To my loving half who is my toughest and most impartial critic
To Lingrend who inspired me with the idea of writing this book
To all those I met through my life journey, who had a role in this play of life, and who helped me come to what I have written here
To the one I cannot see yet whose Love I can sense with my entire heart
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
Writing a book is not just a display of the troubles you are facing as if saying OK, now you just read it and find a way to live.
You will have to live through all the troubles, and pass many sleepless nights just knowing you will have to make a decision. And then, you make your choice. And it is only after that where you can start writing.
It must be some sort of a life-dish recipe, a specific recipe that is coming from you, something that you have created. And it does not matter if it is a good one. The same food will be different depending on the context — a sophisticated chef’s special savored in a Michelin 3-star restaurant or something you are gobbling standing right at the fire on a rainy day.
Canned buckwheat with meat will be your true delight if taken in a cold forest, with you feeling a happy genius only because you were smart enough to make a couple of holes in the can before putting it in the fire. The can did not explode while the food remained clean from ash. And that’s your recipe! Of course, you realized that this life hack had been invented long time ago, but it is not a reason to feel down, as you are not the first man on the Earth.
Bon Appétit! Enjoy your meal! Just sit and chow down on it! All cooked with love.
BILL OF FARE
(in lieu of a preface)
Who drives us in everyday life? Who is it pushing us towards power and general recognition? And once we strive for this, why do we forget so easily all the few basic things that have been instilled in us since the earliest years — love, goodness, honesty? While chasing the top, we change ourselves in the most cynical way, and we disclose our second face, which is so frightening even to ourselves. Finally, even with all our promotions and money bonus, we fail to have the joy we have been seeking so much.
Through this race for money and power, we look like remote-controlled cars shifted into top gear and roaring past the stop called HAPPINESS.
Why do successful people stay in their high-end apartments doing nothing but hitting the bottle? Is it because they have cornered themselves up with their selfish aspirations? They’ve bet their entire lives on the career roulette, and left nothing for themselves.
What is the meaning of our being here, on this Earth? Just to make enough stock for a rainy day, and then for the nearest years to come, and then have enough so that our kids and grandchildren could enjoy it all? However, when we take a break sometimes we realize that there is something wrong here. Everything is wrong here, to be exact. This is not what our parents and teachers used to tell us, and this is not what is preached in numerous temples all over the world.
Faith and religion. These two concepts have already turned absolutely opposite. Religion has become a political tool, which destroys faith — faith that is an utterly personal and a really sacred feeling, which is to be neither advertised nor imposed upon anyone unless they are genuinely interested.
We are always being intimidated with the divine wrath, apparently to turn us into humble slaves. And yet, any of us would like to get an answer to the question — do we get love from above or do we get put to the test of temptation to be further punished for the mistakes that we will inevitably make? And who is it there, above — someone Loving and Merciful or someone punishing and merciless? Good and evil can never go hand in hand, this is what we know for sure.
Nowadays, people’s hearts and minds are filled with two extremities — total indifference to the spiritual on the one hand, and religious fanaticism on the other, fanaticism that destroys any smallest grain of common sense.
The three girls that staged a notorious performance in the Russia’s major cathedral were thrown in between the wheels of justice. Why? The government’s punishing machine crashed those who would not show due respect for Church authority. But what about the clergy that are supposed to help the lost souls? Where have they been?
Man often feels useless and out of place among his numerous relatives and friends, and his heart tolls a bell of solitude.
How can you stop it and what can help you believe again that tomorrow is holding something good for you? And what can make us happy forever?
Why don’t people feel the joy of life anymore even after earning fame and recognition? They seem to have reached everything, but this chase for success has taken away their spiritual guides and the reason to live, too. However, this reason may have never been there in the first place.
BLACK & WHITE
Highlands in Tibet. 5,000 m (16,404 feet) above sea level. September 27, 2007. It took us around twelve hours to get from a rehab camp at Lake Manasarovar to the place called Saga.
The air is full of sand dust. I am so exhausted I can’t even speak. I am sitting between two guys sharing slowly their impressions of their Kora — visiting sacred Mount Kailash.
— How many times did you die through the Kora?
— Once, I guess. And you?
— Looked like two.
As the car is jumping on road bumps, I tried to ask myself a question but quickly fell asleep, all the thoughts making my mind cloudy.
