Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ok, I’ll do this.

You gotta forgive me I am in a shit mood. Maybe I am always in shit mood, but if this is the case, I must be setting a new record.

A couple of things happened in the last few days that had me thinking about writing about them. What that statement meant is that sometimes you have to wait a bit to let things work themselves out before you can get a good look at them. Of course the other side of that is that perhaps you should write about what is happening as it I happening, at least as far as keeping notes about the details. But then there is a third option, this I remember speaking about with my teacher at the University: Stopping your life to write about it sort of takes time away from living it.

In any case the biggest thing that happened was a Zaremba-like confrontation that I had starting last Wednesday. Monday night and Tuesday I was at the dacha with Egor, and all of this happened after I came back.

Now, before I get into talking about the fisticuffs and all, I guess it might be worthy to speak about any violent leaning I may have had beforehand. And with full disclosure in mine, I would have to say that I was a little short of temper before any of this happened. This is not to say that I believe I was wrong in my actions. Not advocating violence mind you, it is just that sometimes a man has got to do what a man has to do. But now that I am thinking abut it; those couple of days with Egor at the farm probably had my temper a little short. I know I should be more forgiving that I am but sometimes our ten-year-old can push too may buttons and I do get frustrated. To be specific, I have a hard time dealing with laziness in others. I am not unreasonable, but I like a good effort. And Egor kind of mailed in his performance at the farm and then rode his bike like a pussy even after I begged him to put some ass into his peddling, especially as I had some 25 kilos of farm produce on my back. I told him I wanted to get the ride over with five times, but he still wouldn’t put out. So, like I say, I was in a foul mood when we finally got back.

So we had gotten back at about one or so, and I had my shower and did my chores and such, and I think it was near four when I had to go over to the house of a translator to see if he wouldn’t do the official necessities of getting my criminal record changed into Russian. I need this you see for that bureaucratic function.

It occurs to m also that I have not really spoken about that. And as of this moment, this seems to be a big deal so I suppose I should get around to speaking about this. Yea, I really do because it is looking at the moment as if it is going to end up being the last chapter of the book. Well, that’s another thought…

Look, I am sorry for bouncing around. I have a flu bug or something that I have just caught from Egor to go along with everything, so I guess that this is starting to get a little scattered. Ok, Ok- back to business.

So, I was probably a little on edge from Egor when I popped my head out of our apartment and saw this drunk sleeping in our corridor. Not the corridor of our house, but I guess you call it a landing or the hallway outside out door. The apartment we live in is a two story house and has eight living units. The front door has no lock and occasionally, we have drunks come in and have a sleep. Sometimes, this is arbitrary but more often then not, the drunk is connected to our next door neighbor. Tolik is the current resident, his father having moved away. Tolik is maybe forty; sickly this, curly hair and a mustache and a limp that I would guess has been with him since birth. And of course, the overriding character trait of being an outright drunk and a bum.

We have social apartments here in Belarus. It is a holdover from when the USSR was in business and the state held all property. Apartments are sacred and cheap and forever. So Tolic and his family have been in their flat since, oh, probably since they stopped populating the place as a general communist living space. This would be where whole families are assigned to individual rooms. This was of course during the time just after the war when things were being rebuilt. Tanya’s father was an original here. Most everybody is so I suppose Tolic's father was too.

But Tolic’s father, Ivan Fioderovich was also a drunk and without getting into the story of whether or not he actually did kill his wife, Tolic's mother, the lot of them have been drunks forever.

Ok, so I am drifting again. Ivan Fioderovich is gone and living with his kidney problems in another house and his son Tolik is still living in the family domicile. But, as Tolik doesn’t work and drinks religiously any kopeks he might receive from the states social welfare office, he long ago lost his electricity and would have lost his hot water of our apartments would have such a thing as an individual cutoff.

And so the picture I am trying to make, is that our next door neighbors are fucking bums, and we have problems all the time with their drunken loser friends, and whore wives making problems, leaving garbage in the halls, sleeping occasionally in the attic under the roof, and as I have mentioned, passing out in the stairwell.

We have gone to the police before. And I have invited people to leave myself. And as far as that goes, you know, talking to drunks… I mean, you know you are not going to have a sharp and concise theoretical discourse. The guy you are trying to convince to get up on his feet and leave is in the shape he is in because he couldn’t think of any reason not to completely fuck his nervous system by drinking way too much in the first place, right? I mean: Stand on your feet like a man!” doesn’t work unless the guy has felt anything like a man in the near past. If he doesn’t remember, your are just basically agreeing with him that he was right to attempt to kill himself with vodka or wine. And I am not disagreeing.

But what I am asking is: What are you supposed to do? We have kids here. This is more than role model stuff, I don’t need the kids to see this. Kids will think the damnedest things are ‘cool’.

So anyway, I ask them to leave. And, as this has happened maybe ten or 15 times, I am not really into the discussion any more. I do not care about these people or their problems. I know I am living surrounded my communists and such and that being a drunken fucking lout was the whole of the culture. Fine, fine, fine: I just don’t give a shit anymore. Get up, get up on your feet, get up and get out of our house, I do not want you sleeping here. Go home., Go home now. Get up and go home or we will call the police and you will sleep in the basement tonight. I am nicer than the cops, but you are not coming home with me, you are leaving. Goodbye, fuck off.
So this was basically how I addressed this guy a few days ago. He had been, I suppose, waiting for Tolic to come home. He was out of his head. And passed out on top of one of the storage box which is underneath the ladder that leads to the attic. Get up, get out, etc…

Now I didn’t know at the time that this uh… this…., whatever, this guy was actually kind of tied into the familial situation around our house. I really don’t have the stomach to really get into it, but Tolic…uh… well, he says that he has a wife. I have no reason to even care to not believe him, and this shriveled hag, who by my guess would have to be about 15 to 20 years older than he, has wailed several times in our corridor in a drunken blur over… God I hate writing this stuff.

Alright, so this wastrel was Tolic’s bitch’s son. Ok, I like that. So, this first class son-of-a-bitch was sleeping in our corridor and I invited him to leave.
And that is what started all of it.

And…, and I know you are going to hate me for this, but all of this talk about drunks has made me ill and I am going to stop for the moment. I will finish this story later….


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