiny cupola of tender brownness in her nipples, of course…
She angles a nearly new pack from the pocket in her jeans and drops them back to straddle where they were before…On the bedside table next to the low coach head-side, an ashtray sits next to a lighter tumbled to idle flatly.
Maya grabs it, setting the domes a-swaying yet those do not lose the slightest tittle of their impeccable sphericity. Her lips part for the milky white teeth to pincer and draw out one of the cigarettes which she lights up before adding the pack to the lighter in her right hand, and setting both next to the ashtray restoring its company, doubled, by the move.
In lazily slow meandering, up flow the blueish-white wafts thinning in leisurely swerves and tumbles, turning a transparent haze under the low ceiling.
"Why do you smoke?""For the over-nosey pryers to sniff at. Are you from the order of white-robed preachers?"
"How do you mean?""A bunch of SOBs who substitute 'Hare, Krishna' chant with 'Who gives up drink-and-smoke will die twice healthier than a horse!'”
"They say women shouldn’t at all, it affects the baby.""What baby? It’s just a delay by me!"
"Come on, cool off… I'm simply so… well… just…""Oh, yeah, the simplest simpleton ever, I’ve guessed it by now."
Two opaque jets of white draw a pair of slightly parting oblique lines sprung from the rounded nostrils, yet the drawing grew blurred and fuzzy around the splendid domes.
"And what of that funny tattoo you have here?""This? UF-3? Well, because I'm Aramis, you know."
"Damn! Some box of tricks you are, Inokenty!"
"Hey, May, do you happen to have a programmer relative?""Programmer is who announces programs on TV?"
"Kidding aside, huh? He’s in software programming, see? Games and… well… all sorts of widgets."
"You’re such a crank. A normal person can get it only 50% of your gibberish.I too, by the way, have picked a hell of a lot of knobby words at that nutjob store. Now, tell me how surrealistic pics are different from non-sur ones?"
"Well, I'm serious. The word of mouth have it they’ve rolled out a game branded with, like, your last name."
"I don't have any relatives. Once, there was an uncle before he slipped through the iron curtain, yet he hardly knew what writing is about. A complete wino, by him any day was the Friday night."
"An alky went overseas? They have enough bums of their own."
"I swear on a stack of Bibles. He hacked a form or card, or something and left. It had some horse hue in its name, the card."
"See? Your uncle was a hacker! But a hacker and alcoholism are miles apart! Things incompatible! Though… on the second thought…And what’s his name?"
"Yegor. Waringov Yegor. And that of your game?""Warring Maya."
"Screw him! He used my name! But I thought they need a crowbar or at least a tire iron for hacking."
He laced the digits of his left hand with those of the right, put the produced binding under his invariably unfortunate sufferer—back of the head—and fell silent with his stare pushed, thoughtfully, up into the ceiling.The stare, on the way, got wrapped with fluffy, indolent stir of the whitish gossamer veil pricked, here and there, far and wide in between, with scintillant sparky studs which pierced the shimmer of an indistinct nature, at certain spots in their irregular dispensation—
[…Ministry of Health warns! One drop of nicotine drops a horse dead on the spot!……Anonymous Equestrian Society awards $500,000 for MoH’s head……Download our newly pirated app PIZDETZ-TO-ADZZ free, without registration!… ]
Maya uplifted the ashtray (enlarged 1:2 replica of a leaf of Betula of Betulacea family in a spread-eagle position) so as to somewhat sadly squish her cigarette butt against the nebulous stains in the nicotine-yellowed veins bulging in the utensil's receptaculum.
…Protect the nature, your mother! Protect her loving lap! Protect it, effin' effers! You! Mother focal point disturbers!..
With a brief glance at Inokenty's sedate thoughtfulness, she unwrapped herself from the covering sheet and climbed over his introspective carcass so as to rise from the coach.In the process, her shaggy pubis inadvertently rubbed, just so fleetingly, the quadriceps muscle in his left thigh under the layers of with his skin and her bed sheet, in turn, from inside out.
Awakening from a meditation that was not entirely clear even to Inokenty himself, he said:"Eh?"
His stare, somehow of its own accord, clung to the nakedness, forthright and explicit, of the young form (rear view) approaching the door to the balcony with the deliberate steps of a stalking panther.
Her arms shot up as if mimicking the top of X and rested in the upper part of the frame around the glass as if to support her slender figure bent slightly forward onto the balcony door.
The entering light of the end of day softly outlined the ideally perfect circumference of her behind (well, almost perfect and pretty ideal, to some extent).
"Ah! Half-kingdom for a male!" sounded an unexpectedly deep in such a young creature soprano.
"A male? Fuck! No!" responded an unexpectedly hoarse (even to himself) whiskey voice from the coach. "You, unappeasable Fraulein Anhalt-Zerbskaya, would wear to tatters a company of grenadiers, I bet!"
"Shut up! Uncombed!" exclaimed she giving him a cheeky look over her perfectly perfect left shoulder and, in conclusion, yelled:"Kenty’s a fool! Kenty’s a fool!"
"That’s your final twit, birdie! You’re for a load now in your catapult fork!"
"I’ll call young naturalists for help!"
He hopped up out from under the sheet with his synchronously jumped up dick (ha-ha! I'm the first! I'm the first! baa! bah!) stuck up in an arrogantly uptight sway as if it had just twirled or is about to start spinning some invisible mini hoop.
She squealed mischievously.
The the door bell buzzed.
"Who could that be?""I… I don’t know."
She pulled on jeans grabbed up from the floor, looked around for her T-shirt.
The bell buzzed again. More demanding, longer.
Maya went into the hallway, opened the door:"Daddy-Pop? Why popping here?"
"For a chat with the boyfriend of yours," answered the bouncer of the bar “You’ll Get It” tapping one-kilogram hammer on his tight bulging biceps.
Behind him, there loomed figures in black…* * *
Bottle #29: ~The Everydayness in Everyman’s Life ~To honor and hallmark as proper the five-year presence of the Internet in the history of mankind, in 2002, employing pirated PDFs as well as free tutorials, I rolled out the personal site of a graphomaniac made up of two volumes:1) my personal works; and
2)translations –a) Armenian-Ukrainian (from Eastern Armenian poets);b) English-Russian (Ulyssesby J. Joyce).Yes, by that historical moment I had, with bitterness, realized already that the latter in the list of my translations was a late-comer. Why? I was too slow at doing it (and to pronounce war guilty of that sad fact is not quite fair because I should have chosen a quieter, neutral nook for the undertaking, that same Switzerland, for instance, where the Joyce's work was written originally, during the Great War).
So, taking advantage of my being too busy with everyday problems of keeping afloat in the turbulent circumstances as well as absence of the regular state control over the literary life caused by the dust kicked up in the process of the collapse of the USSR, they published a Russian translation ofUlysses, without ever waiting for or asking me. Which irksome trifle still failed to derail the accomplishment of my decades-long work-in-progress and self-publishing it. At my personal site.
Having a hard-copied stuff of yours might feel great, yet, frankly, I'm growing less and less enviuos of the guys with their books printed. A pretty steady growth it is. Popularity? Bosh. A bunch of honest bucks? Wow! But what am I supposed to do with the commodity after a life-long training to survive without two pennies to rub together? Besides, I happened to scrutinize a couple of online pages from that race-winner product of the collective labor by a tandem of translators (two attacking one! snotty youngsters!) which made me pity sincerely that their efforts reached me in the digitized form, otherwise those 2 pages would see the most appropriate way of utilization. According to their own merits, of both the producers and the turned-out shit.Yet, on the whole, it still was better than if that pair of sorry dimwits would get together for just drinking vodka tête-a-tête or playing cards. Throw-in Fool, for instance…
Thus, the current Internet-jubilee year coincides with the glorious 20-year anniversary of my site—(and here fanfares blare their fanfaronade twining with the roll of Gene Krupa's drums, plop often pops of champagne corks shooting in every direction, thunder rowdy massive cries of a standing ovation, and other splashes of genuinely general exaltment). By now, the volumes-founders had to make room for addition of 3 more volumes and the site itself staunchly resides at (huh? ain’t it the most beautifully unobtrusive ad ever? SEO guides take nervous drags at their rolls unable to keep back the envious looks from their webby corner), and when secondarily educated dudes read the site's address as “soomizdoot” in my presence, I do my best suppressing an upsurge of hearty laughter from my deepest innards…
Learning and mastering html and ccs, as well as other pains of trial and error method, were carried out in the computer room of the MUfH branch, since possessing a personal computer (PC) stayed my persistent yet unattainable dream, and I was still banned from the Computer Paradise, the gift of a charitable millionaire to the Artsakh State University (ArSU), to prevent my hypothetically possible espionage for a neighboring state.
Yet, even at the MUfH, the position of system administrator was a short-lived relish and, a couple of months later, a young man emerged there for whom they (presumably) put a word—as subtle as it is proper in the East—into the management’s ear.In the way of an ad hoc self-consolation, I chiseled of the branch’s authorities the position of the House Manager for me (additional 7 000 AMD or 7 Soviet rubles) and went on learning/teaching Latin at that online-based institution, which labors later let me understand the incantations used inHarry Potterwithout subtitles or sign language interpretation.
The young man to succeed me on the post of the MUfH system administrator came up with both generous and confidential offer to go on with doing my sysadmin’s job for 50% of his salary, which I declined for the sake of patriotism. The independent state needed young cadres of its own, forged locally. And whenever he got stuck at complex questions in the IT field, I did not send him to read manuals (RTFM!)—as is the habit of too many cocky geeks—but explained patiently…
No job brings less satisfaction than that of a teacher.A House Manager can, after his working day, look proudly back at the glass he has inserted replacing a smashed window pane—the lambent proof that one more day has been lived thru not in vain.A teacher is deprived of so consummate a happiness, he cannot say, “Look! when I came here, there was an arid wasteland, I have erected these here walls and had this garden grown. Here you are! Chomp this sweet cherry off the tree planted by my industrious labor-loving hands!”. Alas, it's not a teacher's share, except if only metaphorically.However, when they are a teacher of Physics, then they do not even have what to distinguish metaphor from hyperbole with nor anything to gauge and prove that on this particular day they did manage to hammer ‘Pi * r squared’ into these boobies’ noggins. Ha! Attaboy!.
But still and yet, what is the effing point, huh? If after the graduation bell (much earlier, of course, but let them play with the comforting thought that at least up to then) there won’t be a smidgen left of their gruesome pointless work. As for the cherry jam, forget that ruby in the sky…
Thanks to the Internet, my daughter from my second marriage, Liliana, located me and, when Ruzanna and Satenic went about setting up their business—selling yarn and knitted products of their own manufacture—and sent me to Moscow after a knitting machine “Brother” (everything on credit! both yarn, and the machine, and renting a room. Everything’s on credit, except for their toil), then I dropped on the way in to Kyiv (the machine tool was not found there) and had an encounter with my daughter and her family…Internet-bro! To you am I obliged forever!.
However, the 23-ruble side income from the MUfH (15 for Latin, 7 for regular repair of chairs and torn lino in the classrooms) dried up, since the RMK President, who stepped into Arcadic's shoes, dictated to close that educational branch whose students were transferred to the State University, the ArSU.
At first, it seemed to me that the logistics of the reformist move sprang from the desire for increase in income from the ArSU farm, aimed at the growth of gross harvest from the parents bent on their children’s education. But then on the territory of the MUfH branch (a former kindergarten, cozy and spacious), there grew up a compact block of moderately tall buildings for the semi-elite nomenclature of the middle level, and the reformer President turned out to be the owner of the tenement houses.Of course, the local TV night news never zeroed on the subject, yet everybody down here does know everything about everyone else without television channels too.Still and yet, I do not rule out that in this particular case they resort to 2-in-1 scheme—liberation of the acreage for the projected construction and multiplying the livestock ear-marked for fleecing…
As for the work at the ArSU, where I had already grown up to the position of a Senior Lecturer, it turned out even funnier there and in the morning, when I went out to copy the timetable for the upcoming academic year, I had no idea it was my last day in the sphere of higher education.On coming to the English Department, sez I a gentlemanly "hello" to everyone, take a look at the sheet of Whatman paper spread out atop the desk of the Head of the English Department, all those makeshift marks penciled in the timetable grid, and see clearly – that’s it. No more. I am done.And somehow absently proceed I to the personnel department office and write the application to please kick me out.
Nonetheless, that whole development in no way had anything to do with the collective subconscious, as in the case of Sevak's eclipse.No psychology's fault when I've run out of gas. Completely. Not just empty but dry too, the tank.
Later, I got, of course, lectured properly, like, before such quirks you should secure a place to go on with your career. Look at the conductor Mahler, the shrewd schemer would sign a contract on the side, secretly, and off he goes to disclose to his present management (who still got no slightest whiff what the heck) everything he ever thought of their mismanagerial stupidity and—see?—both relieved he is of his current duties in, practically, no time and his chest unburdened. A clear-cut 2-in-1.
Unfortunately, I had never got any regular musical education, but still it didn’t take long to find a fit soft landing – the warehouses of the trading enterprise “Mirage”. Much closer from home and the duties way simpler too: you just picked up and carried so as to put it down there or set it up, or drop it—depending on what you were dragging before: iron rebars, cement in 50 kg sacks or timber sold to the clients of the aforementioned warehouses.
With the team of the “Mirage” loaders I was on quite friendly terms for, as a matter of fact, a hell of a lot of things we saw eye to eye, and when the warehouses—trading in carpets, chandeliers, and kitchen utensils as well—were visited by persons in the know of my past merits and regalia, they were anxious to mostly emphasize their seeing me for the first time ever, while the rare exceptions stayed somehow at a loss to find a common subject for discussion with a dry-land stevedore.All that was met with understanding empathy, on my part, since I never seek to cross class boundaries seeing the amount of careful effort and stuff invested by a person into putting the barrier up. More than that – I'm ready to travel a couple of additional meters off his/her rampant, given they do not open the window from their "personal space" in my direction…
Three months later, my senior brother-in-law, Valeric, invited me to embrace the position of a warehouse manager at the large dairy plant, where he worked as the Chief Engineer, because of my kinda being a family clan member, although certain Armenian sounds still elude my phonetic capacities…
By that time, phedai Valyo had ceased to be a phedai and became Valera. Besides, he perfectly mastered the Russian language marked by that characteristic stumble (not stutter!) inherent in the communication of the Orenburg Region peasantry.The foundation for his linguistic achievements served his move to the Orenburg Region for more

than one decade (subsequently, the families of his two sisters settled in the same region too).He got married there. His wife is a beauty, indisputably, yet 10 cm taller than him, so in the photographic session at their wedding party she had to stand with her knees half-bent within in her long bridal gown. She later bore him a daughter.
Valera tried a hand at business (the trade in jeans and building materials), but eventually became a self-employed construction contractor. His specialty are plasterboard ceilings, although his partitions are impeccable too, as evidenced by the Internet site presenting pictures of his works.For performing repairs, reconstruction, etc., he often sub-contracts a mate.Once it happened to be the ceiling in the apartment of an army ensign, a Tatar by his nationality. While executing the order agreed upon, Valera cooperated with an Azerbaijani helper. It was easy to work with such an assistant – both communicated in the language they learned first-hand in their early childhood…
The thrice cursed labor it was – my monthly reports to the plant accountancy on the movement of goods thru the warehouse under my supervision!The enterprise was undergoing a dynamic period sizzling hot with the reconstruction of facilities destroyed in the war for independence, characterized by dismantling and taking to Armenia the assets survived, on the one hand, combined with the restorative efforts at repairing a couple of shop floors employing the workforce of variously specialized construction teams, both local and from the Republic of Armenia, on the other; alongside the adjustive tries to start up production lines based on the raw-stuff obtained locally from the farmers most reluctant to sell milk at the state-set prices and packaging materials brought from Yerevan factories.There kept rotating such multi-million sums that giving accounts on all of them, at times, set my head a-spinning too, especially because of the supply-getter Hayk, who daily brought a lot of tools, spare parts and materials from different shops in the city, yet kept forgetting to tell me to who namely and what exactly he had distributed, and end-of-month bills from the mentioned shops did not match my notes compiled from his words.Three years of that ordeal. Without a computer, I would have been imprisoned for systematic large-scale embezzlement long ago.
No, I bypassed correctional incarceration due to the understanding demonstrated by the dairy management (which enterprise in the old-timers' parlance still remained “the milk complex” even when it was sold to an advanced in his years representative of the Californian Diaspora, whose tries at introduction and improvement of something here went on for one whole year).
And what else can you expect of Americans? It took the geezer a fiscal year to realize the hapless futility of his second childhood undertaking midst the worldviews and habits rooted in seven decades of the Soviet voluntarism multiplied by the East subtleties.After the exhaustive 12 months, Sisyphus from the Diaspora kissed good-bye the too-fucking-complex whole thing, resold the business back to the independent state and flew back home to Glendale, State California.
Such were the most difficult conditions when the diary management benevolently (as was recently mentioned above) met me halfway and, agreeing that a computer is the most necessary attribute in a warehouse economy supervision, forked out a PC, which box, bubbling with the enthusiastic delight, piggybacked I from the second floor of the diary Management Building to the warehouse, the see of my eight-to-five.
