IT WON’T BE LONG UNTIL THE CIVILIZATION Let’s just count- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve… Out of these twelve: this village is gone, this village is gone, this village is gone. In fact, there are six villages left with only two or three residents each. And, as they say, you know, “we will improve agricultural productivity”. But what kind of agriculture is there? ,You know, indeed, we’re screwed!!! Our village was big, and now it’s gone. There are only ten natives left. And the village was huge – there were a lot of people here, they raised cows. There were forty-three cows, or forty… Oh, a hundred and… three! There was a big village with a lot of people here, and now they’re gone. Everyone has died. It was built in 1768 by Borozdin. There were many people, you know… They passed bricks to each other: there was a brick factory in Opochka, bricks were handed over by hand. Forty kilometres. People lined up and passed bricks to each other. Five years of building. The Borozdins. Here. They even made a mistake: not Borozdin, but the Borozdins. This village is the fatherland of my ancestors, my grandmother. She was married in this church. My father and uncle, who was a village teacher here, were both baptized here. My grandmother knew the last of the Borozdins well, she was in contact with the damsels for a long time. By the way, this general-in-chief, of course, was richer than others. And in Stolbushin was his brother, Borozdin too, but he was a lieutenant. And then the queen gave them these parcels of land, so they carried out the constructions there. There he had a smaller and poorer church, which was half wooden. It was even on fire – it was struck by lightning, it was on fire… Then all the people were putting out the fire, there were a lot of people. His great-grandson came here once, looked around, wanted to purchase it, but probably there were no such offers. And here, if you talk about how the guerrillas were shot dead in the basement here, there’s… a lot to say… There was the German headquarters here in the church, darn it. They wanted to bomb it, but they missed it a little. And the machine gunner was sitting right there, see that window? He was ours. Here, the middle window right there. Well, he was shot there. We used to cut them out, cut down the bushes, that’s it, but now the bushes are back to fucking growing… Indeed, you know, it’s all about money now. We could cut everything first, you know.., what the hell kind of money is there… If they pay us, we would cut it all down again, enhance it all again, for fuck’s sake… And now there’s nothing. Only money, money… Here, starting from the seventeen sixty… They built it for five years! I’m just, you know, happy right now, I’ve even had a few drinks. It’s my wife’s birthday today, and I think, «Jesus, I am so glad that she’s not here!» As they say, I don’t believe in God. May be there is no God at all, or maybe there was. But he doesn’t really help me. If you don’t do it yourself, God will not help you, so this is the truth. I went to this school, this one, while it still functioned. Then I graduated from Novorzhev vocational school, worked at a collective farm, then joined the army. When I came back from the army, I started working here again. Everything used to be fine here. We had a farm and everything was there, and then it was like that, little by little. Like now we’re all being squandered… so… You’re urban, aren’t you? I lived there too. Once I went out to smoke on the stairwell, and the other guy came out. I said hello, he looked at me like I was insane and left. You don’t know anyone there, but here everyone is your friend. If you walk around the city, they can easily hit you on the head. And here everybody knows you, no-one will ever touch you. As they say, if you get drunk, you will be taken home and not left on the street because everyone knows you. What are the plans? To cut hay and feed the cattle. These are the plans. The weather is like this: rain, rain, rain all the time. June was normal, but in July the entire month …it rained. In August it is also raining. So, sometimes it is possible to cut hay in pieces, to dry it quickly. And usually you don’t know what to do. The mobile phone reception is very poor. For example, if the phone is calling in my house and you can’t talk, you have to go around the village and look for a signal. Or you may receive a text message inviting you to play any kind of game there. Saying that your number has won and you can be a participant in the drawing for five million, and stuff like that. However, to participate you have to pay 15 rubles per day before New Year’s Eve when the drawing will take place. My wife laughed: every day 15 rubles! Of course, you’ll get these fools, you can give something to somebody there. In fact, maybe someone wins something there… We make money on the side here, for example, building a woodhouse for the store. 