I was not myself yet.

However, I had a waist of 40 cm and a dress by Laura Ashley which emphasized it. As is befitting a romantic young lady who just arrived from America, I painted watercolors depicting architectural views of old Europe soaking in drizzling rain.

Everyone I met wanted me as their right arm: a lady selling wings for the aircraft industry proposed me to become her personal secretary, an important editor wanted me to help him choose texts for printing, an art director of a socialist newspaper offered me a permanent position as a layout artist.
Then came a man who did not lose time with proposals. He decided for both of us: "She is mine".
How could it happen?

It was so foggy…

In the courtyard grew a tree folded down to earth by the weight of ripe fruit. Seeing me observe the tree for hours, he whispered tenderly: "My heart is bent with love for you the way this tree is."

So was mine, but it was bent from sadness. I felt pity for the tree, which was crippled by its own abundance and fenced off from those who needed its fruits. I wished to see it raise its brunches all the way to heaven , to play with the wind.

Thoughts of this kind were unsuitable for the betrothed, so I would swipe them from the table together with crumbs of bread after the dinner. Why should I think of twisted tree? I ought to think about my future husband: he was one of Europe's most talented artists, his career was soaring higher and higher. But thinking of him I would become even more unhappy. I was so already, as never before and as never after.

The fog was dense with sadness, it was creeping along the ground, it was like my desire to cry without a reason, it was also an impossibility to do so, that fog was lifeless like burned out land.

We would paint the fog together: he did it well, I did it badly.
His paintings justly were selling throughout Europe. My paintings, justly, were not selling.
On the table lay a magazine which explained the reason: Lorrin. Turner. His illustrious surname that soon was to become my own.

The walls were covered with his paintings, one more beautiful than the other, depicting Venetian palaces in the fog, marine landscapes, and misty views of old Europe. They were made with incredible craftsmanship, equal to the masterpieces displayed in world-class galleries and museums. Everything was so white and pink, so refined, my betrothed was always elegant, even when he painted. The cuffs of his shirt were shining, he never dirtied his hands.

Life together.

Me: “They called you from Milan. Everything is ready for the Fair. The gallery owner will arrive tomorrow to take the paintings, his secretary is already here in the Hotel.”
Him: “Well, well, come here, look: do you like it?”

Me: “Certainly... What do you think: should we invite him for a dinner? It must be very sad to stay alone in the Hotel surrounded by this gloomy fog. When we were all in the restaurant, he told me that he was a musician when he was young, now he is a failed musician, can you imagine how it must feel?”

Him: “My dear, I can' t lose my precious time on some insignificant vendor of artworks! Unless it was to please a gallery owner who is very powerful. Perhaps he'll be unhappy that we have not shown him enough respect through his, I do not think it is necessary, truly. “

In those moments I would think there is nothing comparable to the vulgarity of success-oriented people, they are so logical, so linear, they never deviate from the set path! You can spit blood, die of hunger, shoot yourself from loneliness, but they will never notice: they must create beautiful paintings, do exercises for the concert, write their thesis. In times like these even the porno shop of tiny town seemed to me the temple of innocence compared to our house.

But these thoughts were not suited for a slender miss who resembled a sugary little girl in a country dress that so often adorn Bavarian teapots. Let's not forget: soon I was to change my surname. So I brushed away thoughts of disgust as if they were crumbs of bread left on the table after dinner.

Time was creeping slowly. Then came his thirtieth birthday. How to celebrate it? Of course, by improving himself in some way. For example, by buying an ancient mandolin and learning to play it by himself in a short time. “Finally I will be able to serenade you as one ought to!”

How romantic was my future husband! He had an extravagant side to his soul…so, the ancient mandolin. It was a nice idea, but one also had to BUY IT. Its price was crazy, three or four thousand euros. His paintings were selling well, he had money, but he's been taught from childhood to venerate it.

The aspiring musician had spent the entire day torturing himself and others. He would enter the store, touch the ancient instrument, look at it, then say, “No, no, it is a serious matter, I will have to think well about it.” Then he would run out only to return after half an hour, pat it, then put it aside again. He was tense, he was sweating. To take out three thousand euros from the bank deposit ...he looked like Hamlet pondering upon the eternal question, “To spend or not to spend?” Finally, when the shop was about to close, he bought the mandolin. He asked, as if seeking my approval, "It is a good investment, right? I have done well to buy it, what do you think? "

"If you wanted it, then you have done well to buy it."

