The Unsaid. Joanna's Page 33

Yulia Ivanova

The Unsaid. Joanna's Page 33

Only many years later Joanna would find out the meaning of the mysterious DIGID that she scratched, being hypnotized by the woman-gipsy.

It was Ignatius' code or password that was known to nobody, a kind of game with himself. On this way he encouraged himself, blamed denounced depending on the situation, and spoke ironically of himself.

Digid was a mysterious word; reading here and there in the same way it could mean many things.

Darenov IGnatius In Debts.
Darenov IGntius Is Dear and so on.

Usually before bedtime, or when he felt especially bad, he played with this word, making for a regular recipe of life for himself.

Only he knew about it; it was one of few truths, which he was sure of. It seemed that a gap appeared in an invisible wall that protects the inner self from the rest of the world, which was not subservient to any external elements and robbery,! Poor Ignatius was still trying to make an investigation.

He grabbed the sheet she kept in her hand and put it into his pocket.

"Wait, where are you dragging me?"

"Let's dance. Maybe they will leave us alone."

Dancing took place in the gloomy lobby of the immense apartment. The atmosphere was bohemian: candles, fluffy carpet underfoot.

"Boots ordered to be taken of," they were warned of.

Ladies were indeed in stockings.

Joanna who now wasn't surprised at anything obediently pulled his boots under the eager gaze of Darenov. Her hands would not obey.
Prospect of being in his arms plunged her into confusion. If this was something that was raised to the nth degree, then she had to flee away.

since some time she, unlike majority of mankind, hated hated this slavery state of depending on a strange man, her painful desire for more intimate touches, from which the earth went from under her feet.

"Strictly speaking," Joanna came to a conclusion, "that is the tragedy of all our desires and all our dreams, which starts with a plate of meat dumplings and ends with the highest aspirations and inspirations of her mind.
"Or you are still hungry, or already full, hardly reaching your goal/ Or you are already bored and looking for another goal.
The thought that pleasure and meaning are in the process of volition caused Jana feel melancholy.

A diabolical deception was guessed in all this, especially in love affairs, when at the moment of the highest unity, and ecstasy you suddenly crashes down into the abyss of gloomy solitude.
Sophisticated sex, a kind of erotic gourmandise ostensibly extended the 'process', but if you got tickets to Bach with great difficulty, it is unlikely you will be satisfied with corps de ballet. Though it can be the greatest show

Actually, she had nothing against respectable family or sophisticated sex, but these two possible crown of love (though they sometimes get along well) have nothing to do with love.

The result is in no way corresponded her expectations, it was just fundamentally different. Let's say you catch a blue bird but a chicken turns out to be in your hands, though it is a roasted and delicious one.
Or a stork with a baby.

Years will pass, and fighting off mosquitoes on the balcony of the cottage, from the lower terrace Joanna heard some ideas helping to solve the mystery of love.

But it would be later. Meanwhile, yana, drowning in a synthetic grass of a carpet, with horror stepped to eagerly outstretched hands of Darenov.
Perhaps in this way she would have walked into embraces of a python.

And he seemed to think only about his DIGID.

it was the first touch and the beginning of a painful deceptive game, the beginning of a desire without its satisfaction, sweet slavery and a disease.

But it was the beginning of bumpy road to nowhere.

However, it turned out quite different.
There were no spark, no fluids and no lightning that warned of impending fire.

There was no fire, no ice, no beginning and no end.
When Joanna put her hands on Darenov's shoulders, in the first second keenly feeling his prickly sweater, when his hands closed on her back somewhere on the level of her blades, when he pulled her close and her cheek touched the warm groove on the neck of his sweater, since that moment time stopped.

In the stopped time their selves melted into each other instantly and completely as two ball of mercury accidentally touched each other.

Their new state was not determined by the word 'we'.
It was the 'I", their common 'I', one and indivisible one.
It is incomprehensible that it not only united their two former selves but also transformed them into something a third, qualitatively different 'I', which was healed from loneliness and eternal thirst of his other self.
How would re-created from the fragments in the same fullness of a transcendent primordial being.

Their new 'I" was filled with happiness to the brims.
It seemed that after one wrong move happiness would begin to pour over onto nylon grass under their feet, under which dancers were moving as ghostly silhouettes.

Both were silent because all words, including the mysterious DIGID didn't mean anything in this new existence, which solved of their lives without remnants in blissful fullness of eternal abode of happiness.

How much does it last? Moment? Five? Hour?
Bluish-silver Regina, as the ninth shaft, angrily hit them again rassekla half and washed Ganya.
It was washed away, it seemed to John as if to escape the burden of the shipwreck on the overgrown grass nylon beach.

