never came across my mug
    in no hard copy's back cover?
  neither did I, yet – relax!
this here autograph tells more
         than a pic no one cares for...

The Ficuses in the Open

:from the personal
a graphomanic


head header

December 4, morning

The night was quite serene, even the machine-guns up there in the Krkjan part of the town kept pregnant silence...

The day before yesterday I dropped into Department Store to pick some present for Roozahna on her birthday. She turned one decade old.

In all the murky void of the Department Store only 2 customers— a man brought his son to the toy-department for the kid to see sunny side in the current snafu.

The sullen saleswoman placed on the counter a dozen of random picks from the rows of plastic clones lined over the shelves at any Department Store in any Soviet city for years.

'Anything else, jahnaJAHNA —
     Armenian term of endearment meaning something like "sweetie"
?' asked Daddy.

There was no answer just a listless gaze of the boy at the magnanimous yet useless deathbed sweepstake.

(...rub your shoulders with the Grim Reaper for a while, and you become a spendthrift...)

Even in Maxim, the Chief Editor of The Soviet Karabakh, the one and only paper in this here Autonomous Region, there cropped up somewhat extravagant streaks. Stately strolling, to and fro, in front of his subordinate gents, Wagrum and Lenic, who in the attitude of wisely eager beavers sat at attention at their respective office desks, he cared to proclaim, 'To stick it out down here, to see it through thick and thin is the uniquest opportunity for a journalist.' To spiff that piece of wisdom up with a ring of ponderosity, he jingled his regal bunch of keys dangling from his fatty hands in the constant clasp over his mighty butt.

My backache loyally sticks by me, and the shortness of Lydia's sofa makes me feel it even in sleep... Yesterday, I rummaged through her bookshelves and—wow! what a catch!—there's THE BHAGAVAT-GITA in Russian for which reason I picture myself pouring over the volume tonight on that shortie of a sofa.

Same day, evening

It's hard to say if it's a snowy rain or a rainy snow outdoors. Our kitchen tap yields just a needle-thick trickle, yet yields.

In the morning, I had one more job interview with Arcadic, the Head of Russian Section (and pretty bold already), at this uniquest paper in the town.

Keeping, in a well-trained manner, his eyes elsewhere, he trotted out that the periodical did need my professional skills and the coming week would see me in the position of a renderer, after all of unavoidable managerial chicanery and staff-reshuffle castlings would get seen to to create a vacancy. There's no way to accelerate the process, you know.

From my current standpoint (which as always is here and now) the employment still looks like a pretty far off pie in the sky, but when jobless practice your patience, buddy.

In the afternoon, Sahtik sent me to fetch a jar of milk from the Milk Factory. Coming there, I found neither Valyo nor any one at all who I knew. To skip the unavoidable schlepping of the empty jar back and bringing it over again after a better-timed arrangement, I just stashed it away in a quite quiet nook, hanging the bag with the jar up on the back side of the eternally open door to the always dark corridor on the second floor in the Administration Block. Not a chance, anyone would ever nose it out. Eternity handlers are too rare a specimen in this here cut-and-run world. Undisturbed and unseen will the bagged jar hang on the unvexed door handle till my next visitation, betcha.

Later in the day the Lydia's husband Nerses, arriving from his native village of Hnushinak, tap-tapped from the street onto the matte-glazed window pane in our one-but-spacious-room flat. With that window open you can talk through the grates or pass things to a person standing on the sidewalk. The other two windows in the room are simply nailed up... He wanted the key from their house.

'Oh, sure, here you are!'

Now, his return to the town ended my career of a security at their place. Fare thee well, THE BHAGAVAT-GITA, and thee as well, O, Procrustean sofa!

My backache faithfully lingers by, however, tonight I'm in the luck, the kitchen tap had trickled almost two pails of water before it was completely cut.

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