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



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

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February 11.

During the past good night forty (so the local radio) missiles and shells hit the town.

The bombardment went on till ten in the morning.

They fired from all the quarters and from Malu-Balu too until it was captured and set on fire.

The Club was locked.

At home after translating half a page, I had to put Joyce aside. The mother-in-law sent me to the downhill town with breads for her daughters' families (three loafs to each household).

They were in their respective undergrounds.

Valyo invited me to go up to his flat, and there put a bottle of
tootovka TOOTOVKA —
     Traditional Karabakh spirits: moonshine from distilled mulberry.
on the table and a plate of eatables, over which items unfurled a gaudy oration on everybody's right to live at their liking because we were born to see our kids happy and live long lives but now children from the two sides kept killing each other in this senseless dirty war while cannabis smokers and thieves were burglarizing houses of the honest towndwellers.

I skipped the drink but ate.

On my way to the downhill town, the Club happened to be open with only Shamir, the porter, present and he also was about to leave.

I made a print of the padlock key on the bar of modeling clay I'd been keeping in my pockets for the purpose.

At home after lunch, I began to file a duplicate key.

Sahtik came home with the kids, and we went out for a walk.

Sunny weather. Calm day. Sometimes it's not so bad to be alive.

When Sahtik stopped to have a chat with a friend of hers, Ahshaut pulled me by the hand to go on.

Then, she discovered that the phones in the booths by the Hotel were working and rang up her another friend – Gaiana.

The latter's husband had recently become
a phedayee PHEDAYEE —
     (Armenian borrowing from Greek) "freedom fighter".
and participated in the first, unsuccessful storm of Malu-Balu two days ago.

Then, he came home in the morning with his legs almost frozen off and slept till three in the afternoon.

Returning from the walk we met our teenage neighbors, Arthur and Romah, in company of a man in khaki with a gun and brave mustache, presumably, marching them over to loot Malu-Balu.

<!-- Paupers expropriating paupers.-->

Back to our one-but-spacey-room flat Sahtik and I had a senseless ugly clash:

' Why don't you go to a nearby water queue? The queues are not too long early in the morning. What's the use of bringing water from as-far-as-hell-itself?'

'Because I'm ready to go twice as far if it keeps me clear of water queues.'

'It's a silly ass' reason, besides the water you bring is not enough anyway.'

'I bring as much as I can. Not satisfied? Then wait till I am done with, and keep a real ass in my stead!'

Eventually, I had brains enough to smooth it out with begging pardon for everything said by both of us.


And, right now I hear a stir in the yard: agitated voices, laughter, baaing of the lamb brought by the two boys from their raid to Malu-Balu.

Poor lamb.
Poor boys.

Well, let's go for the water-walk mutely chanting the Maha-Mantra, and trying to forget where and who we are.

Good night, everybody.

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