The recorder continued to purr, but there was no dancers; all of them again fled to listen to Vladimir Vysotsky, who has gotten a second wind.
He was singing behind a wall of Ninka from Ordynka.
Near Yana drunken Radik swayed with her boots in one hand and album of Degas in another.

In the car he confessed that Regina sold him the album at cost on the condition that in a quarter of an hour Sinegina dissapeared form the apartment.

Radik earned his reward honestly.
Yana knew that every miracle must ever come to an end, and meekly allowed itself to lead in English.
She drove the car along night Moscow to the house of Radik, snoring next to her in embrace with the album. She pondered how to deliver very heavy burden to his ferocious wife (perhaps it will be best of all to lean against the wall near the apartment door, press the call button and dive back into the elevator).
A miracle continued to live in her.

It was not Ignatius in the flesh like a half hour ago and not hungry memory.
True guarantee of a miracle was a magic word to replace the lamp of Aladdin.
Rotation of space and time and a miracle would take place again.
It belongs to her as this lamp, as the Blue Bird, which flies somewhere underground.
But when she only think about Ignatius she immediately heard heavenly music of her own flight, and blue light breaks through the silence of October muddy glasses.

So it was that night in the car, and the next morning, and then in Bolshevo, where she would leave tomorrow to write another series in her own room at her desk. Or just walking back and forth along asphalt paths in the brown patches of dead leaves, in matted needles which looked like a bear fur - all this together chilly stirred, shook from the wind and drops which fell from trees.
Or in the dining room among chewing mouths, verbal storms in plates of soup, fighting knives and forks ...
In this temple of art where one had to Joanna heard singing the Blue Birds and put back in the skies on a nylon grass of the apartment suddenly in the most unexpected moments.

And the time stopped, and scenic jinn who longed for materialization according to contractual terms and production schedule, all earthly things could not break through to her soul through the magic circle by the name of Ignatius.

But things were still made and her literary characters were materialized.
And in subsequent months, returning from Bolshevo, Yana would often meet Regina in corridors of Mosfilm, who turned to be a costume artist and, as they said, were very talented.
In any case, Regina's dresses were stunning; Yana had never seen her in the same attire.

Regina got a job at Mosfilm with difficulty and not without help of 'your husband', as she informed Joanna with meaning.
It was her revenge for the album of Degas. Insult reached its goal: Yana felt a familiar stab of jealousy but for some reason her familiar feeling towards Ignatius was completely silent.

Regina talked about this and that expecting Joanna to ask about Ignatius. But she heard s wondrous rustling wings somewhere above the canisters Mosfilm's corridorand absently smiled.
Finally, surrendered Regina began to talk about Darenov. Jan listened eagerly, asked questions, but Regina found nothing subversive in these questions, and this seemed to her the most suspicious.
Bewildered Regina moved away to Mosfilm'sy buffet to drink coffee in the full confidence that Sinegina plays some too subtle game.

They met often; they sought meetings with each other.
Yana did it to hear about Ignatius, Regina to find out what really happened since when she sold the album of Degas at the cost of an album by Degas at the cost of price.

Regina told how Darenov was envied, how he was and maltreated and about prices of his paintings, which were then sold abroad at an exorbitant price.
Yana listened, smiled and saw wonderful blue glows on dull walls.

And then something happened. Regina pouted.
Their strange friendship, their joint visits to the buffet and exhausting, exhilarating conversations around the bush came to an end.
Regina took the defensive, hissed when Yana approached and showed her teeth.
But Regina was recently in Leningrad.

And once, when Czech beer was brought to the buffet, Yana managed to take Regina by surprise for the second bottle and find out something after finishing the third.

From replicas of Regina, sarcastic and ironic ones, from her marketplace swearwords and her resentful words it became apparent that on some of his new paintings Darenov portrayed her, Yana.

That the exhibition was held in a factory club. That around it, as always, there were excitement and foreigners, and that a scandal was about to happen.
That a lot of money was given for a portrait of Madame Sinegina but Darren did not want to sell it yet.
And you have to hand it to him because his painting was a success.

Her eyes were about ready to splash into tears and she looked pleadingly and with fear, not wanting to know any truth.
She expected Yana to dissuade her even by telling lies bud Yana was silent. She herself did not know the truth.
Any statement regarding Ignatius seemed to be lie or blasphemy, but she had to say something.
Dennis saved the situation suddenly appearing in the buffet; he was as always swift and detached from everything except his business.
He was 'Icebreaker', as he was called at the studio.
He passed unhindered, cutting the turn by his shoulder, to the barmaid, and while she tossed under the counter and behind the counter - steak, salad, coffee bringing, his steel gray eyes floated over the crowd.
For a second they delayed on his wife and, as she suspected, on his mistress, and then switched to a more interesting object.

