© Author Leonid Kaganov, original russian text here


© Translated by S.

R E Q U I E M

She passed away. I don't know how can I write about it. I cannot write about it. I am trying to divide the entire universe by zero. I am trying to divide everything by zero myself, this city city and this autumn. My mind warns me about about an error like a damn calculator.

She is dead. It is impossible to understand. I do remember from high school that it is impossible to divide but zero. But I don t remember why. Because it results in the infinite? The infinite does not fit in my mind. I have been trying to imagine the infinite since I was a kid, but I never could. I just used to in my mind. I just believe that the universe is infinite; I had nothing else to believe. A man can always get used to things that he cannot imagine.

She is dead. Overnight code d-e a-d! it is like a Morse code d!-e! a! d! three dots three dashes they are beating as an SOS call. It only subsides a bit when I sleep, when I work or go out. She is dead. We bumped into each other accidentally. Right after we figured out that it could not happen any other way for the longest time we were walking the same streets, and friends of our friends had friends in common. I asked her something about music and gave her one of my headphones. We listened and looked into each other's eyes. I knew this this is the way true love is born. She looked back she knew the same. I fell in love from the very first look; I knew that this was an unbelievable coincidence. She did not answer my feeling right away women are less impulsive. I was trying to convince her that I was the one. She always waited for someone like me someone of his own kind, talented and joyful. After that we would not say goodbye forever. By all these rules of logic I should die with her, but stayed alive

She is dead. Our love had no boundaries, it was absolutely unique, it was unprecedented and cosmic. Each unique love is the same. We were walking the streets holding hands and interlacing fingers. We were kissing on the longest escalators on earth, but they appeared to be short and speedy. We e-mailed each other because it was not enough. We wrote poems to each other the best poems that ever existed in this world. We were finding five-petalled lilacs it brings fortune and eating them, making a wish. It always came true.

She is dead. We could not imagine a second without each other, and a week apart was unreal. She had a weak heart; she would die if some oracle said to her that a few years later I would be living with another woman. I would not believe it myself. But I did not have other choice. I know she forgave me.

She is dead. It is unreal, but we never argued. How could we? Our tastes and habits were absolutely compatible. We needed only half a word to fully understand. Our friends laughed when we answered some questions in unison. We had our own rituals, our own language. We called each other cute pet names. We were only purebred pets no pussies , no bunnies and of course, no honeys.

She is dead. She had such wonderful hair three feet long. She was asked to sell it a thousand times. I liked to sit and quietly run my fingers over her hair, strand by strand. She had cool bell-bottomed trousers and hippy bracelets. We hitchhiked through all Europe. We drank absinthe in Prague and smoked dope in Amsterdam. We spent nights in a small tent next to German autobahns and French railways. We heard owls in Polish oak-forests and were afraid of tractors on Austrian cornfields. We believed that it would last forever. I cannot tell all this to the woman I live with now. She would raise her brows in disbelief how could you live like that without a shower?

She is not a bad woman, she seems to be happy with me, she is pretty comfortable to be married to a successful professional, although she is not really interested in what I am doing. She reads fashion magazines, dreams about a new car for herself, and wants to fly to the Canaries every winter with a man for example, with me.

That one is dead. She did not know about it till the very last moment. I did not know when it had happened; I don t even know where her body is buried. The only thing I know God damn it, the woman I am living with now would never be like her, even though she has the same facial features, the same name and the same passport number.

9'.09.2000, Moscow

 


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