4 August 2020, Tuesday, 14:20
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

He Has Long Been Gone

He Has Long Been Gone
Iryna Khalip

Don't disturb Aliaksandr Ryhoravich, please.

Do not call, do not accuse, do not condemn. It is pointless to appeal to Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Not even because he didn't care about people, but he won't hear anything anyway. The sound does not reach the place he resides in. Why does he need irritants in a wonderful world Aliaksandr Ryhoravich has settled in?

That world is wonderful. Everything is harmonious in it: there are no wars, no unemployment, no poverty, no dictatorships. In the evenings, Elon Musk drops into to have a drink with the main inhabitant of it. With his typical youth maximalism, he keeps persuading the master of a comfortable world: Grandpa, why are you embarrassing yourself driving a motorcycle, let me give you a good car that matches your status. Ryhoravich grumbles kindly: why do I need your electric bone-shaker, I feel good. But stubborn Elon (ah, youth!) delivers his electric bone-shaker directly to the house anyway, because he knows here you have to insist, otherwise, a hospitable owner will give away everything he has.

In the morning, Aliaksandr Ryhoravich starts calling his friends, seeking influence in trade, because Melania Trump flew to buy in the Belarusian flax and has been running around the city for several days saying "where can I buy it?" But she is not lucky. As soon as she gets in line, a woman standing in front of her says "Don't get in line after me!" In general, all the goods are sold just right in front of her, although Melania asks to sell not more than two items for one person. But a friend of the manager or the niece of the senior cashier will get in line, and she loses. Aliaksandr Ryhoravich will have to involve old connections, ask for a couple of tablecloths and towels to be put aside for Melania: friends deserve more. Melania's man is also a real man. Yesterday he dropped into while his wife was shopping, cried over Bykau's poems, and then honestly confessed that he couldn't live in Washington D.C. anymore. The climate is terrible, Potomac stinks, the number of Mexicans exceeds the number of Ethiopians, and in servants stealing spoons in the White House. It would be good to move the capital to Minsk: the streets are clean, there are no Mexicans and everyone crosses the road on the green light. Of course, the Americans are reluctant to open the border, because this is a friend. There's always room for one more. We will find a room. In an extreme case, Americans will reside on attic storey. Unless people go wild. Would it be better not to pay milkmaids $800? The women got pretty brazen, they felt confident in the future... Come on, the country rolls in money.

Like any generous person, our Ryhoravich always helps the poor. There is, for example, the almshouse on Vaupshasova Street. Lonely pensioners and disabled people live there. What do they dream about? To have chickens running around the almshouse yard! What can be more desirable for a lonely disabled person than chicken droppings under their feet? Sound steward Aliaksandr Ryhoravich feels the aspirations of the people. He sends his son Mikalai to the almshouse not with some hens bought at the market, but with his personally bred ones. During conference calls, when no one sees, he incubates eggs. One meeting is one generation of hens. Then they still have to be bred. And to bring up girls who together with Mikalai will deliver a valuable gift to the almshouse to rejoice the disabled. These hens will soon fill all the country's almshouses. But the project is large-scale, ministers should also incubate eggs. Let them do it. After all, they have no troubles in this wonderful world, where Aliaksandr Ryhoravich, wise and generous, runs the perfect country.

I don't know when he finally left us. Did it happen when Skorina was sent to St. Petersburg? Or when he got the death notice of his father killed in the war? Or maybe when Gorbachev called from the Kremlin and asked for advice? I don't know. It does not matter. One thing that matters is that he created his wonderful world and he does not want to come back. Please, do not disturb Aliaksandr Ryhoravich. Do not try to return him to our world. He will not come back. There is no time for it. Yavlinsky is hovering at the threshold with his notebook again. He asks to edit something, this thoughtless schoolboy.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org