Жила-была девочка

Жила-была девочка. И были у нее красивые русые локоны и большущие глаза. В детстве она начиталась книжек разных французских дяденек и жила с широко распахнутыми глазами. И решила она, что нет ничего идеальнее на свете, чем идеальная любовь. И так и пошла жить.

Много где она ходила и много кого она встретила на своем пути. Но те, кого она встречала на своем пути, либо не читали французских дяденек, либо читали, но поняли как-то по-своему, не так как она. И поэтому выходила у них не идеальная любовь, а разговор слепого с глухим.

И вот, когда блеск в широко распахнутых глазах поугас, а волосы из русых распрямились в вороново крыло, встретила она такого, который не только французских, но еще и древнегреческих и древнеримских дяденек читал и даже во всю их цитировал. И блеск снова вернулся в ее глаза, волосы закудрявились и даже румянец на щеках появился. Вот она – Идеальная. И потеряла она голову и достала из груди сердце, и мозг выключила. Но скоро сказка сказывается, да не скоро дело делается.

Прошло какое-то время и поняла она, что тот самый, имел уникальное свойство цитировать дяденек не только обладательнице воронова крыла, то бишь ей, но и обладательницам и золотого руна, а так же меди, льна, каштана и пергидроля… И стало ей так грустно-грустно совсем и за идеальную обидно до слез, и за древнегреческих дяденек с французскими, что сходила она в местный Сделай Сам, купила там бензопилу и расхерачила к чертям собачьим и того самого, и замок его. Кровищи текло – реки. Кишки всем королевстом собирали, да так и не собрали, небось, да там еще и костей раздробленных немеренно было. Летело во все стороны. Пипец, так то, жесть. Никого не жалко.

Ну вот и сказочке конец, а кто слушал – молодец.

 

 

Сон Каледонии*

Сон Каледонии – это название ночного поезда, идущего из Лондона в Эдинбург. Это не стандартный поезд, так как идет он не обычные 4 часа 45 минут, ходит этот поезд только по ночам: с 23:45 от Юстона и прибывает на Вэйверли в 7 утра. Именно на нем я и ехала в эту ночь.

Мне досталось место №6. Так сказать моя палата, если знаете о чем я. Но это место №6 на эти, 7 с копейками часов, стало моей комнатой и стулом, столом, кроватью и креслом–качалкой и нераскладной раскладушкой и чем только оно не было…

Тронулись поздно: в полночь. Страшно хотелось спать, потому что уже представлялась мне черная панорама за окном с моим же, отражающимся в этой черноте, каким-то раздвоенным от двойного стекла, уставшим лицом. Но в наушниках веселил Эрик Морилло: брям-ц – брям-ц – брям-ц. Сквозь этот брям-ц, прямо в моих же наушниках, кто-то отчетливо сказал: «С задержкой на 12 минут идем» и кто-то ответил «Да? Ну, предыдущий ушел с задержкой на 2!». А я облегченно подумала «Слава Богу, меня там нет».

Я уже достала, заботливо приготовленную кем-то в пластиковой упаковке, плотную очки-повязку, чтоб закрыться от своего раздвоенного двойника, но тут поезд набрал скорость и полетел. И вместо густой черноты, начали пролетать какие-то призрачные места и сооружения. В прозаичном свете дня они были бы самыми какими-нибудь обычнейшими прижелезнодорожными, но в ночи они казались невозможно манящими, каким-то таинственными. Будки, мосты, развалины, посты, телеграфы, фонари. И почему-то именно слово «призрачные» шло им невероятно…