So, it’s about death. Since the very moment of birth, you are inevitably moving towards death. You attend kindergarten, school, go to college, get a job, and work out at the gym, and, at the same time, this is movement towards death. Wherever you go, you are moving there, step after step, starting from the minute you are born, the minute you start walking. As soon as you learn to walk, you are getting closer to it.
Of course, you can stick to a healthy lifestyle and keep to all those popular diets. You can break you back working day and night or getting wasted on some cheap booze in your kitchen. The outcome is just the same — you are going to die.
The way you live will only affect what they find after an autopsy — excessive cholesterol levels, a decomposed liver, and a worn-and-torn heart or a healthy and rather young body like in case with Paul Bragg who was 90 when he died while surfboarding.
Let me tell you the truth no matter how tough it might sound. We can’t actually make our life longer just by living a healthy life. Our life resources are limited, both yours and mine. So, the question when it will happen remains rhetorical, and the answer is beyond us.
You will live until your final day either healthy and sane or just surviving and eating a handful of pills each day. Basically, that’s the only difference. And this is the major point of the idea that we should try to die healthy.
Arabs have a perfect word maktub, which could be roughly translated as it is written. So, just relax. Your life is written, just like mine. We all have the start time and the finish time.
We came to this world through the miraculous birth, and will go disappearing from this life, each of us in a certain way, depending on how lucky we are or what is written for each of us.
Some are born as long-awaited babies, all surrounded with pink or blue, clean, and wrapped in love. Others come to this world in tears, and they plunge immediately in poverty and filth, and they will never know what a long-awaited baby even means.
And then, as they live up to the end of the line written for them, some die in their sleep, calm and smiling, whereas others have to suffer pains spending their last days in hospital.
And please, cut this crap saying that you don’t care about death and you are not scared to die.
The Tibetan Book of Great Liberation mentions three levels of fear in people. The third, the well-deserved third place, belongs to the fearing man (Homo Timidus). Sounds very much like Homo sapiens, right? And this fearing man represents most of the world’s population.
Your height, weight, or any sporting achievements — nothing matters here. Your social status or connections, ties with law enforcement, and even the ranks — none of that matters. It doesn’t matter because despite your “tough person” exterior, you can be easily intimidated and put back on your heels.
Let’s take a top manager as an example. He is shouting at his people while holding a meeting but, in the meantime, there is just one single tense chord that is vibrating inside him: What if they decide to make me the fall guy? What if they dismiss me and then my world will just collapse? He is shaking with fear and feels another drop of sweat streaming down his back right into his underwear.
During the Soviet times, I happened to be part of the WEST-81 military drills staged near the city of Kaliningrad.
And one of the soldiers escaped from our unit taking along a fully loaded machine gun. Just a sad and common story — a conscript bullied by senior soldiers.
The good boy had to suffer regular beating at night, forced to do all the dirty work, and was humiliated whenever possible.
What did he do wrong?
Nothing, actually. But he was the softest one in the military pack. Finding themselves in a confined and aggressive environment, people will typically fall into two groups — flesh-eaters and plant-eaters, and then the former start destroying the latter.
So, when they drove him to despair once again, he found an AK-47 sitting around. He just fired a burst above their heads and took off.
You may want to know why he escaped, right?
Out of fear. He could have shot the bullies only if he was out of his mind, under an impulse, but never in full control of his actions. Telling the truth, he was the best of a lot of us, as he really loved people. However, he was aware he had broken the law and he would be prosecuted. He could not stay relying on the commanders — his fellows would be even tougher on him for the shooting. As a result, he escaped like a hunted animal, away from both his offenders and the officers. And he never dropped the gun. It served to protect him once, so it might come in handy once again.
We went out to look for him, aligned in a chain, about fifteen feet (five or six meters) between us and the commander in the middle. And about every thirty minutes, he would stop and hurl a bunch of dirtiest swear words in our faces.
The thing was that as we walked along, the soldiers from the left and the right flanks would constantly lag behind flocking to the center. Finally, we would end up walking in a spearhead, the commander leading us.
The fear of getting a bullet from the nearest bush was enormous, so enormous it controlled everything we did. All of us had just one image in our minds — a hunted down boy holding a machine-gun about to pull the trigger.
