Friday, December 30, 2005

chapter 7.

Lizaveta goes to the store.

She noticed that she can get two chocolate bars for 85 kopeks.

She gives the register girl a twenty ruble note and gets 23 chocolate bars.

The register girl has one eye. That eye does not move. It stares to the left. She has one arm. Her husband blew it off with a shotgun. She dances at night.

Lizaveta goes home.

Sits down, turns the television on. She watches a show about reality, with contesants from Siberia. They are strapped down, with their eyes stapled open. They are being screamed at by a man with red hair. The man looks like Anton Chekhov. He screams, "You are lying, you made this all up about loving your mother. I've met your mother, no one could love that bitch."

The contestant from Siberia cries.

Lizaveta eats one chocolate bar after another. The chocolate makes her almost smile, but doesn't.

She drinks vodka with her chocolate bars.

Her aunt comes over while she is eating chocolate bars.

Her aunt's name is Marya. Her aunt is 101 years old. She has facial hair and has lost most of the hair on the top of her head. The hair on her face is still there though. Her voice sounds like glass shattering and gravel being poured onto cement.

Lizaveta sits there watching the television.

Marya says, "When CZAR Nicholas was in power I ate cabbage soup, when Lenin was in power I ate cabbage soup, when Stalin was in power I ate cabbage soup, and now Putin. Still, I eat cabbage soup. Fucking shit bitches! I have been pathetic, lonely, and stupid for 101 years. No one has cared, I eat cabbage soup, then the sun sets, I eat cabbage soup and the sun rises. Cars go by, I look at them, they have no mufflers and it is loud. I have no teeth, my bottom lip can cover my nose. Sometimes when I'm alone, I cover my nose with my bottom lip and blow my nose into my mouth. It amuses me. Please don't think I'm disgusting, it tastes no worse than cabbage soup. Under Brezhnev I ate a potato. It was good. That potato was good. I've always had vodka though, the vodka has always been there to warm me."

Lizaveta says never looking away from the television, "Alex is dead."

Her aunt replies, "I met an American once, he came to my village and was taking pictures. He came up to me and said, 'stand there and look sad.' It was hard to look sad, I was very drunk, and felt kind of cheerful because the cabbage was fresh that day. But I went ahead and looked sad. He said, 'That is beautiful.' A year later I got a magazine with my picture on it. The magazine was called TIME, it said below my picture, 'WHY WE SHOULD BOMB THE DIRTY PINKO BASTARDS!' I did not know what that meant, I live on the frozen tundra. I'm just kind of cold."

For an hour there is silence.

Aunt Marya asks Lizaveta, "Can I have a chocolate bar?"

Lizaveta says, "No."

Then they just sit there watching television.


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