My boundless gratitude found an appropriate form in the combining of the rest of computers of the diary management into a unified local network (LAN) with the Internet access and direct connection to the related accounting departments in Armenia, in which undertaking I was assisted by the fitters from the Arminco, the Internet provider company.
The rest would have become the shining history but here comes the bitter word of “but”…
But to the post of Director of the once-again-state-owned enterprise ("the milk complex"), the respective ministry in the government (I'm at a loss which one from the bunch of their lot) invited a specialist from the dairy industry of Armenia (RA) on which nominee they pinned their hope of riddance of the deplorable unprofitability.
Such an illusion was inspired by his business acumen in breeding ostriches on a farm successfully privatized by him near Yerevan, and his unwavering determination in the matters that matter (unlike the guy, you’re not able to eat the lasagna of just one ostrich egg in two days, and on the third one you, of your own accord, will willingly drop out of so a hopeless undertaking).The accountancy ladies no longer knew where else to stick them those ostrich feathers in, brought by the ambitious gigantomaniac from his still private household…
Yes, vivid negotiations were already underway on the subsidized transfer of ostriches to the Academy of Sciences of Armenia (ASRA), where a scientific research institute was being fervently created for crossing flightless giants with utterly prolific quails.Also from private farms…
Unfortunately, all the positive features in the director Khachik got annulled by just one wretched limitation, which was his unpredictable insanity—a fly in the ointment, so to speak.The fits grabbed him several times a day, when he began to choke and yell at the same time.A terrible sight of a man on the verge of apoplexy but, from my layman observations, he would also get high from the happening…
Given my unwavering inclination to the wholesome protection of the rights of homo sapiens, I can't but support the inalienability of catching buzz along the lines of personal preferences, up to the hardcore masochism – when they get high from self-suffocating.Well, yes, will I say, since you like it – full speed ahead, provided that your partner does not mind!However, Khachik was divulging these intimacies of his nature at the shop floor level too, without ever asking the employees whether they liked his at death’s door wheezing.And outside of the seizures, he was quite normal. Seemingly…
The foreman at the construction of the milk collecting point in the village of Tandzut came with a complaint about the two-ton short supply of cement to the project.The internal investigation brought to light that Hayk, the supply-getter, got drunk in the building materials store on the day of the cement shipment and flagged the truck off without counting the cement sacks in the dump. The picture cleared up, but the bitchy foreman went and complained to Khachik.
The director called all those involved into his office, threw two fits in a row and barked at me to write the resignation application.Then he summoned the electrician and right away appointed him the acting system administrator (the connection between the accounting department and the suppliers of foil and other packaging stuff in Yerevan was via the Internet) declaring that "whether electrical or Internetal, they all are just wires – you'll figure it out!."
The electrician Lyova came to the warehouse, where I was already collecting things and he tearfully begged to explain, at least briefly, what was there into where.And then, already as a geek with experience, irreparably exhausted by the stupidity of dummies, I sent him to read the fucking manuals (RTFM!). Because for anything besides there was no time left…
The issue of my further employment got somewhat delayed. Satenic thought it's a disgrace if her husband joins the crowd of jobless workforce of brawny bums by the Kaltsevoy roundabout awaiting to be hired for an urgent loading-unloading job at an agreed payment. She minded it, and she put her foot down.For that reason, I became a regular at the Arminco Communications. Which is not the Arminco in Yerevan, but its branch in Stepanakert…
The head of the branch, Sam (that very cat whom years ago I stunned with an illiterate question from the beginnings of computer science) short-sightedly missed telling me “no” at once. Probably the factor of my work, in the previous millennium, together with his parents in the editorial office of the newspaperThe Soviet Karabakhhad its malicious say.
At 9.00 sharp, I sillily came to the still locked door of the Arminco (knowing that for some time it still would be locked), and when it got unlocked, I entered and sillily sat in the corner of the reception room.After lunch, the procedure was rerun.
The room was long but not especially wide, which factor diminished its size, but I knew how to take a neat position on a low windowsill, out of anyone’s way, and sat there quiet-silently, except for rarely made old-fashioned compliments to the accountant Irina as the attention sign.However, today's girls are unaccustomed to such signs and do not know where to stick those fuc… well, I mean, what to do of them at all.(Or did the wrinkles in the libertine’s mug put them at a loss?)
Sam quite correctly reckoned that such a wrinkled employee would not add to the presentability of his Internet providing branch, yet, because of being stubborn, he obstinately did not want to say “no” to me, but only shrugged his shoulders in unequivocal silence, when passing by my windowsill on the way to his office, in the hope that I myself would get it at last.These young people are so naive…
Besides filling out accounting forms, Irina also signed contracts with the clients eager of the Internet access at various speed/costs or else she would take coffee to the next room, where Sam's office, for she was his sister-in-law as well.It was almost a family business and inter-personal relations there had a touch of genuine warmth and returned attention.And just that family format made their business doomed, although they continued to still buck up each other.
The local arena of the Internet providing was entered by the semi-state company “Karabakh Telekom” (yes! Tommy, yes! KarTel!!) but so as not to let Tommy blow his lid, they shortened the name to merely “KT”.The production facilities, inherited by the telephone service of the RMK from the times of the Indestructible Soviet Union, were fleshed out with generous financial injections from a Lebanese Arab, who had made his fortune by way of utilizing the means of mobile communications.He himself did not appear in Stepanakert, but acted through Beirut Armenian shift workers, who monitored the amount of deductions to the state (?) budget of the self-proclaimed and partly independent RMK, which is why residents of Karabakh paid 4.5 times more for the mobile connection of their phones than citizens of neighboring Armenia to the respective telephone companies of their choice. For more than 20 years…
And I did hatch out the moment when Sam had no one to send to an urgent business task along with a fitter named Ararat, because the fitters work in pairs.Ararat and I went out together, I proved my skill and from that day on, instead of a regular, I became an Internet connection fitter at the Arminco, which Sam did never have a reason to regret.
Firstly, instead of a trash bin devoid of living space by heaps of boxes, and multi-annual offal piles and deposits of UTP wires, of fiber optics, and of all those out of order and (hopefully) still alive devices and connections used in the Internet providing business, as well as everything else (up to machine tools) sunk and lost in those layers and thickets, there appeared a full-sized fitters’ room, as it was designed in the blueprints of the construction project.It took two and a half months of painstaking sorting during the lulls between connection trips. But I did straighten the mess up!
Not to mention the annoying cases when a box with routers in the stair-case of this or that apartment block in the city, casting to the winds the last shreds of decency, ceases to respond to the most sugary-becoming-brutally-quick-tempered poking of the key in its keyhole.That is, here is the key, but there is no Internet in the apartments up and down the whole stair-case section.Sometimes a locksmith is needed more than a fitter.
In that way I learned Stepanakert from above—98.8% of the apartment blocks’ attics served the field for the activities of Internet fitters, it was from there, from under the roofs, that individual UTP cables dangled down to the windows of each and every individual client—and from below: laying many kilometers of fiber optics through the wells and underground pipes for the communicational connections…* * *
Bottle #30: ~For The Benefit Of France ~The jerks, abrupt and hasty, the not over rhythmic sways were made up of, grew less impetuous…The consummating pull broke off with the final splash-slap of legs at the flagstones in the apparently drenched pavement—the motion ceased completely.
The claps of well-trained, full of rigorous vigor, heels neared the right door in the sedan chair. The skin hanging in the pleats of blinds quivered and slipped to sides yielding to the onward ram, firm and determined, by the bared head of long, salt-and-pepper hair with a parting along the middle of the pate, penetrating not violently yet deeply, with the ears and all.
"This is the place, Your Eminence.""Very well, yet beware of breaking my incognitos."
"Beg your pardon, Your Eminence.""Fuc… putain d'idiot!"
"It’s on the upper floor, Your… Monsieur."
The dark long cloak under the large cape, whose shade engulfed the whole face down to the very tip in the silver glimmer of the nail-beard styled à la Richelieu, followed the sword belt, glossy and wide, on the even wider back of the loutish cicerone leading, with clumsy slyness, the way.Two jumbos were trooping the procession’s rear. In the silence of both, the accent of the Swiss Guard mercenaries was felt, palpably apparent and clear…
Behind the too wide open, however, still hanging on one hinge, door, an oil lantern, positioned by the wall, poured out thru its grated mica scanty light over the nearby slits and gaps in the floor boarding.
"Did the neighbors in the house notice anything?""Losses among the civilian population 7.05%, Your… Monsieur. 0.75% below the average… Monsieur."
"Très bien, très bien."
The cordon of the guide and the Swiss seal off the entrance, the sub rosa visitor enters the room of the similar illumination, where two men with feathers on their wide-brim hats and in black camisoles of the Cardinal Guard present their swords unsheathed.
A seasoned stool pigeon with the seal of obvious obsequiousness in the vicious features of his vile visage expressing zealous readiness for any base malice, clamps the right forearm of a woman, young, disheveled, frightened.
In the half-lit corner one can discern a male form donned in only a blue frock coat over his undoubtedly naked body.The pretty crumpled bed—beneath a shabby canopy by the wall—stays empty.
"Fetch two chairs from the kitchen, I am having a brief tête-à-tête with this here Chevalier. And take the slut away…"
"Be kind to observe your manners, Monsieur!” cried Aramis. "This lady is an honest…"
"… seamstress from Toulouse or Pas de Calais," butted in his ardent proclamation the interlocutor from under the hood, "perhaps even from Portsmouth over the Channel, freshly from under the Duke of Buckingham’s protection, which doesn’t matter much because, at present, fake pendants of Chinese rhinestones are as cheep as horseshit on a market day… Out with her."
"So, my dear Aramis, please relax, let's talk like men of business."
"So, thrice dearest Dick-only-knows who," retorted Aramis in the equally nonchalant style of deportment, however, bordering in his interpretation on a scornful disdain, "what is the footing for your claim of belonging to the venerable circle? How many domes are tattooed on your back? Who of the thieves-in-law has crowned you?"
Sinking with a gently slow-downed wag of his hindquarters onto the oak chair hastily delivered and timely thrust under his butt, the intruder raised his hood and let it fall behind, over his back.
The austere light seemed to gain intensity glinting in the scarlet skullcap over the pomaded hair of artful, finely crispy, curls.
"Your Eminence!" strained yet courteous regards by Aramis proved his awareness of the regulations at the French Royal court concerning the high rank of the unexpected visitor."Sit down, Chevalier."
"Thanks, I’d better keep standing."
Inokenty's fingers went on struggling with the brass button in the lap of his double-breasted frock coat.
"I cannot help noting the frivolity of cut in the camisole you wear. A new collection by Verzacci?""No! What fuc… I mean it’s from a galleon…" still trying to force thru, answered he.
"So you’re also engaged in a part-time privateering? Commendable preoccupation. Making hay while the sun's up… And stop this fuss, please. We, thank heavens, have seen the views. It’s 17th century already, you know… The accomplished tolerance of all sorts of manners."
Aramis played along with the sacerdotal wish and let his hands hang by his hips, respectively. The skirts of the frock coat slid open…
"Holy Cow! He has risen, amen!" exclaimed the prelate in sheer bewilderment. "Yes, you are right, Aramis, such a center piece would better be buttoned up. It’s hard to concentrate on what we are about… distracts, you know…"
After a brief rummaging through the innards of his cassock (scarlet as well), the cardinal took out a tight roll of the pencil-shaped stick of a cigar.
Creaked the iron door of the lantern picked hastily up from the floor as one of the black-camisolemen flicked open this 17th-century lighter at ready for His Eminence.
Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu entered his nose and the cigar sticking out beneath it into the narrow rectangle of light shed by the oil-smoking wick thru the unclosed lid.
With slow twirls of the cigar end in between his caressing lips, he carefully lit it up, raising his eyebrows, in stages, higher and higher, and finalized the drag with a couple of catching-on shallow inhales thru his closed teeth, a kinda cork to keep the in-take in his up-risen lungs then, issuing a long moan, emitted the rarefied smoky mixture within the surrounding atmosphere.
The Guardsman click-closed the lighter and put the lantern back from where it had been grabbed.Aramis's Adam's apple hopped spasmodically, he licked his lips with fleeting shoot of his tongue, sank onto the chair rejected by himself just a moment back, and slightly dragged it closer to the conversationalist.
In all the audience that followed, he kept breathing exclusively through his nose, as any Ministry of Health would advise upholding the advocacy of Master Denis, the founder of blood transfusion from ram to man.
"Yes, Chevalier, our tireless explorer, Monsieur Tavernier, did manage to establish connection with the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia where he’s brought samples of the native variety of tobacco from, for the benefit of France."
The cardinal's eyelids drifted halfway down his eyeballs filled already with that oily luster so characteristic of the organs of vision, which happened to inadvertently catch the "welder’s bunny" from the wick directly, without the protective mica.
"I have no intention to conceal the fact of looking through your dossier presented by the State Chancellery on my demand. A seminarian picks the career of a Musketeer? Ha! This speaks volumes.However, mon ami, why under the command of that martinet de Treville?Though being a Captain, deep in his heart that war-horse still remains a salabon, a bugged-eyed rookie, as presented in his psychical portrait, compiled by that doctor from Vienna, what’s his name again?It's time to think about your future. Submit a report for transfer to the Cardinal's Guard. The uniform of the bravest cut, not to mention the rations and high boots of tanned goatskin.
Besides, there are the most magnificent openings on our side after two of the best Guardsmen, de Kauzak and his provincial cousin from Provence, were put out of action with a boarding pistol, which one has been already attached to the investigation materials. Finger-prints and stuff, you know…Do we understand each other correctly now? On the same wave-length, eh?"
Inokenty choked on the aroma of the cigar from Hong Kong—he suddenly remembered where the pistol had gone—but chose to offer no comment.
The cardinal took his silence for the confession and signing of Inokenty’s own accord the honest-to-God protocol stating his perpetration of the unlawful act…
"Fine. Now, let's turn to the defense of French interests.You know as well as I do, that the king is still too young to be the Sun. And his widowed mother, Queen Anne of Austria, a juicy woman…
(Aramis, in a spontaneous body-language response, crossed his legs alertly and pressed across the lap the double-layer lid of his hands—right palm put firmly upon the left hand back)
…yes, sure… but more on that later…so, she’s too weak to look after the state.My biggest worry is the British MI6, that baked by the late Sir Walsington layer-cake where a James Bond’s overlying another and so all the way from bottom up.Yes, of course, raw sodomy, but the smart asses do know the trade. And, take my word, quite penetrating bastards they are.
To out-smart them, we will offer Chamberlain the French fig version in the form of our secret weapon.MWWTW: em-dub-dub-tee-dub : Man Who Walks Through Walls!How about that? And Batman’s ass got kicked around!
The man who slips into the safe of the King of England containing the accountancy report for the fiscal year!
Who visits the Escurial vault full of the Aztec gold nuggets…
A flying excursion to the Pomegranate Chamber in the Kremlin—damn it! Can you keep up with those shifty Russians?.
A call to the Vatican's collection of paintings…
Do you follow the alluring nature of perspectives, mon cher?"
"Well, I dunno… need to consult with my friends… what will Athos say? and Parthos too…"
"Stop making monkey out of you, citizen suspect. You do know, Count De la Fere got gulped by the green shit, and Parthos has become a wheeled gimp under the investigation by Down Syndrome Scrutinizers.
To put it curtly, you’re allowed 48 hours to think, for the sake of humanism and all that jazz."
"But what about Maya, citizen cardinal?"
"The chick will be returned for the period specified and, as a former straight man, I advise you to purchase un preservatif.The cutie’s just crossed the English Channel, but those British bulls are so too stupid—not realizing that Covid is an STD, they hook the masks onto the wrong piece in their anatomy…"
His Eminence approached the window and, like the most low-grade son-of-a-motherfucking-bitch and sadist, threw the unfinished Hong Kong fag end—at least of a couple of full drags yet—into the rainy dark night.
"Keep in touch, Aramis. And don't you try at getting lost, no use – the cardinal's spies know their stuff."
Slamming his brown hood back over his red skull-cap, accompanied by the pair of Guardsmen with drawn swords, the Duke du Plessis de Richelieu left the room with the obscenely lax gait of a gouty courtier and behind-the-scenes sneak..* * *
Bottle #31: ~To Struggle And Search, To Find And Not Surrender It ~In the history of any family arrives the point when everything nose-dives into snafu even in the absence of a French governess, as it was the case at the Oblonskys' house by Leo Tolstoi…
In ours, for instance, all got messed up for the more inevitable reason which unavoidably catches on any family: the children had grown up.
Ruzanna wedded a citizen of Greece and moved over to her husband’s country, Ashot got married at the place of residence and started paying off the mortgage for a two-room apartment on the second floor – the life trail for the coming couple decades got clearly determined.
Emma, having just graduated from school, still lived in the house no older than her and, with the principle functions and purposes for our individual cell of society accomplished, it was time to check a little closer who exactly the life was spent with.
The worst property of mine disclosed in the course of check-up was my catastrophic discordance with normal people (damn no! because of my innate perfect politeness, I don’t even give a fuck about their normality! Ever!)
