The denouement between Yerezhep and Yelemes happened on the seventh of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty-six. Only on the face of it did it begin suddenly. In reality, the fight could reasonably have started at any minute of the day or night in recent years. Circumstances, as they sometimes do, just did not seem to be the right ones. Today they couldn’t have come at a better time… Of course, Yerezhep was very unhappy that everything had happened on this particular day, but what could you do, as they say, you could not go against fate… Of course, every fight has its own history. Having been involved in an accident two years ago, Yerezhep lost his front teeth. The upper and lower teeth. Without them, his mouth was no longer a mouth, but empty and black on the inside, like an abandoned wolf’s den. With that ‘mouth’ Yerezhep lived for two years. Everything he could hear from his peers and children about his ‘lair’ he had heard a dozen times. But the mockery was nothing. What was unbearable was something else. In public he could not talk or eat at his own leisure. Laughing was out of the question. Of course he could have his teeth done, but usual ones did not suit him, and he had no money for gold ones. There was only one thing to do: to keep his mouth shut and work harder. Silently. A year later, Yerezhep was among the foremost leaders of the state farm. And he was recorded as a speaker in the debates at the district conference. Five days before the event, the director of the state farm remembered that Yerezhep had no teeth and was horrified. ‘It’s a disgrace! What to do?!’ he shrieked, shooting glances at the party leader and the workers’ committee. ‘We should call him in for a chat,’ suggested the party leader. ‘For a listen!’ shouted the director.’ A conversation is when two people are talking. But if he’s going to lisp like that…!’ ‘They’ll say there’s no one on our state farm with all their teeth,’ said the worker. ‘They’ll say we don’t take care of public health services…’ ‘The health of the workers is your direct concern,’ the director reminded the worker, meaningfully. ‘We have to take urgent action! We cannot send him to the district with a mouth like

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13