I wanted to say, "Oh, miserable creature, that's not the way to buy antique instruments, listening to your serenades I will always remember the shameful scene. Poor mandolin, it has been offended, now it will always be mute, it would have to pretend that it makes music in the hands of its greedy master."

But these thoughts did not go well with my role, so I swiped them aside, I swept them under the carpet, I wiped them off as drops of water from the dishes...

There were not only thoughts, I also had disturbing visions.

Once I woke up at night with a palpitating heart:
In our bed, a huge whale, pulled out from the deep abyss, was suffocating: black leather, tons of tender pink meat, stunned confused gaze...

My God, I was that fish! He still thinks I’am a teapot fraulein? Now he'll wake up with a marine monster in his arms and scream in horror.

He woke up nervous but with a different vision: “I saw you in my dream.”
“Really? “
“I had to buy things in the city, when I came back I saw you in the courtyard beside the burned chimney, the home was missing. I exclaimed, "My love, what happened?

“Nothing,” you replied thoughtfully, “Why?”
“Where is our home?” I screamed.
“Ah yes, it burned – I put the water on for tea, began to doodle and forgot all about it.”
“What?!! You have burned our house?”
“'Bah, that's true, but why are you so agitated?' you answered me astonished.”

So he knew that I concealed surprises.

The gallery owner visited us, bringing with him gossip, talking with my bridegroom about who is important and who is not in the art world. Meanwhile in the corner behind the sofa some cruel hand was mutilating Time with a knife. There was nothing I could do to help its agony. The only thing remaining was to look outside the window where the moon was swimming through the stormy clouds . What I would not have given to be beside it! But my thoughts and visions had to be put aside, I was the great man's betrothed.

That's what mattered.

Why was I trying so hard to suppress my nature?
The most obvious answer would be: total confusion. But it was not only that.

We all are rings in the ancient chain of our ancestor's teachings, which is our strength but also our ruin. In my family there was always worship of a man who has a talent. Those who had talent were to be venerated, helped in every way, their flaws were to be tolerated , they were not to be debated with. Considered sacred, they had to be protected, loved. Maybe it was an antiquated concept, but it was the one which I have inherited as a dowry. In my native country, women for centuries would bend down with admiration to the ground, as our tree full of fruit, their hearts filled with love for poet, artist, thinker… the fence of that orchard was the famous “Russian female soul." To love the wind, to swim as moon through stormy clouds, to explore the depths of ocean as a whale?.. It did not fit our culture, there was no such a role, it was not meant for ladies.

My future husband was a great painter, a poet in his own way, certainly a vivacious thinker. According to the ancient teachings, I had to love him.

But I didn't love him.

I loved his talent and his paintings, which is a different matter... Anything that I could object against him was canceled by one invincible argument: he was a talented man and therefore he was right. And me: who was I?

I thought that “Creativity” is a capacity to paint admirable pictures, to compose great poems, to write books and music brilliantly. I did not know that it is only “modeling” as Don Juan, Castaneda's teacher, justly defines it. In my heart I felt that true “creativity” is something to discover, something that lies outside of rational thinking and that the only way to get there is to “follow the path of heart”.

My bridegroom was a victim of a wrong concept also: the fog that he was painting all his life has materialized in a form of a young woman. As a good consumer, he wanted to acquire what was to his liking. Instead of getting lost in fog so as to find what it's all about , he painted pictures, he was planning to get married...But deep inside he knew that he was about to enter a dangerous space without references, without sky, without horizons, without hope. He had courage: though scared, he was about to do so.

Meanwhile life in two:

He warned me: “Tomorrow begins an Art Fair, it will be a little tiring. I would like you to be ready by nine.”
“I am not going, that super-illuminated supermarket horrifies me. Why do you need me there?”
“You're my woman, I want you beside me always, in good and evil.”
“You be at my side then. Forget about Art Fairs, let's paint together and that's it.”
“I would like to, but we must also make some money.”
“We have money, I believe.”
“And when it runs out? “
“We'll see.”
“It doesn't’t work that way, and there is more to it than just money.”

“What else is there? “
“See, paintings are like children, they have to be placed well. When we'll have children, when you'll become a mother, you'll understand better why I participate in fairs. Meanwhile, prepare that dress that suits you so well, tomorrow by nine I want you to be ready.”

