для читателей старше 18 лет
“This is not a pipe.”
― Rene Magritte
“Sir, can you hear me?” the young attendant asked, snapping his fingers. The second attempt to attract his attention did not have the desired effect: the man was still sitting in his chair, swaying slightly and staring blankly at the white wall. His grey eyes were empty, devoid of all expression, his pale face did not contain a hint of any thoughts he might have.
“There you go. Do you see it? What did I tell you! And — he can sit like this for a whole day. Sometimes it lets him go: I saw him reading a book or writing something on a piece of paper…” turning to his companion, the attendant said.
“So he writes then?” arching an eyebrow, asked his companion, a man in a business suit with a briefcase in his hand. “That’s interesting. And what does he write?”
“It’s a bunch of nonsense — some letters, numbers. The doctor and I looked at his notes, but we didn’t see any sense in them,” his guide threw his hands up.
“‘A bunch of nonsense’, you say?” the visitor specified smoothly in a confidential tone and added, “Can I see these notes?”
“Yes, of course. It’s all in the patient’s nightstand, next to the bed. Anything else?” the attendant asked willingly.
“No, thank you, you’ve done a lot already. You can go now. I believe we will be able to find a common language,” the man assured, kindly giving way.
““Well, it’s good if you can…”
“Oh, I am sure about that.”
The attendant opened the creaking door and almost retired into the hallway, then suddenly stopped and reminded just in case:
“If you need anything I’ll be here, behind the door. Don’t hesitate to ask.”
“Without fail,” having followed the young man with a cold gaze, the shaven-headed man with a short, well-groomed beard and a calm face cleared his throat and turned to the patient.
“Savant syndrome,” he said, more to himself, once again examining the occupant of the ward. “A madman and a genius in one person.”
Putting his black briefcase on the floor, the official looked around the room, meanwhile slowly taking off the gloves from his slender hands.
“Well, hello. It is quite possible that I will be your new curator,” the special agent said, and with a touch of slight negligence, threw his gloves on the edge of the table and continued his speech. His speech, diction and appearance resembled a news anchor. “Based on indirect signs, your doctor concluded that you have extraordinary psychic abilities and informed my leadership about his assumptions.”
The patient listened to this rare guest quite calmly, without interrupting. He kept staring at the previously chosen point on the wall.
“As a result, I received an order to confirm or deny this assumption. If it is confirmed, you will be transferred to another, more comfortable place where you will be under my personal supervision,” the stranger continued as it was all okay.
The man sitting on the chair still considered it best to remain silent.
“Ah, you are not very talkative. Tired of close attention probably? I understand. Yes, it happens,” the commissioner went to the nightstand, then stopped and gently asked, “I hope you won’t mind if I examine your notes?”
And again: silence was the only response.
“So I guess, silence is a sign of consent,” said the special agent, opening the drawer carefully. Without having to search for long, he took out a small notebook and a pencil, then remarked, “In a sense, the paper retains a particle of our soul… But to whom I am telling this, it’s as you well know, right?”
Looking closely at a randomly open notebook page, the man shook his head with an expression of slight surprise and respect:
“‘A bunch of nonsense’, they said. They just didn’t understand your cypher. However, I’d better take it anyway.”
The commissioner moved his fingers over the surface of the paper for some time, brought the notebook up to his nose and showed augur’s smile. Having moved aside the flap of his suit jacket, he took out a sealed bag with a miniature handle and, placing the notebook in it, pasted a small strip with a number on top, then put the package with its contents on the nightstand, closed the drawer and opened the door.
“Well, what have we here? Ken Kesey: ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. Very symbolic,” the special agent praised without irony.
There was no response.
The guest went around the chair, stood in front of the patient’s face and asked, following his gaze:
“And what are you looking at so carefully?”
The expression of the patient’s face did not change for a second.
Not a bit annoyed, the official came to the other side of the table and, pulling out a chair, sat down.
“This silent play has already begun to bother me a little, you know,” the visitor said. In the meantime, he had lifted the briefcase in front of him and started to open it slowly.
He got zero attention.
“But you are right, actually. Perhaps I didn’t address you in a language that you can use for communication.” Tearing himself away from the briefcase for a moment, the man massaged his shaved head with fingertips and created a long established thought-form in his mind.
The construction woven by the power of imagination appeared as a binding channel which linked the minds of both men presented in the chamber like an invisible thread. With lightning speed, mental traffic rushed from consciousness to consciousness, bringing a telepathic message to the addressee.