‘Not guilty’ pledge I. Tolerance to the bypassed preterite is my life motto because they are the most challenged segment in the population of this here planet and the most—alas!—numerous.
Nonetheless, such was the deduced reason for my being unable to secure a decent income and stable support for the family, and all I was good at was my willing attitude to reproductive labor (okay, fine, the quality of final products stays undeniable as well, but why don’t I care a bean? After?).
Now, to avoid a possible exposure of my other, equally negative, but undetected, as of yet, shortcomings immorally tucked away, all the time… (No! the basic motive was my desire to keep the beloved off further disappointments, were all of my hidden faults to pop in their shocking pack up suddenly!)That’s why, to move the object of too close scrutiny out of sight, end August 2013, I put myself forth before the unsuspecting observation by Karina, the Head of People Education of Lachin City and the same-named District, and proposed my pedagogical services to her.
The skin-deep scan was rather hasty and I obtained the post of a teacher at the village school in Yezznaggomer—50 km off the customs on the border with Armenia by the make-believe road which climbed along the Zabukh River valley and, when up there, the right turn for a steeper ascend to 2.5 km above mean sea level…
The following seven years became the most amazing adventure of my life. And anyone familiar, more or less, with parallel worlds will understand me here…
You’ll never find a parallel world on any map, be it even a contour map, which we were tortured with at school.There is no parallel world whatsoever because it doesn't exist until you get there.
At school, everything is quite simple – you flick the ball of globe to spin: see? Asuncion! and here we have New Guinea, and this is Greenland for you – just a cinch, easy as pie!.Reality tumbles the seeming simplicity…
I happened to wade through the grasses, which in the world left behind would hardly be knee-deep, but—lo!—they sway their unreachable tops way above my head.Been choosing my way across mountain landslides that looked like momentarily stopped waterfalls of multi-ton boulders.If watching yourself through the eyes of hawks hung hovering in the sky – you’ll see an ant who pries for her way over a pile of sand grits – hey! beware! some of those move under your feet with hollow taps and the dickens only knows what damn Ant Lion (preying on ants only?) harbor the depths under…
Flowers… Fields of unknown, unseen colors, and even if they did have been met sometime back, somewhere, still it never were fields deluged with the bloom of that stunning hue.
Hornets… Well, okay, let's call them hornets… the size of a grown-up fella's fist…
Or else. Here’s a plain for you. Yes, I know it’s in the mountains, the altitude of 2.5+ km, but I am smack bang in the middle of a plain which has no end, and the mountains are far off, over there, and I walk for a half-day, and fall, dead tired, face up to the sky, where there are no mountains, nor plains, but just one blazing sun and a pair of hawks waltzing, wingtip to wingtip, synchronously…
And how about a summertime snowdrift?End June, you are beastly dying of thirst, it’s a one-day walk off the village, the plastic bottle is crackling-empty, and all of a sudden, in a deep pothole with green grass on steep walls, a snowdrift is waiting for you. Yes, darkened by the dust spilt over it, loose, but from under its bottom a tiny brooklet gurgles full of coolness, which will not let you die…
Rivers, in whose rare backwater stretches it’s impossible to make out that border where the air ends and starts the water, and you have to guess that, aha!– those stones over there are already the bottom, overgrown with algae of semi-precious flowers, and the opposite riverbank is so temptingly close, but still unattainable – the glacially cold gushing current will topple you and drag away together with your alpenstock…
And everything around is overflowing with life, over the brim, it buzzes, whistles, rustles, rumbles in the peals of thunder somewhere in the clouds below your boots, plays with the sunlight and gusts of the wind…
Unknown roads, not too difficult, it’s just that at times you have to bypass hefty boulders… and you walk for a kilometer, and one more and… it cut off without a trace, any advance farther only by a chopper—caravan routes from millennia back…
A 3D replica of the Vereshchagin's masterpiece "The Apotheosis of War"– the heap of rounded bleached skulls of boulders as tall as a 12-story building…
And those faces, muzzles, snouts stuck out from inside the rocks? Gigantic forms on thrones?.I was not drunk and I remember everything seen in the parallel, unlike the one which they had been staffing, cramming, ramming into me…
But the main difference between a parallel and the inoculated world is the immeasurable boundlessness of the first, the infinitude which you will find neither among the tombs of Egypt, nor along the musty Venice canals, not even above the abyss of the Grand Canyon, and not at any other well-promoted tourist route equipped with hot-dog booths at convenient joints, and warning signs, and guides wearing smiles wider than natural.
The dog is man's friend? Bosh!. The dog is a part of you, that most faithful part, remaining full of trust when even you already have betrayed yourself…
They presented Emma with a small silly puppy, Billy, and when he grew too big to suit the backyard by the house of Emma's age, she asked to move the hiddy mongrel to the village.
To meet her request I hired Karen with his "Niva" vehicle, he’s my neighbor in Yezznaggomer.On the way back, we stop in Lachin City to buy provender as there are no shops in our village.
The dog leaps out of the car after me.I fasten his leash at the iron pipes in a road-side contraption, a kinda fence. Okay, wait, buddy, it won’t take long.With full bags in both hands leave I the supermarket to be met by his delighted lezghinka-dance on all sides of me.The brand-new leash from a specialized store keeps a-swish-a-swinging, torn in two by this son of a bitch…
Another passage.Winter, dead night dark around. I leave the village to be in time for the bus, from Moshatagh Village.
It’s 5.30 am, the bus starts at 9 am, and it’s a 15-km leg to get there.The sky is overcast, zero visibility, I walk on and kinda feel, at times, something shoots past rustling over the snow rind in the darkness.
Only nearby Mekyand Village, after the eight most wolf-dangerous kilometers, he shows up, but keeps off, never coming closer. The SOB damn well knows his wrongdoing because I did have told him to stay home, look after the order! And he kinda obeyed and jumped over the hedge back into the courtyard.And now what?! I need to urgently visit Stepanakert (100 km off).
A pack of cookies bought from Susanna’s shop in Moshatagh Village for the parting treat, spilled on the roadside, the bus door slams – fare thee well, fucking moron!
Three days later I’m coming back to Moshatagh by hitch-hiking. A lucky strike – Armen from our village is there too by his "Zhiguli" vehicle!
Susanna, the shopkeeper, says, there’s a stray dog about here, I rush out from the shop.And there he is!. You're a fucking bitch, Billy, though being a male dog!
No room in the car ‘cause Armen has come down after provender. We load the dog into the trunk, there’s an hour drive to Yezznaggomer along the make-believe road, seriously – no way to go on until you believe this here thing is a road.Whine, Billy-boy, in the dark trunk, complain to the spare tire, be sorry for your misdeed…
Billy, I am guilty of my dead stupid attempts at weaning you off kleptomania. My bad. Unforgivable.I was not able to get it in time that you were not stealing, that you’re a hunter by your nature. And, yes, I beat you twice (or thrice?) over the loot you had brought home—the slippers or things from the neighbors’ porches—your game, your prey, your hunting trophy which I had to take back with the most embarrassed apologies. The fucking dumb-ass master of the fucking hunter dog…
The village kids are coming, pleading:"Let Billy go."
"He’s punished."
"Come on, set him free, he’s good, he won’t never more again."
"He’s punished."
The kids all loved him because he endured anything from them, not a bark, not a growl to shoo them off. And a picture of the kid hugging Billy would score at least 20 likes on Facebook *.(*In 2022 the organization was found guilty of terrorism and their activities banned on the territory of the Russian Federation.)
"The only dog in the village that no one is afraid of," says Gaiane, Edik’s wife.The rest of the dogs were jealous, they always attacked him, in packs, and though being the size of a mature shepherd dog, he looked so small against the background of those wolfhound-gumprs.
He quickly ran away. At times they caught on. He came home oozing blood, barely moving his paws, bitten in the stomach.He would keep to his kennel for a week and again go out to the road to meet me from school.
Wolfhounds, damned impostors to the title. At night, as the wolves closed in, they would hide in their household yards and bark in three-four-five voices all night long. Every night…
Then Anna, Armen’s wife, came to school to my class."They killed Billy in our yard."I went on till the break bell. What’s the use of hurrying. Or doubting Anna’s words.
In their yard Billy’s lying on the trampled snow. The fangs bared, no look in his eyes."They were two," reported Anna. "Ambo’s Pitbool and one more."
Pitbool, the champion of the village in dog fights, when mujiks from the fucking nothing better to do pit their wolfhounds. Pitbool, who even Ambo, his "master", is afraid of, that Pitbool attacked not alone but together with a sidekick sixlet.
A no-man's dog entered Anna's yard, sniffed the body, commenced the wailing requiem:"Open, o, the Gates of Valhalla! He fought bravely to the very end!"
Two empty cement bags took Billy's body in.I corded the yielding coffin with a length of rope and dragged it along through the snowfall.When we reached the water spring, the dogs from the nearby yards set on a mournful howl.
"He died young, but free! And you, dogs you have always been and that's what you’ll remain!"
Our procession left the village, then I dragged on for another hundred meters, down the slope.In between the stone walls of a ruin dropped was it – no iron breaker could crash the ground in the wintertime Yezznaggomer.See you, Billy!
I am guilty before you which is dead sure.So intelligent I am when it’s too late, when all the smarts are of no use, when you will not run up, clapping your ears, will never lean your paws on my shoulders, and never will you rub your forehead against my palm to get a pat…
Yet all that comes later, but at first…No, not now… I cannot today.
Eehh, Billy…* * *
Bottle #32: ~O, Sport! You Be Life’s Ought! ~The breath shoots out in sharp whizzes in time with the crazed breakneck run.
The mind is turned off, not needed, nothin' to do for it right now, the receptors-muscles-body act-react faster than the speed of thought in this mad dash through the jungle’s thickets – dodging a branch popped athwart the way here, jumping over the trunk of a rotten windbreak there, hopping up past a treacherous bump.
He’s darting for his dear life.Who’s he? Forget! Only his instincts matter right now – to flee, get away, escape.
Well-trained they are, the instincts, the relay baton gift from his forerunners in the endlessly rotating generations of ancestors for millions upon millions years.Those too clumsy for the race did not add to the heirloom – squashed, torn, killed, blocked off from adding to the gene pool…
So, run, Nobody, run!
Shshihk!. And the trees around went rolling topsy-turvily. BUT?. Wha-at?.Thundering pulse-throbs, harsh wheeze-groans, the sinews strained to hop up for running on…
But what's this thick net? Unbreakable wrap all around? What the…?A scolding heat-splash in the surge of panic and the sound of one more run, not his, scurrying ever closer, clapping moistly at the drenched jungle soil of the rain season…
A pair of legs pop up in his vision field. Barefoot. Brown. He’s arching his neck to see what’s above those knees…With a thundering discharge, the blindingly black lightning crackles across the crown of his skull…
Run over…
A creepy rumble from the invisible, distant horizon rolls nearer in stirred indistinct clusters of sound rotating tardily… some croaking of a pterodactyl… no… human speech, reaching over-slowly, the syllables drag on for years through the darkness in the closed eyes, through this pain in the crown but, strangely, not in its usual spot—the back of the head…
"Wwrreerr… aamm… I-i?"
"Coming to senses, Kenty? Attaboy! Come on! Wake up! We don't have no time."
Thru the gap in the squint of the too heavy eyelids, a blur of a face cranes over, vaguely. Incipient heat in the cheeks from the restrained regular slaps in the face…
"An’… you… who… are?"
"Much closer to the matter in hand. Well done." The naked torso turns sideways to present the forearm, where, spurning any snazzy vignettes, full of calm self-confident simplicity, stands: “UF-1”.
"Athos? But you’re swallowed by the greenshit… UF-2 told me."
"Firstly, no shit but slime and, secondly, that has not happened yet, so take my friendly advice – no frigging flashforwards. Mind firmly, since I'm still alive – you haven't met Chris yet, don't count on no virtuality, bro. Any try to buck a wall and you’ll adorn it like a sloppily clapped sticker until they scrape you off."
"Ouch… My head's a-crack already."
"Because the habit is not there yet. It’ll develop. Just no fucking up with the back of your head again, it's against the rules. When caught, you’ll get it from Them in full. Inexorably."
"They again? And where is our Parthos?"
"But where else could he be? On the Champs-Élysées, our Parthos-boy… Have a look!" The UltraFucker Number One nodded over his shoulder at the full naked, if not for the loincloth, body stretched out in serene prostration on the sand of the floor by the blank wall in a spacious cell if not a cavern.
"He also fucked up the back of his head?"
"Nopes. The guy’s got high with lilies. Right now, he's in the middle of his interview with Bolon Yokte or, if lucky enough, with Awilix herself."
"What FUCKING… (ouch, my head!.)… LILIES?!."
"Stop yelling, I can hear… Water lilies, when applied properly, take you on high cooler than peyote, you know.Welcome to Mesoamerica, dude! Okay, we’re cutting out the official inauguration… They’ll presently bring us equipment and stuff. When it is full moon these here Mayas have an olamalistli match, never called off nor postponed. The main thing about the event is to avoid losing."
"Why us?"
"We are prisoners of war, haven’t you guessed yet? A kinda guest team.The locals are all pros, hefty bulls and well trained for the game. The rules are simple – never let the ball touch the ground, same as in volleyball, however, no net. Besides, no touching the ball with your hand, neither is kicking allowed…"
"What the fu… what then to play with?"
"Use anything that remains there – a hip, a shoulder, may be your head, which is strongly inadvisable though because the balls are up to 7 kilos.It’s only I can’t figure out who we are to represent – the gods or the underworld?.With these here Maya, everything is so ritualized and anything—whether you sneeze or fart—is on the fly invested with a deep religious meaning."
"Aha! I remembered! The Maya were the guys whose calendar ended in 2012 and the worldwide crowd started to globally prepare for the end of the world. But how do you know all this?"
"Slime-swallowing… in lots… Damn! But who can we be for: the gods or for the underworld?"
"Much of difference?"
"Not exactly. Just to know beforehand… If the lost game was played for gods they simply cut your head but for the underworld all team’s hearts are torn out including that of the couch's."
"Let me guess: you’re the coach."
Some noise of movement outside was nearing the entrance to this spacious cell or, maybe, a cavern.Four brown-skinned Maya Indians entered, the puckered lips bulging like in mum contempt because of gemstone piercings drilled into their upper incisors.
Two of them schlepped sports equipment, the rest in their company (4 – 2 = 2) kept their personal weaponry (shapely yet massive clubs) on their shoulders.
Three headgear were flung onto the sand, three kinda aprons woven of twigs, and three what-you'd-call-them resembling the arc in Russian one-horse wagon harness (yet no shafts), not of wood but of stone covered with intricate carvings and emanating the poignant smell of cinnamon.Three lengths of manila hemp rope flopped atop of everything.
"What the hell!" said Inokenty. "This garbage with feathers is passing for a helmet here? What am I to them – a feathered friend? Or is it a gay parade in kind?"
"Moron," with fatherly instructive softness explained the coach, "in first three minutes, these feathers will cushion the hits."
"And then?"
"Then you grow wiser and your head starts to jerk-dodge on its own, reflectively."
"And why the wagon arc?"
"OK. Get up. I show it just once. The apron shields your front to save your balls and stuff," explained he donning Kenty. Then he pushed the arc from behind, the bend over the kidneys, the horns thrust ahead stuck out by the sides at the navel’s level. Athos connected them with with a tightly tied rope, which girdle also fixed the twigs. "It should sit tight over the hips, and the rope keeps the apron to protect your reproductive capability. While the feathers, you guessed it, go on top."
Outside sounded a spurring bell-ring like at a run in trotting race or in the Bolshoi Academic Theater.
"The last call, it's time to raise the midfield."
"UF-2? What will you get him up with? He's out and beyond."
"What with, huh?. It’s not a problem. The spike from a sea stingray tail, that's with what. The only question is where to prick?"
From the front tatters in his loincloth Athos drew up what looked like a nib pen, half a finger thick, with its sharp point slightly flattened and serrated on both sides.
"Wait! Wait! It's toxic!""Okay, fine. I'll wipe it off with the sand."
Hurriedly poking the sea cat's spike into the sandy floor of the cell or, maybe, a cavern, UF-1 went into detail:"Now you can raise him only by bleeding… Traditionally, there are just three points to use – tongue, lips, and groin. What would you suggest?"
Not waiting for an answer, he strummed the unsuspecting lips of UF-2 prostrated in his blissful blackout. Then, making of his thumb and index finger a pincer-like tool, Athos pulled the buddy’s tongue between his inert teeth, gave it a doubtful askew glance and let spin back.
"Yep. I agree, the groin suits best. It’s like frigging acupuncture – the main thing is to pin through the meridian point."
He raked aside the scraps of the loincloth from over the crotch of the limply spread-eagle body, took aim with his ray spike and, hollering “company, reveille!”, pricked in.
"MothFucShiDickAssBitcher!" screamed the up-rocketing body, the bugged eyes ready to leap from their sockets, unable to grasp what’s what.
(“Oho! How fucking fluent," thought Inokenty enviously, “Parthos did have command of this here Mesoamerican.”)
"Shut up, all! Keep at ready!" the coach yelled, flicking a stone arc (that kinda fatty hoop cut in two) over the wobbly sacrum of Parthos and tying a rope across his front.
