A Screw in the Wheel. Ignatius' Page 5. Door 3
A Screw in the Wheel. Ignatius' Page 5. Door 3
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Suddenly the car gnashed, shook as if it were feverish.
Ignatius stopped and tried to go again.
In a few meters the same story happened.
He turned to the sidelines, looked at the wheel and opened the hood...
All was right in the eyes of an amateur who understood technique poorly.
Ignatius locked the car and began to hitchhike. An old ford slew down.
Ignatius explained what had happened and asked to ride him. It was not far.
The driver said that they now turned and that their house was in half a kilometer from here...
But if monsieur was not really in a hurry...
He would only drive his cousin home, unload products that women had to prepare for the holiday - in fact today the old new year...
And then he would drive monsieur to the place, because they are Russians too.
It turned out that one of the Russian, father Peter, was abbot of the local Orthodox Church, and the second was a Muscovite who was staying with relatives on the invitation.
Muscovite was about forty; he was pale with dusky eyed - if two leeches stuck to the face of Ignatius.
"Can you speak in Russian," he said to father Peter, - "Monsieur's name is Ignatius Darenov; he is an artist, recently emigrated.
"Is he aLeningrad inhabitant?"
"Do not be surprised, Ignatius, my awareness is partly professional."
"I'm restorer of icons, my name is Gleb and my last name you will not say anything to you.
But, if you like, my last name is Zlatov.
He was stretched his hand to Ignatius without a smile. His shake was surprisingly strong and friendly.
Ignatius gave a damn about the fallen compatriots; he wanted to reach his place as soon as possible.
He felt very bad.
But willy-nilly he had to help to unload the car, go to the house, where he was surprised, and then grace that was reigning there fascinated him.
The mansion seemed to be full of people.
In addition an old woman (Gleb's aunt) who married a priest, and settled in Paris in 1920, father Peter and mother and five of their children (their two elder daughters were already married and came with the kids) there were two brothers and a sister of father Peter.
They came with their wives, husbands and children.
There were elatives of mother, some more friends who were with children too... And for all that in a house there was an amazing harmony; Ignatius felt light things felt unusually acute.
Cries, noise, sound of falling things, just flick back and forth always irritated him, especially lately.
But here the presence of numerous relatives and non-reletives of Peter was not felt.
Ignatius began to observe and concluded that all the participants had a special demeanor that he has never seen before.
They moved slowly and silently, everyone did his own work job: arranged chairs, plates, flowers.
There were no empty talk on corners and no cry, laugh, mess.
Nothing brilliant, extravagant in clothes, cosmetics.
There were quiet open smiles, and faces were special.
In general, everything here, despite the modern interior, seemed to be from another past time.
Especially children who at the first word without a murmur went to bed, having received a blessing from father Peter.
And it was touching to see how they in turn came to kiss his hand, and he carefully baptized their bowed heads.
While they unload the car and send their kids to bed, midnight came nearer.
It turned out that father Peter would have to meet the old New Year on the way.
Father Peter said that he did not care about it. But if the guest was not too much in a hurry, he would have humbly asked him to remain with them until midnight.
If the Lord gave that they, Russians, so wonderfully met in Paris on the eve of a bright Russian holiday because the old new year was namely Russian holiday; here in France they did not celebrate it, and if Ignatius agreed to spend with them for an hour or two...
Ignatius accepted the offer.
And an hour later, stunned by the statements of Gleb about art and not only about art, and wondering who he was, an usual madman or a medieval preacher in an unknown way penetrated into our century disguised as a Muscovite with unsmiling eyes who came for a couple of weeks to stay with his cousin in Paris. Ignatius already thought with horror what could have happened if his car had not broken.
And that mad Ignatius would have reached his goal, killing Ignatius who was now with relish sipping now delicious tea, which turn out to be Georgian one.
He was charmed with extravagant patriarchal statements of Gleb, common prayer, where the present thanked God for 'joys and sorrows, care and punishment, health and physical illness, which were sent us to heal our souls'.
Judgments of Gleb seemed a treasure of ancient coins, heavy, old-fashioned and hopelessly obsolete ones... But they did not only not lost but also repeatedly multiplied their hidden value.
The next morning Ignatius' car would start up and and went as if nothing had happened.
And only a month later a mechanic would find an screw at the rear drum, which then jammed the brake shoe of the wheel.
So, the next morning Ignatius dragged, or rather drive Gleb by his car to look Parisian art galleries.
He still did not realize that the painting here is not to blame.
And that gloomy Muscovite with his delusional speeches, which had nothing to protest, so delusional they were; he suddenly became more necessary for him than air.
Ignatius, of course, met believers before, those ones for whom this issue held more or less important part in their lives.
He looked at them with a condescending smile: they were pitiful children hiding in the tales from ruthless meaninglessness of existence!
Any accidental touch of 'damned questions' was always painful for Ignatius. And he did not want a crowd to hear about all these wonderful events, comings, prayer houses and flying saucers.
For Gleb the faith was no question of any part of life but it was life itself.
The flow of life with the pressing problems seemed to troubled him no more than a river which was troubled by a stone lying at the bottom.
"Well, he is only a fanatic," said Ignatius to himself, immediately arguing that fanaticism of Gleb, fanaticism of faith were different from all other fanaticism by its justification and relevance.
Should not the world to solve these 'damned problems'?
And who was crazy: the world scurrying somewhere up and down behind the windows of their cars stopped that near the gallery, where they never would get, or he and Gleb are two crazy Russians...
One of whom with great difficulty got a two-week visa to relatives, and the second for several years now had enjoyed freedom of creativity, expression and movement in the a comfortable luxury carriage of the train rushing to the end of the 20th century?
