room and a half – Brodsky

Dedicated R. TO.
In one and a half bathrooms (if not in English, this measure makes sense of space), where we lived three, It had a parquet floor, and my mother strongly objected, to her family, I especially, They are walking around in socks. She demanded from us, so we always walked in the shoes or slippers. Reprimanding me about it, I recall an old Russian superstition. “This is a bad sign, — She claimed she, — to death in the house”.
May be, of course, she just thought this habit uncultured, the usual inability to behave. Men's feet smell, and deodorants era has not come yet. And yet, I thought, that in fact you can easily slip and fall on the polished floor to shine, especially if you are in woolen socks. And what if you are fragile and old, the consequences can be terrible. Communication with wood parquet, land and so on. d. It spreads in my view on any surface underfoot close and distant relatives, who lived with us in the same city. At any distance the surface was all the same. Even life on the other side of the river, where I later rented an apartment or room, no exception, in that city too many rivers and canals. And although some of them are deep enough for ships, of death, I thought, they seem small, or in its underground elements it can crawl under their beds.
Now, neither the mother, no father is not alive. I'm standing on the Atlantic coast: body of water separates me from the other two aunts and cousins ​​THIS SECTION abyss, so great, that she was fit to embarrass death itself. Now I can walk around in your socks as much as you want, since I do not have relatives on this continent. The only death in the house, I can now bring, this, apparently, my own, what, However, would mean mixing the reception and transmission devices. The probability of such confusion is small, and this difference electronics from superstition. If I still do not walk around in socks on a wide, Canadian maple floorboards, it is not because, that such a possibility nevertheless exists and is not out of instinct of self-preservation, but because, that my mother would not approve of this. probably, I want to keep the habits of our family is now, when I — it's all, that was left.
We were three in our room and a half of these: father, mother and I. A family, ordinary Soviet family of the time. The time was after the war, and very few people could afford to have more than one child. For some it was not possible even to have a father — unscathed and present: Great Terror and the war worked everywhere, in my town — special. Therefore ought to believe, we are lucky, taking into account also, what we — the Jews. The three of us survived the war (I say “all three”, because I, too, was born to it, at 1940 year); but parents also survived in their thirties.
I think, they considered, They were lucky, though never anything not mentioned. In general they're not too listened to him, Only when you are old, and began to fight their disease. But even then they did not talk about themselves and death in that manner, that strikes terror in the listener or induces him to compassion. They just grumbling, unaddressed complained of pain and were taken to discuss this or that medicine. Closest her mother was coming to this topic, when, pointing to the very fragile Chinese service, I told: “He goes to you, when you get married or…” — and breaking off ice. And yet somehow I remember her talking on the phone with one of his far-away friend, which, I was told, was sick: I remember, mother came out of the phone booth on the street, where I was waiting for her, with some unusual expression of familiar eyes behind his glasses rimmed tortoiseshell. I leaned toward her (It was already significantly higher growth) and asked, what is the woman told, and his mother said, absently staring straight ahead: “She knows, that dies, and cried into the phone”.
They all took it for granted: system, own impotence, misery, his ne'er-do-son. Just trying to achieve the best around: To always had food on the table — and what would this meal or rendered, divide it into slices; to make ends meet and, despite the fact, we always interrupted by from payday to payday, postpone the ruble or two on a children's cinema, trips to the museum, the books, goodies. those dishes, utensil, clothes, linen, that we had, always shone with cleanliness, We have ironed, patched, starched. Tablecloth — always flawless and crunched, on the lampshade on it — not a speck of dust, parquet floor was swept and shined.
astoundingly, they never missed. pert — Yes, but do not get bored. Most of the home time they spent on their feet: cooking, stiraya, spinning around the apartment between the communal kitchen and our one and a half bathrooms, fiddling with some small change on the farm. Catch them sitting, of course, It could be during a meal, but most of all I remember the mother in the chair, zingerovskoy bent over a sewing machine with a combined treadle, Darn our rags, underside sews frayed collars on shirts, producing or repairing old coat perelitsovki. His father sat, Only when I read the newspaper or at the desk. Sometimes in the evening they watched a movie or a concert in our TV sample 1952 of the year. Then they, happened, also sat. That's because a year ago, a neighbor found a man sitting on a chair in a room and a half of my father dead.
He is survived by his wife of thirteen months. Of the seventy-eight years of her life, and his eighty I spent only thirty-two years with them. I know almost nothing about, they met, about that, that preceded their wedding; I do not know, what year they were married. And I do not know, how they lived without me their last eleven or twelve years old. Since I never enter into it, better assume, that kept the daily routine, what they, perhaps, even had won in terms of money and freedom from fear, that I was again arrested. If not for the, I could not support them in their old age, that I did not have a number, when they died. I say this not only because of feelings of guilt, how kind of selfish desire for the child to follow their parents throughout their lives; For every child somehow repeats the parents in the development of. I could tell, which ultimately wish to learn from them about their future, about their own aging; wishing to take the parents and the last lesson: how to die. Even if no lessons do not want to take, know, learn that they, albeit involuntarily. “Am I too will look like, when you are old?.. This hearty — or other — hereditary ailment?”
I do not know and do not know, how they felt during the last years of his life. How many times they covered the fear, how many times they were on the verge of death, they felt, when it was a relief, how to regain their hope, the three of us will find ourselves together again. “Son, — She repeated her mother on the phone, — the only thing, what I want from life, — see you again. — And immediately: — What were you doing five minutes ago, Before making a call?” -“Nothing, was washing dishes”. — “BUT, very good, very true: wash the dishes-it is sometimes useful to health”.

Rate it:
( 10 assessment, average 4.2 from 5 )
Share with friends:
Joseph Brodsky
Leave a Reply