Oleg Razumovsky was born in Smolensk. Served in the Navy. Graduated from teachers training school. First publications in the underground reviews: The Third Modernisation,(Riga), Mitin Journal (St.Petersburg), Chernovic (New-York) and others. Books by Franc-Tireur USA: Ho-Chi-Min trail, Merry Pictures and others. Literary prizes: Star Phallus (Moscow) and Silver Bullet (USA). Translations in Bulgarian, Dutch and English. Most recent publications in Roadside fiction, Mad Swirl and Bicycle Review and HST.
On Independence Day we sat with a former translator Fhil in the park near the bronze Deer. Soviet soldiers brought it from Goering’s hunting ground and gave it to children .
Phil quit translating right after the last default, worked as a guard and drank like a pig cheap counterfeit vodka called “Freedom” .
So, we sat, drank and talked and suddenly we smelled an aroma of the expensive perfume. We raised our murky eyes from vodka on the bench and saw a group of officials led by Governor himself. They were passing us quickly by, looking at us disapprovingly. And we, all of a sudden, began spontaneously throwing up in the most insolent manner. That “Freedom” it is the best among the cheap alcohol, but then it was too much of a good thing.
And what about the officials? Everything’s all right. They briskly passed us by turning away in disgust their noble noses. Only a stout cop, Colonel, ran up to us and made a remark. Like we should be more careful. We told him in chorus to fuck off.
We soon finished our “Freedom” and had to take another bottle. And when we were returning to our bench I saw a former KGB major sitting at the bronze Deer. Some years ago he was after me and Phil. Now he is a dirty bum who searches for food in the garbage. He is a real goner and looks like shit. Here in the park he collects empty bottles and then buys stinking moonshine and drinks till he passes out. Asshole.
I came up to the bastard, and, without saying a word , hit him hard in the odious mug. The bum did not even twitch.
So, we drank our “Freedom” with my buddy Phil and watched very young girls near the fountain drinking canned beer and cursing loudly, as if openly defying society.
Some ragged fucker shouted : ” Fucking Russia !” I noticed , by the way, that in place of the notorious soviet asshole, who sucked off the system, came a fucking Russian maron, who is always dissatisfied with the government.
Meanwhile the Celebration continued and gained momentum.
A well-dressed kid came up to the stall and, not wanting to wait for the seller, slammed his fist into the glass. He took a bottle of beer and calmly walked away. A tall policewoman with a long club in her belt and a silly smile on the entire fucking face was dragging a short drunk cop. Three stoned youths on the new Audi crushed into a concrete barrier. All three of them are instantly dead. Near the hotel Russia a killer is taking his time aiming at a businessman coming out of the jeep full of sluts and money.
Now, the festival was in a full swing. The crowd, drunk with “Freedom”, went crazy. People threw stones, and fought the riot police. They set some cars on fire. I myself broke the window of a fashion boutique Lady Hamilton, the hostess of which had recently humiliated me. Just insulted. This cow in trendy outfit with whom I was in high school thought me a looser because I had’t made money. Bitch!
Some unknown young guys, calling themselves The Left Demons, vigorously chanted: “Kill the skins, just don’t bullshit us! Save Russia ! “
In the evening I met in a dark alley a buisnessman in an expensive suit. Cut it all to shreds with my knife. I would’ve blown up some mansion, but I did not have a single gram of TNT on me.
Woke up in the morning at a tram stop. Gloomy citizens were hurrying to work, barely remembering what happened yesterday . I looked at myself. Oh, fuck! No jacket, no shoes. So, I went home barefoot.
One day I sat with Natasha near her house, eating cakes she gave me. Her parents hated me. They thought that I was a useless scum. Even her Father, a pathetic drunk, despised me. But Natasha sorta loved me and sometimes brought some food from home. And even bought booze, if she managed to steal money from her old people. She was a kind girl.
Just the day before we had got shitfaced drunk. After we had finished two bottles of
vodka at my place, we decided to go somewhere. I do not remember exactly where and it is not very important. Maybe to Van Gogh, who had invited us to visit him last weekend. When we went out it was already getting dark. Natasha usually when drunk rushes straight forward like a tank, and does not see anything in front of her. And there on the corner, near a bus stop, a Mercedes, was making a U-turn, and the girl crashed right into it. Natasha fell down. I began to lift her, but she collapsed on me… Eventually we sobered up a bit and began to laugh like two idiots, sitting on the ground.
But this is not very important either. The most interesting things are to come. So, we sat on the bench, eating those goddamned cakes and thinking about how to have a drink. We were absolutely broke. No money at all.
And then we saw two people, a drunken guy and a tipsy girl, coming to the entrance. And the fella asks if we would treat him to some cake. Yes, of course, no problem, I say, here you are. The guy is much obliged. He calls me a great man and invites me and Natasha to his place.
It turned out that they were profiteers and traders, Max & Svetka, and rented a room in this very block-of-flats on the second floor. Inside there are three bottles of vodka on the table and some stuff to eat. Well, decent food actually: salami, chicken legs, even fruit salad… I do not remember exactly what else. It’s not important.
We sat down at the table in the kitchen. In the room there were no furniture at all except for a single mattress on the floor and an old sterio. We did not listen to the music, though. We started to drink booze right away one glass after another as if in a hurry. And chatted about something, as if had known each other for a long time. Laughted a lot too, like fucking idiots.
