Явор Емилов Тодоров (явор64)Раздел: Проза на чужд език Цикъл:
Sashka was very beautiful. She had dark hair and blue Aryan eyes, but she was bleaching her hair because she was a prostitute and the blonde hair attracts customers. In her profession it was important. She had long, spindly thighs, slim waist, narrow shoulders, mid-sized pear-shaped breasts and arms, slightly longer than normal. She was fifteen years old. She was really nice and Yavor liked her a lot. One could say that he was in love with her, as far as a man of thirty-five, who was in love many times and had experienced many disappointments, filled with skepticism in relation to women and, one may say, sure in his failure with them, might ever fall in love. But if the love is the thrill to see someone you like, it meant that he was in love.
They were living in the dormitory for temporary housing of homeless persons, which was located on the street "Rizhki Pass" 1, the building of the former "Vietnamese" hostels. The dormitory was representing a two-storey building made of something like corrugated iron. In the lobby there was usher`s room where a policeman of the municipal police was on duty. On the other side there was a room, that was saying "Filter", which was never unlocked. By that door there was a full-length mirror in which Sashka was looking at herself in the morning. In the form of the letter "Z" was situated the rooms, usually with three beds, with toilet and shower. Internal stair-case was uniting the first floor with the second. In the corner of the lobby there were a table with sofa, two armchairs, stools. The hostelers were loving to sit there at night and to talk about things. These were people in a variety of reasons without homes. The aim of the municipal housing was to provode them with cheap social housing for rent, but it never happened. The law was requiring the citizen to be accommodated in three months but because it never happened, in accordance with the wonderful mechanisms of the bureaucracy, the director was continuing by another three months the stay of those cases that were categorized as the most severe. Only one thing wasn`t clear to Yavor - what constituted "socially most difficult case" when you are in open air. Anyway, an almost constant composition of people was in occupation of the hostel for almost two years. The others, after three months, were ruthlessly discarded and lift the hostel.
Saska and her mother were at the hostel for two years. For these two years only one woman had received a flat in the the quarter "Botunets" and the people were talking undisguisedly that she had given large bribe. The rest were waiting and hoping. In the hostel there were all kinds of people, left without dwellings on any occasions. Yavor, for example, was placed in a room with a driver who, in the divorce, had granted to his wife the habitation with confidence that he would immediately receive housing in "Kremikovtsi". But after the revolution of the Tenth of November the receiving of departmental housing became impossible. There was a woman with a son ten years old that was acting as a "man-sandwich" while riding in public transportation with cardboard on the abdomen and the back, full with insulting epithets against the mayor of Sofia municipality. They were trying to make out her crazy because of this, but if she was crazy it meant that madness sometimes helps because shortly thereafter they gave her a residence. The rest were waiting.
Most of the occupants of the hostel were, of course, very poor people, mostly unemployed, on welfare. From the hostel soups, puree, compote, ketchup were given, which, of course, weren`t enough. It was difficult for those who hadn`t hot-plates because there were not a stove or a kitchen. And Yavor was knowing that many of them at the end of the month were starving. To arrive at the hostel one had to pass along other similar hostels in which were permanently housed Gypsies. Sometimes they were fighting among themselves for a stolen TV or who knows for what, windows were broken, a patrol car was called. Nearby two gypsy stores, very poorly supplied, that were delivering to the little gypsy section indispensapble products. Yavor also was shoppinf there and sometimes was drinking coffee, always alone on the table. This was the life. In front of the hostel of the homeless there was a metal grill door which after ten o`clock at nights was locked. Behind the grille there were a garden with roses, a plum, a boxshrub and a space for the laundry. The children of the Bulgarians and the Gypsies from the hostel were sitting on the benches and were familiarizing each other with the usual childish ease and the old women were telling each other their lived. In this garden Yavor saw Sashka for the first time. It was hot summer and she was in shorts, with sandals and was walking as rapidly as possible to the entrance of the hostel. From the window at her was shouting a friend of her, a Gypsy: "Sashka, faster!" Yavor looked after her, just as if he had not seen female legs. Slender, sculpted, with strong muscles under the delicate skin. Anyhow. It wouldn`t matter.
Sashka was dzhorevka, half-gypsy, half-bulgarian. With white skin from her blue eyed father, wrestler and bodyguard, who did not care about them now and was refusing to pay her alimony. It had to go to law. Her mother had kept his picture and she showed it once to Yavor. He was really tall man, standing before a white "zhiguli", still young a decade ago.