Then, in the blink of an eye, he also donned the standard player outfit to give the team the final exhortation:"Let’s do it, bros! Make or mar!"
Out of step, the magnificent 3 slogged to the exit from the cavern or, which easily may be, a cell with the skylight opening positioned too high above, irrationally so…
The playing field resembled a wide corridor of sheer masonry walls roofed with the sky above.At both ends of its 50-meter span there were additional stretches even wider, but a great deal shorter, of the same, trampled, actually, out of existence, grass.
On the whole, the sports arena looked like a lying Roman One or a Ukrainian capital «i», similarly supine.
A crowd of fans raged along the edges of the six-meter-tall corridor walls, their shrieks were cut through by a discordant orchestra of pipes, fifes and flutes performing asynchronously the immortal hit:I’d rather be a sparrow than a snake, yes I would if I only cou-ou-ould…
"And why are they all naked except for their turbans?" asked Inokenty gaping up.
"Rags and expensive jewelry were pawned at the bookmakers in betting on the outcome of today’s match, but don’t gaze too much at the ladies, they're in the usual sham of body color tights from Secretly Screwed Victoria on.And that clown in the feathers of a kquetzal-bird, in the center, the local king Kalomte, however, very soon his widow, Kaviila, will replace him becoming the queen of Chichen Itza. Still as of yet, he is the ruler and the referee."
"Burping up the swallowed slime, you?""Yep, yet just in general terms, no details. We have to learn the game tricks from the opponents, catch on along the way."
"And what’s that wheel for? Stuck out from the wall, over there, just below the fans, also of stone and with a hole. O! And over there too! In the opposite wall, another!""Forget it, they are not used, just architectural embellishment in memory of the Twin Heroes. Check their maps, carved in the stumps of your arc. The guy on the left once scored a ball thru the like hole and – Game Over, immediate You Win!, however, mere mortals are not up to that."
They had to shout to hear each other and be heard in the hubbub of the flipping out crowd and the out of time trills of the winds on the walls.
Two Indians with a brush and bucket ran up over the clay bare ground and, offering no explanation, slap-painted the bodies of the UltraFuckers’ team into white parallel stripes, wherever wicker aprons and stone arcs allowed it.
"Fuck! Off on the wrong foot!" the coach shouted. "We are for the gods today!"
From the opposite end of the corridor, the team of local bulls, already painted in yellow and black stripes, were approaching in an imposing jog.
Without tossing, the home team began to play the ball. The referee in the expensive green-scarlet plume was clearly pulling for them from the wall…
For a starter, they showed off their dribbling, and mincing, and passing the ball (half a meter in diameter) from the thigh of a player to the thigh of another, and other, and back, and again…
Inokenty opened his mouth in fascinated admiration – it’ll take at least a score of years to train yourself for the like hip-work!
Then the center received a pass from the left, for convenience he threw it slightly above himself (with just a hip clap!) And, sharply spinning thru all 360, hit the ball with the right prong in his arc-girdle whose ends stood out forward on his sides.
The cannonball of hard black rubber in a split sec grew to a planetary size, screening the entire field of vision, substituting blackness for his sight… already so too familiar, so fucking painfully familiar bl-a-c-k-n-e-s-s…
Then the hands of his comrades raised Inokenty up and put him on his feet for him to stand on his shaky, weak at the knees, pins.
He saw their mouths screaming mutely, like in a silent movie.
The stands were also silent and only kept swinging… hither-th…-thither… along with the strips of a couple of muslin-transparent clouds … there in … in the… the sky …
The imprints of what followed, Inokenty’s memory retains in fairly smudgy form. A kinda blurred rubber spanking, sort of.
Each hit whipped to the bone. The protective weaver work did not save, he felt the bruises heat spilling under the twigs.Sometimes a misty, detached self-consolation surfaced, that eventually, with his head severed, bruises would cease hurting.
However, the head, as predicted by the coach, was already jerking off, reflectively, from the ball whizzing by.
At some point, he realized – that's that, he’s done with all it. He can go on no longer, that the dead feel no shame and turned his butt to the next cannonball…
Vzhzhzzz!… And the rubber ball banged the stone arcs tied to Kenty’s waist above his ass. He fell on one knee and over his shoulder followed the ball’s ricochet into the wall and then, unhurriedly rotating as if in slow motion camera, it swam up to be swallowed by the memorial hole in the stuck-out wheel. Boy, o boy! Some glorious swish shot!.
"Will you ever stop kicking?" Maya muttered with displeasure, turned her round (not rubber) bottom to him and fell asleep again.
Holding the painful groan back within his body, crushed like on the cursed coronation day in the Khodynka field, Inokenty gave off a muffled sigh:"Hooeyhhh…"* * *
Bottle #33: ~But At First… ~At first, the village mujiks were betting on whether I last for 10 days or until the end of the month.And only I knew already that it was forever because two-meter-tall wall of grass stood along the road sides, and herds of cows and bulls roamed in the distant slopes above those walls before they would be driven back to the village for the night.
And when I asked the school's principal what that bright spot could be there in the distanttoombs, he answered it was snow.Snow in August, huh? Come on, it's not Everest.Truth, snow it is, hiding in so cunningly twisted a gorge that summertime is not enough for the sun to melt it…
The main provider of romanticism in Yezznaggomer ismarahoogh. Folks also call it "the wolf weather", but it's not the fog, because it doesn't swirl or flow, it's standing like a solid wall.The first time I got lost in it was in the leg between home and school, where I had already worked for more than a month. True, it was already the dark part of the day, and therefore the torch of the “head-dick” type, on its elastic band, was beaming from my forehead.
The ray of light cut a neat tunnel before me, the space within its round walls clogged with the suspension of particles the size of tiny snowflakes which did not fall though. To set those particles in motion, you need to move your head sideways and back, and while the lighted tunnel moves, the snowflakes stray in this or that direction, yet the tunnel itself remains just as narrow, and having the same dark smooth walls, and still crammed to the utmost with that same luminous suspension entering thru one wall to vanish in the opposite.
Haha! It was the beam that moved, not the “snowflakes”! Another gull cheated! Thanks to the theory of relativity.It's like in childhood, when you roll your head back, face to the sky, so as to see only the falling snow until it looks like you are flying upward past the irregularly standing snowflakes.
As for the density of moisture hanging up inside themarahoogh, on average, were you wearing a scuba gear, you could easily swim along like Yves Cousteau around the corals, but as you don’t put flippers on then go on foot yet very slow and twice checking each familiar landmark, so as not to get lost even worse.
Blizzards happen too, it’s not for nothing that the mujiks had in their households motorcyclist mask-glasses in case they needed to take hay to the cow house in the middle of crazy mixture of wind-and-snow-grit…
The bus was coming once a week, on Fridays, but that was only the first six months, before the bus driver Armen ultimately dropped straining both the vehicle and himself.He lived in Moshatagh, 15-18 km down into the valley, and never liked the idea of 30+ km surplus run for the sake of a couple or two of passengers.The number of passengers was so small because just 12 families and a loner teacher was all the population in the village, while the make-believe road so difficult that two or three passengers threw up on the way, especially kids too eager to be treated to ice cream in Lachin City.
While going there, they threw their breakfast up, and on the way back – the ice cream. The prose of life onto the roadside, if they were quick enough to jump out of the stopped bus, but in case of a too short notice – there’s the back of a passenger on the seat in front of you.
So, the first year was the most difficult because there was no electricity in the village. Well, not exactly a year, a little more than that…
But at first I had to ask Nick Wagner to take me to Yezznaggomer Village for the start of the academic year.Which he did…
But at first we had to find a roof rack for his "Niva" in Stepanakert. And we did find it in the rehabilitation center named after Baroness Cox. Thanks to the center’s Director Vartan. No, the Baroness had nothing to do with alkies and druggies, the center catered for the people maimed in the war too heavily.
At that both the first and the last transportation by Nick’s “Niva” to Yezznaggomer, I managed to fetch there some provender (cereals, pasta, salt, etc.), as well as the most necessary hand tools: shovel, crowbar, ax, saw, and a bunch of smaller ones.
You can’t lift everything at one go, so the welding-machine-grinder-drill were left for later, moreover, when there’s no electricity in the village.However, there was no building material either, but only stones in the ruins overgrown with grass around, and the nearest forest in seven kilometers downwards, if you need a pole or some kind of a prop. Yet on foot, of all the means of transportation…
But at first I had to find some lodging, because there were only ruins around, except for 12 houses and their adjacent cowsheds.However, the school principal indicated there was a 13th at the very top, but he was certainly embarrassed to hand me the key, although in Lachin he had been assuring Karina, the Head of the District People Education Department, that I would be provided with housing…
But at first we in duo, the principal and I, had to convince Nick that his “Niva” was designed for coming up so crazy slopes too and she would certainly climb up to that house.After a lengthy hesitation, Nick succeeded.
I dumped the cereals and the tools onto the porch, said goodbye to Nick, we parted with a handshake and I entered…
But at first, I had to break in, tearing the padlock off…And right behind the door saw I a meter-deep pit or rather a quarry. Welcome to the kitchen!The floor’s earthen, pretty bumpy. However, the following, bedroom’s, level one meter higher than the kitchen and thus, fortunately, even with the stone porch outside the house, from which (the porch) there’s a footbridge to the bedroom. I did tell I was chronically lucky, didn’t I?
The bedroom’s floor’s of handmade boards, thick and sturdy, not quite even and you had to pick your way in between the floor gaps and look out where to plant your foot, preferably not into a gap.However, (lucky as always!) the room was furnished with an iron bed, even though without the net between the sides. Yet the mattress present! On the floor.
I took it up to take over the footbridge and throw away because of too many holes in its torn-up sides.At the mattress' takeoff, a mouse fell out of one of the holes, looked at me disgustedly “fucking intruder!” and plopped into the nearest gap.No! He didn’t dashed or flushed but lazily, over his elbow, without ever getting to his feet, deigned to plop out of sight…
In general, some fairy-tale hut on chicken legs, only of stone and the tin roof fixed with wire so that the upcoming winds would not blow it away, like in the forester’s case from the neighboring village who opened his eyes in the morning to the overcasting rainy clouds full of the shower to perk him up.
So, that winter I spent in a teepee, nothing doing.No bison or buffalo lost their skin for that teepee. Cellophane film brought from Stepanakert was used for the teepee walls put up within the bedroom. The teepee door was made of plywood and closed tightly to let no wind from under the floor. The bed got new net (the window grates pulled from the nearby ruins) and even a Made-in-Iran gas stove was installed in between the transparent walls together with a 20-liter gas container.
However, the stove was switched on only on Saturdays, when I drank wine in the light of one candle and Louis Armstrong was singing:What a wonderful world!.
from the player with a battery presented me by Ashot.
My mobile phone was to be charged at homes of the colleagues who came to the Yezznaggomer school from two nearby villages (they had some kind of electricity there) to give their classes, bringing along in their vehicles (yes, “Nivas” mainly, yet one UAZ van too) students as well, to have who to teach.The school at Yezznaggomer had 24 students half of whom were itinerants. The students were not distributed equally between 12 grades, but in every possible way and some of the grades might remain unmanned in certain academic years.
However, the second half of the kids at school were provided by our village, as also was the principal and Anahit, the teacher at elementary grades, the mother of Spartak, Mariam and Andranik…
Lavashbread I was buying from Lachin, 50 pieces at once. After it was brought to Yezznaggomer, I hung sheets of fiberboard in the kitchen on strings fixed at the ceiling beams and spreadlavashesupon them.Mice cannot fly and the bread leafs were drying up undisturbed, and then I stored the stock in a secure box, where the critters could not get into.
Before use, wrap alavashin a cloth towel and sprinkle water over it, from the wrap's dampness thelavashwould soften and – bon appétit!..
It was interesting to live – one problem followed another, you wanna survive?.– find a solution…That winter ended on April 28…
In the summer that followed I was building me a house. For the purpose, was chosen the wreck nearest to the water spring. It was the only water source for the entire village.
Fetching water to the place occupied by me on the arrival in Yezznaggomer, I had to haul it in pails up a 9-story-talltoomb,rather steep and, naturally, having no stairs.When thetoombslope got ice-coated, same height had to be climbed in zigzags. So I did know how to choose the right location for a house.
The chosen ruins had almost four walls, collapsed door jambs and two window openings in the same conditions, all of which I restored and spanned with reinforced concrete lintels, then raised the crashed parts to one common level.Inside, I laid another longitudinal wall and in the end it turned out a kitchen, with two windows and the entrance door, and the blank-walled bedroom. All in all 18 sq. m.
All the timber for spanning beams and roof rafters were brought over 100 km from Stepanakert, everything second-hand, but I had no other choice.Only the roof was not imported but collected among other wreckage in the village.
That whole area in 1920’s was Red Kurdistan, populated by Kurds, but later the Soviet Azerbaijan annulled that autonomy, the Kurds were given passports of Azerbaijani citizens and were assimilated.So nowadays the word “Kurd” is considered a rude offense by the descendants of the assimilated Kurds, just like in Turkey, and Turkey is Azerbaijan’s Big Brother by the political orientation.Viewing Yezznaggomer from an even taller height, I counted up to 150 ruined houses and sheds or so, all of stone, but a couple of times went astray in reckoning.
At the time of the war for independence, there were no fighting in the former Red Kurdistan, the civilians fled over Kalbajar. Then pauper looters from Armenia came to plunder abandoned poverty, followed by richer looters who brought equipment to dig up and take away the piping for running water, so there remained just one water head in the village, 50 meters away from my building site.
Subsequently, when I had constructed a 3-ton water pool near the house, with ceramic tiled walls inside a tin hut, whose walls were insulated from within with polystyrene sheets bought in Stepanakert and carpet-flooring discarded at the Satenic & Rosanna's business, I was attaching a rubber garden hose to the iron pipe stump, thru which the stone trough for cattle got filled with ever running water, and my pool got full just overnight, thanks to the gravity.
I couldn’t replenish it in the daytime, although cattle, and horses, and smaller living creatures did not mind (the trough was pretty capacious), but the human residents of the village every day came to the spring by their “Nivas” or tractors bringing empty canisters and barrels, and then my hose would be in the way because not only I needed water for washing and other needs…
Yezznaggomer was populated with immigrants from Armenia, because the RMK legislation forebode Karabakh people move over there, so as to prevent outflow of the much reduced already Armenian population of Mountainous Karabakh.For that reason, besides me, only two men from Mountainous Karabakh landed in the village: Aram, on the grounds that he had married a daughter of Edic, a settler from Armenia, and Arthur, who left his wife in Stepanakert and made his way to Yezznaggomer illegally, because he all his life was a shepherd.
Aram sometimes worried as regards the local ethnography. He would ask then whose was our village and thetoombsaround: Kurdish or Armenian?Well, the cemetery on thetoombin the village outskirts was certainly Muslim, but in the ruins inside the settlement I happened to find khachkars (carved Armenian tomb stones) way too heavy to dispense with them in the masonry of walls, so they survived and were just kicking around. Besides, the Armenian temple in Tsitsernak (below Moshatagh village) was being built from the 10th into the 12th centuries, and had the look and feel of the Reims Cathedral (it certainly had, although I never paid France a live visit).
Do you really need it? Live your life for your own pleasure, shovel the bullshit out from your father-in-law's shed, and enjoy sex with your wife, while having sufficient strength and desire…
But later, Aram and his family split off into a house above the water spring, after repairing it, of course.That’s why tin in the ruins was an easy find, although pretty rotten and crumpled, throwaways, as a matter of fact.Out of them I had to cut usable pieces and gradually mastered the profession of a tinsmith.
The tin went to the roof in my house which I tinkered myself as well as the roof over my workshop, whose walls were provided by a cowshed ruins. Although, on the second thought, the Azerbaijanis, who no longer were Kurds, kept sheep there, probably.Not to mention the hut over the 3-ton water pool and the 60-meter-long aqueduct of tin…
The plot about the house was spacious, bordered with a hedge on three sides, with breaches at some places, so that pigs would have direct route to the fourth side – the ravine with the brook running from the common water spring.The breaches in the hedge walls I, of course, filled with masonry, the pigs got disgruntled but learned to bypass the whole plot for the mud baths in the brook relieving them from blood-sucking insects.
In the household territory along the high bank of the ravine, I planted a vegetable garden: garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, for crop rotation, and upstream, where the brook had the banks of certainly volcanic origin, I built a dam.The construction lasted 3 years because erection of a dam to block a channel with the constant water-flow along its bottom is not a trivial engineering task.And when the dam began to work, came the time for a tin aqueduct propped by columns of rebar hammered into the ground because the dam was outside the plot, away from my kitchen garden.
Well, there also was added a basement cellar to stock the crops, a laundry room and a shower room both outside the house. And the bath, cut out of a 400-liter plastic tank, was placed in the insulated hut next to the tiled water pool. And the outhouse in the yard, 20 meters off, but with the warm seat of polystyrene foam.
Three apple trees grew there above the ravine inherited from the Kurds, previous inhabitants of Yezznaggomer. No, they sooner were Azerbaijanis already…Yet the grapes that I planted did not take root in 4 years of my endeavors, although I had been warned beforehand of the impossibility of such undertaking in the climate at that altitude.