Я ехала и чувствовала, что вот я еду из Лондона, где провела совершенно самостоятельный весь день. Ходила по Оксфорд стрит и по Бедфорд стрит, и по Еще- какой-то стрит…  И даже ездила самостоятельно на метро по карточке, усердно делая вид, что я не отсчитываю каждую станцию на карте напротив меня! А сейчас я еду такая вся, можно даже сказать, англичанка, лондонская денди, лондонская леди… Мммгммм… Хотя нет. Нет наверно. Я не лондонская леди-денди. Я ей стану, только тогда, когда обнаружу себя сидящей в 9 утра в Старбаксе на Пикадилли, в шлепках Экко с красным педикюром, пьющей американо (далось оно им там всем! По мне так нет ничего лучше горячего капуччино), почитывая какую-нибудь снобскую газетенку типа Таймс, непрестанно отвечая на телефонные звонки, имея при себе два айФона и Блэкберри, и, причем, все из них исключительно по работе. А вот как она так все подметила и про педикюр и про газетенку, скажете вы… А вот именно, потому что я тоже сидела в 9 утра в Старбаксе на Пикадилли, хоть из без айФона… Это наверно первый звоночек…[1]

…А за окном продолжали мелькать необыкновенные места, причудливо вырисовывающиеся в непроглядной тьме, выхватыемые вспышками оранжевого света мелькающих фонарей. Но когда они пропадали, их сменяли совершенно другие видения – рассеянные светлячки каких-то огней, плавающих в этих чернилах. Иногда выскакивали серые силуэты домов, крыш, заборов. А в душе щемило. Потому что, чем больше я вглядывалась в эти силуэты и светлячки, тем сильнее и упорнее было ощущение того, что еду я вот сейчас в поезде Лондон-Эдинбург, но еду то я по матушке России… И чувство это ничем нельзя было отмахнуть: ни комфортным сиденьем №6, ни английской речью за спиной. Одним словом, НИ ЧЕМ. Каким-то чудом в эту ночь английские пейзажи сменялись видениями о ней.

И летели они так, сменяя друг друга на этом ночном экране моего окна, а у меня мелькали мысли о том, что не они летят, а я лечу. Лечу как Маргарита на уровне второго этажа над огнями неспящих шоссе, городами, над стальными саблями рек и рельс, и, что я тоже свободна и невидима, и, что действительно невыносимо таинственны туманы над болотами, и, что все вроде в мире и просто и одновременно так сложно, и что-то еще… И я заснула, и заботливая очки-повязка сползли мне на глаза. И казалось, что вроде бы я и не в поезде вовсе, а в самолете лечу куда-то опять… Опять куда? Или нет… Я сплю. Сплю в этом поезде «Сон Каледонии»… А может я уже дома и сплю в своей постели…Но где? Дома – это где?…

Проснулась я в 6-м часу утра от страшного холода. Торчащие из под серого пальто чьи-то безнадежно голые пятки на соседнем кресле окончательно повергли меня в озноб. Я даже надела капюшон, и как была в ботинках – поджала под себя ноги, а очки-повязку сдвинула на лоб, пусть уж хоть как-то греет. А в голове почему-то все крутилось это дурацкое: «Начальник, г-г-градус давай!» от чего стало смешно и совсем не холодно. В айПОДЕ Ди Джей Дэззл начал свое исследование КЛУБной жизни, а мое окно показывало теперь совершенно другое кино…

На небе цвета с картин Тернера лежала ярко розовая полоса. И цвет ее переходил от ярко-едкого розового цвета до совершенно бледного, нежного и в конце смешивался с самим небом. Голубым-голубым! А больше ничего. Ни одного облачка только вот эта фантастическая полоса. А потом я посмотрела вниз, и на какое-то время показалось, что все вообще исчезло, потому что внизу было тоже небо и розовая полоса! Мы проезжали над водой. И будто небо упало в воду и просто отражалось в пустом стекле там на верху. Тут же я начала за что-то хвататься, чтоб запечатлеть это, но вспомнила, что камеру я с собой не взяла, а телефон сдох, а в айПОДы еще не додумались камеры ввинтить [2]. Хотя пиксели все равно бы не передали того, что я почувствовала.

На поля вышли барашки, кони; тяжело куда-то полетели утки, замелькали машины. Надвигался новый день. Я уже было собралась дремать дальше, но тут народ вроде зашевелился. Куда-то стремительно рванул молодой человек в костюме и с чемоданчиком, уже держащий у уха мобильный телефон. Первый пошел! Протопали с баулами китайцы, а за ними еще кто-то… Тут и я разглядела за окном: “Эдинбург, Вэйверли”. Приехали. Я взяла свою сумку и вышла. Было 7 часов утра.

