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← Тени на тротуарах

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Showing Revision 2 created 12/29/2010 by asilva.

  1. Suddenly this merry chorus of voices is invaded by a sound that resembles the screeching of car brakes that they consider music.

  2. We are growing suspicious.
  3. It turns out that these youngsters who loiter in shady alleyways behind the GUM instead of going to school
  4. are here to peddle a product of their own making.
  5. Foxtrot on x-ray plates that, instead of intricate anatomic details, capture a crude image of their intellectual poverty.
  6. Listen, Zhenya Garkun, what does the world look like to you through the tiny hole of x-ray rock-n-roll?
  7. It's a small, cramped world of shadows exchanging furtive looks.
  8. Shadows whose nickname is fartsovshiki (smugglers) selling old junk with fancy foreign labels.
  9. They are little more than shadows even though they have names, like Gennady Baranov.
  10. And you, Gena, do you really believe that this is life?
  11. - I don't actually live, I'm more like waiting for something.
    - And what exactly are you waiting for?
  12. Do you expect hydroelectric dams to erect themselves or the desert to flourish without your efforts?
  13. But when your peers perform miracles, you won't be able to stand by them.
  14. - Ah, yes, by the way: when I was a Young Pioneer,
  15. back in primary school, I used to pick wheat heads.
  16. Wheat heads? And all your knowledge of bread is limited to a bun?
  17. And your mate Sasha Kriukov twice went to reap the harvest in the Altai.
  18. Go on, ask him about the true price of the bread that you eat.
  19. What other shadows are lurking in this suffocating world?
  20. Her name is Lyudmila, but she prefers a monicker.
    In restaurants where she spends her days and nights she is called out: "Hey, Sophie!"
  21. - But how is that possible? You don't even have a job, but you frequent restaurants, wear fancy clothes.
  22. - Don't you feel sorry for yourself?
    Do you want to steal from yourself, Lyusia?
  23. Do you want to forfeit the simple joys of human life? The friendship of factory folk?
  24. The nervous tremor before an exam in a college? The loving stare of your husband' eyes?
  25. Or the happy mumbling of that charming tot, Seriozha? And Nina wants you to know all this.
  26. Who's that crawling about next to you?
  27. Who's that other shadow for whom all the values of the world mean little more than money?
  28. Viktor Pakhomov, perpetually tipsy and unruly.
  29. Where is all that money coming from?
    - I'm given tips every day.
    - Ah, are you really?
  30. - And you take them?
    - Yes, I do.
    - Splendid. So that's your income.
  31. That's life in the world of shadows, Garkun.
  32. But do you see that we want these shadows to become human beings?
  33. So don't bend over, Garkun. Look at the real big world that is breathing around you!
  34. A world where people wake up to new inventions.
  35. A world where cities are built and trees planted.
  36. A world where newspapers tell of our friends' glory.
  37. A world where people buy flowers for their loved ones
  38. and debate Botvinnik's latest game.
  39. Our world is a place where a person can in his final days say: "I did it all for the people".
  40. "And that is why this world exists for me".
  41. It is a great luck to live your life as a human being and not turn into an empty shadow.
  42. This is our message to those who are beginning their lives in murky alleyways.
  43. And it doesn't matter what exactly a shadow is mimicking: a peddler of foreign rags
  44. or a priest of rock-n-roll.
  45. Or an overgrown idler.
  46. We, the people, make no distinction in shaming them.
  47. TITLE: Shadows on a sidewalk
  48. Because we are human beings and we have human emotions.
  49. We can laugh and marvel.
  50. Be outraged and uncompromising.
  51. We can despise and condemn.
  52. We don't want foul shadows to blemish our sidewalks.
  53. All of us who walk our streets, who live in our city,
  54. no matter if one wears a volunteer's armband or not.
  55. And let our sidewalks be only adorned with figured shadows of tree leaves
  56. that do not hide the world's beauty from us.
  57. THE END