However, the plum tree matured.
That way I turned akurkool, a malicious representative of the counter-revolutionary class eliminated still in the early years of the USSR. Especially when I started to distill grain alcohol in the insulated tin hut from wheat bought in Stepanakert, yet, on Saturdays I continued to drink only wine, such was my habit instilled by Louis Armstrong.No, I didn’t trade in alcohol, but just for curiosity’s sake and subsequent processing it into absinthe, since a cellar had been made already.
And for the repair of throwaways (hairdryers, kitchen utensils etc.) brought by the village womenfolk because their husbands were too busy to check and put the trifles aright, I charged a tolerable fee, the purely symbolic couple of liters of milk to uphold the glorious traditions of the class of artisans.
The bedroom walls were plastered completely and paint-coated with latex so that mice would not come to visit through the masonry in the ancient walls.Then I had a go at the kitchen. The window frames were constructed of (again) a second-hand material, but the glass panes I had to bring from Stepanakert being nothing of a glass cutter.
All the floors were of laminate, and all the furniture, except for the table, the stool, and the chair, added swiveling casters for the convenient wet cleaning, you drive the furniture in one half of the room and work your mop unhindered over the floor in the liberated half…
Quite a hell of a lot of what-nots you are capable of accomplishing when not distracted by wars and stuff, you know…
Once Ashot brought his wife Gaiane, and Satenic with Emma by his swanky SUV.We celebrated the occasion. Aram came with his wife and a baby.The next morning mine left.I was sorry for the SUV though, one more such a picnic and the poor critter would need a luxury hearse…
The house seemed small compared to the plot area, but I didn’t need anything bigger, it served me a springboard for starts off to the parallel world, from where I was coming back dog-tired, yet seeing the houses' two windows beneath the roof of throwaway tin I perked up – home at last.
It's good to have a place where you can return from parallel worlds…* * *
Bottle #34: ~The World’s A Theater ~Time was running out, inexorably, although the period set up by Don had not yet ticked away.Inokenty did not feel like thinking in that particular direction, discouraged by a depressed, flypaper-like sticky state of mind that trapped him after the nightmares leaving multiple bruises all over his body as if kicked brutally. (Come on! They were not live mares kicking shit out of him!).
On the other hand, neither had he any desire to ponder on the nature of those marks or the mechanism of their popping up because of a headache (sticky as well) in the crown of his head (sic! another strangeness – the crown but not the back of the head!), which spot would not stand for the slightest touch.
Maya, discovering in the morning his wretched conditions, condemned their unknown source, whatever it be, and pitied him most emotionally before going out after some or another sort of crap from a drugstore to dissolve hematomas. Because in the bookstore where she worked at, there was also a shelf of medical books full of most crazy terms.
He stayed alone sharing his doubts with her apartment, silently: Was it possible at all to survive in the world where you can no more be sure of even Almighty ESC Button?Or what if UF-1 even now, in spite of all probabilistic logic, was not dead again?You cannot be too sure of such a fruit, moreover over-fertilized with that greenshit slime.Some wiggly friend for you, huh?However, of Parthos he remained sure intrepidly, UF-2 stays UF-2 despite any heat, were they even African cops.
To sum all that up, he decided to keep his thinking process deflected off any sorrowful contemplations, when Maya be back with that crap, and in the evening to go out with her to the theater and spend the last of piastres from the frock coat in his pocket or, rather, on the contrary, but it’s just that the fucking head hurts at an unusual spot.
True, he did not know if there was a theater in this city and, as it was, neither had he any idea about the city’s name. Nonetheless, he eschewed asking Maya, she might form an opinion that he was dumb in any respect although more than once he made it obvious that he was not.No, Inokenty was not goofy, it’s just that after that away game in Mesoamerica (what was the name of that city? Athos then shouted back something like “Chechen’s Inn” or what?. But because of the scream-and-shouting fans Inokenty could not really hear and now his head was just, like, going asunder) thinking called for certain efforts to keep you concentrated to follow them, the thoughts.
Which added one more pro to his reckoning that it’s much better to go to the theater than to the park, where there again would be noise, squeals, shrieks of any goon kind, moreover, he never could stand for all those swings or merry-go-round, because of getting nauseated and seasick in even completely landlocked locations.And ice cream you could eat at any cafe, but the circumstances of Chris’ death did leave a bitter after-taste in the form of allergy to the establishments for in-public uptake.So a theater it was, moreover that weighing up other options seemed a too big strain for his thinking apparatus…. . . . .His and Maya's seats turned out to be next to the very barrier in a second floor box. There were also seats and spectators in the same box, yet those behaved not over noisy and, seated behind him, they did not block the view.
From up there they could see the whole orchestra.Inokenty liked them, in part, even the cacophonous moment of tuning their instruments seemed somewhat congenial and depicting, with tolerable precision, his current mental situation. The flutes were especially nice, the sound much softer than by those piercing fifes in Chechen’s Inn.The conductor also behaved in a civilized way compared to those… (ouch, fucking head!.) but at times he started fluttering his arms too much and then the orchestra also sounded too much.
There went a kinda warm-up for gymnasts, on the stage. The guys performed short runs, jumped, lifted each other in a mannerly way and no rubber balls whatsoever.On the whole, Inokenty would even call the first part agreeable to his frame of mind, if not for that bitchy timpani…
When there started the intermission, he and Maya went to the buffet.Most of the female audience looked askance from their decolletage frocks at Maya's sweater and jeans, but she did not give a bean about the ladies, because the present men looked at her more than at all those variously exposed tits in the necklines.
Among the male music lovers, Inokenty did not stand out too much by his frock coat, except for its color—shocking blue—as befits a junior officer in the British Navy of His Majesty George III, and he watched Maya’s ass with no less admiration than their, that is not like he liked their or theirs, which is neither here nor there, but that his and their admiration target which it was watched with… well, whatever…
Then Maya was approached by a friend, with one more low neckline to show off her beads, and off they went to chirp like morning birds around his hut in Island.The tack to ornithological similitude made Inokenty somewhat sad and he went back to the box alone carrying away his sprouting melancholy… Not a chance to ever out-tweet the non-feathered chicks. Would feathering improve the situation? Well, a theater is not a kitchen to stage experiments of the sort. Anyway, Class of Aves are unsurpassable in a number of respective, generally speaking, approaches, if you think hard enough, while opinionated views to the contrary as maintained by certain start-up soft-boiled egg-heads are too rare exceptions, fairly negligible, by and large…
So, on his way down the corridor to the stairs climbing up the second floor, Inokenty, having soundly founded impregnability of his position on this subject, leisurely strolled with his attention switched over to the white busts lined in a row on the right. Some of them missing not only arms but their shoulders too.
The fourth in their line of mutely motionless images surprised Inokenty by unexpected winking at him with the white marble eye. Taken aback, he also petrified for a closer

inspection and determined that who else it was but UF-2!.
"Parthos! What the eff! It’s a hell of a challenge to recognize you. What's the outcome at our match with those Mesoamericans?""The skedaddler still gets the nerve to ask! The potent victory, of course!"
"Had a glorious revel?""Bet your butt! Everything in strict complying to their rituals. Where the Holy Book of Codified Rules states plain and clear: A player from the winning team to be decapitated."
"What for? It's not cricket!""Wanna discuss it with their priests?. You, as usual, faded in the woodwork, and the UF-1 was discarded by their high priestess Esma. 'Too greenshitty,' sez she, 'this here stiff.' And now you’ve got three tries to figure out: who of UltraFuckers got circumcised about his neck?"
"Why?!""In keeping with their special technology, they add rubber coating to the skull of a player from a particularly impressive team to make a lucky sports equipment. A black ball with a surprise filling. A kinda rabbit’s foot, you know."
"How come you’re here then?""As any other GI, buddy. On the AWOL, of course… Whoops! The MP popped up. I’d better split! And be easy with that Ctl-Alt-Delete short cut!."
Inokenty looked back, but could make out no military police patrol. Or any at all, for that matter…However, UF-2 gave up winking at him and kept dumbly mum on his stand, so Inokenty, to avoid getting caught pants down—in a friendly talk to marble, some choice company indeed!—proceeded to the box and got seated in the same chair as before.
Soon Maya also came to say that this here Minnie they met in the buffet, though a complete fool, still has an aunt and tomorrow…That moment the overture for the second part began to play…
They played too loudly again, and over again Inokenty closed his eyes painfully and, wincing in the inner dark, played with the information received from UF-2. Which undertaking served him a kinda distraction from the distress of being kicked and beaten up by a host of mares the night before.The fingers of the left hand mechanically (and still in the darkness) typed the short-cut mentioned by Parthos, in the taut plush along the barrier top: Ctl-Alt-Delete…
His ear drums hardly survived the volley of relentless applause and thunderous cries of discordant "Hurrah!" A sting of piercing smartness deluged his closed eyes. He had to open them.Both the box and the entire hall of the theater was veiled up, if not swaddled, with a bluish thick fog. Everyone around was smoking.
Spectators smoked in the boxes as well as those in the stalls.Maya was smoking to the right from Inok… no! it's not Maya! Where's she?A girl in a red scarf on her hair was smoking, instead of Maya, to the right from Inokenty.Everybody smoked and clapped. Loudly. Inhumanly. Cruelly clapped they and smoked. Smoked all, both the conduc…Hell no! The conductor was not there, neither were the musicians…
The timber platform spanning the orchestra pit was mounted with a long table. From behind it, the theater was faced by the line of people in tunics and army jackets except for one or two at the table ends in civilian neckties. Those also kept smoking.
A man with a thick mustache, smack bang in the middle of the jamboree table, ostensibly crushed his cigarette against the glass wall of the decanter put in front of him.From out of his pocket, he produced another one, lit it up and waved the burning match nearby his ear so as to extinguish its flame.Shouts of "Hurrah!" intensified.Is that their conductor?
Above the stage, behind the backs of those sitting in the presidium, a wide band of red cloth stretched across the full width of the stage.Bold white letters hollered in merciless yells:"GREETINGS TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE THIRD CONGRESS OF THE COMMUNIST YOUTH INTERNATIONAL!"
A short man in a gray overcoat and cap crossed the stage behind the table, doffed it, the overcoat, and folded it into a cushion to sit down on the proscenium.A notebook whipped up into his hands, where he started to jerkily enter some notes.The unabating applause began to stumble, slow down, subside. Yet, the smoke grew thicker.
Inokenty remembered his chat-room friend Leopold, an advertising agent from Dublin, who once explained to him in a chat conversation that the sight of a writing person unavoidably attracts attention, even if the scribbler was not a chick.This bald-headed actor there, below his box, did know how to sell himself, he surely had the tricks of the trade at his fingertips.
The scratch number performed, he rose and took the floor behind the rostrum to change the miss-en-scene so that only his bust above the necktie knot, remained in sight.‘Com'gghids!’ exclaimed the minion of Melpomene with thickly guttural burr, and that very moment, despite the glued-on goatee and mustache, Inokenty recognized the bald crown of UF-2. The artful SOB went on another of his AWOL's!.
The cloth in the shoulder of the blue frock coat got clamped within the bunch of callused fingers of a labor-hardened hand stuck out of the sleeve in a leather jacket while the gnarly dome of the same man, the hand owner, topped with a visored cap, also of leather, with a hefty red star in the band, jutted above the buttoned up collar:"Is this him?"’
"Ies!"’ replied a voice full of Georgian accent, from behind Inokenty. "I figward him from out the prezudum, eh! Dis herre White Guard bustarrd. In all dis whole tiatyr, only dis herre agent of the Entente no smokes!""Don’t worry, Lavrent Palych,” said the dickens in the leather jacket, “we’ll check this here hydra of imperialism."
‘…lea'gghn, lea'gghn, lea'gghn, and lea'gghn once again!’ urged on the burring tooter from beneath the box barrier.The shocking blue fabric in the shoulder of the frock coat started to give in to the pull, ratcheted into the bulge of contracting fist.
"I’m fucked!" shakily formed the parting thought of Inokenty. His fingers clawed in desperate ramification of the the wide-spread Ctl-Alt-Delete shortcut into the barrier top…
There sounded a half-hearted clapping, uncertain, stifled, fading…"No, I liked the first part better’, Maya said. ‘And you? Oyaa! What have you been caught on? Look! The shoulder seam’s burst asunder!"* * *
Bottle #35: ~Standing The Heat In Social Networks Kitchen ~A year and 2 months past the dexterous breaking of the padlock (or rather, it still stayed locked, hanging idly alongside the broken hasp from the same ring in a door jamb of the lazy mouse’s house), the electricity flowed to Yezznaggomer Village thru the aluminum wires stretched atop the iron poles installed by the employees of the state company ArtsakhEnergo.
Lots of half-forgotten pastimes came within reach. I brought my PC from Stepanakert, and the weekly wet cleaning of the house started to be done to the sounds of the Golden Collection of Rock and Roll, and buyinglavashbread from Lachin City was obliterated altogether.Instead, I began buying 25-kg sacks of flour from there and mastered baking bread in an electric oven.A semi-automatic washing machine was also bought, and the so necessary drill-grinder-and-welding-machine arrived in the workshop shed.
And when KT employees came to the village offering access to the Internet, I was the first to sign the contract for the minimum speed connection because of its reasonable price, since construction costs absorbed the lion's share of my budget…
Letters began to come to my email box from girls who lived in various countries, yet were alike in being very rich, potentially, none of them worth less than 10 million dollars.Each girl had her own sad story why she was unable to draw those millions from her bank account without the attributes of my ID and bank account, where she would transfers it to, the money, so that we could split the millions conveniently.
Guess what? I never had a bank account and, most reluctant to lose communication with the girls, I began spinning yarn about being sentenced for life (absolutely wrongly, by the bye, because of a terrible judicial error). However, I somehow managed to hack the Wi-Fi password of the Prison Director and our electronic correspondence brightens up my wretched misfortune… But the heartless bitches did not buy my sentimental stories and every single one dropped sending their letters to my prison cell…
Then Emma alerted me on the social network Facebook *(*In 2022 the organization was found guilty of terrorism and their activities banned on the territory of the Russian Federation.)as a popular means of communication.I signed up, but never bothered anyone with the request to be my FB friend, because of being too shy and bashful. No, yeah, except for the request to Emma to see what button is for what there, you know.Still and yet, by the time when FB blocked my account forever, I had 350 friends and 45 followers.Not surprisingly though! Every day I posted 2 pictures from Yezznaggomer and the parallel worlds…
My frictions with FB were triggered off by the pandemia.For me, as a person, who thru all their life lived in a police state (except for my stretch in Yezznaggomer Village), it would be certainly a shame not to see that I, like any other resident of this here planet, was being driven into a global concentration camp prodded by the fictitious pandemia and divers other brainwashing tools.I did not conceal my disgusted indignation, and FB inescapably erased my calls for vigilance as an, assumably, obnoxious stuff violating the community rules.
Then they (who?) over there (where?) apparently got fretted with my perseverance and I was kicked out because, allegedly (they were the allegators), someone had staged suspicious activities about my account from the city of Belgorod (Russia) and now, for the sake of security, I should insert a picture of my passport into their alert message and press the button.I inserted it in and felt a profound pleasure from their care for my security, however, the feeling did not last long for they (who?) in a minute informed me that it was not me and my passport in the picture was not mine either.Hey, you (who?)! Over there (where?)! Are you (who?) barking mad?!.But how and to whom can I prove a shred of anything, if It never discloses Its address?
The verdicts issued from who knows where reach you in the one-way manner, anonymously, on behalf of all the community. Could you have the nerve enough to kick against billions of users, huh?So, my account stayed blocked, and now I don’t even know what happened to it.It's a pity, of course, 5 years of rural life, people, animals, plants, clouds, flowers, stones… 2 pictures a day.
I counted on FB as an additional storage space. Alas, everything went to the hell, because soon the hard drive with the photos melted.My bad! I should have stored the pics on Google Disk or made a backup laser disk copy!But I have no complaints about Zuckenberg and I don’t call him a “f@cking b1tch” in the manner of certain irresponsible FB users.The life experience prompts me that the Mister is nothing but another of showcase dolls like, say… (no! no! no! I haven’t uttered anything of the sort!. it’s not me! and not about Him! never! God give Him health without bounds and now, and forever, and for all His further presidential terms…)
When you don't have a musical ear, you can't really count on the careers of Bach, Van Cliburn or Tatiana Bulanova. More so if you don’t have a voice either, and your feel of tempo fails, at times.But if you do want it? So really badly?Then you download and install Muscore, audacity and other software of your preference, and you buy a $2 plastic microphone used for Skype or Zoom, and you set up a YouTube account named Studio Village.
Haha! Long live the Internet! Hooray YouTu.. what the fuck?! One of the numbers produced by painful efforts of all the Studio staff does not download…Not a big deal for a seasoned Internet user here, you just contact the support service and, on exchanging 2-3-4 mails, you figure out the sequence of buttons to be pushed to get to where you should type in some shit or another. Smart boy! You have built up one more muscle in understanding software materiel!