* Не надо думать, что это повествование в стиле Жуковского, ну что-то типа про Кассандру, Кассиопею или еще чего-нибудь в этом же духе. Каледония – это старинное название всех островов, относящихся к Шотландии и самой Шотландии. А еще это ночной поезд, идущий по маршруту Лондон – Эдинбург.

[1] Искренне хохчу, ибо, прямо сейчас редактирую эту часть текста, сидя в том же Старбаксе, с чашечкой капуччино, с афоном 7 и ярко-красным педикюром… Так ведь и Блэкберри у меня был когда-то…

[2] Зарисовка была сделана в 2007 году и на тот счастливый момент, автор являлся гордым обладателем Нокия 6600.

 

Hello, I’m Neo and I’m your God

I truly believe my grandma could walk on water. Seriously. If she’d only wanted to. The power of her faith was as strong as the steel they produced in the factories of my hometown.

I remember her praying: every morning and every night before bed. She knew volumes of them by heart. She would read a prayer over me, when I was all tucked in… She knew all the services and all the holy holidays. She knew how to fast and how to make the most delicious kulich* (in Russia it’s a sweet bread made on Easter, usually decorated with icing, dry fruit and sprinkles). There were silver-clad icons in her house, which she’d inherited from her mother and her mother in her turn from her mother. I guess they were pretty antique-y… and cost a pretty penny, but to me they were just that – sacred. She’s never missed a church on Sunday. She was a saint.

When I was 10 a middle-aged man all the way from America came to visit one day. A family friend. I don’t know what religion or belief he was, but he called all the few icons that my mom had at home – pictures. My world shattered. I couldn’t sleep that night. How dared he?! I loved America, I loved jeans, Bruce Willis and Disney, but honestly how dared he?!

I knew God was real. I was sitting in my family’s garden reading the kids’ Bible one fine summer. I still remember it clear as day: a beautiful volume in a heavenly blue cover with glossy gilded pages. The pictures were coloured. I was totally immersed in it. It was so exciting to read, especially the Old Testament. Loads of different characters and I loved their costumes, especially armour. But I caught myself thinking that it was just as exciting to read it as the tales of Grimm Brothers’ or any other book for that matter and that it actually had nothing to do with what or, more importantly, how I believed and perceived God.  I decided to put the Bible aside for a second. The moment this thought struck me – a blazing vein of lightning struck few metres away from me and a raving storm broke out for the rest of the day. I knew – He was real.

I was always reading as far as I remember. Nose always stuck in a book. I loved everything: adventures, novels, history books and, especially, the books on ancient history and religion. I was totally mesmerised by the ancient gods of Egyptians. My own Slavic gods were not as cool. Leshy* doesn’t stand a freaking chance against Anubis! (in a Slavic mythology a god of forests, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leshy ) .The shenanigans of the gods in the  Northern realm just made me burst out laughing! Just like us humans, honestly, what knobs! At least the inhabitants of the Olympus got in trouble for love not booze or money! Still, I knew that all those fables had a much deeper meaning to them. Metaphoric. I loved it. For centuries people of all nations craved, accepted and worshipped the supernatural, they witnessed in their everyday life, but also something that was much more than them, thus creating first – gods, then God. I felt there was a unique connection among them all and one common root to the universal truth, which was up to me to discover. I desperately wanted to be an archaeologist. I wanted to find the message and decipher it once and for all! But then I turned 16 and realised that I needed to earn money and be reasonable…

When I was in the university studying languages to become a professional interpreter we had Religion as part of our curriculum. A “no-bullshit” looking sturdy lady with a firm mouth, a snow-white bun, in glasses, wearing a skirt of nun-length came in to the lecture theatre. We all mentally prepared ourselves for the 2 hours ‘No Sex Before Marriage’ lecture (eye-roll), but in 15 minutes I was catching her every word, had my eyes and my mouth wide open! Each lecture was a profound study on each religious doctrine of the world! No brainwashing, no sprinkling holy water on the computers, no converting/exorcising anyone. After that the library became my second home: karma, sansara, nirvana, Holy Grail, angels, Koran, jihad, Buddha, Shinigami, … I just couldn’t get enough. What is the message?

