...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crime and Punishment

Mikhail Romanovich Kravitznikov lay in a sickened daze, the fetid wind dragging musty odors from Lebezyatnikov’s rendering plant into this dank chilled hollow-walled gray undersized apartment.  Kravitznikov had stopped eating the day before; the bland tea Sonya had brought to his bedside this morning had long since gone cold.  Mikhail Romanovich turned slowly in his sweat-dinged sheets, the bedframe shrieking for relief. Kravitznikov stared down at the floor where amongst the dark scurrying bodies of starving rats lay a figure he had thrice slain.  Thrice!  First in the burning sunshine of adolescence, then again, hand forced by the pressures of the state.  Finally, a third time, because only a truly great man murders the same form thrice.  Thrice!

Mikhail Romanovich Kravitznikov said to himself, “What foolish cretin of a so-called author writes pages of unending paragraphs of characters talking out loud to themselves (with parentheticals, no less!)?  Is it Dostoyevsky?  Or Dostoevsky?  Fyodor or Feodor?  Curse history, multiple translations, and the Anglicizing of the Russian alphabet!  And what warped individual convinces himself that reading the same novel thrice (Thrice!) proves the brilliant mind of a truly gifted man?  It is I, Kravitznikov, also occasionally written as Mikhail Romanovich in adjacent sentences.  Mikhail Romanovich, I, purchased this particular battered dog-eared besmirched volume once my sweet ailing mother, Pulkheria Alexandrovna, declared great love for her own brittle copy of the tome.  And I, Kravitznikov, thus read this novel, he he he he, having unconsciously disregarded my past experiences with it.  The trudge, the strange suffering in the darkness, was slow and blurred, but yes it was I, a truly profound man like Napoleon, who thus finished it in the late empty hours.  He he he he he.  Then my mind dropped into the abyss of Nyx and opened the ancient wooden doors of dream; not of tortured horses or crumbling societies but of sewage laden Siberian fortresses.  It was a good dream.”

The white sun barely burned through the rotting yellow clouds and pulled angular shadows across the room. Mikhail Romanovich closed his eyes hoping that sleep would once again relieve him of the guilt of admitting that he found pleasure in the resolution of this overwritten book about crime and punishment.

Kravitznikov said to himself, “Mikhail Romanovich, you should recommend this but to only the most masochistic of wounded souls.  But beg of them to never complete it thrice. (Thrice!)”