Therefore, we would slow the pace unconsciously trying to hide behind one another. Nothing like cowards, no. But the fear implied the self-preservation instinct, which determined all we were doing then.
Finally, we found the poor fellow sleeping with the machine-gun in his firm hug. The whole case was covered up and the guy was transferred to another unit. Emergencies were common at the drills.
Another level is courage. Man is afraid, yet he will overcome the fear. It is all about being strong-willed. This is what stands behind every act of bravery.
It is the people of will who attack the enemy even under heavy fire and being perfectly aware that they stand no chance to survive. The mariners opening the Kingston valves and looking proudly at their navy flag while overwhelmed by the incoming waves. It is those who challenge reality and never go back on their words.
You, too, were one of them when you took a night walk through the local cemetery, just for a dare, or climbed a chimney shaft all the way up only to write the name of the girl you had a crush on.
And another — everyone gets a chance to get up to the second level. Whether you die or you don’t — this is up to destiny.
And finally, those who deserve to stand on top — the fearless. This is what they called a special group of the ruler’s bodyguards in ancient Persia. They were there to die, a lot of them at once, in one single battle. And they used to die in clear rows as none of them took a step back ever.
Why would they be so die-hard? To serve the king who paid some sort of insurance to their families in case they died?
But other fighters were paid a pretty penny, too. So, it’s not the dough that matters here.
When the British troops invaded Tibet, they tried to capture the Buddhist monks who locked themselves inside of a small tower. To force them to surrender, the British officer ordered to set the building on fire. And the monks got all on the top of the tower and started singing their mantras. They would not stop even when the fire came up to their bodies. Everyone died. Those monks, too, defended themselves. They did it in their own way, never taking up arms. They stood up for their principles, which were definitely stronger than the fear of death.
What made these people any different from the second-level heroes? One thing — to their own judgment they committed no act of bravery. When faced with the circumstances, they had to accept the challenge of fate. They had no fear of death, so what else could scare them?
These people’s hearts have no room for fear because they are full of faith, which they let penetrate into every single bit of their mind, and which has become part of them. No hollows left.
Our much troubled and dearly loved Russia witnessed thousands of innocent Old Believers being killed in the 17 century, a massacre initiated by clerical schemers. Many of the victims set themselves on fire, their families next to them, too, all because they were too much into their faith to betray it.
You may call it a case of religious fanaticism.
But I will say NO, it is not! The symptoms are different. You just go on reading now, we will be back to this issue.
Earlier, we mentioned that every man had a time limit to spend on Earth. And there is no way to go beyond.
You must have a calendar at home, right? One with all the important dates and holidays highlighted. Now, imagine there is a global and eternal calendar of human lives holding records of every living man, with their dates of conception, birth, and the time they are to leave this world. The change of generations is under strict control.
This calendar is called matrix. So, don’t be so stupid as to believe that all those newest drugs and treatments could ever break the order imposed from above and keep you alive longer.
Your genes contain all the info about how long your soul will stay within your body. The same holds true for the time when the body’s life course is to wind up, and the man is to get ready to rest in peace. It is all written.
— Who wrote it?
— He did.
— And who is He?
— On the one hand, He is the One and the Only, but on the other — very much different every time. For some, He is Loving and Merciful, while for others — wrathful and devastating.
And you have to admit that elaborating endlessly on the strong points of a certain religion is one thing. However, this is something whole different when you try to fathom who and for what reason lets you live for eighty three years or has already decided that you would breathe your last at thirty eight only.
Right now, you are excited with the idea that man… no, no… the idea that Man is the king of nature, he is the master of his own life and he can do whatever he wants with it. He can jump, for instance, at a machine-gun blocking the fire with his own body thus saving the lives of those around or fight a duel in order to save his honor. Or even can chew a pill of poison when no longer able to stand the awful pain from an incurable disease.
Of course, taking one’s life will present a smaller issue than making the same life longer. However, it is not as simple as it might seem, so don’t make any fast conclusions. All events are predetermined in terms of their place and time, and above all this concerns the ones involving birth and death.
As an example, let’s have a glimpse of the last century.
Battlefront. The troops have been positioned for defense for several months now. No assault or retreat, only some regular shooting from both sides. Everyone is exhausted, and myself — a fresh cavalry regiment commander — I am not just exhausted but desperate. I see no sense in civil war, nor can I make my heart kill others who are only people, just like me.