I don’t recall the exact time or day when I experienced my first belief crisis, but I know for sure that the walls of my Jericho shook and crumbled after the end credits of Stigmata (1999) had stopped rolling. “The Kingdom of God is within you and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone <…>”

The year 1999 was marked in my biography (if I ever write one) as the year of my awakening, because in spring The Matrix was released. I remember how I was walking among the ruins of my inner Jericho, raising clouds of dust, listening to the sand of what used to be the mighty walls hissing under my feet dissolving into nothingness, when a bright light of something bigger than truth burned my eyes out! “There is no spoon”. That’s it. You can throw away your pretty ribbons and your cuddly teddy-bears, straighten your naïve curls and, oh, put your lovely blue Bible on the top shelf, and with your lipstick in gentle pink write – “There is no spoon”. We can fly, change circumstances and even master jiu jiujitsu if we only believe.

My mind was in turmoil. How? How is that possible? Who are we? What are we? Who am I? P.O.D. is seconding me on that whist I write this: “Do you see what I see? Can you hear what I hear? Do you feel like I feel?” pumping “Sleeping Awake” on my speakers.  With whatever limited internet I had* (20th century Russia) I researched anything I could find about the directors and the major ‘whys’. Every character was a symbol, every conversation had multiple levels of religious and philosophical believes. It was so much better than the Bible! “The main inspiration for the Wachowski Brothers”, the source said, “was a 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell”. I was done for. Being forever fascinated with the idea of a cyborg with a human brain looking powerfully fragile just like my childhood hero, Blue Sonnet* (1989) (https://youtu.be/5pmnJ80YuTA ). But this took on a totally different meaning! Neo was not a cyborg. He was a 2-meter-tall pure human awesomeness in drop-shaped sunglasses and a long black coat! Jesus!!! No! NEO!

I needed to restart my hard-drive. The truth, the realisation, the comprehension was on the tips of my fingers but I knew that I simply couldn’t just cock my head right and with a mocking smile on my lips simply disappear in the middle of the boring lecture on Locutionary and Illocutionary Acts. I came home and took  the Bible from the top shelve. Again. This one was big, not pretty and glossy anymore, but black, without any pictures, printed on a simple yellowish paper. Only the cross on the front was pressed in gold. I began reading. Slowly. Carefully. Rereading at times the lines or passages I did not quite understand. And then in Genesis 1:27 I read: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”. That was it. I closed the Bible. Forever.

Holy Ghost… What is it? Isn’t it that substance that leaves our bodies when we die? It’s actually has a weight of 21 grams. Proven by science (a religion I have the outmost respect for and wouldn’t dare to question, because at the end of the day it studies “what’s within us and all around us”). Where does it live? How does it work? How does it define us? Is it in our heart when it aches when we are sad? Is it in the wounds when they bleed? Is it in our laugh? Is it in our eyes? It’s been confirmed that once the organs such as heart, liver, lungs etc have failed and consequently died, the brain still lives on. So, do those 21 grams of awareness live there and dissolve into the physical world when the brain finally stops functioning? God surely couldn’t have created us after His image in terms of our bodies! Now that would be from my light-blue children’s Bible. We are like God in terms of our brains! Scientists have been out there far enough and long enough studying the material and even immaterial (the work of Dr Caroline Leaf also provides a great empirical support, and even though you can discard some of the quotes in the book, the facts remain). In the end of the day it is all Science – you can’t argue with any of its fundamental laws: e.g. everything around us is matter. Just comprehend it! You think your words disappear when you utter them? No, they are waves. What about your thoughts?

The complete awakening. We are Gods. And there’s truly no spoon, nor fork, nor knife or plate, for that matter, because if God’s created land and sea, light and darkness, so can we… This is what the true belief is about. Believe in yourself. There are no independent standards of anything in the man-made world. Thus, our minds have no limit. Can you imagine an apple without actually holding it in your hand? More importantly, can you imagine its taste?

