We’re friends with AKHE. No more, and no less. Sometimes we hug each other when we meet. Sometimes we avoid each other for years. We’re women, in spite of our trouser’s length and our beards’ thickness.
Couldn’t go to the monkeys this year, cos’ I had to give my body some treatment. Hope somebody will bring them bananas.
Since there was some time for doing nothing, I decided to do nothing at the radon bath spa, not too far away from home.
You are usually only allowed to take a radon bath three times a week. And in this village radon saturation is supposed to be particularly strong. However, you can always talk to people, you know… Anyway, I was lying in a bath each day here.
And that’s what has happened.
It was sunny, the bath master covered me with some special cloth and rolled the tub right into the courtyard. It’s February, snow is everywhere and the sun is glistening. I was lying there with just my head sticking out of the tub.
I sneezed. A shadow darted behind me and then an owl landed on my stomach, well on the leather cloth that was lying on my stomach. I was afraid, as I should have been. In the corner of my eye I saw the bath master who was showing me what to do: to puff out your cheek and to beat it with a finger.
My arms were dipped in radon. The owl was very close. I freed my hand and tried to knock on my cheek. The owl shrugged his shoulders (it seemed so to me), retreated to the tub’s edge and aimed his double-barrel at me (i.e. he stared with his eyes). I didn’t have anything else to look at so I looked into his eyes.
Perhaps I fell asleep. Perhaps it was the radon. Perhaps that’s what I’m living for…
…I’m running somewhere amidst a crowd of people. It’s very loud, like a train station but during a celebration.
Behind the peoples’ backs I can see a performance. It’s AKHE. They’re hanging over the stage. Their legs and arms are in loops, all the furniture too. I can’t remember what they were doing but it was something simple. Everyone understands it and they all want to see more.
But it’s difficult to do, since the show is continuously sinking. There’s no stage floor and the audience runs one level down to see how the performance goes on.
The show is shorter here than usually. The sinking picks up the speed. AKHE are very concentrated
The structure of the ropes dictates something to them. They have never really been a theatre company. Everyone sees this now. Actually, they’re Guides on the Way Down when you are in this multi-leveled supermarket. I can’t run down with everyone else anymore. So I enter some department. Salesman warns me not to touch anything.
An unexpected outburst of fury. I smash something on the floor and run downstairs. There are fewer people here, and the movement of AKHE is even faster. I suppose they’re setting sail. They’re on the masts. I can guess what the ending is and I run down, deeper. Staff entrance. Deeper… There are several people around, just as serious as I am. A big hole above us and the applause can be heard from there. Pasha and Maxim are lowering unceasingly and precisely.
Some other spectators and I – all are men – are standing on the edge of a big pit filled with water. AKHE will sink down there in a moment. I will not stop it and I will not see it. I’m looking at the men all around. They’re very russian-looking – in grey and in black. On the contrary, the colours of AKHE are beautiful like the post stamps from Guinea.
I was staring at the owl. A light-bulb was blinking. It’s time to get out of the tub. My finger was on my cheek and rather frozen.
Text: Anton Adasinsky
English text editor: Daniel Williams
Photo: Elena Yarovaya, Silvio Dittrich, Anton Adasinsky
Photo design: Elena Yarovaya