"Yura, can you hear me? Today everything is canceled, please warn people. I'll be back in five minutes.

And he went with a tray to the nearest available space.

But the situation was relaxed already.
Regina's eyes had dried, she looked at the long look of Dennis and scarcely smiled to her own thoughts.
But her smile was addressed to Yana. It was a chalange.
Jana took advantage of the break and ran from the battlefield.

Mysterious Ignatius' painting haunted her.
The next day, pleading her need to visit her sick friend living outside the city, Yana took a night train to Leningrad with the intention:
1. To calll to Lenfilm and get the address of the club, where the exhibition of Darenov used to be held
2. To see the painting.
3. To spend the rest of her day in the Hermitage and go home in the evening.

At first everything went according to plan. With the return ticket in her handbag Yana went to a shabby sooty building in the outskirts of Leningrad. Her watch showed five minutes to ten.
It seemed that her heart beat in the same furious rhythm with it.

A cloakroom attendant said that the exhibition was closed.
Director of the club and head of the ballet circle, whowas a refined young man in black tricot and thick woolen socks, whom everyone called Ilya Ilyich, simultaneously giving orders and showing the pas, told Yana that the exhibition was closed until further instruction.

That there are too much unnecessary fuss about it. Such excitement only harmed Darenov and he ordered not to let anyone in.
That he had daily struggle against such irresponsible visitors like Joanna: from Moscow and from afar, from the east and west, but you had just wait a bit and have patience, when passions die down and then you were welcome.
It is pardonable for foreigners not understand but you are your own people.
Why should you aggravate the situation?

Yan said that you cannot wait because today she would leaves. She showed her ticket and her certificate of the Union of Cinematographers.

"Well, at least for five minutes, nobody will know about it."

You yourself will trumpet about it.

With her ticket in his hand Ilya Ilyich, swept through the hall like a tornado under a sullen and envious looks of dancers. And once again slowed down near Yana, breathing heavily.

"Actually, only by Darenov's permission. Wait if you want to; we will try to call a recess during the break.

John waited for some reason continuing to squeeze her ticket in her hand.
The phone was on the ground floor in the director's office, littered with banners, cups, pennants and sporting equipment.
The club had lived his life: somewhere they jumped, stomped, pounded a ball and a piano keys and sang in chorus.

"Ignatius, it's Ilya. Here one lady from Moscow tries to get in. And I say so, no women. Explain it to her, I'm tired already.

He gave the receiver to Joanna. Ignatius was on the other end of wire.
Her heart leaped and stopped in the throat, preventing her from breathing.

"It's me, Joanna."

The receiver was silent. There were only this silence by the name of Ignatius and her heart that stuck in her throat.
Then she heard his voice. Quiet, as if it were from another world:

"Who is it?"

"It's Joanna. I have come for one day only."

Again silence came; it was as long as a jump without a parachute.
Finally, the parachute opened.
Now his voice sounded surprisingly close. Only one phrase cracked somewhere in the middle of a word:

"Give the receiver to Ilya."

The receiver seemed to be grown into his palm. She forced herself to open her hand, almost hating Ilya Ilyich who took away Ignatius voice from her.

She already forgot what all the fuss was for and followed director of ballet to the first floor trying to figure out where and why she was led.
The Blue Bird remained downstairs in the director's office, flooding flags, pennants, faded posters and sports equipment with blue tremulous breath.
She had Ignatius' voice:

"Give the receiver to Ilya."

A key clicked in a lock.

"The exhibition was in two rooms; now everything are collected here. I hope you are not a kleptomaniac and vandal.
Don't be offended, we've caught all kinds of people and called police or ambulance. Genius is a cosmic phenomenon, which effect on the psyche of others. Like the moon, for example.
Have you heard what happens with some people in a full moon?"

"Ilya Ilyich," a voice sounded through the corridor.

"Sorry, I have to go to a rehearsal. I'll lock you have for about forty minutes. - Darren told to lock you up. And don't even think about smoking.

"I'm not a smoker and have no complexes.

Prospect of being immured among Ignatius' paintings horrified her but there was no other way. No complexes.
Steps of Ilya Ilyich subsided in the corridor.
Trying not to look into dark products of Ignatius' fantasy hanging around (she had seen some of them at Regina's), Yana went around the room and soon found what she was looking for.
The painting hung alone, low, about a meter from the floor. Light from the window fell from the side.

She came closer, slowly sinking into the painting like into a dream.

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