***

My holy ghost is cheeky. At times extremely vulnerable and very inquisitive. The ego is sometimes too big for this humble shell… It knows that there’s no spoon, but very often forgets to remind me of that. It knows the outcomes and the consequences of every decision I make but seldom tells me, because mocks the Thomas in me. This is my Neo and he wears a long black leather coat and flies. So if you ask me if I believe in God. My answer is yes. Nosce te ipsum.

To Bulgakov

“Whoever has said it that the pure and honest love does not exist – tear their tongues out for they are filthy liars!” Forgive me, Bulgakov, but it really doesn’t. There is no love, neither pure nor honest. But we still believe in it. So, there is faith. Blunt, blind faith…

I am blind.

“Coz this is free love… Let go of complicated feelings and there is no price to pay” – David Gahan is whispering sweet seduction into my ears… Spoken by the true non-believer, I say. But on constant repeat on my earphones… How ironic.

And all the attempts to demonstrate how terribly wrong all this is have failed and my battle is lost. Why have I send that text? The bullets have missed the target, the stings have left no marks and the message has never reached the intended recipient. And somewhere across the globe a strange overpowering sensation won’t make him rush to the phone and dial the number just to hear my trembling hoarse voice… A miracle won’t happen, but reality will. Tomorrow will be another gloomy day, sore throat, a cup of coffee on the corner of St James’ and Piccadilly, some unnecessary and pretentious ‘things to do’ and heaps, heaps of colourful memories, scattered across my mind like shiny candy wraps on the floor, pretty, but now empty and… unwanted…

Oh, and the radio becomes your number one enemy! You hate every single song. Coz each one of them is not just cool lyrics and a catchy melody, it’s an entire world worth epochs of emotions, memories, words, touches, smells…

How different we all are – born with the same set of feelings but don’t even feel the same. He measures life in hours and days. I measure life in songs, conversations and sunsets. How different our values are! It’s so simple for someone to turn around and leave, close the door, board a plane and leave this small island behind, while someone would just never be the same again. So, what does it mean for us? Plain and simple: nothing.

***

Washington DC – Edinburgh. Edinburgh – London. London – … Um… Amsterdam?

Winter, 2010

My Edinburgh

Today I was flying. Flying through the streets of Edinburgh: through the twists and nooks and cobbled roads of South Bridge and Mile End with a small bouquet of magnolias and cherry blossoms in my hand, shamelessly plucked at the Meadows while no one was watching.

I did not even know, that Edinburgh had more than meets the eye, that it was full of wonders. I thought it was just one huge university with all those schools, colleges and damp cloisters, that it was dry and prim and absolutely not romantic. I was so, so wrong!

While wandering through the town I found dozens of cosy cafes with tiny tables right under cherry trees and loads of cute little restaurants! The smells from their bakeries were simply divine! Running to a morning lecture every day I’d always thought that at 8am Edinburgh smelled of ancient libraries, old books and a local beer brewery. Today it smelled of chocolate!

It was coming from the small shop situated on a tiny zig-zagged street, where it was made and served immediately in front of you. And the chocolate itself was not one of those “mainstream” bars, wrapped in a fancy foil stamped with ‘tm’-s and what-nots, which was also divided into twelve parts telling you how to eat it, how much to bite off and how much would be left. That one was sold in huge chunks and was wrapped in plain brown paper. Can you imagine?! You could break it, you could bite it from whichever side you wanted, lick it smearing your lips with that delicious chocolaty miracle!

On my way I stumbled upon an old toy shop. It was full of dolls and bears and a Christmas tree in May! There were so many bears there! There were bears in three piece tweeds, ballerina bears, bears in cute little kilts with skilfully made bagpipes. There was a dark brown bear in a pince-nez – proper Sir! Even a cute little dolly in a delicate white dress. There was also a bear the colour of sand reading an interesting book and a bear with a top hat and a walking stick… And many-many more! I loved those teddy-bears. Each and every one of them had a story to tell! I’d definitely be back…

And then a strong gust blew out of nowhere and millions of pink petals got scattered along the narrow streets. Those pink clouds burst into cafes and restaurants, fell like confetti into coffee cups, flew into shops and windows, danced in a pink frenzy on the cobble stones. I’d never seen anything like that in my life!