But on YouTube, such numbers simply do not work, to won the right of contacting the support service, please present 1000 subscribers to your channel.Who do they think I am? Damn Bach? Or fucking Tatiana Bulanova?Okay (to quote the locomotive rumbling over Anna Karenina), take it easy…
However, when that same YouTube wiped out one of the Studio's artifacts because by that my anti-war number I violated the rules of the YouTube Community, it wafted a pretty familiar stink.
HEYAA!. WELCOME! ZERO ON YOUR PASTIME AT THE GLOBCAMP!(Persons of different orientations, are requested to use applicable entry gates by pressing appropriate buttons:[|_ Twitter |_]: (tweet your chirp!),[|_ LinkedIn |_]: (your glorious career just a button-click off!),[|_ Instagram |_]: (You! Are! So! Beautiful! To you!!),[|_ Tik-Tok |_]: (fik-fuck-fec & pookie-lookie!),see more…)
Nothing doing, I made a U-turn from the U-tube gate and deployed the anti-war copy on, while that platform had not yet been bought out by Google for the global edification of shepherded communities.(For those over-keen and quick-witted, I admit:1) yes, the first 4 lines in the opus were stolen from the film “Two Comrades At Their Hitch” (1968); and2) no, the number was uploaded to Vimeo March 17, 2019, 3 years before the Special Operation of Russia against Ukraine.)
Another social network, discovered later on, called themselves LitProm, A Dutiful Guard of Spirituality on the Internet.Well, I registered to see their standpoint on spirituality and who they defend it from: from the base bestiality raising its head more and more? or they man prison towers with the machine guns turned to cover the inside perimeter?.Bro! It’s more than crystal clear there! Admire the Union of Writers of the USSR in a fresh present-wrapping a-spangle!.And no need to flex your detectivity. They boast of it! Heedlessly.But if their Head (Chairman) is a proxy of the President in his appoint-oneself-to-the-post elections, there is no need for deeper checking – a natural All-Union Union, for you.
And here comes a sigh, of its own accord, from my broken heart full of grief – Oh, no! The State Committee for Emergency Situation was never down and out. All of them, our dear feathered friends, are alive and kicking, clack-clacking and hopping, both they and the rest of the gang: the Kremlin Dreamer, drunk on the blood of Romanov family’s children, and the Kremlin Ghoul, who drove the multimillion classes to their execution as the elements incongruent with the socialist mass happiness, foreseen in hypotheses of theorists of Marxism and rote-learned by practitioners from the murderous Communist Party, and shiny-shit-loving Leonid Ilych, and the following mummies, each and everyone of them are here, smugly embedded in the Barbie Doll approved by the nomenclature Quality Check Department, licked up with tongues of silver by proxies from the Union of Writers…
It’s only that now, for democracy’s sake, they use any rude obscenity they’re aware of, and by them a comment does not count as such without foul-mouthing in the style of pimply ignorant teenagers.To be frank, all of us are scions of our teenage goonness, but for some reason my nostalgia cuts off at bullies from vocational schools.Abrupt and unaccountably.
And now, a bunch of grown-up men (by their looks) yet without a clue that the frowned-at slang of Maht is the innermost essence of the language at large, which requires the most careful handling and correct presentation to let all the facets of Maht’s associative connotations properly do their job.No off-hand handling here!In order for a raw vulgarism to shine as it should, it sometimes needs to be preceded by no less than half a page of thick-set text.Do you remember those mornings of Louis #14 entering his Royal chicken coop of a court?‘His Majesty… Maht!’ and the usher fucking the floor with the fucking pole in his hands…
And what’s more (here lies the subtlest trick of a master stroke), the Maht-word itself should sound without superfluous pathos, sincerely and (you might even say) in a homy way by which a compatriot will be felt immediately, in the speaker.Take, for instance, the ubiquitous "f*cked up", turned a sheer truism already by its everyday use, while more often than not "f*cked vertically" would serve the purpose much better!And a whale of other similarly useful finesses that will make of you the soul of a party and always welcome guest…
But no! For the guardian machine-gunners at LitProm, all this is a sealed-and-too-deep-buried scroll.Stupidly, basely, pick they up shoddy patterns from each other by the "copy-paste" method, not able to comprehend with their heads screwed up the wrong way that their ‘limp dicks hang like a drenched hearse wreath’, citing the classic.
Alas! we’re in a deep sh*thole where the language pearls are dealt with by swine! Like those shibzdiks behind the row of sheet-iron car sheds, lining to suck at the cigarette stolen by Vovchik from his elder sister, and droning monotonously:'I say, pussy-ass, ain’t we, pussy-ass, cool, huh?''Yep! Pussy-ass! We, pussy-ass, are shocking!'
The pussy-assers memorized without grasping what’s that all about…Poet Mayakovski was who did truly face-off shocking at his concerts. He would hang the grand piano by its legs over the stage, and lay up a tea-table with a samovar beneath it, and—who could guess?—starts drinking tea together with his buddies at that table until the most smart from the bewildered public stops gaping and tries at expressing their dissatisfaction, to which Vladimir Vladimirych (no! no! no! I’m not aiming at the Chairmanship, it just coincided!), without particularly bothering to look back over his shoulder into the hall and even almost without delving into what, specifically, the complaints were about, thundered the diagnosis from the samovar council: “You’re a fool yourself!”.(Which is hard to deny remembering the ticket paid for.)Eeeh! Folks knew how to showdown shockingly before the Bolshevik revolution…
No, I don’t argue, at LitProm there also happen those kissed by the divine Muse in their domes, who it is pleasant to discover, but the bulk of the rest drudge on creaking their uniform harness belts, scratching pens, indistinguishable from any other poop on their creative work floor, and when their superior, the Chairman Deputy, deigns to poop a piece of his memoirs out, like, how at the premiere of the horror film “Alien-12”, he shitted his jeans (sic! he swore on his mother’s grave!), then all the scribble-groupies lap up while it's hot, delightedly, the seasoned connoisseurs and gourmets: “Ah! how, pussy-ass, poignant!”—“yes, yes! so, pussy-ass, refreshing!”—“Wow! pussy-ass! some fullest pussy-ass!”
Still would! the most burning memory from the young years of the Turn-key, except for the bumblebee biting their pussy-ass, however, the Chairman Deputy has not yet shared that one…In short, they kicked me out of that almshouse after 3 weeks, although I didn’t use a single taboo word there.Or maybe that's why?
. . . . .And the presence of the electricity (yes, there happened blackouts, but not for long – a day or two, no more than four, and on such days by the candlelight I toasted to ArtsakhEnergo (which somehow excused breaks in electricity supplying. Besides, the crazy blizzard was not their responsibility), combined with the presence of my desktop PC, prompted me to recall the longly-delayedThe Rascally Romance, which I diligently set about.Preface to the 2nd Edition ofThe Rascally Romance“… A couple of years ago, some incomprehensible affliction beset me, several times a day I turned off completely, fainted regardless of the place and time: in the kitchen, in the yard, on the steps of the stairs climbing up to the entrance door… then I slowly floated back out of nowhere, pulled me up from the recumbent position, and tried to live on.So I suffered for three-four days, and on September 1, as a law-abiding teacher, I made my way to the teacher's room at school in our village, but instead of “hello! congratulations!” I could say only:“Take me to the District Center Hospital or I’ll die.”
One and a half weeks under the IV drips in the Lachin Hospital helped me put my feet upon the ground and surely persuaded of the risk of leaving the novel (the idea of which had been brewed up for more than a decade) unwritten; and it would be a pity.Such preconditions brought about the first online publication of the work completed in a little over a year. Later, while working at translation of the stuff into English (to leave such a material to the vagaries of political course changes would be a sin), I saw that some parts in the Russian version were written post-haste, barely indicating the details with a sloppy blueprint dashes in the feverish style of dastardly storming the job – o! not to be late! only not to be late!
And so, in irksome shame for the hurriedly over-looked blunders, I had to sit down for the next (I swear – the last!) edition ofThe Rascally Romance.As for the original plot and arrangement of components, there are no objections—you can’t twist cooler something bent so dashingly—and the work was mainly carried out about placing right words where they belong, in a nutshell – editing the style.It’s like going over a finished product with a piece of sandpaper (for those who understand what it’s about, and the rest are only able to “jingle their precious pendants of nano-pebbles” (J. Lennon from Liverpool) or simply “click-clack their fucking balls” (V. Kaverin from Konotop)).Seems like that's it.Bye!2018-10-28The future clearly proved my perjured, perfidious nature.But then, who's never sinned?* * *
Bottle #36: ~We’ll Catch On And Out-Hollywood ‘Em! ~"But why indeed?" thought Inokenty the next morning, “or, rather, what exactly do they find in that smoking? Besides, on so all in, enthusiastically massive level?."
It was impossible to ask Maya for the information straight from the horse’s mouth, because she was taking a shower, and from behind the bathroom door there sounded a springy swish of water in duo with her cheerful whistling – Maya's inseparable habit in the moments when she rubbed her sides. Yes, she could soap the sponge in silence, but its touch to her body triggered off all sorts of warbles and trills in supreme improvisations of unheard virtuoso pieces (never repeating themselves). This her quality delighted Inokenty who could not stand clammy deviations from the familiar classic numbers thanks to his absolute musical ear in the first half of the day.
For some stretch of a while he continued thinking on down that path, despite the obvious lack of factual evidence for his speculations-in-progress concerning the subject. Eventually, Inokenty took out a cigarette from Maya's jeans so as to experimentally convince himself that he was right, for which purpose he went out onto the balcony and lit it, the cigarette.
Visually, the smoke looked rather interesting if not getting into the eyes, however, the cigarette’s taste only accrued the unbiased negativism of the experimenter's attitude.Consequently, most of the research material, not subjected yet to the test in hand, had to be disposed of into the ashtray (originally, a half-liter glass container for pickled cucumbers), that long since lost the sticker from its side, grown dim and misty, somehow becoming one with the iron rods planted along the three edges of the rectangular balcony, enclosing its narrow perimeter with the wooden handrail beam run at the blind intestine level in an individual of average hight to connect the rods' tops.
Then he briefly followed the evolutionary warps in a lonely cloud, exactly in the center of the otherwise empty sky, in toto, from where, by a perfectly pure chance and all the way unconsciously, he dropped his gaze down past the seventh floor balcony he stood onto.The sight unfolding there alerted Inokenty sharply.
From two black vehicles pulled-up by the entrance to the tower-block, emitted two groups of people in black onto the black asphalt in the road.His well-trained eye of a gamester instantly identified (notwithstanding so plumb sheer view perspective from the standpoint of his observation) the black-colored uniform of Don's slobs.Their master obviously decided not to wait till ten o'clock in the evening, when expired the period let Inokenty for making his mind. Don unilaterally had changed that of his own, the treacherous bastard of a criminal boss.
Inokenty’s reflections on the unfolding disembarkation came to a screeching halt. He dropped the subject altogether, and returned to the room where Maya was already in her white terry bathrobe and freshly damp black curls, after the shower.
"Time to fade into the woodwork, babe," Inokenty’s voice sounded tense and decisive.Getting it at a breakneck speed, abruptly threw she her white bathrobe off her naked body sending that deliciously seductive waft of Palmolive gel aroma around, pulled on her jeans, and sneakers, and the blouse, which she decided on at the third try from the closet in the corner, then hung her bag over her shoulder.
"42 seconds," he summed up with a brisk glance at the face in the round wall clock, “meet the Navy SEAL standard. Let's move it, kitty."
Out on the landing, she locked the door to keep the pursuers by that obstacle for at least a couple of seconds.From the luminous board by the elevator door, "2" winked at them and got swallowed by "3".Wasting not a single word, the alarmed pair tapped their shortened steps in the precipitated run down the stairs.One flight of stairs, another, the next floor, still ano…
Inokenty stopped and stood rooted to the spot, his arm held aloft in a wordless warning.Maya stopped close nigh as if frozen into a lovely figure beneath his armpit open at the level of her forehead under the unspeakably cute crisp curls thanks to the triple-action shampoo for all types of hair, from that same Palmolive brand line.From the stair flights below came the discordant clicks of footfalls of right smart feet.
Casting a feverish look around, they simultaneously detected a door ajar for the sliver of a crack, aluminum number 50 stood out in its peeling-off paint-coat.Thitherward!
In the room after the hallway, the black tenant muttered from a corner in displeasure:"Nothin’ wrong done nor intended! Fixin’ primus stoves up, me here!"
"Come on, Behemoth!" retorted Maya impatiently. "We’re no CheKa operatives, see? Packin’ no Mauser heat!"Inokenty took a closer look at what turned out to be a black cat of glossy smooth hair and unusual height for a felid.
"Maya!" purred the black beast. "Nice sniff. Switched over to Palmolive? Beyond the kitchen window runs the fire escape. Y'all don't step into the milk bowl on the windowsill!". . . . .Once on the ground by the back side of the building, they turned into the nearest squalid lane making for the busy street.The unsuspecting stream of pedestrians flowed meandering along the sidewalk, bypassing, skirting, and dodging those who stomped in the counter direction…
"Wait! Oh, shit!" Maya stopped all at once, although rooted not as deeply as Inokenty a little back. "But we, me and Minnie, arranged meeting at 10 am by the dry pear!"
"No time for that, Maya! They’ll be stalking the streets.""This is pressing, hon! Oh, please! Minnie's aunt will be waiting.". . . . .The girlfriend was pacing around the appointed place without ever sitting down onto Chris’ bench:"Late as always! Look alive! Aunt’s slot isn’t of rubber, you know."
… But here they are already, all three of them walk obviating the indistinct hum and echoes in the obviously health-caring corridor, as evidenced by the number of medically donned employees among the interloping visitors.
Minnie knocked on the white door, from behind which there peeked out the good-natured black face of Afro-American origin beneath the fancily shaped barrette partly buried, not unlike an iceberg in the ocean waves, in her crispy high ‘Afro’ hairstyle."Morning, Angela! Aunt Davis here yet?""Yep, ma'am."
"My fingers crossed for you," Minnie explained to Maya, and stroked her shoulder reassuringly with two short braids she had managed to swiftly plait of her right hand digits while accepting from her friend (though it was not an easy task with the fingers crabbily laced as promised) the straps of her shoulder bag.On handing over her luggage to her friend, Maya meaningfully knocked on the wood in the door and disappeared behind it.
"And then… well… there… hum… like… what?" asked Inokenty."Ultrasound," Minnie’s answer was marked by the unfakeably talented brevity…
Unable to hide her emotion neither behind nor in between the features of her face, Maya appeared back from the office.Sweeping aside the inquires of her girlfriend with a slight flip of her chin (the no less questioning gaze of Inokenty took two more), she explained: "Not now!"
For her, the child of raw facts of real life whose bringing up has taken not a village but the slums of their whole hood, the growing heat of their situation was obvious and felt in full, by lock, stock and bottom ('barrel', actually, but there's no time to be too picky) – time was running out, making herself scarce was the must or, still better, taking off to some place away from the professional killers of the Mafia Don with his asinine past and there, if possible, to lie down and deep too, and not betray her whereabouts by excessive gurgling…
The grim forebodings did not deceive her, at the exit from the health-curing (shut up with your orthopedic orphograffiti here! you, sissy purist!) facilities there stood four slobs, both in a row and in black, clutching the heats under their ulsters.
"Oh Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" discharged Minnie the round burst outta her trembling lips, trying to squeeze herself deep into the unyielding hardness of the vestibule wall.The magic invocation she had chosen for the purpose didn't work, obviously so.The girlfriend's bag slipped from her interwoven fingers onto the floor.
Maya instantly grabbed her accessory up, clutched the blue sleeve of her swain’s frock coat, shouted “Run, Kenty! Run!", and dragged him along, flickering the brand of Nike on her sneakers…From a gurney on its wheeled slender legs that accidentally turned up in their dash, used as it was by the seller in the refreshment room of the medical institution for snacks transportation, Inokenty snatched an elegantly shaped bottle with the alluring sticker ‘Coca-Cola’…
They rushed into the elevator and managed to find and slam the right button. The high-speed contraption rocketed up. The asynchronous burst of rounds by belated killers spilling their clips at the shut door left not a single dent in the the shining surface under the boilerplate of Zongzing Limited, the famous producer of bulletproof steel.
The pursuers wiped the sweat off their foreheads and, followed by the thirsted gaze and empathetic dry gulps of the witnesses to both the incident and the quality of the latest product by Zongzing Limited, quaffed their Coca-Cola, which they managed to pocket from the gurney on the go, without slowing down the tempo of the chase (the pros know how to keep their colors flying), in the previous dash, like racing Formula Ones—wzz!. wzhh!. wzz!. wzhh!.—past the gape in the bartender's olive-skin mug, before they opened their useless gunfire, if anyone still remembers…
The lovers ran out to the roof of a high-rise building.Nearby, midst the herd of roof ventilators battery of Riseenconvert (Thailand) production, with increasing retardation, the blades of a helicopter that had just landed between them, were turning. Chop-chooop-choooop…
Maya's Dad bouncer briskly jumped out from the flying machine sporting (as always) a weighty hammer under his belt, followed by Don and a couple of his slobs in black."Because you can’t jump higher than the ass of the housing and communal services," Don chuckled with a businesslike mockery and, turning to the sadist bouncer from the bar “You’ll Get It”, added:"Come on, you know the procedure!"
