Independent journey

In Milan around the airport lay the mountains of gray snow, and a thick thick fog hung over them. Departure detained by one and a half hours. Then the aircraft started, plunged into a impermeable veil and though in ten minutes I snapped out of it. Over clouds sticking sparkling tops Alps. After some time, the clouds ended, and the coastline with a rainbow bending sprawled from the ground to the sky. A few minutes later, the plane plunged into the bottomless blue blue and edge.

Until the last second, there was water under the wings, then suddenly red-haired cliffs moved away from emptiness, the wheels pounded into concrete, a squat two-story building of the airproof showed on the edge of a flat land: Sicily.

I was met by a young handsome man with an elegantly folded head, in a snow-white shirt – in the tone of a discreet smile, flashed on his dark face. He casually extended his hand – Gianfranco – and picked up the suitcase.

Night came instantly. The car was cool, smelled with a new finish. Gianfranco quickly explained to me the program: I was invited by the famous Sicilian patron to go through the island in the spirit of the island, to live in Catania, to participate in several cultural events and compose a story, one way or another related to this trip. A dozen of such stories written by famous writers from different countries will make a collection. For the story was promised a very decent fee.

In two hours we crossed Sicily and stopped on the opposite shore, near the sea. The small resort town seemed to be extinct: lonely was the orange lantern on the central street, and shuddered in the warm February air of the railway semaphore near the tunnel nearby. I asked: can I swim? Gianfranko looked at me like a crazy: water, of course, twenty degrees, but who bathes in February?

In the hall of the hotel I presented me a mezzenate: His name was Antonio. The hotel belonged to Him. It was a large, short-standing middle-aged man, a little shy, with blue eyes, long eyelashes and with a broken nose, in a shabby sweater and jeans, a little similar on the young Anthony Quinna. All spacious hall was sealed by photocopies of newspaper articles on the activities of its cultural center. Antonio introduced me to the rest of the guests: with a translator, a seventeen-year-old miniature girl named Melissa Pi – the author of the scandalous Italian bestseller, with journalists from Milan, Rome and Palermo.

Now, Antonio said, because in the offseason, the hotel is empty, each of you can choose myself a number. He offered an excursion: Rooms, all different, were designed by specially invited artists, he was about to talk in detail about each of the projects.

Once in Zurich, I already had to live in a similar institution: I slept under the cavalry with the golden stars pasted on it, the walls of my room were painted with fluorescent blue paint and painted by Arab writers, from the middle of all this "Thousands and one night" Tracked the wage, the shower and toilet were absent, and under the bed the brick was substituted, tangible, like the famous pea, through all mattresses and floorings. I realized that it was time to plunge into the depths of the hotel artistry again.

The first room turned out to be a bunker without furniture, divided into a diagonal at the chest level with a thick concrete shelf and painted black and bugger enamel paints. Antonio is confidential, as a connoisseur of connoisseurs, explained: Black color symbolized the doppoplated chaos, crimson – initial creative effort.

The next number led a narrow corridor of fifteen meters long, with several steps. We moved to the touch. In complete darkness heard female. The corridor, good-naturedly explained Antonio, symbolizes the thorny path of knowledge.

One of the rooms was designed by the famous video device Fabrizio Plesi: Walls from television screens, on which it was infinitely splashing with a surf, the black window in the entire wall, slightly trembling under the head of the wind and giant – from the wall to the wall – a concrete bed in front of the window. In the room dedicated to Pasolini, in the bathroom were screwed to the walls and ceiling instead of the shower cerebral debris, rusty pipes and iron angular boxes that symbolized the hard life of the artist. Another room was from top to bottom was written by verses of the famous Italian terrorist, with whom Antonio was in a friendly relationship.

Melissa as a real author of the scandalous novel chose "Erotic grotto": Several illuminated from the bottom of the purple cubes standing in the purple room. I stopped in "Nest of love": In the middle of the White Room stood a concrete well, which occupied almost the entire room. In the well itself there was nothing but a huge round lodge. In the bathroom under the ceiling there was an iron box with holes, the jet from which was poured immediately. The toiletz was installed on a high concrete podium, and when I had to use it, I found that my legs do not get to the floor of centimeters thirty. Iron pins were sticking out of the wall: clothes hangers were made of fittings. The furniture was not in any numbers: as Antonio explained, the furniture distracts. In Zurich, there were bedside tables and a wardrobe, I remembered with melancholy.