Today I was simply happy.

May, 2008

“Lay where you are laying, don’t make a sound “

Can one get an addiction? An addiction to a person? To live them, breath them, to have them as the concept of each and every thought in your delirious mind? When all the sounds, smells and places are a constant reminder of them? And the irony is that you are in total awareness of your addiction, and these images and melodies are your mental torture of choice, but you crave it and sell your sorry soul for yet another fix.

You actually can. Certified.

Turn my mind off: its 960inch silver screen keeps showing me one and the same movie non-stop, accompanied by that painfully familiar musical score. I remember everything… I remember every single detail of every single moment, when those songs have been the actual soundtrack to our lives. I remember what words have been said, how our bodies have moved, how the sun has rolled down behind the clouds and how the raindrops glistened on the glass… Format my hard-drive, I want to exit this matrix: it is not perfect! And I do not have enough will-power to free my mind and fly away.

Love. Its quality and its passion have always been the big bang that’s created everything around me. Just listen to my stream of counsciousness. How beautifully it’s shaping that perfectly imperfect image. The problem is that the perfection is never aware of its perfection (sigh). It just exists peacefully in its very own two-dimentional world: no contradictions, no doubts, no unnecessary emotions. All those Pushkins and Hugos are long gone and nobody cares about knights in shining armour anymore. That’s why there is this itchy urge in me to perform trepanations on every other individual. Is there some secret code hidden in their cerebellum? Let’s get cracking (literally) and leave the hormones to teenagers!

I have seen the signs and ignored them. I should have stopped but I have been too high. So, I’ve kept on playing the games of my beautiful mind. Distributed all the roles, prepared all the voiceovers, selected all the decorations. I have fallen truly madly deeply with the perfect script! Now looking back at it, spending nights on thinking about it (honestly, sleeping is for losers) I have come to the conclusion, that this ‘love’ is a violation of Human Rights Act of 1998. Yeah… Has he ever consented to being perfect? Has he ever asked for it? He has never wanted it! He’s never thought that one day someone will drown in those deep blue eyes and lose herself in those big strong arms and never return to that 2D world called reality! Ha! Joke is on her.

Oh, an entire medical committee should have been called, because this is a condition I couldn’t have got a prescription for. My diagnosis is final and, I’m afraid, terminal. That imagination is a disease. I wonder if there is a procedure to trim minds, coz at the moment mine is running wild and free. The Pandora’s box has been smashed…

He’s always been afraid to be weak, that’s why he’s always been guarded by the thickest armour. He’s always been afraid to belong, that is why he’s walked away. Is it how it should be? Save yourself from an emotional overload? Permanently live on a ‘snooze’ mode?

So, sitting there dwelling over yet another text message – to send or not to send, that is the question – I’ve finally settled upon the following – not giving a twirly fuck about dwelling! To give a fuck, to be afraid, to save yourself, feel remorse or regret for something you’ve done whether it’s the right thing to do or not – is to always think that your glass is only half full. The most important thing is that there is a glass and it can be filled with whatever the hell you want! Live life to the fullest, don’t be afraid to say ‘I love you’, write poetry, dedicate songs, be crazy, laugh, cry– coz that’s allowed when you truly live and truly love! Even though it’s just my love, the mad and intense one, the difficult one, the one that sends you into an overdrive, the one that violates your rights. “My personal type of heroine”.

‘Sex on Fire’ popped into my speakers. I’m not going to a rehab…

January, 2010

What if it didn’t?

We crossed over and straight away got stuck in that suffocating sticky summer heat. I was silent. What was that talk on the bus about: all hints and ambiguities, like I was in one of Dan Brown’s books, deciphering the true meaning of his words. From all those Q&As, side-looks and reading between the lines – I did not understand anything. There was something in that carelessly dropped “you and I” or in that infinite “lets see how it goes”… But what exactly? That – remained hidden. And that suffocated me more than the sticky summer heat of the urban jungle.

