And I held astronaut Peters by the hand.
- Devil, he said.
The captain frowned at the long tables. There was everything: whiskey, rum, alcohol, disgusting Japanese sake and also white vodka from Smirnov's plant.
At that moment, the bells rang. It was a kneeling, but Carmen Rosa winced in fright because she didn't realize how time was flying, nor did she notice that dusk was coming.
A silhouette of Don Carmelite appeared in the open door that connected the shop to the hallway.
-Andel of the Lord preached Mary, 'she said.
And Carmen Rosa answered, just like every night- And she started from the Holy Spirit.-
-Let's have a drink- she suggested then.- I want to drown this mood.-
Half an hour later, in the shady corner of the small bar, she raised her glass with renewed courage.
-For the two of us. As long as we want each other, everything is fine. What they can do to us. It's not just Algeria. It's still about gaining time. At worst, we'll go together wherever you want. After the lesson I got here, I'm not afraid of anything anymore. I just need to know you want me.-
She held a boiled artichoke in her hand, half peeled. I no longer had ears for her eternal longing. She spoke somewhat pathetically and with hand gestures, usual for a pretty woman. The door was ajar, and yet, in a matter of suffocation, she cried out one last time and venomously -Peach!
Everything fit over Kamchatka, led by hope.
-I kept a photo album -I told Carmen Rose. -If you're interested, I'll show you everything. But I warn you, some pictures are quite dramatic.-
-Ship slaughterhouse.-The captain grinned.-A beautiful cemetery of dead ships. They really do exist. I often felt something like a grip on my heart when I discovered a broken, perhaps half-sunken wreck, infested with rust and clams.
A man's voice from down the street shouted the word so loud it penetrated the closed window.
- Do you have hay in your head?
Urgent and thirsty Tony Roberts insisted. And he applauded like he was at a bar somewhere in Dallas or Houston.
-Three times brandy, you little ones, but move the background, you have a lot of workload! - came from the clouds of thickening smoke.
The waitress dropped the dirty towel and, without further ado, poured some clear liqueur from the bottle into two suspicious glasses. She refilled the glass with water. The liquid immediately became milky and smelled of anise. She pushed the glasses in front of us.
-At least that's luck. -I thought. - Thank God I'm not a booze slave. - I felt sorry for the Captain. Sad case.
Under the bright light of fluorescent lights.
The two serving Indians ran eagerly here and there with enamel trays in their hands. Tiburcio and the fat Cuban tried just as hard.
- A spaghetti woman?
-No spaghetti, no macaroni, no ravioli, no meat, and -o -n- l -y vegetable for indians. -Six indians! —And spread five fingers, then left only his thumb up and fencing with him, still commanding the herd around him in the same jovial tone.
There was music, unknown and not soothing. Bows, drums, flutes. She ran from the turntable behind a man in a merchant navy uniform dancing on the carpet, dignified, serious, lonely. He had olive skin and a black mustache, twisted at the end like a pirate in a pantomime. A glass of beer hovered in the Captain's hand, swaying rhythmically to the music. Lili came out of the kitchen, a tray of other beer and a bottle of Vat 69 in her hand.
A wet, stuffy early evening, pregnant with French gasoline, anesthetized him just like a pernod.
-Half a pound of coffee beans, Dear Lili. -the child's voice screamed, and Carmen Rosa recognized the voice of Niacor, the minister who said at the funerals: -Amen.-
The film of our shipwreck still didn't end there.
The captain got up and headed for the door. He pursed his lips so hard that his mouth looked like a line. He caught an atomically minimal echo of hectic spherical whistling as a line of fire flashed through the black sky.
He remembered sitting in a guard basket during the dead afternoon, looking up at the long-vanished bomber squadrons that were scattering death somewhere over China.
Then a wet night engulfed him. And he disappeared again into the silent valleys.
There was a heartbreaking scream of the locomotive from the station, which set off from the taiga express direction to London.
It seemed like a good omen and filled him with joy.
End of Chapter 51.
Čteno a nahráno ve Studiu Midian , v pozadí zvuky noci v roce 1981 z Archivu BBC, volně dostupné pro neziskové účely, konkrétně - Night Atmosphere - With frogs and doves NB: Exact date of recording in 1981 unknown
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