We all speak Russian and we were born in the same country. Yet, in the name of some insane heavenly strategy, some of us are fighting for the White Army while others are ready to die for the Red one.
The Reds are shouting from the trench that the Russian tricolored flag flying above our heads belongs to those who betrayed Russia. Our ancestors gave all, including their lives, to serve their Motherland under these colors, but now a bunch of red revolutionaries claim that the Russian people should have some other national symbols, some new spiritual guides. Russia will follow its own way, they say.
For this different Russia, they get people arrested based on the class they belong to; they destroy churches and burn books. And they even shot the Russian Emperor together with his entire family.
What else is there for me in this crazy world? Should I shoot the Reds who have gone out of their minds through all the propaganda and whose faces express nothing but hate as they look at our uniform?
But why take some people’s lives in order to offer a bright future to others? How can the gray heaven remain silent and indifferent watching all this frenzy?
I am not going to be anybody’s toy in this stupid and cruel war. I am not going to take other’s lives, but I would rather offer mine — jump on my horse and gallop along the enemy’s trench so that a bullet gets me.
No, no one can call me a coward. My horse that has remained my true friend through all the battles, he understands everything, now giving me a side-glance and growling slightly while hitting his hoof on this worn-out ground. Ok, wait another bit, my friend, it is almost over. All we have to do is race through that hollow, away from those gun nests. Those gunners, you know, they never care to take aim as it never matters who they shoot, the rider or the horse. And I want to save my horse, he is too young and full of beans.
The coat fully buttoned up, St. George Cross on the chest, the rifle on back, and I’ll leave the ammunition — will not need it anyway. Fix the saucer cap and put the leg in the stirrup. Blade up!
The skies are blue and the sun is shining, an image from childhood memories as though there were no war. Heaven must be enjoying a picture perfect peaceful day now while here, down in this world, people are killing each other fiercely.
Clap spurs — galloping now! There is some fuss in the Reds’ trench now.
The gray coats are taking up positions, they are many, all shooting. As I can hear the bullets singing away over my head, I have just one thought circling in my mind — not the horse, please, save the horse! Only a hundred yards (91 meters) left to the front trench line. I can see their faces, all puzzled.
Where is the bullet that gets me finally? I am turning the horse along the trench line, at full gallop. They are here, too close, all firing but none of the hail of bullets hitting the rider. A canon roars and the shot rushes by giving me a scarf of hot air. And the bullets are still around, nonstop. The horse is foam sweating.
Come on, man! You can’t trip now, let’s die while high up there!
I can hear a polyphony of Hurray! coming from our trenches. My regiment is out attacking, and an avalanche of cavalry is about to hit the Reds.
I am dropping the reins and my horse is going free in a wide gallop. Bullets are fizzing and hissing round never touching a single hair on my head. The bullet is a mad thing, they say. So, we will live, then.
I am sure you read or heard about cases where some unknown force saved people from death that seemed inevitable. Such cases are numerous. Alas, we know about many more cases with innocent people suffering and getting killed.
So, who is there making a specific decision and letting someone either live or die? Why don’t they help this poor thing and abandon them dying in a trench or on a sinking ship, even though this very man has been worshipping them for more than a few centuries?
The Black Seaside, near Tuapse — a place in Krasnodar Region of Russia. A picturesque place where I once enjoyed a summer holiday with some friends of mine. We were leaving in a couple of hours, so I wanted to say goodbye to the sea.
The sea was stormy, though, and waves up to six feet (two meters) high rushed heavily to get smashed against the shore. Huge stones the size of a human head followed them, roaring and rolling. Tourists opted to stay away as the PA system had issued storm warnings.
I stood as close to the water as I could and looked at the huge living wall of water, which was terrifying yet fascinating with its grandeur. The beach was covered with pieces of wood and other garbage thrown out by the water, and I thought that there was no place for the human being in it. No living creature could ever enter this raging water as the waves would strike too often and way too hard.
I kept watching the sea and, a few minutes later, I could see a small break between the waves. Of course, the pause was rather conventional but it was definitely there, no doubt, and it offered a potential chance, a little time, to try and get into the sea. On the other hand, it was nothing more than the observer’s theoretical reflection.