Underground. The draft from the trains brought little relief. I desperately tried to compose myself: walked with dignity and self-assurance. But still a tad too close, I guess… I thought… I was making it more meaningful this way: like I was that “someone special”, “someone close” and maybe even more… And he’d definitely see it and understand… But deep inside I knew that all those attempts were silly and childish and I just wanted to burst into tears right there, right that moment in the middle of the station, not giving a damn about all those people around. How I wished for the dirty yellow tiles to open up and swallow me whole, curls and heels! But this was London Underground at 8am and nobody had time for silly crying.

On the escalators I put on a smile, just like you put on lipstick… Show must go on. The bus convo did not resume. Thank God. He kept looking at me carefully on the escalators, standing 3 steps lower, so that he was at least, somehow on a par with my face. “Soon, I won’t need these high heels”, I thought… I wondered if my eyes were giving away the turmoil inside… We talked: music, rock’n’roll, pop – that it should be extinguished and about something else… Somehow the topic of the unbearable hellish London heat popped in. I did not waste the opportunity to stick it to him, saying that the heat in Australia (who on earth has imagined this country, who on earth has discovered it?!) was not just unbearable and hellish – it was moist and suffocating. I was hoping with some evil pleasure that that would spoil his mood, knowing perfectly well just how much he always hated the heat, and sweat, and sweating and taking a shower five times a day, knowing perfectly well how it drove him mad and made him want to annihilate everything around him. But he only mused that he was aware… Damn!… We walked onto the platform.

It wasn’t my first attempt to try and persuade him otherwise, to make him reconsider. This kind of artfully concealed propaganda was the part of my You-Should-Stay strategy. Subtly planting those negative thoughts regarding the country “A”, its culture and its inhabitants etc was my idea of subconscious manipulation: forget it, forget Australia, the country of kangaroos, koalas and other herbivores and never go there, ever! I was so passionately against him going there, that the power of my will seemed to command forces of nature. Just yesterday, he was telling me, how he’d actually decided to finally drop his application form to the Australian embassy. But on the way there some cursed bird shit right atop the newly printed and carefully filled in forms! “I’ll be damned!” He tried to clean it, but just smeared it all over. Going back and doing it all over again was out of the question. But the stain was there, sitting gorgeously right on top of the page next to his photo. Lying shamelessly to the receptionist that it was a “coffee” stain, he did indeed submit those fucking papers after all. The receptionist, of course, assured him that it was all totally fine. Shame bird shit doesn’t stink…

Just missed the Piccadilly train. The next one was at God knew when. The time table was switched off, just like me… He reached the end of the platform in few confident strides and sat on the empty bench. I was trotting behind on my heels and it dawned on me that I was most definitely doing something terribly wrong! Yes! My whole anti-Australia strategy was wrong! It was doomed and all those counter-arguments were pointless and that in the end he would indeed relocate. It was going to happen! His papers would by all means be admitted and approved, bird shit or not! The visa would be granted and he would soon bask in the rays of Australian sun, hugging koalas and running free with kangaroos. Those thoughts were the last straw…I physically felt how my hopes and dreams came crashing down on me in that tunnel burying me in the debris with them. And the worst part was that it felt like I had almost had it figured out: I knew I could have said some right words and it would all be ok, like the final pieces of the puzzle would just click together and the koalas and kangaroos would happen in some parallel reality, in a completely different universe. I walked further along the platform but it felt like I was in some silly slow-mo. Everything around me now looked dreamlike and hazy, almost unreal. The usual posters on the walls now looked distant, vague and unfamiliar. I did not want to watch those movies, I did not want to go to those gigs. No, turn the world off! However, for some strange reason the advert of Cultural Heritage of India at the British Museum imprinted in my memory as clear as day with those endless happy and colourful ornaments – endless sansara. I guess it was because all those happy colours simply did not match with me at all! Their brightness defied my thoughts and mocked that huge lump in my throat that I’d been desperately trying to push back all morning. I just wanted to turn around and run the fuck away from the station… I swallowed the tears.

