A woman from the dating site made an appointment for me, a famous Moscow artist, at a fashionable English pub at the bank of the Moskva river. At that very pub which was opposite a huge monument to Peter the Great, a really amazing creation of a court sculptor of the Moscow city administrator.
There were rumours that initially instead of the Peter the Great figure there was sculpted Christopher Columbus, and Tsereteli wanted to present it to the Americans for the 500th
anniversary of America discovery by the Europeans. But none of the countries wanted to have such a talentless present. Anyway, the giant size of the statue is related to this very story.
Moscow residents were exasperated, but in vain. When they understood that nothing could be done and that the bronze idol had uglified the center of their city forever, they gave him an offensive nickname Barbecuer! The thing was that the sails tied to the mast as to the skewer, looked like a real Caucasus meal.
It was March. However, the winter was not going to give up. As a crazy barman it threw and poured to the glass the things that should not be mixed. Early spring either warmed with its tender sun giving hope to always hurrying Muscovites, or cruelly avenged the given sunny illusion with a stormy wind blowing up grey helpless clouds as if from autumn.
A florist covered purple roses with several layers of kraftpaper. This saved the flowers, otherwise, the bouquet could be pulled from my hands. The wind blows were so strong that even hands were to tear off the body and fly away.
Now it is warm, and the wind is behind the walls. A waiter carefully took my bouquet and even promised to bring a vase for it. I took off my coat and realized that I really felt cold in the wind. Well, it is not difficult to warm up in a pub and I ordered a glass of gluhwein.
The interior of the pub reflected the best English traditions of the 19th
century. Smoked oak furniture, the walls decorated with paneled oak, a little bit faded, with a slight taste of a two-hundred-year old poster decay, with women in hoop shirts and turning grey gentlemen wearing top hats and half-light disposed people to leisurely pleasant pastime.
In my case true was about leisurely, but not about pleasant…
More than an hour passed, but the stranger, who swore to surprise me with her psychic powers, did not appear in the pub.
However, my tension was on the required level. I warmed up and under the shade of the rose bouquet was looking at the people.
Though the place was an expensive one (it is not a McDonald's!), the pub was quite popular among teenagers. Some tables were taken by young people, apparently, students. In front of them there were open laptops or tablets. There was grey steam coming from the cups of coffee.
Older people of other kind were also here. Two women (just over thirty) with glasses of champagne were looking around hoping to find a rich client. In the corner a couple of love birds, as if being in a separate world, not noticing the people around, stuck in visual petting: he and she masochistically squeezed their hands till pale skin licked and ate each other with their eyes. If not the moral taboos living somewhere at the back of mind, they would have made love right on the table.
I shivered. Somebody touched my shoulder.
Having turned around I have hardly recognized the woman from the dating site. That very lady which who I appointed a date yesterday. A blunt bob of thick brown hair, a hat for men smartly pushed to the side, big beautiful eyes with greenish cast and contrastingly narrow, thread-like lips, denoting reserved and hot temper.
Well, the lady talked in the most friendly way.
— Hello, Alex! I'm Kate… Is it for me?
She looked at the bouquet and took the effort to move around the table. But then she began to jabber as a magpie before rain. I even wanted to cover my ears. Talking fluency did not match the image of that woman. She was dressed decently, but with taste and expensively, I was quite good at brands.
— You know, Alex, — she jabbered, — my French guests unexpectedly arrived! I had to meet them at Sheremetyevo. Well, forgive me, I was a little bit late.
— Yeah, — I have managed to say a phrase, — an hour and a half — it's nothing, not to worry. If true, I was thinking who of those two women are going to have your bouquet of roses. I think they would be happy.
— Come on, Alex, I'm sorry! Didn't you promise to show me your pictures?
And she stared at me with her big eyes. Her lips turned into tread again.
— If I promised, I will. Let's have a cup of coffee. And then move to the studio.
When we were finishing our coffee the taxi driver called.
The weather was raging. The wind blew a lot of clouds. It started to sleet, big flakes stuck to the windshield glass. Screen-wipers could not defeat the snow gruel. The taxi was moving slowly, almost by touch. Kate was talking at full tilt. From her idle talk I found out that she graduated from the Moscow State University of Foreign Affairs, knows French, is a translator and accompanies tourist groups (mostly French speaking). A year ago, she completed her courses in extrasensory perception, and since then she has been "processing" all her friends: corrects and cleans their karma, removes hoodoo, eliminates negative energy, thus earning good money.
Having listened to her I understood than instead of a romantic stranger I met a wheelhorse using sites to find new clients.
At home I helped Kate to take off her clothes, pegged her coat and first of all invited her to the studio, the Most Holy place. I put the bouquet of roses to the coffee table in the Art Nouveau style, standing near the corner sofa.
My temple of art covered a twenty-square-meter room in a four-room apartment with the area of one hundred square meters. The room was in the neo-classical Stalinist building with three-meter ceilings. After the war this house was built by captive Germans. It was built under the pre-war technology: the wooden lath was filled with rhombs, it was laid criss-cross diagonally on the brick walls, and then they were covered with gypsum neat plaster. The walls were finished with a simple décor, some curves joining the ceiling and a simple painting line in the upper part of the drop apron. The apotheosis of the Stalinist Empire style was a gypsum rosace in the middle of the ceiling around the classical lamp post.
There is no order in the studios, no matter the studio. I know for sure. At the entrance there was a rack full of my pictures. There was a sofa covered with terra cotta imitation-leather cloth which, in half light, looked like genuine leather. Next was a classical bookcase with glasses and a big desk. The walls were covered with the recently painted pictures, icons and photos from different varnishing days where I shot together with my army friends against the background of my pictures. In brief, there was enough of me in the studio.