And here I must mention that I have always been somewhat water crazy. I did water sports for rather long, so my skills were enough to get an idea of how dangerous it might be in case I went in there.
So, I had stood there for about half an hour before an idea hit me — Where else could I ever come to know who the true ruler of my life is?! I was given a chance to get a clear and precise answer which would only take a field test, so to say. It took me some time to describe, and you have just spent some time reading this, but back then all these things just crossed my mind in an instant.
The only thing that concerned me was getting an unambiguous answer to my quandary: the One who loves us, does he exist indeed? Is He going to offer me a helping hand even though my chance to survive will be next to none?
How else would I ever get to know this if not risking my own life on a single bet? These lines may smell of some flamboyant madness, but then and there everything was as straightforward and honest as it could get.
My heart was no longer happy staying unaware and it absolutely protested all the controversial and complicated ideas of religion and the Universe.
So, I made my decision, dropped all my clothes, and came up to the water edge. I stood a while listening to the Morse code of the waves hitting the rocks and as soon as I got my dash in between all those dots I took a little run and a huge plunge.
Now, what do you think the first great idea was that came to me once I crossed this Rubicon? You will never believe it but I thought that my boxers had slipped off.
For some time, I fought the waves while trying to stay under the water and get away from the shore as far as I could. Away, to a place with no roaring wash, where only slow huge bulks of water walled me from the horizon.
I was there, the swimming giving me no trouble, actually, except I used some strong language concerning all those environmentalists as I saw bags, bottles, and boards floating around in this enormous plate of boiling broth seasoned with salt. Having reached more or less calm waters, I decided to turn back, a crowd observing my experiment from the shore.
When I got about thirty yards (27 meters) closer, I realized I could not get out of the sea as I could trace no single dash between all the dots of endless waves hitting the shore and rolling back. All I could see was one single gray-and-yellow wall, no head or tail.
The sea has a simple rule — those who give way to panic will not only moan but drown. Remembering this, I tried my best to keep all my thoughts under control at the same time saving my limbs from over-stress.
It looked like I had no chance of getting out. However, there was one thought that would not leave me alone — I did not just come here but I was allowed here. Otherwise, I would have never crossed the water line.
At that point, I turned to the Heavenly Father asking Him to save me. And then, I dropped my arms and legs loose just waiting and watching what the waves and the wind were doing to me. I must have looked like a huge frog, staying on the surface, letting go of the entire situation and moving on, as psychologists call it.
Soon after that, I was thrown right to the ground line, so close my body vibrated with the heavy blows that the waves gave to the shore.
The only sight in front of me was an enormous rattling wall. And you know, that was the point when, speaking with none of that emotional crap, I got aware of death being right there, next to me. It was pushing me towards the ground line as someone fighting a duel would be pushed to the line beyond which he would be shot. Watching the things unfold was scary yet interesting.
And here, all of a sudden, just out of the marine-blue, a very peculiar and unusually long surge came lifting me up and blocking all the rest of the waves, to put me ashore. After that, it stayed for a few magic seconds thus making the storm stop and granting me time to walk to a safe distance away from the surf. My heart was triumphant. This is where I could no longer resist and gave it an air kiss.
Now, I have just shared my experience with you, and maybe it’s time to make a little conclusion. All that happened to me had nothing to do with my swimming skills. All I was supposed to do was to avoid panic.
I was lucky to have the things that way, with no harm suffered, actually. On that day, the huge calendar was definitely clear of any record holding my name.
And now, we are getting to the most crucial stuff. I was helped, in some miraculous way, get out to the shore, which was more like a fairy-tale adventure. It means that in this cruel world ever full of wars, disasters, and diseases, we do have our Heavenly Father who, even though remaining invisible, can come to rescue when things appear worse than desperate.
I can put my superhuman salvation aside, but there is still something I cannot fathom. Even the sea and the wind obey Father, so why did He help me, but lets thousands of innocent people get killed?
I have no answer so far but I do hope I will have it one day.
And one more — what do we have to do through life knowing that the time for us to stay in this world is pre-written?
It is up to you and me to decide how this life journey is to be taken — flying, running, crawling. An important thing to bear in mind, however, is that crawling and creeping will not translate into any extra years of life.
