The Girl in Blue.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Winter of 1983 came
as regular providential gift to
Soviets were, as
always, on verge of beginning new war in Latin America, not satisfied with
their ups and downs in Afghanistan.
Sir William Crasnough, old Tory with long run of battles in House of
Common, who recently came to feel at home in governmental financial structures,
entered the room of his son with unusual for him bright face, but with quite
usual for him ‘Rise and Shine!’ exclamation. Tony his son,
lazy young painter-to-be of twenty two, whose lessons in Paris and Florence
cost a fortune and weren’t expected to redress the expenses, was half sleeping
half reading according to his custom. The book now was ‘The artistic
methods of Gainsborough’ and was issued that summer by
‘What the ho, father?’ he asked.
‘Breaking the news,
we move to
‘I would not advocate such a rush.’
‘Interparliamentary committee is about to be built up in the next month. Andropov wants a loan.’
‘God bless him, father. Everybody now wants the cursed thing.’
‘He is special.’
‘Then let’s look to it.’
‘So get packing, dear.’
In two weeks they
‘Goddamn you boys and your stupid rules. We will live how we like. And it’s none of your business. If you don’t agree you may kiss on your way home your Lenin’s cheek.’
Driver said his good-bye something uneasily.
‘Why are you so rude with this dolly?’ Tony asked his father hinting to rosy complexion of this Soviet man.
‘They want our money, no other way round rot. So why don’t make them to know their place.’
‘But this dolly, he is just poor poop out of state-machine. Besides, I suppose our rooms are tightly bugged.’
‘If you want to go on this way— you also may come and kiss Lenin, dear.’
showed abnormal indulgence to escapades of Sir William, they swallowed every
bit of it with fantastic tolerance and only on very rare occasions summoned up
courage for retorts of childish innocence. Tony the same time had his own
entertainments. He acquainted with some of
New canvases were made out by Tony’s hand in dazzling pace. He even invented special hallmark for them, which was borrowed from smart joke of Boris, his artistic host. Tony signed them not as Anthony Crasnough but in somewhat Russian way as Anton Krasnov.
The romantic relationship with Lida shortly got course to something serious. Tony was stupefied by her warm-hearted attitude to any trifling on his side. Love just crept into their midst. In the middle of the summer Tony asked Lida a permission to write her portrait. In three evening sessions it was done. The picture was named ‘The Girl In Blue.’
The next move was obviously to propose. Tony had to talk about it with his father. The morning talk on this subject provided gunpowder for new outburst of Sir William anger.
‘If you about to get me with this your dash of latest, I must say the following, your allowance to be cut off and you’re heir no more.’
‘Why this absolutely…I don’t know what.’
‘This your stupid girl will be of yours only if signed with KGB their regular damned deal. No more spies in my family. Your mother was last. She was of proper British blood. But divorce! It cost me figures!’
rich, my boy. Now you get packing, and see you next in
Then in the next
year Tony, always obedient son, was married off to American girl from some of
father’s connections. His new wife was blonde philosopher with degree and from
family of movie makers. Her grandfather was script writer who remembered golden
age of MGM. Father was director once awarded in
When marriage of Tony’s scored its twenty years, his wife made her final approach to make him a wise man. Lureen, it was her name, fired off, as was her custom from childhood.
‘You think you’re young and bright and with stock in the sock. And all your friends about the house...’
‘I thought it’s your friends.’
‘You’re ass if they’re mine.’
‘What do you want, darling?’
‘A divorce. And quick one. And never to hear from you.’
‘You’re right. Bright idea. I’m leaving for
Door slammed behind Lureen.
In Tony’s private opinion America associated with noise, that
of air-conditioners, fans, and computers, not to count cars, aircrafts, and
engines everywhere. He packed collection of his books and videos, some most
beloved ties and trusting their safety to UPS, moved to
He hailed taxi and rushed to the gallery. When he had entered into its edifice he heard sound of rock ballad. The words were the next:
Back to the Russia I flew in my dream.
What I have seen?
What can be seen?
Lenin and Kremlin together at night.
Lights to be bright.
Minds to be bright.
Power-brokers, democracy’s prime.
Life on the dime.
Death for the dime.
Music was dreamy and fantastic hello from his past, and feeling of what it conveyed to him was too familiar. He had asked at information stall where to find organizers and was told to get along to gallery’s office. When Tony opened its oak door he saw there woman, with her back to turned to him.
‘Hello. I beg your pardon where I can found Russian party of exhibition.’
Woman turned her face to him. It was she— his old passion, Russian miracle, hope that often returned to expel spirits of sheer despair and sulkiness of last years.
‘Tony, dear. How the things?’
‘Glad to hear.’
‘How is Boris?’
in Amsterdam. Heroin finally had him,’ after short pause she explained her reason of
being here. ‘Now I am an art dealer down in
‘No. Already divorced.’
‘Happy to see you, old girl.’
Tony paused a little, but then lightened up as gotten over by something Heavenly-borne and completely unexpected. However awkward it may seem he must dare the thing, or… who knows how many years it could take to repair old faults. Understanding that it looks more stupid than not, he said.
‘I mean would we have another go.’
‘What a go?’
‘Finally, the good old fate will have a chance to grant us with her blessing.’
‘I see it little differently.’
‘We won’t able to be happy?’
‘Only if you’ll behave.’
‘That’s what I think.’