With his well-trained obsequiousness, the senile bodybuilder yanked his hammer out from under the leather in his belt.
Maya and Inokenty hugged goodbye each other.The chances were too slim in any direction. They’re out-forced but nothing would ever force them out of love. Two intensely hot stares merged and melted, each in the eyes opposite, full of love in return, respectively. Anything else ceased to exist…
The incestuous home raper swiftly tapped his hammer, nailing a wide board with the dextrality of long-standing skill. The board’s other end stuck out from the roof into the void of air-filled nothingness. A bridge to Nowhere…
"I love you, sweetheart!" admitted Inokenty. "You’re better than Island!""Ai luv yoo tuu, moi Kenty! Ahhh how yoo luv Ai! Liyk nevir befour in moi liyff!" The inimitable Russian sad sensuality pervaded Maya's response.
Viciously gnashing his vile teeth, by the final blow of the hammer, the full of rage jock instead of the nailhead fucked his own thumb.Whining and yelling, the bouncer shoved the victimized digit up into his armpit and, hopping on his feet in turn, one after the other as if in front of a locked toilet door, when the beer rips the bladder fucking open, he stumbled over the ledge and dropped off the roof with an evenly fading hoot.
"Finita la comedia," commented Don, whose title obliged him lately to enroll in a Sicilian-Sardinian dialect course online. "Nothing personal, but I’ve got to be getting back to my business, so you, lovebirds, take a walk along the plank, as dictates the beautiful ancient tradition in the Caribbean. Oldies but goodies, so to say."The muzzles of two glinting barrels rose menacingly…
Nike sneakers kept slowly shuffling farther and farther overboard, athwart the swaying plank, followed—closely behind—by the possum moccasins, until they—ah!—slipped off, both pairs, in a synchronous slither…
"Fuck that Button," Inokenty had a couple of split seconds to think through the whistle of air ripped up by their joint fall, all ready to get flattened by the too rough landing at hand, after the next cleft seconds. He hugged Maya tighter than before and mentally confessed to himself:"That’s who I need, but you, Button… (and the end of his farewell thought he shouted out loud – obscenely, vulgarly, rudely) …'FUCK YOURSELF!’"……………………………………looks like this here hell is crammed to the utmost, it’s worse than even inside Peccy (thought Inokenty), yet the darkness here is as pitch black as hers…
"… eeeee!" atiny pitiful squeak was heard, but for him it sounded somewhat familiar."Maya? You?"“…eeeyeah…”
Anxious not to take deep breaths, so as not to pressurize Maya, packed too tightly upon him, Inokenty thought—in hectic leaps and bounds—Peccy, as it seemed was able to intake even two, if you use the correct Word of Control… but better get out of her right away and stop straining poor thing by the unbearable pressure from this double overload."ESCAPE, Peccy! ESCAPE, my one and only!"In response, familiarly clicked the valve and the lid slowly moved up, normally…
Inokenty accepted Maya's bag for her to conveniently fall out thru the gap, and to walk over the beach sand in an unsteady, cramped style of gait.He was looking after the prettily rounded seat in her Levi's jeans, before to squeeze through after her, when his side sensed a strange vibration in the bag pressed with his elbow to the ribs.
His hand dived inside the bag to unwrap from a neat package there a ticking iPhone, that switched over to the final beeps of infernal machine bomb from Hollywood action flicks.In a snap, was Inokenty thru the gap, rushing after Maya at the lightning speed leaps of a cheetah, yet feeling that he wouldn’t make it, the last meters he flew like a swimmer who had thrown himself into the water with his arms outstretched.Reached out.They rolled together over the sand exactly at the moment of a deafening explosion.
Maya shook off the grains of sand stuck to the corner of her lips and asked:"What was that?""Your iPhone.""I don't have no iPhone.""No more, but there was a pink iPhone in a green purse."The lips corners parted open, turning her mouth into a charming "O"…
She stood up next to him, who watched sorrowfully the bunch of white uneven shards – all that remained there of Peccy, then moved his stare to the blackened stump left of a palm tree trunk rooted nearby…. . . . .As they approached the hut, Maya suddenly remembered:"And at the ultrasound they told me it’s a boy. I know already what name to give him—Gautama. And which one would you like?"
"I would like Yegor, in honor of Peccy, but it can wait, I know you’re stubborn."With those words, like the prize to the winner, he handed her a bottle miraculously survived in the blue pennants of tatters. The dash in the compound name of the brandy drink squinted invitingly from the sticker…
And the scarecrow in the jacket bleached by the heat, behind the hedge of dry stones, breathed a sigh of relief, but refrained from smiling, anyway there’s nowhere further to smile if you have the slit of a mouth in the style ofThe Man Who Laughs(the blockbuster in the making)…To the sounds of innocent rock from the half-forgotten childhood:‘Drop attending school, hey, kids!Coca-Cola is all…(hush! hush!)—(and already in a whisper)…one needs!’from the bottom up, thru the cannabis thicket floated the final credits higher and higher…* * *
Bottle #37: ~Set Up For Eternal Reiterating ~Aram was reverences itself, always addressed me with honorific "Uncle Syrozh" and he asserted hotly that that never even heard my village handle "Tsogl", though to my face they did not call me that.To counter his hyper-politeness, I hold back my dislike of his adding volume in tries to sound more convincing, which gives out folks not really certain of themselves.
However, visiting my turf on that day, he was unusually quiet and in our usual run of the rehash of village news, just to add another detail or an afterthought, like, what a sore asshole was that new Chairman of Community Council (who, actually, lived in Lachin City, yet neatly listed there as a resident in one of 3 neighboring villages that constituted our community), how many calves were slaughtered by wolves the day before, at Ambo's turn of shepherding and now he was to repair the damage with his, as well as the news in the nearest villages—Aram wore a sort of inexplicable half-smile and, when he switched over to inquires of my future plans: what structure was I to build next, and how many liters of alcohol were already stocked in the basement cell, I even felt some leniency in him, towards me…Some uncanny conceited aloofness. As if he already knew…
That morning Emma got up early and not at 11 am, as was her habit on Sundays, and she stood in the yard when there started these strange “thumps”.She was standing on the porch in the sun and knew it already, but still unwilling to guess, she asked her mother, and Satenic, with a hardened look in her face, replied:"This is war, Emma."
Stepanakert was being bombarded…Mom told Emma to go down to the basement under the kitchen.
Crazed cars rushed along the streets, heedless of the color in traffic lights.People were running in all directions, screaming. Where? Who to?
Clouds of dust and smoke were rising into the blue sky.The third Karabakh war went off.
A month and a half of the strange war.The war of drones against the legendary Kalashnikov assault rifles.
A war in which generals gave orders to leave the fortified area and withdraw the military personnel."Well, the commanders should know, eh? Probably, some clever maneuver. For strategy’s sake."Then they were thrown to attack at the surrendered positions. Fortified. Until there was no force left to throw to attack.And after, the Prime Minister shared the titles of Heroes of Nation, to the generals. For the precise execution of their combat duty…
A Colonel handled Qyokha, as stubborn as a Karabakh donkey, by his obstinacy made the Prime Minister call him directly, to which phone call the headstrong Colonel replied:"Send me a written order."
So unrefined, indecorous a boor. No manners…Qyokha never received any order from the Commander-in-Chief and was ignored throughout the war in which he didn’t retreat a meter. However, neither became he a Hero of Nation…
Two battalions were positioned in the open field to defend the approaches to Stepanakert.There they stayed for one third of the war, not even having shovels to dig trenches. Short of water supply. No food except for packaged pasta.Drones flew over their heads loaded with cluster bombs for the city, never dropped anything at the idling force.Lucky SOB's…
While on the other, far-off edge of the war, four days and nights a detail were lying in a dugout, never leaving it, suffocating in the stench, their own and of their comrades-in-arms'.Those bitchy drones with infrared rays, even at night were they capable of figuring out from the posture of a soldier on his haunches that there was a dugout at hand…
The war, in which the Armenian Army did not take part, leaving the RMK Army (40% of which were conscripts drafted in the Republic of Armenia) and the local reservists to stand against the combined Azerbaijani-Turkish-Israeli-Syrian-Tunisian military efforts and, in the same breath, to report to Yerevan, to execute strategic directives from there…
The war, which, when mentioned in TV and radio news, made faces of Yerevan citizens tighten and darken, and look back at all those bill-board pictures of boys in camouflage fatigues decorating the city thoroughfares above the streams of traffic thronging along.Pretty boys from the army of Republic of Armenia against the backdrop of viewy, conceptual landscapes.
And the picture of one soldier without views screened completely by the flames thrown up from the firing gun behind his back, his mouth open to save his eardrums. He was as young as them, those war propaganda models, that boy named Albert, however, in the picture he looks a strangely ageless, timeless soldier with his cheeks and uniform coat blown out by the air concussion at the discharge. The citizens did not know that Albert had been long since blown up by a drone together with his howitzer gun, and Yerevan City continued to live as before, for the majority of its population Mountainous Karabakh remained as unknown backcountry as for Moscow citizens was Sapozhok District in the Ryazan Region, except for those whose sons were at their hitch in the RMK Army of Self-Defense…
The progressively informed world community were full of indignation regarding that war, in between two slurps of Pepsi or beer in front of their monitors, after which they clicked over to the details of the marital life of the singer Googgie or onto the mass grave unearthed in the cellar of the otherwise unremarkable ranch in Texas, while the bulk of the remote control holders had not even switched from their X-sites and live baseball matches…
Members of the KVN* team “Moscow Armenians”, in a jolly group, ran cheerfully out onto the Theater of the Soviet Army (TSA, we keep sacred traditions and names) stage in the games of the 1/4 finals of KVN and an assimilated Jew-Azerbaijani on the jury board, flushed up his grade marks for the wit of their jokes…(*Russian Central Television show-pacifier considered a supreme spring-board for a stand-up comedian career.)
"That’s life, see?" used to repeat my mother-in-law, Emma Arshakovna, while she was still here…
The bloggers who arrived in from Russia (yes, there were some), wearing heavy-duty helmets and bulky body armor, sang from the front-line trenches their praises, full of awe, to the incomparably outstanding human qualities of Armenian Soldier.
A French correspondent on a fleeting visit to the deep rear, not even reaching Karabakh, with his hair strands collected loosely into a debonair knot atop his crown, explained, full of resentment, to his smartphone:“Une putain de maison de fous”…
A few Armenian volunteers from the CIS countries and overseas Diaspora were sent by the Ministry of Defense of Armenia back to their respective places of residence.Those of them who, ignoring MD of RA, still made it to Karabakh, were sent home by the local commanders reporting to Yerevan.The volunteers felt offended and humiliated, however, they stayed alive…
Some outright bad asses, refusing to grasp the requirements of the globally current moment, merged with the local militia of one or another of the villages, managed to temporarily disrupt the plans agreed upon, for a day or two, but then the situation returned to the outlined track…
Who knows, some of the most stubborn might have survived and in 30 years, on their deathbeds, they would say:"Yes, I’ve been there then!"We all remember Mel Gibson's famous pep talk before the Scots lined up for the battle with the out-numbering force of the British enslavers inThe Brave Heart.Some topnotch action movie, right?
Sometimes I think, would all the Roman legions be able to resist a battalion of paratroopers armed with modernized Kalashnikov assault rifles for 45 days?.. . . . .The village emptied out, the younger folks taken to the front, except for Armen, the father of seven kids.The village children (except for those of Armen) were transported to Armenia, the homeland of the Yezznaggomer settlers.Out of 12, life still went on in 3-4 houses.
Briefly, the principal of school appeared, who deserted and arrived in the village to drive his cattle over to Armenia.The cannonade rolled in from the horizon, day by day more and more audible…
Meanwhile, I moved earth with the wheelbarrow to cover the back wall of the workshop shed with an earthen rampart so that the rains would not flood in thru that wall, a not overly urgent task but you have to do something to fill the days up.It was a good wheelbarrow, two-wheeled, homemade 6 years ago. The box of rotten tin rigged for the job was, sure enough, younger.
After the day work I got seated at my desktop PC and translated Pynchon's novel.Well done Thomas, the real thing, decently produced…(
Then Melsik came to visit with a bunch of some home-pickled grass.Not that he avoided eye-contact, he did look into your eyes, but in his stare there was nothing except for some not seeing emptiness.
"In all of the village he respected only you," said he, “so he said.”
Melsik’s Aram’s father.I had rice and bread for dinner. We drank alcohol of double distillation, yet we could not get drunk.
Thirty years ago, in the first war, Melsik was a phedai, and in this one, he arbitrarily came to the artillery unit of a wide-range gun by which Aram fought. Together with his son he was retreating from Fuzuli to Amaras.
It was a good gun, covering up to 20 km, only you couldn’t see where it hit.Once upon a time it partook in the Battle for Berlin firing shells at the Reichstag.In Karabakh, there were only six such guns. Nearby Amaras, the drones finished off the last of them.
Melsik talked calm, evenly, without the slightest emotion.The gun personnel commander allowed him to stay, since his son was there, and the officer even listened to Melsik's advice, but he died anyway.Because they see from above where to hit and how.Of the entire battery personnel, only three troopers survived, one of them Melsik, yet he was not wounded like the other two…
Aram died before his eyes, about a hundred meters off. They were setting the gun up and there banged that blast.
Melsik ran up, began to turn over the corpse of his son, as he had been turning over his comrades-phedais thirty years ago.Two fragments killed Aram, one through the heart, the second through the temple to the neck. Probably, he didn't have time to feel anything…
The night is nearing. The kitchen windows wide open. Melsik sits haggard-faced, his eyes are empty.He lists the mistakes in tactics and strategy. That when the civilians were evacuated out of Hadrut City, there remained nothing to fight for, no one to protect.
A column of empty buses came from Armenia and Komandushchi (yes, that same one) shouted thru a megaphone for people to get on.The Prime Minister sent him as a representative who’d be listened to.
"Just as Turks fled from us in that war, so now we are from them, there are too manyKalashassault rifles dropped on the roadsides."
Melsik took his 33-year-old son and buried him in his native village (he did not know that the village was planned to be handed over), then he came to Yezznaggomer to drive Aram's cattle to Armenia, where his widowed daughter-in-law, Amest, had already gone to with both of her preschool kids.
The next morning he told me that the capitulation had been signed at midnight…
Three days later I took a hot bath in the tin hut (of thermically isolated walls) and left Yezznaggomer at 10.17 am.The door I did not lock, so that the marauders would not break it in vain. Still, a "euro" door brought over 100 km from Stepanakert, pity the thing.
On the two-wheeled wheelbarrow I cinched a sack with sweaters that my daughters and Satenic once knitted for me, also a backpack with a one-liter container of absinthe and a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans and a pack of cookies.Atop of everything else was fastened the guitar. All other belongings were left behind, even the Solzhenitsyn's three-volume work with his autograph.
And I had already managed to distribute alcohol away in the village. The things of halidom should be disposed of in awe and deferential devotion. And in time.
So, with a light heart and not too heavy a wheelbarrow, moved I forward without looking back, past the house of Anna and Armen, which was built only a year ago on grants from the Diaspora because of their seven children.Armen was still dismantling tin corrugated boards and roof beams for taking them over to Armenia to his kids already evacuated there…
Over the pass to west from the Ishkhana-Sar mount, at 3.48 pm next day, already without the wheelbarrow, but still grabbing the sack, the backpack and the guitar, I entered the empty dormant lobby of the Sisian City Hall (Armenia) with a big square clock on the wall. 47 km away from Yezznaggomer.On the way, Satenic called, scolded me for being inaccessible 4 days already. She said that our village and all of the Lachin District had been surrendered by the capitulation and I shouldn’t sit and wait for Turks there, they would not ask my nationality…
Two days later, at still young night, I arrived in Stepanakert by taxi from Yerevan via Vardenis, before the peacekeepers handed that highway over to Azerbaijan (as arranged) and got astonished by the lack of destruction in the city. In the main street, for example, only one store was smashed and burnt out, not a single government building was damaged in the downtown.
Everything went on as agreed upon. In Shushi, on the heights above the city, the Azerbaijani army, in Stepanakert – peacekeepers' vehicles sporting jolly tricolors.By the City Hall, to the noisy queues of retirement-aged civilians they fork out refugee rations from the Red Cross—cereals, pasta, confiture, toothbrushes, 2 kg of flour, 2 cans of beef stew per a cardboard box.
Only one fragment of a cluster bomb fell into the backyard of the house, which turned 25 years old.Yet, that bitchy contraption of a bomb is designed so that its fragments explode too, on and on, into smaller buckshot.
The glass in the bedroom window got shot through as if by a bullet and one sheet of the corrugated slate in the roof got broken, so I had to fix it with a patch on silicone glue…
Ode to Sensitivity Numbness
By and large, they were on the march to defend their Motherland, because each of them was a Soldier and God was with each of them …
Well, specifically, they had a combat mission to climb the hill, gain a foothold there and prevent the forward movement of the advancing enemy forces. So, on they went, upward, in a march column, united by the common mission, one and the same goal.