Almost unconsciously, with male automatism, Yavor was seeking to be where Sashka was, and if possible to talk to her. This was occurring most often in the evening, in the lobby, sometimes on the benches in the garden where Yavor was going out to smoke. Sashka was smoking only one or two cigarettes per day - normal for a child of fifteen.
Most of the friends and acquaintances of Sashka were Gypsies, she was considering herself in a greater degree as a Gypsy than as a Bulgarian. One evening a Gypsy was telling dumb jokes and Yavor was sitting there and absentmindedly was listening to them, making himself unintersted by Sashka, who also was there. There for the first time Yavor realised that she was prostituting, but not too regularly, because her mother, the Gypsy, was very much against it, she was making a row every time, but somehow she was accepting the facts, especially when they left entirely without money, and it was not so rarely, even contrary. Then Sashka was jumping across this awkward iron fence and was going in the "Sharlotte", an institution two quarters below, where she was making blowjobs for fifteen levs per session. Perhaps she was still a virgin and these scandals of her mother have been in fear of losing her virginity. Because of the fact that Gypsies awfully much insisted on virginity and the mother probably hoped on some more successful marriage with a rich Gypsy. If she wasn`t a virgin, they could return her back. But this wasn`t sure, Yavor was only assuming this, because the newspapers also wrote about some traditions of the Gypsies. Of course, for him, as a Bulgarian, the virginity meant almost nothing. He was in love with her just because the love-affairs happen, but, of course, he didn`t intend to marry her because he was poor .
- Tell about the president, about Petar Stoyanov! He is, isn`t he! - that fat Gypsy with the stupid jokes invited her.
- I played on his speakerphone! - Sashka boasted about by this professional pride and honest language with which are known the representatives of this craft that Yavor wasn`t knowing closely. On thirty-five years he was not yet enjoy the services of these women, although sometimes he was thinking to do it with any of them, because he was alone, he wasn`t going on gatherings and there was nowhere to be acquainted with a women. Only his sexual loneliness weighed heavy upon him, with the other he was not only accustomed to, but even he preferred it.
But Sashka was something else. They were now colleagues of destiny, they were in touch spontaneously and naturally, without the mediation of the bargain and the prices. Whether he was in love or not he wasnt`t knowing but something was driving him to go out to the corridor and to walk with the secret hope to glimpse her. He was knowing well that state of infatuation. It couldn`t be called otherwise.
The mother of Sashka was getting drunk when Sashka was going to prostitute. Then she was falling in a nervous breakdown and was staring to scream and to broke windows, furniture, everything. Then an ambulance with psychiatrists and police was arriving, an injection was put to her, the policemen were writing reports and examining withesses and the next day she was enduring the reproaches of the principal of the hostel and, generally, of all inhabitants. Yavor was on her opinion and was thinking she shouldn`t prostitute, but, of course, nothing could be done.
His own fate was gone wrong. Because he was treated in psychiatry, he was not accepted anywhere to work. He was a lawyer by profession. His diagnosis was schizophrenia, but according to him it was not true, since he neither was hearing voices, nor he haid visual or tactile hallucinations. Only sometimes, very rarely, he had the feeling that the sound of a reply, the advertising glimpsed asquint, the theater or movie poster directly were relating to him, had something to do with him. The interpretations were always in connection with that great and unrequited love he had neither fully overcome nor he was cured of it.
According to Yavor the psychiatrist weren`t understanding anything and especially that with a diagnosis and a registration card they were forever ruining the life and the career of their patients. He had a pension, but he was always without money, they were spent only for food and cigarettes. Furthermore, sometimes he was tempted to buy himself a book. Indeed, the books were his passion. But for a man in his situation of "socially weak", it was almost a vice, like the cigarettes for which also he was spending mercilessly lot of money. He was trying to make translations for a lady-psychiatrist, an acquaintance of him that had treated him. She didn`t cope very well in English and, moreover, she hadn`t time. The articles were all about psychiatry and, generally, were not at all easy to translate, but somehow he was doing. The lady-psychiatrist was paying him from her own pocket these miserable amounts, corresponding in fact to her also miserable salary. Ridiculous amounts, but one still needs to do something and he had nothing else to occupy himself. He was defined as a schizophrenic and they weren`t permitting him to work with his specialty. And he could have started nothing else and when once he tried as a hospital attendant in a private hospice where they also requested from hin a document that he was not mentally ill, he realized that to seek further was pointless. So was arranged the life. Such were the laws. But it didn`t stop him to pay his court to Sashka quite consciously. What does it matter that he had no money? He was a male specimen and she - female, and his male instincts were stronger than his social instincts which were telling him nothing but to lie low. And not to think about women as if he was gelt. But he was not emasculated, he should say so.
