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I D I O T
Good evening to you, my dear!
On second thought, when you start reading this letter, it will probably be morning, not evening. No big deal. You know that I am thinking of you day and night anyway. I miss you so much! I keep calling you all day long. You have such a dumb phone, I’m totally baffled! It keeps saying ‘’You have reached two-one-three…” What a dorky, heartless machine!
Do you even know who are telling it to? Wake me up in the middle of the night and I’ll give you that number without blinking an eye. How could I ever forget it? Those digits are totally embedded in my memory. Even when I see those numbers in completely unrelated situation, I treat them like my closest relatives.
Like the other day at a grocery store. The cashier rang the register, and those numbers just popped up on the screen! I kept starting at them, and they (the nerve!) were starting back at me, sneering, ‘’What, look familiar, don’t we? You have no idea how many female fingers dial us in one day. And you are not allowed to! He does not care about you, so why would we be nice to you?” I got so mad, as you can imagine, so I grabbed some useless item from the rack to add to my purchase just to get rid of those obnoxious numbers.
My darling! I keep thinking about how we first met. On that day, I was walking by a photo place and had a sudden urge to check out the happy faces of the people whose portraits were hanging on the walls .An ancient, gray-haired shopkeeper was busy behind the counter sorting out the prints and stuffing them into white envelopes. When I saw the pictures of you, I felt like someone pinched me inside my chest, right at the spot where my heart was pounding.
“Ouch! Who just pinched me? I cried.
The old man finally took notice of me, starting at me through his thick bifocals in perplexity.
“ I certainly didn’t. It’s been a while since I’ve taken any interest in things of this sort. However, there’s no one else here but you and me,’’ he muttered, eyeing me with curiosity.
‘’Weird. But I could have sworn someone pinched me from the inside!” I said.
“ When did it happen?” the old man inguired.
“ Just when you laid out these pictures,” I said as I pointed at your pictures on the table.
“This guy’s photographs?” he asked. “No wonder. If I were your age and sex, I would probably have a similar sensation.”
“What’s my sex got to do with it?” I wondered.
He gave me such a bizarre look ( like I was deranged or something ) that I felt embarrassed. But I was dying to take another peek at your pictures.
“What’s your business here,young lady?” the old man asked sternly.
“You have so many nice pictures on the walls, I just wanted to check them out. I am an artist,” I explained proudly.
“And that’s all?” he asked.
“And him,” I said lasciviously,pointing at your photographs. “What a hunk!”
“Ah,the one who pinched your heart?” he giggled.
“Yeah.Could you…give me one of these pictures?” I pleaded.
“Give you a picture?” he asked with astonishment.”Of course not!But you may be lucky. He is coming down to pick up his photographs right now and maybe he’ll give you one.’’
At that time the door opened,and you stepped in. I felt another pinch in my chest. Ouch! You were so gorgeous. I smiled at you,and you gave me a puzzled look.
“This young lady has been badgering me to give her one of your photographs,” the old man announced cheerfully.
“My photograph?” you wondered.”But why?” You looked even more cute in your bewilderment,and I thought that you were,perhaps,the most handsome guy on the entire planet.
“Because you are outrageously gorgeous.I would just hang it on the wall and stare at it,’’ I admitted bravely.
‘’Well then,how about the original?” you laughed heartily. “Would you like to join me for a little birthday party? It’s my birthday today,you know.”
“What is today’s date?” I asked.
“September the fifteenth,” you smiled.
“From now on it will be my favorite day of the year!” I announced triumphantly, “because you were born on that day!”
You looked at me,then at the old man,but then back at me.”You ready?” you asked softly.”Let’s go then.”You paid the shopkeeper,took your pictures and we left together.Oh,you were so damn dazzling,looking so elegant in your exquisite,expensive clothes.Right away,I had a hunch that I would have an eternal crush on you!At the restorant I had a glass of wine and…I almost flipped out.There was another man next to you-your spitting image!
“What’s your brother’s name?” I giggled,trying to focus. “You guys look sooooo alike,you do!Are you twins,for real?” I remember you were laughing your heart out.In fact,you were hysterical,and people began to pay attention to our table.
Then we went to your place. I knew you were in love with me too,otherwise why would you have invited me to your place?Right? I loved your house instantly.Of course,you live in that house! I even adored your clothes, just because you wear them! I still remember how exquisitely you were kissing me! No one had ever kissed me like that before.What happiness it was to realize that you were so madly in love with me!Only…why did you laugh so much when you were kissing me?I still can’t figure one out.
