No smoking hotel -Season5-

-19-

“Today is the anniversary of Lenin balloon, isn’t it?”
A girl who arornd 5 years old talked to me in an innocent tone.

“The anniversary of Lenin balloon”
… Could they really launch such a thing in this quiet and peaceful country in Russia?

The girl’s name was Maria.
She told me that although she was born in Petrograd (present St. Petersburg),
she and her family fled from to escape from fires of the revolution.

It was called the artists village around here,
and Dachas of those who are kind of eccentric and from the upper class gathered.
The flow of the clear river that praises itself its abundant water.
Except for the unpleasantness which so many mosquitoes bring about,
you can consider there as the summer resort where gentle and cheerful people spend their time in summer.

By the way, I thought I was back to the hotel in 2011,
but who ever expects that I’d be taken to Siberia during Russian revolution now…?
Besides, it is summer. The calender seems to go out of control.

This time, I believed I could never be back. But, I’m not in so bad mood.
Well, I can’t find the exact expression, but it was like I was chosen to be god.
I mean I felt so comfortable in this village that way.

When I was led into Maria’s house…
the relatives of her parents and also their friends welcomed me as they dance French Can-can even in the daytime!

“Come on, let’s have the dance of 1999!” said Sophia, who is Maria’s aunt and invited me.
Said what? The dance of 1999?

In 1920s, there was a legend saying that the world would come to an end at the end of the century
and the people in the artist village, in particular, believed in that.
In other way… they were trying to dance all Belle Epoque-ish decadence in every possible situation.

I held Maria in my arm and had the dance of 1999 with Sophia hand in hand.

“By the way, where are your parents?”
When I asked Maria, she ran to the woman relaxing leisurely in her chair.

Her name was Anastasia.
She was beautiful but it seemed that she didn’t have the full use of her legs.

“And your dad?” I said.
Maria pointed ahead the forest in the distance across the window and made an innocent smile.

-20-

Maria took my hand and we walked along the river.
The surface is bright with the sunlight.
The gentle summer scent filled out there.

Suddenly, we heard a Russian announcement which came through a bad speaker.
In the meantime, many people came and sat aside the river.
They gathered in order to see launching the balloon.

While young men was playing music, also Sophia and Anastasia came.

They said today is the ten and several times anniversary
since comrade Lenin almost brought the first revolution, which was never to be done in fact.

Lenin is one of those whom I respect in history.
If I had been able to go back to my world after this, I could say it was wonderful visit…
you know what, I’m gonna see the very historical moment with my own eyes beyond time and space!

But, my heart was hesitating. I don’t think I can get back anymore.

That is not so a bad thing, but I’m still caring about the people and work left in that world beyond.
I was very in the middle of the world tour which I have dreamed of since I was a kid.
Furthermore, my father got ill and was in hospital in Japan.

If it had been promised that I can return, I want to enjoy the summer in this artists village to my heart’s content.

I just cant’t do that while I’m holding regrets and worries.
Only If I could switch my mind off well…though unfortunately, I am not so smart.

Santa in the mid summer came and began to give presents to children.

Naturally, Maria got excited a lot!

“During the summer, where are you staying, Santa?”

“In Soviet Union.”

“Then, what about winter?”

“I visit children around the world out of Soviet Union.”

Listening to the conversation by Maria and Santa, I lighted my tobacco.

I breathed deeply and made a big sigh.
The summer melancholy is going to take me to Another World.

Feeling a little funny…I was beginning to enjoy the summer in Soviet Union.

-21-

In time, the sun showed its tired face, and its light was getting weaker.

Blown by breeze, I kissed Sophia by my side without specific reason,
thinking I might be doing this with grown up Maria several years later…

It seems the sunset is almost there, but the sun is still in sight.
Under the midnight sun, the vermilion surface of the river makes tiny waves.

In the bushes of the forest, a big balloon was launched.
There was Lenin’s portrait on the front and to that the young men repeated, “Long live our comrade Lenin!”

People in the artists village also gave cheers, holding bottles of beer and vodka or smoking and…
It doesn’t seem that they are celebrating the communist revolution.
A little disappointed, I regretted leaving my camera in 2011.

As for Maria, she was engaged just in eating cake…
It seemed Lenin balloon was sort of entertainment for a peaceful picnic.

I think it was after this, Great Purge was conducted in the Stalin era
that the dictatorial system by Communist Party was reinforced.
Besides, these people in the artists village were from mainly the upper class
and the Bourgeoisie, whom they targeted later as enemy of the revolution.

It was fun but not so much as I had expected…when the feeling occurred to me,
I could see fire in the forest across the river.

Your won’t say it fell, will you…
I was sure something not good happened.
As for the people, they looked worried about,
but seemed to be even enjoying the fire across the river.

Looking at the way the fire in the forest getting larger, Maria and her family went home.
As if it was a natural way of happening, I stayed the night with them.

During the night, for about only 2 hours, I talked with Anastasia, the mother of Maria.

She doesn’t have the full use of her legs, but the veil of night gives her amorousness way of things.
Having wine, I was listening to her love story in the past.

The thing I was interested in through that was why Sergei, who was her husband, didn’t come back.

-22-

When at night, with drooping eyelids, I blow out the candles flare,
Time’s unending path is followed only by the old clock there.

For just draw aside the curtains and the moon will flood the room with a fire of passions summoned by the arduous of her gloom from the night of recollection.
She will resurrect an eon of distress ? which we, however, sense as in a dreamlike paean.

Moon, arch-mistress of the ocean, you glide the planet’s sphere,
You give light to thoughts unthought of and eclipse sorrow and fear.

Oh, how many deserts glimmer under your soft virgin light
And how many woods overshadow brooks and rivers burning bright!

Legion is the name of billows you dispose of as you please, when you sail upon the ever restless solitude of seas.

Of resplendent climes, of gardens, palaces and castles old,
Which you impregnate with magic and to your own view unfold of the dwellings that
you enter tiptoe by the window-pane to gaze thoughtfully at foreheads that so many thoughts enchain!

A king’s plans enmesh the planet for a century or more, while the pauper hardly thinks of what his morrow has in store.

Though the dice of Fate have to them meted different rungs and ways,
Both submit to the same biddings of Death’s genius and her rays, be they weak or be they mighty, unintelligent or clever.

All do minister to passions and their bondsmen are forever.

One is looking for the mirror, purposing to curl his mane,
One ? for truth, hoping to find it in the space and time mundane.

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