пускай с моею мордою
   печатных книжек нет,
  вот эта подпись гордая
есть мой автопортрет



рукописи не горят!.. ...в интернете ...   

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December 13.

Both the night and the day turned out to be quite quiet. My dreams were swarmed with

dwarf Santas in red coats lined-up in close rows to form alive maze in a tremendous hall with mirror walls where a plushy pop-singer with his sugary hit was sticking out from among the narrow lanes of their dwarfish labyrinth until the whole happening flurried away before a black-leathered angel of hell riding like hell for leather and then coasting at 2 or 3 meters above the ground as if arisen by the teeth of wind

At the work place, I rendered one article and gave the final filing to my duplicate key before returning the original back to Wagrum.

After the dinner break, they summoned me to a general meeting in Boss' office.

It was a solemn thank-you-and-good-bye affair to fling the gates wide before a resigning veteran journalist.

Boss, Arcadic and one more member of the editorial upper circles took the floor, respectively, with their tribute speeches varying only in thickness of orators' glasses.

The speakers squeezed out of themselves and put across one and the same idea of impossibility to list the grand qualities of the departing vet who all his life kept moving in the wrong direction deceived by them those commies—no fault of his, you see?—yet, our paper's door shall be kept open for him forever and a day.

In the end Ms. Stella presented him with a bunch of richly red carnations.

At home I lapped up our happy family life till 10 p.m., and then saw everybody to Underground.

When I was back and scribbling these notes, two powerful but mute flashes ripped up the darkness outside our communicational window.

I had the customary surge of warmth fizzling up the chest. The heart went pit-a-pat. Beastly female shrieks sounded in the street and I went out.

Some forty meters up the street, there was a house on fire.

Clinking of splintering glass and squeals of squaws in the crowd of by-standers mixed up with angry demands of non-interfering men to equip them with fire extinguishers, all that being out-noised by the businesslike crunch of the fire devouring the house with high—some 2 or 3 meters—tongues of flame.

I recollected the red-clad Santa Clauses from my dream.

Then there arrived a team of firefighters (undreamed of) and in two minutes put the fire out. My mother-in-law was in the throng partaking in subsiding lamentations. (Her house is only ten meters away from the damaged one).

Among the onlookers I also made out Sahtik, took her aside and expressly asked to go back to the children.

With nothing else to stick around for, the crowd started to disperse. I spotted Nerses going away and took him over to arrange seeing him at his place tomorrow at 3.30 p.m.

(The fortnight about St. Yuri's Day when serfs are free to seek another master is not over yet.)

It's quarter past eleven.

Desultory shooting of no account in the fog thickening outside.

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