Sat down. Morning paper in his hands. The train was nowhere to be seen. And I did not know what to do with myself. I put my left leg atop my right leg. I put my right leg atop my left leg. Then I just peered into a huge orange seashell, the size of the entire wall: “Croatia – juts £69.99!” “Oh well, – I thought, – why can’t I just kiss everything good-bye, middle finger in the air and go to Croatia for just £69.99, like tomorrow? And frolic in the sea there, whichever sea there is there. And simmer on the white sand in a bikini, maybe even topless, and not think that he might leave soon and I would have to stay and fucking deal with it. How is that fair?!” Those voiceless monologues made me feel completely suicidal, because I knew perfectly well that I could not go to any Croatia, not tomorrow, not in the months to come. Instead I would have to stay here and deal with him gone and this horrible suffocating London heat, watching all the possible TV shows out there, listening to Radiohead on repeat… A familiar dusty draft made everyone get up. A train was approaching.

It was full to the brim. It would seem there were delays on the line. But just like by magic two empty seats were found. We sat down. My thoughts scattered along the car. He continued with the paper. I looked at my shoes. Patent leather. Nice. At the next stop I was changing. I turned and looked at him. He had already been looking at me. Same careful intense gaze again: the blue changing into grey and into green just on the border of his pupils. “Wish you not to get killed today”, said I. A quick kiss and I left.

Ok, now I need my earphones and, please, switch the world off, I will think about it all later…

* **

I do not believe in coincidence, I believe in causality. This became clear to me in April of that year. Everything is constantly moving towards a certain equilibrium (totally in love with the word by the way). X + (-X) = 0. If something is subtracted, somewhere it will be added. What goes around – comes around… Doesn’t matter – good or bad.  Everything gains its value once it’s lost. And…everything ends… It’s probably the most perfect pattern of all.

When you are happy – it never lasts long, otherwise you’ll stop appreciating it. “Too much honey is delicious, but it makes you sick to your stomach. Therefore, love each other in moderation<…>” – won’t be arguing with the master here. But you wish, honestly wish for it to last a little bit longer… Just a bit… Please…

You meet somebody. And you are happy. You are happy to just sit silently and talk endlessly; watch Family Guy and the Matrix; talk politics until you are both blue in the face or reminisce about childhood; eat home cooked meals or get a reservation at the best restaurant, where you get totally lost in the cutlery… To sleep curled up behind that big muscly back… And just be together. It was imperative for you to meet. The coordinates finally crossed at one point in time and space. They simply had to. But why then it so happens that when you just wish for it to last a bit longer, some trips and visits come up, some vital plans, desires to move, to go, to see something, some stupid and totally unnecessary whims?!

Isn’t it better to sit on the floor in the kitchen in the morning, when the cool summer breath at 3am plays with the curtains and listen to some unbelievable night birds? Just talk quietly, sharing a cigarette? Isn’t it better to conjure up something in the kitchen the next morning and eat it laughing, burning your lips on freshly-brewed coffee in chipped mugs? To stay in on a Friday night and not give a damn about what to do, getting high on each other? Isn’t it?

Everything ends. But how we wish it didn’t …

May, 2009

No title

Look into her eyes… Look a tad longer. You’ll see.

You’ll see universes arise and die followed by the immortal scores of Paul Haslinger and Yan Tiersen. You’ll see fireworks and blizzards; snow-white serenity and blood-stained revolutions.

You’ll see a scared little girl hiding behind a tree – an ice box for her heart. You’ll see a merciless warrior queen slaying her enemies holding back the tears.

You’ll see yourself in them, sitting atop of the world, if you are strong enough to find your way into her world.

So, look into her eyes again. Look a tad longer…

December, 2016

Image by the awesome Ilya Kuvshinov

How you fall

And at some point you cease seeing in shapes and colours and start perceiving only smells and sounds.

Late hours of the night in fragile flickering lights on the windowsill. Small hours of the morning wrapped up in the grey mist.

And it’s as if you are blind, stumble in the dark…

But you love it. You still hold your head high.

Silly-silly, heart, you’ve lost this battle again…

October, 2016

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