Mad Gleb who got coveted access to all these stunning showcases, galleries, and an advertising fires, which usually fascinated Ignatius' compatriots as Christmas candles fascinated a frozen impoverished orphan from the Christmas tale, and missed the last opportunity to get acquainted with the artistic elite of Paris ...
Nevertheless, insane Ignatius Darenov, a fugitive from his poor unfortunate carriage, who was caressed by generous strangers: uncles and aunties...
And, it seemed, he forever defined his inner life with all its problems by a succinct and indecent Russian word.
It seemed that he long ago committed suicide.
Which Ignatius was mad?
Was he not the one managed to survive for forty years without a clue about Christianity who only once leafed through accidentally the Bible that accidently got to his hands to have at least some ida of it?
And now, suddenly fell upon Gleb with an avalanche of questions, to which he was subconsciously searching for answers for all his life, not receiving them.
And he was sure that there is no them, those answers.
But Gleb answered.
He answered quickly, happily and harmoniously, beaming by his eyes and what sweet and orderly they were, those answers...
And Ignatius fascinatingly watched Gleb gradually erecting before him coveted castle from a disorderly pile of parts.
It was filled with Eternal Life, Meaning, Beauty and Love.
But the way there was suddenly blocked by the only one, the most important question, which was a barrier for Ignatius.
There, behind question, a barrier, all ends met.
There ended in an impasse and endless began.
All was wrong there; everything was incredible as in the mirror.
However, from the viewpoint of the world there was madness there.
'Yes' and 'no'.
'Yes' was mad, 'no' was reasonable.
But reasonable 'no' meant 'no' to all valuable things: truth and meaning, and thus, it was was too insane too.
It was dead and empty as the eye socket driver flying anywhere in the locomotive.
They never got the gallery.
A policeman Knocked on the window car taking them for gays and required a penalty for long-term parking in the wrong place.
It turned out that they really stood here for a very long time, the gallery was closed a long time ago.
That the streetlights were already lit and night advertising. And at home father Peter certainly worried.
Ignatius took Gleb home again; they said the whole way.
The family was already in the church at the service.
And the maid-nun said that M. Gleb also ordered to immediately come back when they would arrive because father was 'very worried'.
He did not say goodbye to Gleb.
Already departing, Ignatius noticed the nun running across the path of the car with an advertising package.
"Monsieur Hleb was told to pass."
The package contained pies, cabbage and local self-publishing booklet without a title.
Ignatius swallowed pies on his way, and got to a pamphlet only a few days later, being covered with works and debts, which at the time of his spleen he accumulated for a good decade.
Madness disappeared during those few days. (Or, conversely, it came back?)
Ignatius avidly worked, not getting out of his prestigious apartment on the prestigious Parisian street on the stage for 'Oedipus Rex' that the contract obligated to immediately finish.
Otherwise, a debt hole.
Ignatius had not written with such enthusiasm.
And only his Parisian girlfriend Deni, 'a professional to the role of seasonal wife, unmistakably guessing all requirements of any owner for a minute before appearing of those desires, and always knowing when when to bring lunch to and from what food, what kind of clothes should be put on the owner to a particular case and at any moment to undress itself - only Deni sometimes quietly slipped into the studio with a silver tray.
Hot coffee, toast with cheese, ice-cold can of grapefruit juice and a plastic card with names of callers.
She put the tray on the table and, like a cat, rubbing against Ignatius shoulder by her cheek to draw his attention more on the tray than on herself, disappeared.
Ignatius thought and did not think about Gleb.
Their meeting them continued to smolder somewhere very deep, warming and burning by painfully joyful anticipation of inevitable fire.
And then he opened Gleb's self-publishing pamphlet without a title that was thrown on the sofa and could not to break away from it, leaving imprints on the pages by fingers smeared with paint.
The pamphlet in Russian had no comments, only citations.
Scarce fragments of various religious teachings first remained his completely indifferent.
As a young boy he swept away from the door both hell with its frying pans and heaven with angels and church with evil old women in black, where only once he forced himself to enter. But, receiving cuff for some sort of oversight, he withdrew.
At his heart he honored every high concept: beauty, truth, love, united world without death and suffering.
Children cry was always sounding in his soul.
It was an unenforceable, and therefore tragically coveted dream:
'May there always be sunshine, May there always be sky, May there always be Mother, May there always be me!
May I always be in the world combined by beauty, light and love! He was shocked that Gleb's God was like that.
Which Ignatius Darenov sought and longed all his life.
Before rejection of his being in a carriage seemed Ignatius to be a manifestation of his own painful cowardice, the self-interest.
And, probably, would really be a shame to whine that you were soon thrown into darkness for ever utter, while the other passengers calmly go on, grumble that the long bear tea.
And only one consolation is that sooner or later face the same sad fate!
"And I looked on all my business ... and to work, which I took to make them: and behold, all things - vanity and a chasing after the wind, and there was no profit under the sun."
'So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy' (Ecclesiastes 2:9-10).
Ignatius replaced the carriage, but a feast during the plague continued its course.
And the so-called 'freedom', the ability to produce the will of the battering you jinns, release and emulated did not make him happy.
What is it? Again, it is cowardice, extreme egocentricity and phase shift?
In one of the reviews it was called 'The Crow of Death'.
Swirling, heralding, anticipating a catastrophe.
And feeding on corpses.
However, his demons were sold out like hot cakes.
Feasting world somehow joined his overthrow, and feasting, while writhing in the euphoria of horror to his own desperate-daring determination to 'live a sin and die funny'.
Stringing the last piece of beef, sprinkled with his own blood on the scythe of death.
It turned out that for Ignatius it was sickening to feast during the plague as well as tocover the tables for future generations.
Which would be inevitably devoured by the same plague.