However, while climbing up, under their individual helmets, there spun personal thoughts or, rather, some fragments of thoughts, by each one his own, about what a handsome goal Barcelona scored in that game, the sock in the right boot should be neaten tighter otherwise the bitch will rub the foot to bleeding, to tell the younger brother to look well after the horse, but that girl from the parallel class at the prom, in her pink blouse, really beautiful and gave a kinda personal smile, like, in a grown-up way, a sort of…
Each about his own, but outwardly only heavy abrupt breaths, almost hoarse wheezing, is heard, yours and of your comrades.
So they marched and did not know that the cup with coffee grounds at the bottom had already been set aside and the fingertips habitually lay on the slippery back of the mouse in the monotonous calmness of the control room, wrapped into the cozy even hum of computer technology…The drone in the sky left the stand-by position and followed the given course to drop a cluster bomb…
They did not complete their combat mission, they died on the march. All of the platoon. 25 people…
Later the parents will post photos of their boys in soldier uniforms on Facebook*.‘Help find the missing person’.Only in vain. Everyone who knew him lay around in riddled camouflage with patches darker than the darkest khaki, jagged holes torn in helmets.All of the platoon…
Thoughts are gone, the sock does not bother anymore, the bay horse Booyan crunches the faded grass of autumn, Barcelona runs out to train, a beautiful girl, not in a pink blouse, without a smile, enters the subway car, the operator hands over the shift to his partner…
More and more often I am accused of callous heartlessness. I hope this is true: I have strangled out the empathy secreting organ in me, otherwise my heart would have burst long ago.
But still, even so, by the end of a day, it feels squeezed nastily…
Forgive me, boys—let, after all, at least someone will ask… just because at least a single one should… beg you for forgiveness…
DC WDB(Displaced Civilian in the War of Doomed Boys)
(*Facebook is an allegedly terrorist organization, its activities banned on the territory of the Russian Federation.)* * *
Bottle #38: ~Consolation By Means Of Philosophy ~(A rather cozy though, at certain junctures, pretty screwed up interior of the study of a semi-middle-aged philosopher who has long since dropped out of giving a fuck about all that shit, however, the bookcase still emits the dull gleam of the golden embossing in the volumes’ spines.
The stout table is flanked on both sides by a pair of chairs created by the full of divine afflatus chisel of Chippendale, a cabinetmaker from conscientious London artisans.
On the bare tabletop, a Chinese cheep counterfeit of Anthony van Leeuwenhoek's microscope, which did open our eyes to the surrounding microbial world about us. Two or three Parisian nick-knacks for nonchalant amusements of a loner are casually dropped upon a pile of clippings from forgotten newspapers seen thru the press at the times of storming the fortress of Ochakov and consequent alienation of the Crimea.
From under that mess there hangs an engraving over the edge of the table – a Playboy poster from about the last decade of the 18th century. The caption grabs attention by use of those izhitsa and yat letters from the obsolete, pre-revolutionary spelling, and fills a long, fluffy, sausage-like cloud that hovers over a juicy lady who stands in profile on all fours atop of a trough fretted to chips by constant usage—her hoop-skirt crumpled and tacked up her laborious vertebral column, the corset flung open in the frank negligee of a suburban slut—runs: "And only by tireless handwork wilt thou come and reach the goal of thine striving!”
A tall bottle of dark glass, lacking its cork, stilled in a motionless round-dance along with a pair of glasses, one of which is empty.
The philosopher himself stands with his butt pushed chillily into the unlit fireplace to the right of the tall double-leaf door. In thoughtful silence he strokes the dimple, which looks like a pea print lost in the three-day stubble over his upper lip.
The unpretentiously quilted dressing gown is casually bound up over his hips with a tasseled waistband. The brocade in his attire is pretty worn, the diamonds patterned by the stitches in quilt seams bear occasional marks of encrusted spatters of coffee dried up with the flow of time, and irregular spills of sperm, crusted as well.
The head of the thinker is wrapped tightly in a long strip of cheap Turkish-made waffle towel, also in smears and smudges suggestive of smutty stimulation.
The philosopher's visitor, Count Nulin, who’s recently returned to the smokes of the kurnaya izbas of his Fatherland from the Heidelberg University, is sitting on Chip's chair, since Dale's chair is occupied by a peacefully dormant brown dachshund of a woeful fate, as evidenced by the bald rubbed-out spots in her short hair.The shaggy mutton chop of the guest naively tries at concealing his absent ear’s stump, cut clear off by the rapier in a student duel.)
Nulin: (Hotly) But what’s after?!.
Charsky: (Leaves his dimple alone.) Why, my dearest, you still haven't touched your glass. And utterly in vain so. Some highly recommended drink, I promise you. As forwarded by our forthcoming classic, "Though the swill reeks it’s not meant for dogs’ dicks…"
(The quote is interrupted by the heart-rending howl of the dachshund all at once burst into life on Dale's chair.)
Mimi, dear, you’re as always at ready with your unasked for censorship.
Nulin: (With his ardor unabated for a sliver of a notch.) Yes, but a continuation?!.
Charsky: (After waiting until Mimi has scratched all of her nude spots in turn and fallen asleep again.) Ah, so that’s what’s put you on the prod… well, it will undoubtedly follow. Fan fiction scribblers are constantly alerted to ride whoever’s coattails, you throw a gnawed bone at the jerks and they will blow it up into a balloon of three-season sequel…
Nulin: (Instructively) Oh, come on, fan fiction practices are by no means and not at all the belles-lettres, sublime examples of which we find in our, albeit not adequately washed yet Fatherland.
Charsky: Oho, my friend, you have not a little been warped into a nostalgic boob by that punky honky-dory Germany! I'll bet my bottom ruble, Sir, you have arrived back an all-round Slavophile. He-he… But as our homespun Westerners will twit you, ‘chirp up and check my titbit on Fri eve slews of lols’…We all, as condescends to note the literary berserk VB, got spilt out fromThe Greatcoatby Mykola Gogol, and here I would most modestly attach an aside – the picnic lasted not for long. Sad yet true, with the works of Michal Afanasych the Russian Literature, as such, came to expire their final breath.
The literary throne sees now the endless parade of one-night-stand Pretenders’ arses, hears the self-instructive slurring slurps on how to piss the marital bed over and be pleased as Punch, witnesses the mournful efforts of sophomore seminarians at labors to convey the shades of best-selling garbage on the global podium of mass consumption products, and nothing more for observation in our entire firmament.
Nulin:(Haughtily)Gogol – Bulgakov? From an impotent to a morphine addict? And that's that? Harsh is your verdict, Sir!. Besides, both of them waft off a surely pro-Ukrainian sniff… Why, in the light of growing vigilance and further rancid metamorphosis at the court of Their Imperial… you here run into the risk, deducible by a naked eye, of getting your hide branded for Voltairianism.
Charsky: If afraid of cute young ladies in muslin-wear, the playboy has to grow hair on his balls before attending balls…And, as regards your innuendos to the recreational preferences of the great ones, then, Sir, such remarks are nothing but a sleeve stitched aloft the cunt, to voice the sage adage of my saddler. The man, a propos, is a pro in the like matters.…
After all, we, by and large, don’t give an eff about the color of the horse pulling the cart of firewood, we’re interested in the cargo. Discussions of the skin-deep properties of a chance intermediary supplier are good only for idle gossips in the lackey room. Let’s not create clay-legged idols nor boys for whipping. The culmination crowning the strain in defecation labors makes us all equal to each other, regardless of confession or race, or shifty whimsicalities in sex orientation, and equals us to any other living thing from any of one-cell transparent protozoans up to our classmates in the class of mammals.
Ben we none but only humus, a fallow field for the growth of the conductor, through whom spirituality beth brought down to our vale.Where from?The question is too transcendental.Who’s the wright?Over-combinatorial for an answer.Let us take comfort in at least knowing through whom, not unlike the quivering shimmer of St. Elmo lights in the St. Vitus dance, descendeth spirituality to us.
And keep it marked as ineffaceable as the stars configuration in Ursa Major that wagoners are not creators. They are just drivers who turned up in the right place at the right moment equipped with a draft horse and a sturdy cart suitable for the purpose. But the preferences of the Messrs. Drivers themselves have nothing to do with the goods transported. Otherwise, given the enlightened age of homotoleration running nowadays so very high, the flood ofThe Swan Lakeswould have surpassed the aggregate capacity of the Baikal Lake and the Caspian Sea, andThe Nutcrackers’ quantities would suffice for a life-size copy of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station. Which phenomenon we do not note as of yet…
(Charsky thoughtfully approaches the chair with prostrate Mimi, picks the tip of her tail and hoists, but after a brief glance in the guest’s direction, changes his mind and scratches the bald spot in her hide instead. The bitch, without ever waking up, purrs like a cat on heat, a kinda feline transvestite.)
And, while speaking of music… You must have heard already how at the ball thrown by the Yusupstein-Rurikurgantotskys that our notorious rogue… What’s his name again? The family name of that funny ring in it… like Rzhelenovskiy or something…
Nulin: (Readily) Lieutenant Rzhevsky?
Charsky: Nah, yeah, it’s him I’m talking about… Some perfect varmint… Surprised the visiting Miss of England with her humanitarian bonbonniere… Right on the slippery piano lid, without removing his hussar uniform, spurs and stuff… That’s a real virtuoso for you!
And by the bye, he invites me to pay him a visit in his Kolomenskoye. The estate’s not quite extensive, says he, but in the cellar he still keeps on ice an intact barrel of Amontillado.His friend-in-spurs, chamberlain's diplomatic courier for special missions, on his way from Venice, delivered.To go or not to go?
(He takes a Valdai bell from the mantelpiece and tinkles.His serf Gerasim, tousled and sleepy and, on top of all, deaf-mute servant, appears thru the door.)
Geraska! Right to the stable! Tell Vaska, Master has ordered to rig the carriage up! Yet, not with that Savraska mare!. Let him harness Covid, the brown brute looks bored recently…(Gerasim exits stuttering eager moos and baas).
Nulin: (Pleadingly) But still and yet, Appolinary Aristarkhovych… what’s on about Kenty? and Maya has not yet born Buddha…
Charsky: Everything will be fine, Edgar Poelimpsestovych, just oftener trust in the mischievous imp of luck and regularly air the scarlet sails of hope beneath the jolly roger hoisted naughtily… Just easy with using of that opium for people, the choice of synthetic drugs has grown enormously since Marx' days…Ha! Amontillado!(With an anticipating pleonastic ring)The sound form of it alone caresses gourmet’s palate, if the gift of hearing is not denied the wretch…* * *
Bottle #39: ~Finishing Off The Delivery By The Maverick Galleon ~I am a writer. Which fact happened not because I was promoted, appointed or trained and certified. Hell, no! What the fuc… I mean… nothing of the kind!I got pressed into this vessel of bitter wrath even before Serafima Sergeievna inserted the lacquered handle of a nib pen (don’t forget to dip the nib into the ink well for writing!) between the cramp seized fingers of a first-grader gull – mine…And then – off you go! March to do what's planned by Dick-only-knows who in Dick-only-knows where to be accomplished by applying me, when I still had not been yet near about this here world at all.Bastard damn well knew beforehand what conscientiously painstaking ass of a peon would I make, eventually…
Writing is an ungetriddable birthmark, inseparable, were you even as blind as N. Ostrovsky.True, he wrote badly and garbage, but still better than the deaf-blind-mute challenged from their birth or brought to the same standard by the compulsory secondary education.
I am a writer who writes the picture of the world as I see it. The image is final, stable and incorrigible because of the absolute absence of predisposition, in me, for proofreading and—as a result—having no time for the deed, chronically.This reason is weighty enough to make my views pretty conservative and stubborn, there's no way to convince me of anything not conceived by me firsthand, personally. On the other hand, I am an easily malleable stuff for any fool to shape me into waiving the worldviews rigged up and sermonized by myself.
Yet, if giving it a sober thought, do I need it? Or anybody? What’s the use of those creative impulses tornadoing my PC keyboard? And that's another victim, by the bye, who's not at fault absolutely, the keyboard isn't.Just so violent sadistic battering of the innocent accessory thing plus monstrous harrowing of my beloved self.For suchlike excesses, one should be born by blood-thirsty ghoul Saltychikha after her one-night stand with Malyuta Skuratov, the henchman of Ivan the Terrible (where, the hell, has I misplaced my birth certificate?).
(Which SOB was murmuring right now, “So was it written in your birth tablet”, back there, huh? Let me interview that unsolicited genealogy writer, eye-to-eye, for 17 minutes maximum, and the bitch will on his own accord sign the confession that his tablet-scratching was a gruesome act of sabotage ordered by, at least, three intelligence services of different imperialist nations!)
Of course, I'm interested in any response to my scrabbles. But quite a few bottles have sailed off my hands tagging along after the torrents in the Digitized Gulf Stream, and only silence echoes back—not a single splash by the wiggly tail of a playful goldfish, no whiskey-voiced 'ahoy!' by a pessimist albatross:“Hey, Titanic! Smack bang you heads against a fucking iceberg!" (as if it would stop us, both the iceberg and me or let us bypass each other, or cancel what was predetermined before the creation of the world!)
Still, it does not take much of IQ to figure out the reason for sea critters’ shyness – the Internet is only 25 and folks are not used yet to think openly. What’s worse, being trained to read between the lines, they can’t see what is said directly, right before their eyes.At 25, I was a way more timid guy, albeit shaggier.
Let’s speak easy, the hunger for feedback once more highlights my irrepressible egoism and wish for a distraction. Gimme anything to forget all them those Big Brothers—glossy glove puppets, each one, stretched over three fingers – the Military-Industrial Complex of their respective belonging. Seated about the ghostly sheen in their table of negotiations, they portion away the uneven heights of Karabakh:“These uranium deposits in Kalbajar be for you, and this piece of pleasant climate for military bases – my share.”And soon after the talks (and also resulting from them) the Prime Minister of Armenia (non-Armenian), gives up the lives of 7.5 thousand boys to fulfill his obligations to Big Bros, and along the highway through the indescribable beauty of mountain nature, huge SPAYKA trailers are rushing crammed with the variety meat of humans, torn, spoiled, messed-up by the cluster bombs shrapnel, white phosphorus and fragments of old-fashioned Grad missiles…
The world has changed beyond recognition since then. It has become more comfortable, more dynamic. Kinder. Cleaner.It’s getting harder and harder for me to keep apace with the tempo in its everyday life, to follow all those witchy-bitchy gadgets.
However, these all are my problems, because of my age, maybe. Too slow learn I keeping the refugee ID on me, presenting it to polite Russian peacekeepers in a freshly chopped off colony…
I still can’t know nothing and care less when off the city limits, the team job of repairmen from the Stepanakert Water Supply Services, unearthing a water-pipe on a slope, gets interrupted by an unknown person (non-Azerbaijani), who shouts, “Siktyr Ermenlyar! (fuck off Armenians!)” and shoots a sidearm at them.
Because the peacekeepers communicated with the Azerbaijani side about the pending repair work at that spot and got "Roger that!" in broken Russian.Because exactly that hour in Shushi City, another irreplaceable (and why not? as if the trick is only for very Big Brothers, eh?) president, spiffed in a swanky camouflage, winds himself up by his own screams before a row of microphones and video cameras, so that the whole of Azerbaijan perk up and get united:"Wow! What Rambo of a czar we have! The big shot knows how to hook up a great victory!""Ilham sulh!""Si-eg he-il!"(Corporal Schicklgruber at this moment grinned maliciously:"Genau das hatte ich gesagt! Das dritte Reich ist unsterblich!. Ja! Ja, meine lieben Herren! Si-eg he-il!.")
Because another 20-year-old boy’s body stiffens on the slope, shot and killed by another Hero of Nation.The blood oozes through a new hole in his worn-out T-shirt. The dark-red blood, which is not to turn grass in just an hour, it has a more important function – it is the means of payment for purchase and sale of land, ranks, medals…
Because another mother shoots her hands aloft to hit them against her knees and scream: "Wai! balas! Wai!"Because another brother accepts a weapon put into his hands for the sacred revenge.
Because The Show Must Go On!Because it's dead predictable, this fucking show.Both in East, with all its subtleties, and in techno-bureau-pluto-pragmatic West, and in other parts of this here world. Globally.
But I don't need to go into all that, I'm too tired of this invariably base, monotonous shit.All I need is a chance to cultivate a vegetable garden, water the cabbage patch and stuff, awaiting for the clattering hoofs of the praetorian Contubernium on horseback galloping to take my life.And they but will come, my dear feathered lovebirds, for there is no other option, because what was there that same thing will come back, and rerun, and then again and again repeat itself later… or had I already said that?. well, anyway…
All I want is to declare anew my love and, following the example of great Julius (of Czech nationality) to alert over and over again:People! Do not turn spare parts of war! You are capable of more!Do not let them drive you into the global perimeters of compulsory vaccination! You are not dumb cattle, you deserve a better lot than that!Or do I want too much? Huh?. People?.Anybody home?!
Oops! Here we are again! Over and over! Completely forgotten. Would I ever keep in mind recharging this damn phone?.O! Fuck!05/23/2022 22:25 – 07/14/2022 18:32

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated: 25/08/2023

Views: 6379

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.