Almost at the End by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

By Yevgeny Yevtushenko

E-book by means of Yevtushenko, Yevgeny

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Example text

Once, in a Russian movie, I had played Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a provincial eccentric who was widely recognized after his death as a space pioneer. While filming a prerevolutionary marketplace in a little Russian town, I stood wearing Tsiolkovsky's black cloak, next to a steam engine covered with pelts of silver foxes and sables. The merchants' tables groaned with sturgeon, roast suckling pigs, jellied meats, and champagne bottles. (One of the sturgeons vanished permanently on the second day of shooting.

When they got back on the bike, I saw a swastika on the girl's T-shirt, which had come off the wall when he'd pushed her against it. The Harley took off with a roar in the direction of the "wild" beach, taking along the swastika gripping the girl's back like a spider. I walked over to the concrete wall and touched the swastika. It was fresh. On Hitler's birthday beneath the all-seeing sky of Russia this pathetic gang of Moscow boys and girls is not merely pathetic, an earring with a tiny swastika-the mark of a Nazi, a racisthangs from the pierced lobe of a wolf cub, or maybe simply a puppy.

1I but I was given. In that distant year, '41, loud with drama, I was a very poor boy in a torn cap. No matter what regal hat I wear or shaggy fur coat, the doorman's mafia still takes me for a beggar with nerve. 37 1 4 No matter how much rustles in my pockets, waitresses see me as a ragged, evil-smelling tramp. Ironing the platform like a tablecloth and hiding a smirk, a porter will never in his life drive his cart up to me. /I A dubious but charming girl once said: lIy ou, mister, have something poor in your eyes.

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