20 thousand rubles. So that’s how it is. We have hands, so we won’t starve to death. Yeah, that’s the kind of life we have, quiet one. Oh, these are the cottagers from the other village. There is a village two kilometers away. Yeah, well, okay, bye. Whoa, Sanya, they’ve got you too? Oh, you’ve got him too. My stepson. How old is the stepson? Two? How old do you think I am? Sixty-two! When I went to school in the ’60s and ’70s, these frames were intact, there were even coloured stained-glass windows: green, blue, red… The windows were intact! Two crosses fell down somewhere inside or something, we don’t even know where the crosses have gone!!! They have just disappeared somewhere. Maybe someone took them, we don’t know. But the crosses were there. And these are the cottagers, they all arrive from St. Petersburg. There is one out there – we call him Shaman, he heals people. Well, he is a young man but has a beard. He keeps geese, ducks and piglets. Well, he’s some kind of a shaman, in a way. We call him Shaman. This is just miraculous. Dad, open up, I’ll have them inside, Dad… Well, I talk to him sometimes, his ducks come to us, geese too. Here we have a dog, they sometimes get caught by a dog. Then I go to him and say: “Oleg, I have your geese, take them away”. He comes, takes them away. He’s neither a drinker nor a smoker. He only has visitors from St. Petersburg. They are from another village, but they are all from St. Petersburg. The filed is prepared, I plan to grow it here, then I plan to plant another field. This is the strawberry field. I put up the poles for the greenhouse in spring, however, still need to find somewhere 50 thousand rubles to cover it with film for the winter. Here. I was counting on geese, but there was a huge die-off. In general, out of 100 geese that you saw there, there are not even thirty left anymore. And I invested a lot of money in it. But now at least I have a breeding herd. And besides me, only four people keep this breed of geese in Russia. I wonder if I should continue to do this or if these birds will die. My neighbour brought me here, just to rest. After the bath, I sat down in the snow like this – it was February – sat in the snow, like king of the castle and I thought, «Man, I wish I could stay here forever!». And the next year, in the summer, someone called me and said, «Are you looking for a house somewhere to buy?». I said, “Yes,” he says, «I have one for you. Buy it». And I bought this house without even seeing it, going inside. Just bought it. And stayed here, and the documents were found, everything was found. Apparently, gods help me somehow. I painted cars for a long time. Indeed, I was painting cars for twenty years. Consequently, I lost all my health to it… and moved to this village. And little by little, I rebuilt my own health back and now I help people. Somehow, as a result of improving my own health, I developed new knowledge and important healing skills. I dragged the logs with my own hands – from there, from the road, to here with my own hands. And now it’s been standing for three years. And knowledge… Knowledge is experience. Experience of the past years, you can’t take anything else with you. Only experience. They could have helped us. At least subsidize what has already been invested, right? I’ve invested 300 thousand since spring, and when will it be profitable? So I would come to the state and say to the state: “Here’s 300 invested, I won’t give up this case, help me, give me 300 more? I have mastered these skills, more, more. They should help these kind of people, I think, just have to. The head of our rural municipality doesn’t show up here at all. We have seen her only a couple of times since the election, I guess. And that’s it. This was our central estate. It’s fucking abandoned now. That’s (indistinctly) all, and now we don’t even know when the head of the parish is coming. I don’t know if it is called a parish or a rural municipality now. It used to be called “village council”, but now… On Mondays we receive post. Every two weeks, on Fridays, the nurse comes to see us. From Zhadrica. Visits these old ladies. We still have a little bit of civilization. Soon the election will be held – September 8. So what’s he going to be lying there for? We could stumble and fall into the water. And we’ll do it like this – boom! If you feel the presence of God, something divine happens in your work, everything changes. And if you don’t feel it, what the hell are you doing there? It’s easier for me to help people than to restore the church, why would I do that? Why invest in stones? What for? We dreamed that if there was any money, we would, of course… However, unfortunately, we struggle a lot. When I was a kid and attended school, I was still this young, and there were serious people coming in expensive cars. There were a lot of us – kids like that. We gathered together and watched. We never saw cars like those! They all looked respectable, like… And they walked about, waving their hands and saying that they needed to fix something there, you know… There’s a crack in the basement, crack in the foundation. Nothing can be done. They have been here many times: taken pictures of it and checked out the basement. They wanted to restore it, but it was useless. Nothing can be done with it now, wait until it collapses. If Abramovich had sold his yacht, it would be easier to make it all here. Of course, of course, we have to restore it. How else could it be? The God communicates with us, yes. He guides! However, the guide is tired, so to speak. He is going through some hard times. Well, that’s okay, fine. God hears us. I mean, of course, he hears us. We will try very hard. God will not be like this, boom – and the church has risen: plaster, bells, domes, everything is shining. If you have everything you need to build it, God will help you, guys. But for now there are more important and profitable investments. Yes. Living people, children – we must invest in them. If I don’t, who will invest in them? – You said you needed three litres of milk, right?
– Yes. – Do you have a jar?
– I can find it. – Will you find it?
– I can find it. – Well, then, bring it