Exhibition of March - April
25 March - 26 April 2014
FROM OHFICER TO OHFICER
or a letter to yourself
Hello, dear, precious friend of mine. I'm sorry I have not written letters, didn’t remind about me, afraid to disturb my memory. Time, as water washes away layer after layer of fragments of memories of you, of our hard service, about the past life and times. Afraid to lose them all, I took up the pen and paper. Not to forget...
Do you remember how we shared with you all that we had? As shelter from rain and snow soaked overcoat, shared the last piece of bread, the last sip of water. As we covered by ourselves a small chilled fire ready to go out. As the flames burned ours hands and back froze from the cold.
Do you remember that crazy summer when the noonday sun day after day took away our last strength, threatening to take away our lives? As a wounded body and tired mind refused to fight, and ravens, thinking that we die, looked into our eyes. And there was no one in the endless fields and hot, steaming trenches. Just you and me. My dry lips could not tell you, but the idea that I am not alone, helped me survive.
I remember the day when we firstly met. How happy I was, feeling your warm, firm handshake, finding your hourly, selfless support, your tacit understanding... You brought a rescue from loneliness, when it was most needed. You have become my salvation, and I - yours.
Remember our last post? Long nights you talked about your wanderings in distant foreign country. You were unnecessary and undesirable foreigner, who drove everywhere. Drove your unusual appearance, your incompressible faith in justice and strange insistence desire to explain to everybody and everything. You shepherded their herds, and slept outdoor, without even a corner for the night, which has every animal that came home. And there was not one (he or she) who would want to shelter the stranger.
You were asked, "Where is your home?” And you were cunning: "My home is where I am." And you struggled with your whole being to him. Changing one after another close smoky cars, many days you returned home. And when you came back - did not recognize it. Your
aspirations and dreams of a happy life it countered war. And its name was - War. And you became its soldier. You're a long time and honestly served it. You were him as long as you could...
I remember how you put the gun in the corner, tore straps and went out. You smoked, and I stared through the small window at the dark, rectangular marks of epaulettes on your shoulders until they are powder with snow. "Epaulettes of the snow..." - I thought - "Nature itself, raising you in rank, robbed you from the War." You left in a snowstorm, having not finished smoking, having not finished service... Do not became nor deserter or traitor, and just stop loving the one that served for so long.
You left without taking anything with you that would remind it, and never looked back.
Not having looked back... Not having said goodbye...
Having forgot about the Oath and Duty, I drank "the bitter", slept for days, unaware that the two also forgot about me. When I woke up, my distant post was not needed anyone but me. But for a long time I did not realize it yet. Like a dog tied to his box, waiting for the owner, I was waiting for something and did not dare to leave this place. No, no, I'm not waiting for you! I could not!! Waiting for you!!! How could neither reproach you, because you relied on my understanding... just... silently, listening, waited...
But the decisive day is coming sooner or later. Deafened by silence, afraid to lose reason and, perhaps, having lost it, I was scared... I went out and ran... Falling, uphill and down dale, just away from here. As road now called barely noticeable trail, among the thickets of tansy and yarrow. Since you left, no living soul wanders into this region. There are no one and no need to pave the roads here. Only partridges build their nests in tall grass and hares occasionally jump right under my feet. They are here at home. As for me?
I ran faster. In the twilight I dreamed your back.
It seemed I was about to catch up with you...
Not to be continued.
Penza, January 2014