To Drink or Not to Drink
There is a good joke based on a fairy-tale about the Frog Princess that was found by her Prince and brought home. When home, they decided to wet their whistles to celebrate the meeting, and on they went! Drinking and drinking… and drinking again. And finally, the Frog, hiccupping loudly, utters:
— Heeeck, that’s too much! What’s the point!
So, why the heck do we get soaked?
To get drunk, of course. Of course, there are all those tales about the culture of winery and making the so-called noble drinks. However, there are always two reasons to explain anything — the real reason and one that sounds good. Booze is no exception. But please, let’s stop cheating ourselves claiming we drink wine or whiskey only to enjoy the whole bunch of sophisticated taste shades. If that were the case, we would opt for some soft juice.
Frankly speaking, we consume alcohol to get lit up a bit even when tasting it, not drinking it as we claim. Of course, it feels much better when we drink something not having to pinch our nose but having a perfect bouquet tickling the nostrils, right? If so, however, you must admit that while the heavenly drink is washing our mouths we do not just enjoy the taste but also get that very anticipation that precedes the ecstasy of intoxication. You never wash your mouth with lemonade even knowing that it is much tastier, do you?
We drink to relax and to get drunk. This could be a condition implying stages that are different yet similar when it comes to our quest for this feeling of festivity that is not so easy get in everyday life.
A state of light, or not so light, intoxication does relieve us of certain fears and worries. As long as we stay this way, we definitely experience fewer troubles that life pitches in our faces every now and then. We have more fun hanging out and fooling around with our friends and start new relationships with the fair sex easier. The list of advantages could go on and on.
When I was young, I was into competitive shooting. I saw some older athletes take a couple of shots of cognac just to calm down before taking shots at the target. They claimed it improved precision. When speaking foreign languages, by the way, alcohol can do you quite a bit of favor, too. Taking a single shot of whiskey on the rocks is all you need to start rattling round using all those complicated verb tenses. Yes, you did know them before and used them all rather skillfully when in class. However, once it came to a real context, you would never relax, always self-conscious and silent, just to be on the safe side. Making mistakes in public does feel awkward, doesn’t it? But now, a single shot of whiskey and the fear is gone!
Or imagine you are back to your office after a devastating meeting with the boss who was super tough on you. You feel miserable, the darkest thoughts are buzzing in your head, you are all down with your heart in the mouth. And you don’t even know whether you can go on working there…
This is where you shut the door, open the bar cabinet and get yourself a shot. Taken! Now it feels better, and you calm down. To hell with all that!
And how about the army, military drills, out in the field? The field is the soldier’s real school. Remember all those posters displayed all around the base? And the field is always covered with mud and water. As though it is not enough, there is wind. The wind that seems to pierce you right through your thick uniform. And this is not just for a day but round the year. Just what you need, right!?
You’ve been on your feet all day long, all soaked and cold, and then you get back to the tent for the night. And this is a cold and wet place full of smoke from the furnace, but this is where your friends got you a plate of French fries and a mug with vodka, 100 grams (three or even four ounces) if you are lucky. You throw back a shot and hit the pillow. Hell of a day! And there is another coming soon. How can you live without vodka there? No, never. Too boring.
Well, now you can see that it’s all fine at first glance. Seemingly good, however.
You drink it — you feel good!
Drink some more — even better!
And a bit more — just great!
And then, all the toasts come, including the master toast and the final one. And then, all those toasts as you are about to leave, and yet another when you are going out the door… and then you raise another glass in salutes to all your families, and to the military branches, and so on… And then, you get it! You under-over-took it, which means you had taken more than you could stand yet less than you would like to drink. And the next thing you know is the morning, a pretty tough one!
This is where we get the first time bomb. After some short sense of inner freedom, there comes the abstinence syndrome or hangover as people call it. Next day, you’re clearly out of shape. Or in no-shape at all sometimes. That depends on the level of freedom you reached last night.
The famous Russian musician Andrey Makarevich in his book Zanimatelnaya Narkologiya (Funny Narcology) offers a perfect description of the feelings we get through taking the first three shots of vodka. After them, to be honest, it does not matter how much you take. All the senses get flattened and you get nothing but heavier filling yourself up with alcohol.