“What is your phone number?” I asked you in the morning before I left.”How can I get in touch with you if I don’t have your number? I will miss you so much.I think we should be together for always!”
You laughed again and wrote your number on a piece of paper.Ah,it’s nice that you were so kind! I wrote down my number for you,because I was so madly in love with you. I just totally couldn’t get why you forgot to give me your photograph.I had asked you so many times,and yet you still forgot!
When I was leaving,it was raining buchets.Perhaps,you noticed it too.I had hardly stepped out on the porch when the wind grabbed me in its tight embrace,raised my pretty pink skirt skyward,hugged me,permeated my entire slender,only slightly chubby,body.The naughty wind was positively hitting on me.
“I thank you,mighty wind! I bow before thee,before your might,your kindness,but I am not lonely anymore!I have found him,and I am madly in love with him,not less than he loved me this night!” I cried out happily.The wind released me from its grip,having stroked my face gently in parting.And although I was totally blissful,I cried.
As I walked home,I saw the trees swinging back and forth in the wind, while yellow leaves,dangling on their long,withered necks were making a desperate effort to cling to the black,wet branches.They were jealously ogling the neighboring hemlocks and constantly complained, “You evergreens are so lucky,you don’t have to go!And look at us-we are done for!”
“There’s no happiness in eternity,’’boomed the hemlocks,with a patronizing but majestic sway. “Nobody is immortal,anyway.We just live longer,that’s all.”
“Farewell,farewell,friends!” the yellow leaves were screming frantically as the storm picked them up,carrying them away from home trees,weeping over their demise with a rainfall of tears.The wind howled and moaned, stripping the trees tirelessly of their soaked clothes.I cried bitterly watching this tragedy.I grabbed my pad and pencil,and began to draw like crazy.
You remember that I am an artist,don’t you? Perhaps someday I will become as famos as Cezanne or Dali.Hold on,what am I talking about? Anything but Dali! I loath crazy people!
Anyway, to get to the point,after that night when you loved me so much, I painted those yellow leaves so unwilling to die,those that the wind had no mercy on,but ripped them off the trees and carried them away.Someone bought the painting from me,and now it is displayed in a museum,in the Orange Hall.I go there often to look at my painting,and the more I look at it,the more I ponder.
Like,what if you had loved me a whole bunch of nights?Could I have painted the same number of paintings?And would all of them be hanging in a museum now?Don’t you love me? I am sure you do,and very,very much,because you are such a good man!When I saw your photograph,I knew right away that you were a good-hearted man! I could have told you how much I loved you,only you knew it already.
I have been burning with a wild desire to love, and I am basking in my feelings now.You know,last night in my lonely,slightly cold bed I began thinking and arrived at a conlusion: there is no such as a strong-willed woman! Each and every one of us is weak,in dire need of love,of a man’s touch.Even the toughest one,if she has no man in her life,would feel down and,perhaps,even cry when left alone with no one to see her tears.Don’t believe it if someone tells you she is a strong-willed woman!
But me, I am happy because I found you! I am dying to paint your portrait,you are such a kind person! I loved you so much after that night that it amazes me how I could have ever exist without you,without your love! And,of course,I’ll paint and become a Cezanne,you’ll see.But not a Dali,no way.I think I’ve already explained why.
My paintings will be hanging in a museum,and you’ll be looking at them,thinking, Yes,I did love that woman,but she loved me a lot more! I’m so happy we have found each other!…Or something along the same lines.
Only…why don’t you ever call me? Don’t you want to see me?Oh,you are so marvelous,it’s astonishing.Today,when I saw your car, I was so psyched. I figured right away that you must have missed me too and have come to see me. Only…how did you find my favorite spot where I usually sit and paint,huh?Anyway, I was so overjoyed that I rushed in front of the car to meet you and you almost ran me over.That pretty girl in the passenger seat,she must be your sister or something,right? She was so beautiful and happy! Of course,she ain’t lonely like other women!And you…you looked at me so kindly,then tapped your cute finger on your head,and said so very sexily, “Idiot!You got a few missing here,or what?”