Max was the first to pass out. He began shouting something unintelligible, flapping his hands like they were wings, then ran off into the room, just fell right down on the mattress and was still.
Shortly after this, Natasha followed suit. She passed out at the table. Me and Svetka dragged her to where Max was on the floor.
So me and the gal sat in the kitchen, drank vodka, talked and laughed. Svetka knew a lot of bawdy jokes. We laughed a lot. Suddenly her face darkened. She took a large knife from out the table drawer and said to me:
– If you’re a man, stab Max. I hate the fat animal. He spoiled all my life. I’ve poisoned him several times already, but it did not work yet. Kill motherfucker, I beg of you.
I wasn’t, thank God, that drunk at that moment, though we drank much. Quickly figured out the consequences. Okay, I slay the boar. Then fuck this slut. And then what?
– And then, – she tells me, – we’ll go with you to Van Gogh.
– Do you know him? – I am surprised.
– Of course. I am his godmother.
– We’d better go to him right now, – says I, – and then we’ll deal with Max.
– Well, OK, – agrees Svetka.
So, she dresses, takes the knife with her, and we go out.
It’s the night already and it’s pretty cold too. To keep us warm we buy a bottle of counterfeit vodka in a stall and drink it in the bushes. Svetka instantly begins to carry on like crazy. She sucks me off on her knees and then hugs me real tight. I see her scarlet mouth, wideopened and quite mad blue eyes and get very excited, throw down the nutty bitch in the mud and fuck her good and proper.
We had to take a cab to get to the distant neighbourhood where Van Gogh lived. But Svetka had a lot of dough on her. That was a good day at the bazaar.
Arrived. Went up to the seventh floor. Began to knock on the door. The silence is complete. Finally Van Gogh’s mum asks in a low voice:
– Who the fuck is there in the dead of the fucking night?
– Open up, fucker! – Svetlana yells and pulls out the knife. Whispers to me:
– Now, I’ll stab the bitch.
But Van Gogh’s mother was a smart woman. She knew her son’s pals very well. She shouted behind the closed door that she would call cops right away, if we didn’t fuck off that very moment.
So, we had to fuck away until it was too late.
When we returned to the flat, Max was already stirring and moaning. Natasha was muttering in her sleep. She was probably strangling someone in a dream. Me and Svetka all of a sudden began to laugh wildly like two idiots. What a fucking life.
On the New Year Eve Oksana invited me to her place to acquaint with her parents.
In the corner of the room stood the Christmas tree and in front of it, right on the floor, sat Oksana, dressed like a toy from a Department store.
“Well, you look okay, ” I told her, not even daring to sit nearby. Her red hair and a resolute face were reflected in a mirror, and it was raining outside.
“The New Year with a thaw? – gloomy noticed her father, a truck driver, sitting in a chair, drinking and smoking, – there isn’t any oder neither in the state, nor in nature.”
I must confess that I did not know whether to join Oksana and decorate the tree, or to start drinkig, like the rest of Oksana’s relatives.
“Why are you so shy, boy? ” asked me their grandmother, and I picked up a glass, filled to the brims. Put it down, and that very moment the evil spirit left me. I felt great. But I was a little annoyed with Оksana coz she promised me to be alone with her, and there were other people in the small room, not counting her younger brothers, a snotty idiot.
And when I was drunk tightly, I told her everything I thought about it, standing beside the big Santa.
” Be quiet, ” – whispered the dressed up cutie, – when everybody gets drunk, we will go to Вarbara. You know the barmaid at the station?”
Well, they laid the table in the center of the room, spread tangerines, hot potatoes with canned fish in tomato sauce. Everybody took a large glass of vodka and we .drank to a Happy New Year.
Oksana seemed to be obsseded with one idea in such a wonderful night.
“Look, she told me time and again, – if only you cheat me, you’ll bittery regret about it.”
I caressed her neck reassuringly.
Okey. They turned on some music. Distributed masks. I got the one of a red Commisser with a large mustache and big gun, and her dad was now a rich peasant with a shotgun. Оksana became a dog, and her brother, the snotty degenerate, was a fox. Their Grandma didn’t want to play with us. She was sitting on the stove, counting the years spent in prison – for her foul language, of course. That goes without saying. She was slso muttering about some evil spirits that possesed her. As for the mother, she had been drunk since morning and was sleeping in the closet. Nobody knew for certain when she would wake up to freshen the nip.
Well, we put on masks and became class alien. The dog was chasing the fox, and eventually began to tear her apart somewhere behind the scenes. I grabbed the gun and started firing at the chandelier, but somehow hitting constantly yellow shade on the ceiling. Father was shooting like crazy, without stopping and any sense, until he hit the old woman on the stove, who flipped over in the air three times and sprawled on the floor, breaking her all fragile bones. Then I got mad at the parasite, and without aiming, knocked out his brains out with one good shot. He cursed for the last time, then fell right on the floor and was still forever.
Now all was quite. Only the Parrot was hanging and dangling in his cage, like crazy. He was the ony sober witness of these strange events. He took a cigarette butt, considering himself to be an avid smoker and a very smart bird.
“Now you two will go to jail, ” he shouted all of a sudden and put down a glass of vodka.
The clock struck midnight. We kissed. Went to dance a waltz. We circled and laughed like recovering patients, clutching each other in a heated embrace.