While Kate was brushing up in the dressing room I poured some white Italian wine "Valentin" representing a wine blend of Parellada and Garnacha Blanca. Their taste was amazingly the best for fish delicacies, which I have thought about in advance. I arranged on the plates some tasty salmon steaks coked on the air grill, decorated them with lettuce, cherry tomatoes and squeezed half a lemon over that culinary beauty. For me intelligent communication meant not only spiritual food, but also the one for the stomach.
It wasn't to be!
— Alex, dear! — Kate began to jabber. — You know that I am a breatharian and consume only sun energy, even when there is almost nothing of it!
"Oh my gosh!" — I thought.
Meanwhile, she fastidiously pulled the plate with the salmon stake away, looking at which my mouth was watering. And she continued to jabber.
— You eat dead animals and fish, my dear Alex! This damages your body and mental abilities!
"Why's that?" — I wondered in my thought.
- To digest all that you will need a lot of your energy, Alex! But you can use this energy for high aims. Believe me! Pictures, Alex! You can use energy for pictorial art. You can create not simple pictures, but spiritual pieces of art!
I shut my mouth which opened itself. Being amazed.
— How should I understand this, dear Kate? Disclose the secret!
— Everything is simple, dear Alex! — Kate continued in a voice of a senior mentor. — First of all, you should have luxuriant imagination and imagine the sun as tasty energetic flesh feeding the body.
— how's that?
— Imagine the sun energy flowing into you. Imagine that every cell of your body, your every DNA gets its tiny piece of this energy! We, people, are like flowers which cannot live without sun; the flowers in the leaves of which takes place photosynthesis under the sun rays.
— Yes, of course, — I agreed, trying to recollect school lessons in botany and chemistry, and remembering something: — But plants don't only feed with sun energy, they need water and fertile earth.
— Water, of course! — With these words Kate took the glass of wine and had a big gulp. Then she raised the glass, reaching her arm out to the lamp. Looking in the shimmering glass walls she continued her lecture about sun advantages.
— Here is the sun energy, in the grape wine without any chemicals, only due to natural processes happening in the grape-vine!
Kate took another big gulp and continued to talk about the harm of ordinary human food.
Wistfully I thought that after such a lecture the salmon steak will surely stay out of my mouth. What shall I do? I should not lose my face with this breatharian!
Having swallowed the saliva filling my mouth in expectation of the coming feast, I made a clever face and like a studious pupil was listening to the verbal flow of my new friend. Gulping from the glass, Kate was talking about lightness and independence given to humans by sun consumption. As they don't need to carry heavy bags with food from shops, waste hours cooking dinners and suppers. Breatharians just have to inhale spiritual prana. It is strictly prohibited to eat dead animals or fish. We should enjoy life and create spiritual pieces of art. Wonderful pieces of art!
With sadness I was looking at the emptying bottle of Italian wine "Valentin" drank by Kate, at the drying and fading salmon steak grilled by me with love.
— Alex, honey, I want to see your pictures, I want to talk about them, analyze, dispute! — Kate got on the sofa with her legs. Her right hand leaned against the soft back, in her left hand she had a glass with the last drops of heavenly moisture, bottled in sunny Italy.
— Kate, dear, before I show you my pictures, I need reconnoitering and I have to take everything unnecessary to the kitchen.
I put on the tray the plate with the steak and salad and a half empty bottle of "Valentin," and walked slowly to the kitchen. On my way my mouth was watering. The corridor was quite long I yielded to the temptation! Having given up and being afraid to drop the tray I started to take piece by piece of the cold salmon. I pushed the pieces in the mouth alternating this barbarism with salad and washing everything down with the wine drank from the neck. About five minutes later the part of the brain responsible for saturation, signaled with satisfaction about the successful process termination. Alcohol quickly reached the brain and fatigue captured the entire body. I felt a kind of pagan gratitude to the mother-nature for her generous yield!
Having left the tray on the kitchen table and having put the empty plate in the sink I felt, or rather heard Evgeny Grishkovets singing and talking in my head, "… and my mood improved." And it really did! Dead right! I was just flying above the ground.
But suddenly a strange and unknown sound broke my universal harmony. The sound came from the studio which I left a few minutes ago.
I couldn't believe my ears. Snoring, mannish wild snoring was behind the wall. But who was there? There was nobody but a young lady there!
Is it possible that Kate's friend entered the apartment when I was eating the salmon? And what kind of friend, dead drunk, I think?
On my toes, for not to frighten away the prey, step by step I moved to the studio.
With every step snoring became louder. As if somebody was touching the Vernier. And here I am in the doorway of my studio. In my hand I have a cast iron taken from the bookshelf in the corridor.
No, this "bad scene," though it is in my studio, was not created by me. And it can't be called spiritual not matter how you try.
Having huddled up Kate was sleeping on the sofa. Her head sank in the soft leatherette armrest. She was snoring at the top of her voice, digesting the sun energy produced in Italy.
On the coffee table I see an empty, licked clean plate, where not so long ago was an orange salmon steak surrounded by lettuce and a reel of cherries. Lady's fingers were still holding the empty wine glass.
"So many things were thought about!.. — I smiled. — Discussion of my pictures… And, of course, cleaning and correction of my karma! Breatharian, breatharian, what shall I do with you?"
I took a blanket from the dresser and covered the young lady. For not to lose the energy.
But now I know the terrifying secret of all breatharians! The main thing is not to have witnesses when you stuff yourself with ordinary human food!