But of course,my darling!Of course I missed you! I am all by myself with no one to talk to but the fish in my tank.It’s a large,thirty-gallon one.Those fish are so cute,they are somewhat like me, I reckon. Today,before getting into my cold,lonely bed, I was watching them for a long,long time.They were dashing back and forth so quickly that they sometimes collided with one another.Like they didn’t have enough room and were searching for a way out,except,of course,they had no clue how to break out of their confined space.Their teenie-weenie hearts or itsy-bitsy brains vaguely remembered the smell of the sea,so they pounded the tank walls again and again in their eternal quest for freedom.
Fnally,completely exhausted,they congregated a toy skull,hovering over the bottom,ignoring of the fact that their freedom begins and ends within those four walls. Poor brainless creatures! I was so glad you called me an idiot! They thought Cezanne was an idiot until he was fifty-one.Only after that did the whole wold realize that he was a genius.I am so happy you believe in my gift!
Oh, I totally forgot to tell you that I have already painted your portrait and hung it on the wall,overlooking my bed.Now you will not be able to run away from me! I will talk to you every day,perhaps,give you a kiss or two,in the morning,when I wake up,and at night before turning out the lights. I hope you didn’t forget what I told you about the ‘’strong’’ women.That strong lonely women do not exist? Remember though,that every night when you make love to your ugly-beautiful women, I will be in my lonely,cold bed,dreaming about you,your eyes,your lips…I will be talking to you,wanting you,loving you because your partrait is right there in front of me.Unless you come over and rip yourself from my brain,from my heart,you are mine!
I’ve been partiently waiting for you to call all this time,but, alas,it never happened.Did you go away? If not,why don’t you pick up the phone when I call? I am tired of waiting,so I am writing you this letter. Only…where would I mail it to? I don’t have your address. Maybe you’ll come for your pictures to that shop again, and I’ll meet you there,okay?
By Liana Margiva.
Translated from Russian by Anatol Kardiukov.
Reader Reviews for
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|Reviewed by Joyce Bell
|SAD...BUT A VERY STRONG MESSAGE FOR US ALL. THANKS FOR SHARING. I LOVED THE CHARACTERS AND DIALOGUE. GOD BLESS AND LOVE,
JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
|Reviewed by kg cummings
|your writing closes the gap between our cultures as people are people and feel love and hate and pleasure and pain. this also was very intriguing. Your friend, kathy|
|Reviewed by Richard Orey
|Oh, I want this young woman's portrait hanging above my bed so it would never again be cold and lonely. Her capacity to love is total, absolute and unconditional. Just what I need.
Of course, I'm sure I've met her before. She was thirteen at the time and was appearing before the Chief Psychiatrist in our local mental institution. But don't worry for she soon convinced him and all onlookers that she was merely acting out her obsessive need to make love to the handsome young man at the counter who winked at her and called her an idiot as she bought a train ticket to who knows where. "Perseveration" is the word the psychiatrist used, I believe.
As for me as a layman, I was completely smitten with your young artist's extraordinary ability to maintain focus. In all the world of teenaged girls, there can't be more than a million or so like her. My only concern is that our dear heroine doesn't take a turn for the worse and stroll her way into vengeful acts of rage and violence over such minor detail as an unforgotten telephone call.
Now, after my bit here of rambling discourse, let me say that in reading "Idiot," I was uncontrollably fixated on every word and sentence and unable to tear myself away from the story until I reached the very end. And even then I wanted to rush to her side and supply some meaningful address to meet her need. (I wonder if she would notice that it would be my address?)
In all sincerity, I think it's wonderful to be carried away with any innocent passion for without passion where would we writers be? Perhaps mine is the minority view, but to me a young woman of focus and passion is irresistibly delicious--just like this story!
My dear Liana, you have a unique flare for creative writing that stirs our emotions, dazzles our senses and--as here--leaves us begging for more.
With admiration and respect,
|Reviewed by David Perry
|Extraordinary. A blizzard of emotion from the land of cold air and warm people. Happy I was here to read this. David Perry.|
|Reviewed by hussein kodary (Reader)
|Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU
|I am impressed with Your writing style. You do have the writing boiling vein. Your imagery and lexis mingle with the essence of communication that reach the readers from the first line, be it prose or poetry.
May the world pay You the due accolades and buy Your books by the millions.
Your association with the Master translator Anatol Kardiukov will open the doors of the English readers for Your literary works, and millions like myself will enjoy them.
Welcome to AuthorsDen.
In gratitude and reverent admiration,
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU