A week ago I was driving with a taxi driver out of town. I urgently needed to get to one place, fifty kilometers from Moscow, and this was the only way to get there. The journey was a long one. I, as usual, was very lucky: the driver did not stop for a second. He persecuted bikes without stopping.
In the Soviet Union, he worked as a technician in military aviation, serviced aircraft. He once flew to Chita in a cargo plane, along with various major generals. By the third hour of the flight, everyone got so drunk that the plane had to land him and one of the generals. And there was also a case, an air alert was announced. And the pilots are all in shit. They were brought on a plane, one was accidentally put upside down in the cockpit, given oxygen and sent to attack the training target. The pilots managed, but then flew off somewhere abroad - to fly a couple more hours. It was funny, but a little tiring.
“But the Boeing, you remember, fell? Do you know why it was? Because you had to fly on a Russian plane. They had everything through the ass on the Boeings, no protection from the fool. If we pull the steering wheel abruptly, then immediately goes into manual mode, everything starts to blink, whistle, grunt - in short, it’s impossible not to notice, but when this child’s pilot started flying, the autopilot turned off and no one noticed, because our planes are the best the world. "
"Or here’s a crane. You see? More precisely, you see - two cranes are standing. One is ours, the other is German. The carrying capacity is the same. But they are so thin, elegant, and ours is so massive, as much as twice. It’s, you know, why? This is because ours know - anyway, some asshole will take and attach twice as much cargo to the boom. The German will immediately fall down, turn into a house of cards, but ours is nothing. Because the crane is good. "
“And why the heck should I hang up so much?” I asked politely.
"So he’s an asshole. He’ll hang it anyway. He won’t come so different, even worse - a lumber, or with a hangover, angry, did not sleep for five days - it will happen, as it will not."
In Moscow, around the clock you can
to do everything - to shave, get a haircut,
swim, buy a car
We drove, the road narrowed to two lanes. An endless traffic jam began. I sat and listened. And the farther, the more he thought about us and them. I recalled how many times in my life, when I ended up in Europe, I complained about how poorly arranged for them. Once I thought of dying. Not really, of course, but it’s like re-drinking, pressure, some other charms. And I did not have with me a pill that helps. I went to the pharmacy. It was in Helsinki. Look, I’m saying, I’m dying, give me pills, otherwise I’ll just stay as a warning to posterity. It turned out I needed a recipe. But I'm dying - I didn’t give up. I don’t know anything, there’s no prescription - there’s no pill, the calm doctor answered. For the next three hours, I was looking for a doctor who could prescribe me pills. All hospitals were closed. I called an ambulance. The guys arrived, recorded that I was dying and offered to take a taxi at my own expense and travel fifty kilometers from the center - there, they say, there is a 24-hour hospital. And so we can’t help. Because Sunday is not supposed to die here. (It should be noted, of course, that I was not really going to die, just the pressure jumped up, panic, well, and all things are familiar to every paranoid in the city of Moscow). While I was walking and driving, of course, everything went by itself. But, I immediately remembered these beautiful, harsh women from the near hometown of the capital - it’s not a fact, of course, that they will arrive, you certainly should not wait for them to arrive quickly, but when they do, they will examine you with this derogatory look, they will look around, saying that you live here, fearful insignificance - in general, they will perform this post-Soviet ritual of trampling personality, but they will not let go without a pill, and until you calm down, they will not leave and they will not leave to die on the street.
And this happens so much as not to list. In Moscow, you can do everything around the clock - to shave, get a haircut, swim, buy a car. As my Lithuanian friend says, Moscow is the only city where you can buy groundhogs, Kalashnikovs and nuclear weapons every minute. And try to change a hundred euros at night in any European city? And go around with a 500 euro piece of paper in a roadside cafe? And try to find free Wi-Fi at the airport? And the myth that our people will not help a foreigner find their way, because they don’t know languages? This is pure deception. Because our people have sign language, they often speak it, and try to ask an Italian in a small town something? There you go. Because our people do not care. Did you see the video on YouTube? WeloveRussia is called, as far as we can, we live in shit, and savvy works. We get out somehow, we survive so that the Americans are afraid. We’ll show them again, in the village, a man gathered a tractor out of bottles, so we’ll come to it and turn off Europe’s head. Forward Russia and not ssy Europe.
And really they will. With the speed with which the Russians are buying up whole pieces of Italy, France, Spain and other places that are so wonderful for living, there is no doubt that the danger that we will spread to the whole civilized world is more real than ever.
My reasoning became increasingly foggy and comprehensive at the same time. My theories no longer needed any intelligible arguments, I sat and vividly imagined how 24-hour tents would appear in the place of small shops, small eateries would start offering pasta bolognese, sushi and smoke a hookah.
But something rang in my head, making a thin voice breaking through the geopolitical layouts.
This is some kind of folk sadomasochore,
to endless territories
“Wait a minute. Maybe the Germans just won’t think of hanging a twenty-ton crane. Or maybe the Lufthansa pilot won't put the child at the helm of the plane, knowing that two hundred Germans want to get outside the door to work, and not to see how the little one has fun at the cost of his own life? Maybe nobody needs to buy a ferret at two in the morning? " The whole picture began to collapse and become more and more frightening - in twenty years planes that were not treated with anti-icing liquid fall across Europe, Lada Kalina travels, and George W. Bush’s horse wins the US election, with the slogan “Yes, I’m a horse, but everyone else is even worse. "
There is an invincible feature in us - to revel in our own bottomless hollow-boob, to laugh at our crazy politicians, to laugh, while at the same time as if apologizing. This is some kind of folk sadomasochore, which has spread to endless territories. Have you heard that in Transbaikalia heroines were pushed instead of vegetables in a stall? Did you see a tank driving along a road and meet a yacht? And how did a man jump from the fifth floor? We look, look and rejoice, how everything is done with our asshole, it is turned through the ass and is visible through the ass. And there is no end to this. And the edges.
There is no “this” country. There is me and you. And each time, with a confident hand, you draw patterns of the Friendship chainsaw on a summer toilet, write to the American embassy at five in the morning, buy a refrigerator at four in the morning, because they give him a juicer for free, and you are terribly indignant that at 12 in the evening everyone in a small European city stops thumping and goes to sleep - you make that country a little "this."
Illustration: Alexander Pokhvalin