Lilac Lipstick. Joanna's Page 21
Lilac Lipstick. Joanna's Page 21
Holding a bundle with pumps-shoes under her arm, Joanna ran to the club. The old club shone with crystal hoarfrost on its windows and with garalands of snow on the frames of its doors and on its roof. Snow-cowered trees at its entrance composed a peculiar sculpture that was made of white marble.
Yana got to a fairy-tale. Nobody met her; the hall was empty. Yana hurriedly took off her coat, unwrapped her kerchief put pumps on her feet and with excitement examined her hairdo made by Lyuska. Smokers who crowded at the entrance gave her way, winking at each other.
Yana made her way through the crowd like a diver through water column and suddenly found herself in a blinding and hot spot of light. Everything stopped: dancer in clumsy embraces, their pink and made up faces with drops of swear, sleepy lighting technicians who stood still at their lams; and in the contrast to it there were reddened Leonid in a shirt that was stuck to his body, George with a light meter and 'the fateful girl' with a firecracker.
"Hello. The chair is over there. Are you OK? Well, let's start. Make ready."
"It seems to me I've fallen in love with you/"
He even didn't notice her transformation. Maybe, she could as well come with wet head covered with soapy foam or being closely cropped. Yana gave herself to these bitter thoughts and felt her false beauty melting away in this hot atmosphere.
But her and Lyuska's endeavors surely impressed 'the fateful girl because she casted sheep's eyes at her.
Her dazed and suspecting look gave strength to Yana.
Denis stretched his hand to 'the fateful girl', and she grasped it like a nail to magnet, and they started dancing.
Their dancing was a beautiful embodiment of evil that made this evil beautiful. Yana was desperately jealous to her hand that was stuck to Peacock, to her deft and whirling body. But what will bosses say to that?
But the bosses, the director of the club, the game director and librarian, stared at this 'crying shame'. And the director even stumped his foot in time with the music.
In two minutes Denis rehearsed something cheerful with the audience, the bosses ran away, so as not to take part in it, and Yana remained, being tormented by her consciousness and jealousy.
Over the years after the Moscow festival this dance would be mastered at every dancing hall, but later it went out of fashion.
In two hours the shooting of a film finished, the lamps were turned off, and Peacock at last saw her.
"Joann, we are going now. Boys, carry all this staff to the fourth room, here is the key. We are going to the caf?; I called there and ordered a supper. Leonid, don't tell anybody about it."
"We will keep silence," George winked Leonid. Peacock put his hand on her shoulder and brought her to the cloakroom under crossfire of curious eyes. He helped her on with her coat. He waited until she put on her felt boots.
"Are you going to the caf?," 'the fateful girl said."
She gasped, her voice was hoarse. Hers and Yana's eyes were searching for each other in order to fight to death as knights at duel do. Both of them were wounded and unhorsed. Both had the same thought. It was an irony of fate: both had the same lipstick.
They were looked at. 'The fateful girl' nearly cried. Feeling shame and disgust towards herself, Yana ran outside.
"If only he didn't run after her! Isn't he really going to run after her?" Oh Lord let him go out of the door!"
Yana stopped, having no strength to make a step and turn away from the club's door. "Nobody appeared, and that's it."
He came up with her at a newsstand, and again Yana could feel his hand on her shoulder. Later after the Moscow Festival a hand on a shoulder would come into fashion, and people would get used to it, but now Janna Sinegina carried her forbidden burden on her shoulder in sweet agony and before people who were coming back from dancing. And she asked God to prolong this agony forever.
They went around snow-covered streets of the night town. They had small talks. There were handfuls of prickly snowflakes that flew into their faces, improbable silence behind fences that sometimes burst out furious doggish barking, black bottomless abysses of side-streets and gold-brocaded and weightless tents of street lamps that flew from the darkness and growing inner tension in anticipation of a moment when Denis suddenly became silent and pulled Yana to himself as a joke, leaving her a chance to shake off his hands from her waist by one movement.
She didn't use the chance and suddenly thought that she couldn't kiss rightly and in panic tried to free herself, but she and his closed arms already became as a whole, and it was impossible to free from them.
Yana closed her eyes.
They kissed until they gasped. "It is not right," Yana suffer torments. "Maybe, he compares me with 'the fateful girl who can kiss for sure. Oh Lord, what can I say and think now?"
Peacock kept on talking as if nothing had happened. He said something funny, and Yana, hearing no word, smiled and played up to him, feeling that she was on the point of crying. "If only she could reach a street lamp!"
They passed a street lamp, and in darkness he couldn't see her reddened eyes, but when they reached a next one she was all right.
Yana rushed to the saving darkness and again stood still in his arms and in an agonizingly sweet kiss. And again they felt an estrangement for a moment, started talking about one thing or another and feared to meet their eyes. But a gold-brocaded tent of another street lam was near already, and another darkness, behind which everything happened again.
Later Denis would confess that he was afraid of her even more than she was afraid of him. He didn't know how to behave in her company and was afraid to get a slap.
It was an endless alternation of darkness and street lamps, silence and furious barking, intimacy and estrangement. Yana was without mittens but didn't feel cold as well as her swollen lips.
But suddenly her mother's figure appearing from darkness stormed into happy state of her mind. Mother was bear-headed and had unusually horrible face; Yana had never seen her in such appearance. With a cry she began to furiously beat her by her squeezed fists, "You are a vile creature". Then she burst out sobbing and began to kiss her, "You said you would go out for a minute. I was going to call militia. You are a vile creature."
Denis was gone as if he vanished into thin air, but Yana was still full of his kisses, which in the long run didn't bring them together; three were left only her swollen lips, her memory of his arms, cold emptiness in her soul and longing for him, which was even harder than it was before.
Realizing that she was really a vile creature, giving her mother valerian to recover and quickly inventing a very probable story, Yana still stayed there in the endless street with lamps that flew out of the darkness.
Denis - a sunny day.