He was still after the blue bird. He was hoping that one day the writing would bring him much money. As it had brought them to Martin Eden. Or to Bunin, the only world writer before whom he would genuflect. The notoriously poor emigrant who had written the story "In Paris", from which he always cried. The story, in which, in a slightly rainy evening when the cobblestones are wet and oily-alike, a tall, and a little stooping man enter into a Russian restaurant, where he met the beautiful, dark-haired waitress, also an immigrant and Russian like him. A taxi, a restaurant, a cinema and a marriage, and at the end of the story he dies. The simplest story in the world, told in such a way that at the end of the story somethind was making you crying. Bunin had become a Nobelist. Why Yavor also not to earn money from writing? At age of twenty nine he had publish a book at his own expenses, as all young authors for which the publishing companies, the newspapers and the magazines were bounded by Great Wall of China. Book with ten stories. At least one poem was born in his head almost every day and he tirelessly was recording them. He wasn`t knowing whether he could issue them. No one was interested so much of poetry now. It was not as in time of Yavorov. Now there is television with its crap. Of course, this was the personal opinion of Yavor which was perhaps extreme. But he was a man of extremes. What wasn`t a personal opinion was that Bulgaria, except that it was economically ruined, was also culturally degraded and writers and poets were becoming a vanishing species. But his fate was linked to the writing and it was a karma.
In the time free from translations and writing he was going into the park to play chess, but because he hadn`t time for the dogged work, needed in this craft, he couldn`t win money by playing against the older garden`s masters and gradually he gave up to play with them, but was only watching the endless fights and listening to the eternal jokes of the street chess players. This, along with the writin, was helping him to remain alive.
Once Sashka and his mother asked him directly and without a lot of ceremonies to buy them something to eat. He had just made a translation. He told them that he had currently no money, which was the truth. At least they both he wouldn`t have lied for anything it the world. And he wasn`t such a man, sometines he was treating with a cigarette even strangers. He had to take the money from the translation the same day. Unfortunately the money was a very small amount, ten pages, fifty cents per page, or five levs. He said to them that tonight he would them something to eat, returning from his meeting with the lady-psychiatrist. And that he would give them. They already were talking openly with Sashka about his love, which she wasn`t taking seriously. Or, more accurately, she also was in love with a Gypsy, seventeen years old boy who was dying his dark, shiny black hair in blond locks. This suited him.
Yavor had so many times courted different girls and women and so many times he was repelled by them that he was accustomed to any love disappointments. He was knowing that he was ever out of look with women, though, damn, when he was looking in the mirror he was finding that he was beautiful. It was important to him since it was important to Bunin. Because of the eternal half-starving his cheeks were sunken, his cheek-bones were sharp as if he was a convict. He was nice as a film actor and if he was American, he would have gone to Hollywood with the eternal hope of the adventurer. But maybe just because he was pretty pleasant as the killer from the last night thriller he was out of look with women. He had heard that women prefer always the ugly men. It sounded logical. The ugly men are conformists, they adapt themselves better in society. They didn`t make an exception. They aren`t unique as Alain Delon. From them one can not expect genius, reforming zeal, rebellious spirit, but survivability - yes. The saying that the good apple is eaten by the pig was not accidental. The ugly men jazz better, as a girl familiar to him was saying.
The fair-haired painted Gypsy was about to become a pimp of Sashka and to live together with her on conjugal basis. She was saying that in the future she will need a pimp who loves her and who doesn`t beat her much.
- You will beat be, of course, you will beat me because you will be my pimp, but because you love me I know you will not beat me a lot. And I will bring you a lot of money but I want you haven`t other than me.
Sashka was repeatedly saying:
- I can get a lot of money, you will see!
The blond-painted boy was about to save money, to buy himself a gun and a dog, to train bodybuilding and to guard Sashka, to keep her from bullies and any kind of bad customers.