His thinking was straight like highway. Surely something of this kind was expected from me, even I was expecting something of that kind from myself. To stay beside him during the next fair or not? Maybe he was right, how could I know what it means" to make a career"?

Or maybe the voice which was coming from inside me had more reason, "It's not your struggle, not your man, why should you stand beside him?" But I would turn the volume down, I would have done anything so as not hear that voice. It was persuading me to go against my ancestor's teachings, it was suggesting to make a bonfire of my fence: the traditional version of the famous “Russian female soul.”
Of course I wanted to burn the house and the fence, his dream spoke truth which I would not dare to admit even to myself! But I wondered: "What would remain for me after? Only fog in a pure state, without an artist who crosses it, with his colorful palette and a beautiful fresh painting attached to the easel?”

I was confused, I was not yet myself, but I did not go to the fair that day.. instead I pulled out from the empty wallet a very valuable telephone number, not to be abused for nonsense.

“Hello, hello, is this the sky? Would you please connect me to the department of wishes, guardian angel such and such…”
"Good morning, who is it? "answers an amused voice.
"I would like to invite you to take a cup of tea together, I am becoming very good at serving it."
"Why not, I shall come soon!"
After that the phone goes "tuu, tuu, tuu…"
A heavenly creature arrives, but he does not sit down at the table. Instead, he walks around, stops in front of a bookshelf, leafs through some books, and exclaims, "The owner of the house is well read, he has many interests: astronomy, physics, history of' art…"
“It's true, his interests are infinite,” I admit reluctantly.
“And then he must be very generous: each of these books costs a fortune! What an impressive quest for knowledge!”
Then he pauses in front of a painting. "He painted this? But it is wonderful!!! Do not tell me that it is not a wonderful artwork! "
“No one denies it.”
“You don't seem happy, though. What's the problem?”
“Everything seems so normal and yet it does not feel real. I would propose amendments to this bourgeois melodrama. For example, let's make him marry the Laura Ashley's dress. He likes it so much. I would take the tree, even as a worm if there is no other part! And everyone will live happily ever after.”

My Angel nods his head in disapproval and answers: “Lovely miss, life is not a play of Ionesco. We have received your request, it has been registered and satisfied in record time, and now: what do I have to hear? Weren't you dreaming of living in Europe in one of these ancient houses with clay roofs, marrying a painter so as to paint pictures together for the rest of your life? And now that your wishes are fulfilled, you want to turn everything upside down! It's not in your jurisdiction to decide destinies, who do you think you are?”

I change the tone, approach him as a friend and whisper, "I don't know yet who I am, but I am wondering and wandering through fog trying to find out. I have no idea what is love, but I am searching. Don't be unfair. Does not the guardian angel exist to prevent one from doing nonsense? Everything seems fine, but this does not feel like love, it is some kind of sick connection. How am I to end the self-inflicted torture, what am I to do? "

He answers, seriously: “What stops you from walking out? It seems to me that you're your own prison, your heart is wandering, lost, in the long dark labyrinth: the prison's corridor.”
“How am I to get out?”
“If you are the prison, you're also the key, if you're the prisoner, you're also a desire to flee. Do it.”
“And then?”
“Treat it as money: you will see!”

On my bridegroom’s return, my suitcase was ready. “I am leaving. “
“You are simply in a bad mood, wait a little!”
“I have been in bad mood since we began to live together.”
“Where will you go?”
“I don't know.”
“See, you have nowhere to go!”
“I have nowhere to stay either.”
What's to be added? Suddenly he tells me, thoughtfully:
"I knew that this was going to end badly. By meeting you I understood something very profound about Communism. Both of you are desirable, but completely impossible... "

Bleak fog was gone all of a sudden. Thank you for enlightening me!

a dream of happiness for all humanity, that's what was missing! If it's a wedding there should be friends to celebrate it, not “important-for-career” people. If it's a house, around its fireplace there should be places for wandering travelers. If it’s a family, it should give warmth to many. If it's love's feast, everyone ought to be invited.

The desire for “Communism” was not yet Communism. But then again: I had not found myself yet, I was still searching. But I could feel it: sooner or later we will meet. I also knew that “Communism” will happen!


Impossible, you say?


Depends on the musician who is playing on the ancient mandolin.