Two times in my life I met people who are as often as he, used in a casual conversation of the word "the beauty" and "spirituality": It was a fiber director of juice and St. Petersburg bandit repa, which wanted to patronize the arts (his huge "Mercedes" It was all fucked by icons and rosary). Antonio was partly similar and on the other: Sokurov he reminded the elevation of judgments, the turnip – an unusually affectionate, open and defenseless view of transparent eyes. I asked Jianfranko, who, as it turned out, was an assistant and a close friend of Antonio, which the patron. Gianfranco said the Antonio family owns a cement plant and many other construction enterprises. Word "a family" sounded like in the Italian detective seventies. A little later, Antonio said that he did not want to participate in the family business and that a few years ago an attempted for life. The steel fragment of the explosive device was done to the ceiling above the bed in one of the numbers, a narrow beam of light was sent to it – the sparkling of steel was to constantly remind the guests about the flow of life and about the difficulties on the path of all Protestant.

Lunch took place closer to midnight. At the table, in addition to acquaintances, there was still a single pair of guests – familiar Antonio, American winemaker from Tuscany and his German wife. Having learned that I live in Germany, German asked what I was there, she was in his homeland. "Sin complain", – I replied restrained. "Oh well, "she said, looking mockingly and leaping a thick platinum wave over his shoulder," I can not pour. Still they all run there?" Antonio, laughing and using narrowly special terms from the field of radical pornography, spoke about the book Melissa: it was about the intimate diary of schoolgirl-Catholic. Unclear, a regulatory paper from Rome tastefully translated his story to me.

The next day, we visited the collection of concrete monuments created by order of antonio and placed there and Syam in the coastal mountains. One of the sculptures is an abstraction in the spirit of mature modernism – was installed in a narrow picturesque valley, on the river bank. Antonio complained: Near the sculpture, his opponents put a cement plant and poured in gravel and rubble, the Viaduct was installed directly over the sculpture, during the construction of which many millions of public money were stolen. People do not understand beauty, he said, beauty disappears from life. I looked at Viaduct: Giant pylons went high in the blue sky, and there, at the top, from one, completely overgrown with olive and lemon groves to another stretched smooth, thin bending of the motorway. From the beauty of this building, from its coherence with the scenery captured the spirit. The monument, sadly explained Antonio in my back, symbolizes flourishing and wilting, the change of the eternal world cycles.

Another sculpture was installed on the top of the mountain: it was painted with a pink labyrinth, the entrance to which was decorated with a high narrow arch. The arch symbolizes the female, generating the beginning, explained Antonio, and the labyrinth – the actual life. The labyrinth was littered with cow pellets, and at the end of him there was a pit from which one could see a single silvery olive on the background of the sky – the symbol of the mystery, as Antonio explained. Melissa and I roamed the labyrinth, the documentary from Rome shot a movie about this trip. In the course of the film, we had to ask each other questions. "In your book a lot of candid scenes, "I said. – from all over world literature what seems to you the most erotic reading?" – "Of course, Dante, – Melissa replied condescendingly, similar to a small, bad housewife, – Paradise". The village scattered over the slopes seemed to be surrounded by theaters, located waiting around the sea scene sparkling in the sun.

In the evening there was a speech in the University of Catania. Afternoon we came to the city. Outside the windows of the machine flashed black huge ships, cropped with hot asphalt of berths, ornaments on the walls of the flat Sicilian baroque, antique ruins, a grand cathedral, the dome of which seemed to be frozen in the sky a thunderstorm cloud, a colonnade of the opera theater, white, melting marble monuments and fountains, azure lumen sea ​​at the end of a narrow street. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Schvabi, Spaniards, Normans, Italians in turn owned this land, Most recently, the Americans freed her from the Germans. Not far from the hotel there was a Friedrich Barbarossa Castle, half immersed in black frozen lava, which, from time to time, pours the skiing of the majestic, shrouded in the clouds of Etna.

The people came to the speech as much as he had to move to the central. Untime Antonio managed to say an introductory word, as a fierce scandal broke out in the hall: Students protested against the presence of a base commercial author in the walls of an academic educational institution. They argued that the Melissa Book – Fiction and Manipulation, demanded that a vague selling fraud would leave the hall. Melissa cried overnight. Television cameras buried in her sparkling face. Reds from indignation of old people drove out from the places, shouted that it was forces and threatened to students with dry fools. It was a cultural revolution on the contrary, the colorful finale of the half-century social movement: the elderly rebels of the fifties again plazy attacked retrograds and resonants, the ruddy skeptics of the two thousandths frankly laughed at former rebels. The hall quickly filled with desperate screams, and the performance had to stop.