- Yavor also loves me, - Sashka was saying, - I am a woman and I know he loves me, but Yavor, I am first and foremost Gypsy, I am with the Gypsy tribe, the Gypsies are my people, my mother is a Gypsy and I do not love my father, I even do not know him. You love me, don`t you, Yavor? Tell him, he doesn`t believe! - she was speaking of the "pimp" with the blond-painted locs.
- Yes, - Yavor was saying, - I love you! Of course, I love you. Even I am besotted with you!
- However, I love him! And, furthermore, you are Bulgarian and you can not be a good pimp. The best pimps are the Gypsies.
- Well, there are Bulgarians also, - Yavor was shrugging his shoulders. - The Bulgarians also have pimps.
- No, Yavor, no! But if you want, have a fight with him and then you will become my pimp! - sometimes she was annoying them both.
- Listen, I hate the prostitution! The human beings shouldn`t sell love! - Yavor was angry sometimes.
- Yavor, I am a prostitute and you have to accept me the way I am. I have not yet decided with which of you I will be, but you are Bulgarian and, furthermore, you have no money.
- Yeah, yeah, but whether he have? - and Yavor was nodding to the peroxide young man.
- Yavor, you`re almost a friend of mine and I don`t want to fight with you, but if you keep advising her not to become a prostitute, then I will fight with you! She will be a prostitute and also my wife! Understand!
- Let him, - Sashka was saying, - you will not fight now because I don`t allow it. Yavor, do you want to know when I will be to you?
- Yeah, yeah, I want! - Yavor answered with a smile, slightly embarassed.
- First, I will decide. Whether I will be to you at all. Second, you have much to work and earn lots of money. I will also work, I will hustle and we will have a lot of money.
- Well, Yavor was interrupting her, - if I have money, why have you to be a hooker?
- Yavor, you don`t understand again. I am a prostitute. But you also have much to work, so you can indulges me because I am a queen, Yavor, or, more precisely, baroness, you know, Gypsy queen. As you have much money I want you every morning to wake me with a red rose, just one, you know? And to say: "Behold, I give you this rose, sunshine of my life! Did you sleep well, my queen, sunshine of my life?" This is at wedding, and it is said in a wedding , but I want you to say it every day! Got it! Everyday! And in Gypsy. Now pick a rose and tell me that in Gypsy, I want to see if you can. I don`t want you to learn Gypsy, you are not a Gypsy, but I want you to know only these few words. Tell them now to see whether you can!
Yavor was playing then the artist and picking a rose, kneeling the most truly way, he was trying to remember those few words in Gypsy, which were later on forgotten. That`s the life. Man can not remember everything.
That day in which the mother of Sashka asked him for money or for something to eat, he was also left without a penny. It was the end of the month, before the day of the pension. The invalidity pension was very low he also often was remaining without money before that damn last day of the month. Fortunately, today he had to take the money for the translation. He had tramslated three articles, two from English and one from French. Yavor was graduated the French college and the article from French did not hinder him at all. The other two were a little more difficult, but they were already finished. The lady-psychiatrist was paying him fifty cents per page and Yavor calculated that he should receive five levs. It wasn`t much. Their meeting was at the crossroad of avenue "Bulgaria" and the street "Count Ignatieff", on the bridge over the canal. When he received the money, he went into a shop, he went into a shop, he bought a bread and half kilo of cheese. He needed also two packs of cigarettes. Those damn cigarettes which was draining his money but it was too late to give up them. He couldn`t. He drank also a cup of coffee. The money was decreasing dangerously. From the little market in front of the garden of the church "The Seven Saints" he bought also a kilo of tomatoes. It was time to go.
It was seven o`clock in the evening, a warm summer day, the sun was setting. Yavor was feeling himself as if he was fulfilled his duty. His life was hard, a dog`s life, one could say. But he was struggling. And he had bought something to eat to the prostitute that he was in love with. This seemed great to him. He was seized by the exaltation that he exists, he lives, he loves. He was loving Sashka, a beautiful prostitute. That was nice. It was somehow great. No matter how difficult it was he had done something and now he would feed his favorite woman and his mother. That was nice. He was proud of himself. He was doing something, despite of the unemployment, despite of the bad luck. It was still a man. A man who cares about someone he loves. That was all. That was the meaning of the life. The meaning of the life was to love a woman and to wrestle with the life, although it was not possible to defeat it. That was the point. That was the meaning and Yavor was knowing it.