The Moscoviad

The Moscoviad by Yuri Andrukhovych Read Free Book Online

Book: The Moscoviad by Yuri Andrukhovych Read Free Book Online
Authors: Yuri Andrukhovych
like themselves. And that’s it.
    But the empire
betrayed its drunks. And thus doomed itself to disintegration.
    For now they
drink va-banque, now each bottle is procured through risk and blood and sweat.
Now for its sake people simply die, for example, by falling from the altitude
of the seventh floor.
    And so you have
successfully completed the road to the fair window. And there, on the sacks of
twenty-kopeck silver, sits, it turns out, a sexy enough fury (or houri?), with
eyes full of beer, and like all cheap Moscow girls, she’s a bleached blond. A
girl with pearly hair. Arnold, as always, makes an impression. They even manage
to flirt through the window, although the heavy impatient hangover breath of
Saturday heroes that are pressing from behind weighs on the back of the neck.
    “Nice girl,”
stresses Arnold, moving to the side.
    “Did you count
the coins?” Roytman asks distrustfully.
    “It seems she had
nothing under her robe,” answers Caesar, licking his lips.
    You guys have no
less than sixty coins. They say that in the united Germany Soviet people put
them into payphones instead of the ten-pfennig coins. If this is true, then
with the money you have one could call the whole world, including Macao and
Honolulu. But for that one first must cross several borders and somehow make
it, say, to Munich.
    Roytman holds in
his hands the plates with the murdered fish. Golitsyn fights for the place
under the vending machine. You and Arnold set out towards him with several
empty liter jars and one three liter one.
    One should first
fill up just the three liter one. From it everyone will drink, pouring for themselves
into the empty liter ones. Actually, you didn’t need to drag the jars all the
way here, to the vending machines, but it wouldn’t be prudent to leave them
unattended—this would be a fatal dilettante error. They would disappear
immediately. One would then have to buy empty ones (for the same three rubles)
from a local syphilitic.
    The vending
machine, having unhurriedly eaten nearly fifty of your coins, at last squirted
out the desired three liters. Next time you should get much more change, for
what is three liters of beer when it’s raining outside and there is four of
you? Thus you immediately get back into the line to the change window with the
beer sex bomb. Carefully, so that no bastard would elbow him and spill on the
ground the yellow liquid that has been procured with so much effort, Yura
Golitsyn carries the three-liter jar. Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev with a
three-liter jar of beer. A graying writer, full of grace, dignity and poise.
    They like
drinking beer “in the fresh air,” that is, under the plastic roof, accompanied
by the noise of the rain and the singing of drunk officers. They only thing
left for you to do is to submit, since you are here for the first time, and
anyway you’re the youngest. Next to them you are a sniveler, a sonny boy, a rookie,
and they dutifully protect you from all the possible dangers that hide here.
    Here, for
instance, you can’t look at anyone directly. You can’t stare at anyone too
closely and attentively. This would result in an explosion, a regional
conflict. You need to cultivate a superficial wandering gaze that does not stop
on anything. An indifferent unfixed movable gaze.
    Well, Otto von F.
Before you take the first sip, before you plunge into the unknown that leads to
an unforeseeable finale, before you step on the ghostly and tempting shoulder
off the righteous path that you have barely managed to grasp in your dreams last
night, concentrate and recall what you had planned for today.
    It seems I had to
meet with Kyrylo. I even have his phone number somewhere on me. It’s rather
important. It’s about publishing in Moscow a progressive Ukrainian newspaper.
Very good. Second, I had to make it to the store with the fairytale name of
“Children’s World.” I planned to buy there gifts for my friends’ children. And
my friends’ children to

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