— Friends

THE FRIEND.

This little spider lived on the Anichkov bridge, behind its bars, on the water side. Perhaps he liked to watch Fontanka at night as much as I did.

4:00 AM. A perfectly round orange of moon. A Mexican asking me for the name of the river and then telling me about his pedigree: he has a part of the Russian soul inherited from his grandmother who was from Russia. He is carrying it with him. And that’s why he is here.

I’am pretending to listen, nodding to him like a sort of matryoshka chumbley, but thinking of something else. Then the Mexican spot a hooker and hurry to her.

«Thank God!» I follow him with my eyes. «He’s found an object more deserving of his monologue about the beauty of the Russian soul! With its further transformation into the dialogue and the bedroom scene. And no matter what the consequences are. Foreigners are interested in communicating with us, Russian. Especially in summer. Especially in St. Petersburg. At the White Nights time. And with Russian hookers as well.»

I leaned on the railing, I bent down towards the river and started watching my new friend. I watched the spider trying to create harmony in his home, cleaning the cigarette ash out of it with his little paws. People are shaking it out wherever they can!

You can see the Spider’s house if you bend properly over the winding bridge fence and look down. I forgive smokers. They don’t bend over like that while smoking. It would be a little awkward for them smoking like that. But if they bent over, they would see the Spider and, perhaps, they’d apologize right away. But otherwise, what are they doing? Standing on the edge of the bridge, smoking, gawking, dropping ashes into the river. And the wind is just here, it carries the ash to Spider’s house. It plays in a autumn manner, it shows its power.

«Workaholic!» I talk to the Spider. «Not sleeping?»

The web is getting like a ship sail, some threads of it break. But the fearless Spider pilot attaches his sail-house to the metal structures of the bridge. He’s forgotten cigarette ashes so far. Home is a more important thing.

Coming back I’m thinking:

«Tomorrow, when I go to the city, I’ll be sure to visit my new friend. I’ll try not to smoke next to his home. I hope the wind will go down and I believe that the Spider is strong. He’s really strong.»

Morning. Another day.

«Hi! Winter is coming! Have you found a place to hide? And maybe next summer you’ll build your sail-house again here on the bridge? Will I meet you, buddy? I would be happy to see you again!»

***

translated into English by Tatiana Rashevski