Independent journey

The next day, a trip to Librino was planned: a suburban quarter of new buildings, disposed at the beginning of the seventies famous Kenzo Tang. Some time, we walked around the area with journalists, looked at the bored intercoms, written by the walls, courtyards, knee-dressed in wet garbage. Near us stopped the car. Seeing the camera, from the car jumped out a few guys in denim jackets with gold teeth and broken noses. They began to scream something to journalists, they were inseciously agreed. I asked what was going on. I was explained that these guys demand that Berlusconi immediately adjusted garbage collection. I wanted to ask them if it should be stopped to stop throwing out the windows from the windows of multi-storey buildings straight to the street, but I was dissuaded from this venture; But they told why many Sicilians have broken noses. Indeed, in the morning in the market, the young sausage was broken. (We have had breakfast on the market, and the sausage with enthusiasm explained, waving in front of my face with two meat knives and peeping directly into the soul, as you need to live: first eat a piece of sausages, then drink a Sicilian wine and then – he showed his hands as if the dough was tweaked -tvik-tweak, be sure to use some kind of appetizing chicken.) At the toothless seller of seashells, above the head of which a poster was blocked "We accept credit cards" (and from the unknown, covered fish scales of the device stretched from under the bridge right into the sky black wire), too, the nose was broken. It turns out, in the mafia "families" The child is planted on a high wall; Father gets downstairs and smiling, asks the baby to jump from the wall to him on his hands. The child jumps, the parent retreats to the side, and the boy falls face to the ground: so raised disbelief to people.

Antonio arrived and told that a hundred thousand people live in Librino that during construction the project budget was thoroughly reversed and people went to apartments without electricity, heating, water supply, sewage. I asked why they did it, and he said that housing is free, that this is a quarter of social houses. He explained the essence of his project: gigantic portraits of the inhabitants of the suburbs will be projected on the frontones of these houses. "They must feel their beauty, "Antonio said," they must feel their own dignity".

I hovers with him: in the same suburb of Cologne, the metro station was similarly issued. From the tiled walls on passersby, the Germans, the Turks, Poles, Russians – ordinary residents of those surrounding new buildings. Feeling pain: It seems that they are waiting for an election agenda. "Bad photos", "Antonio objected. "Self-esteem – I said, – You can not distribute among people together with social payments: this is the problem of any humanitarian aid. Free only depression happens, everything else needs to earn. Own dignity, beauty is the result of great internal work, and not congenital property and certainly not alms". Antonio said that I am a pessimist and Misanthrop, that I do not believe in utopia. I told him that I came from utopia. For some time we argued in the air-conditioned dusk limousine.

Near the school in which the next speech was assumed, Antonio introduced me to his mother. Chauffeur "Rolls Royce" opened the door, bowed, filed his hand; The elderly lady in the fur coat and in glasses with a gold rim got out of the artistic film of the times of economic boom in modern reality. She shyly greeted. After the speech, school teachers thoughtfully superimposed me different goodies in the same way as the mother’s colleagues would be done on the middle music school of St. Petersburg.

In the evening, the dispute continued in the bar "Nevsky", Among the portraits of Che Guevara, Lenin and Castro. "Why are you generally tie to levia?" – I asked me university professorship from Venezuela, Latin with barely covered in the chest tattoo: burning heart with a cross. "In Europe, "the Milan photographer replied to her, which parents were named after Emiliano Sapati," there are no other intellectuals in general, only the left". – "This is not exactly the case – the silent girl-lawyer intervened, which parents were named after Rosa Luxembourg, – full of right, only with them it is difficult, probably writer, for some reason they have a taste almost always quite dubious". It’s true, they started talking all at once, I wonder why the right always bad taste? "Let’s go, I will show you one institution, "said Professors," you will see that a good taste happens not only from Marxists".

In the morning there was a performance in one of the best gymnasiums of the city. Twelve-year-old gymnasics read an excerpt from my book: the main character, the young pregnant idleness justifies in front of his beloved, which earns on the life of the sale of vibrators in retail, for the fact that she has eaten the last brand of LSD before going to shoot a beginner oligarch. Gymnasics for years fifteen, on the sight of the most advanced feature, asked me, what ideals I could advise modern youth. I replied that I did not see the benefit in ideals, if only you are not a professional artist. After the speech around the table there was a crowd, and a stormy discussion began. Excelter it turned out to be difficult to explain what ideals are and why they need her. "They are needed how you do not understand", – she repeated with touching despair. Antonio laughing. Teachers with extinct faces were patiently at the exit.

In the evening at home at Antonio, in a huge ancient apartment on the central square of Catania, there was a reception. Walls and furniture in the apartment, which was simultaneously an office of his charitable organization, were painted with the brightest cafetening paints with the addition of dazzling sequins. It turned out that Antonio also deals with gender policies. A television studio has been equipped in the office. Antonio showed several tens of rollers – it was excellent social advertising on Librino improvement.

At some point, the photographer from Milan warned me to make me take care in advance of his fee. "The pretty people, "he said, – very often be careless in remune matters, especially when it comes to payments". Indeed, people around were all extremely cute. I regretted that shortly before the trip broke up with my literary agent: Modern production is impossible without division of labor. At the end of the party, I managed, nevertheless, to independently redecessing Antonio Advance: one third of the promised amount.

Story I sent on time. He liked, was translated, but I never got the rest of the money – I never got it – I must have not enough class fuss. I always had problems with apotheosis of humanism, the most advanced of all possible worldviews.

Independent journey

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