There is this kind of people who should never drink — too dangerous. They get switched off, totally spontaneously. So unexpectedly, that it comes unexpected even to themselves. It takes them to a whole new reality where they can recognize their friends yet never remember their names. A man like that can tell his wife from that of his neighbor but it doesn’t matter to him — no moral, prejudice, or stereotype matters, actually, so these people get really rude and insulting. He can start a fight with a stranger only because they are fans of different soccer teams. He can make a pass at his wife’s friend right there in the kitchen, and then cry helplessly bending over the cooker due to the lack of sex power.
Once, there was a company of young friends. One of them was a nice dude, a professional driver. Each time he took his share of booze, he got completely delirious believing he was a hero saving the world, the country, or at least a small village. Once, he was telling all those around about a secret mission which earned him the Hero of the Soviet Union Award. Then, after a minute’s break he realized he was mistaken — that was the Hero of the Russian Federation award. Further on, more dead than alive, this guy would introduce more of amendment on the dates and the historical events in which he had been the major character. And no psychologist or therapist has cracked this case so far.
As you get older and the dosage gets higher, hangover gets longer and harder to get rid of. If you are taking too much at a Friday party, then chances are you will spend all the weekend in bed.
Here your life gets a whole new concept — hangover killer. It means that in the morning you’ll have to get cured with something that made you intoxicated the day before. And all your friends are there, too, telling you to get some alcohol first thing in the morning (unless you have to drive to work, of course). And they will tell you numerous stories about the ambulance coming a minute too late to save one of their neighbors who died because all his wife had given him was a long and loud nagging rather than giving him something to drink. And that was the last straw that broke his heart.
You realize already that once you get drunk on a Saturday, you got to get some natural home treatment the following Sunday. However, in case this hard Sunday is spent in the same company you had the day before, then the entire hangover killing scheme turns into a funny event that may be called adding colors to this black-and-white world.
The wise saying goes, though, that careless hangover killing experiments will result in a drinking bout. OK, maybe so. But what is this bout? And what makes it different from a harmless hangover killing process?
The morning that follows a great and bright night, you feel equally awful in your soul and in your body. You can hardly overcome nausea to get a gulp of beer that is so disgusting now, but then it gets a little better. Food? You are about to throw up even at the very thought of it. And there you are, trying to get another bit of sleep.
And you wake up a couple of hours later. It is still morning! I mean your sensations are the same. You get something stronger and make yourself something to eat. Then you flip through the TV-channels, and as soon as you find yourself a more or less funny show your spirits seem to be on the up. And this is where you get another bit of that drink and give your friends a buzz, all just to make sure they are fine. But they are not, hangover is killing them all. And then, you decide to arrange some sort of a phone alco-conference. You fill your glasses raising them to the best of each other, clink them against your phones, down them with that typical grimace on your faces, then exhale, and get back to your TV.
Feeling better now, you switch to the news channel and then you see that you shouldn’t have. It’s all about stupid scandals and crime news. Are they trying to get all the people sad and depressed? Life seems full of trouble again. Got to finish the bottle. And you do. Then, you continue flipping channels and stumble upon your favorite movie and you feel better again enjoying the perfect performance.
Wake up next morning. It’s all fucked up! All is just the way you saw it yesterday morning. Your heart is beating heavily, hands shaking, and your thoughts are all dark. Enough! Period!
All you need now is some chicken broth and a glass of vodka — the best fix.
Take your vodka, have your plate of broth. Then, you take some more of the broth. And vodka, of course. And get on the couch in front of your TV. Wake up in the evening. Feeling bad, to say the least. The broth never helped. Why the hell take it? No, never again! Open a can of meat, put on some good flick… another shot of vodka. A bit better now. Fall asleep deep into the night.
Morning. You are now perfectly aware that you cannot get out of this cycle. Deep inside, your brain gets somewhat philosophically indifferent to all that is going on here.
Now, why the hell get out of this condition in the first place? Everything is under control, actually, and the mind seems to be fine. It’s all about the body, it’s just too heavy. Just relax a bit more, stay in bed, lower the dosage and you are back to your shape.
And now, you are standing like a fairy-tale traveler at a sign and choosing the way to take. Going left is an attempt to survive on the soup and one last shot. No, just be a big boy, take two shots in a row and stop it!
Going right entails calling a friend. And then, the doctor, injections, enema, and all that kind of stuff.