“Only the ignorance of the world, reducing the most beautiful to the primitive, keeps them from realizing their value and becoming too proud or yielding to grief. In this is our great good fortune as men!…” – SEMMANT
Again I spent hours in cafes and bars. After dates with Lidia I would wander the streets, then suddenly push open the next door I found and sit at a table against the far wall. And I would observe the girls, in search of an answer, though the question itself was still unclear.
Almost at once I discovered what a relief it was not to think of sex, and I became convinced I still knew very little about women. Yes, my former viewpoint was correct, but very narrow and one-sided. The call of the flesh – it’s deficient; affection can’t be reduced to the simple: to the body, to raging hormones. There was something more; my trained sensor now signaled without stopping. It became sensitive, like a nuclide counter, like radar for listening to the cosmos. And it was recording, click, click, click…
“Against all odds I always pray: let the bull win today!…” – SEMMANT
The path to reach the judge was long – first a ride in a paddy wagon; then I was led, handcuffed, through a building full of people. The security from the Guardia Civil excelled at wit. They made fun of my name and my accent. They felt omnipotent; I was fully under their power.
It seemed to me they embodied the immense vapidity of the benighted masses. I despised their smugness with all my soul, all my being. I hated it and thought: well, it’s not in vain that I’m always rooting for the bull in their Spanish corrida. Against all odds I always pray: let the bull win today! And someday he will ultimately win – beating all those worthless Castilian males, who are already whipped, even though they don’t believe it yet. He will dominate them – with his balls, with his bovine member!
“I realized my notions of the country where I had grown up and then left were one-sided and not quite accurate…”
Our American business developed slowly. The first few years we had neither money, nor experience, nor connections. We made many mistakes but still held out until the quantity of our efforts turned into quality. We caught a break, and quick growth followed.
We hired many new employees. They were divided into two, nearly equal, sections: an American part, engaged in marketing and sales, and the Russians, who developed our technologies. Between these two halves arose an intense, sometimes hostile, opposition.
“Here was someone with whom I could unite against all external, hostile threats…” – SEMMANT
I doubt Semmant believed me. But he responded, as always. Whatever I might fault him for, indifference was not it. I could not shake the sense: we perceive each other like no one else. As I was musing on this, I was growing confused imagining the complexity of his electronic innards. Yet, there was no doubt: my robot was becoming ever more responsive and refined. I already could not believe that the push toward this had been my two sloppy poems. But then, maybe I’m overestimating their role.
In any case, the two of us were fortunate. Could it be Leonardo deserved our gratitude? His gaze went through me, pierced me all the way, then went through Semmant. The creation cycle came full circle – thus it was discovered it has no end. You never know beforehand what exactly will turn out most important. But here it was, the most important thing had already become clear. I now had a new friend!
“And then I discerned it with my own eyes – either in a dream, or in the brief madness of contemplation…” – THE BLACK PELICAN
The longer it lasted, the more I considered him a symbol of the gray masses that didn’t allow me to breathe. I saw in Julian a dotted contour, an abstract category containing everything vile that elbowed me out of the way, so I couldn’t find reliable ground and felt all handrails slipping out of my hands.
“The customs officer, young and impudent, carelessly set to rummaging in my bag. Suddenly he lighted upon something, and his eyes twinkled…”
The Yeltsin-Gaidar economic reform, which impoverished the entire Russian nation and created a small group of super-rich oligarchs, began in January 1992. I was working then at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Right after New Year’s vacation we were told that financing for the Academy had been cut off. All academic institutes were advised to survive on their own. Thus began the collapse of the fundamental science system of the former USSR – created many decades prior and considered one of the strongest in the world.