An open letter to the memory of Zhvanetsky: why am I sad and happy at the same time
I woke up today with a lump in my throat and eyes wet with tears. I was lying, thinking, thinking ... Until I understood - I was orphaned. Zhvanetsky left me.
First - a little about the sad. He probably left many, but I don't know them, so I'll tell you about myself. We were not personally acquainted, although when I was still working in the Odessa restaurant orchestra in the 80s, he, being a friend of one of the musicians, sometimes came at the end of work, when we, the musicians, were served a light dinner at XNUMX am. He sat with us at the table and ... took notes. Exactly. We ate and joked, although no one was laughing. And he listened, sometimes said something, but more and more he was silent and wrote down. It was after years that I realized that we were talking funny, although not everyone understood this, and he scooped up the material, “going to the people,” which he himself later said more than once.
Why am I sad? All those who, with their talent, penetrated into my heart, and Baryshnikov, and Okudzhava, and Raikin, when leaving, take a part of it with them. And Mironov, and Plyatt, and Vysotsky, and the creators of “Well Wait” and “Cheburashka”, and Kartsev, and Ilchenko - all who made up my life piece by piece, having given it a drink and illuminated it with an amazing fire, leave ... I have one more candle. Someday the last one will also go out.
And now about the fun. Zhvanetsky was not a talent. He was a genius. And it will be for as long as people who read what he wrote and listen to his miniatures find it funny. I don’t know how long this will last, but I’m quietly glad that I found him. It is unlikely that they will ever say “I lived in the time of Sergei Evelev”. But at the time of Mozart, Pushkin, Brodsky, Bach, and now also Zhvanetsky, people probably lived. And they will not be ashamed to talk about it.
I am happy and proud to have found Michal Mikhalych. We are actually even from the same city. So it was fateful that we walked along the same streets and heard the same words and voices. He was able to make a life, a career out of it. To invent, record and reproduce this and that, as no one else could. Before him were Babel, Zoshchenko, Mendele Moicher-Sforim, and other brilliant masters. Together with him, somewhere nearby, also lived wonderful writers, composers, readers, artists ... Chukovsky, Dunaevsky, Akhmatova, Solzhenitsyn, Irakly Andronikov.
And now about why I am happy, although sad. Because, probably, I was lucky to live with him, Zhvanetsky, at the same time. That is, I am his contemporary, and this is a great privilege. I think that my attempts to write were prompted not only by a lost, walking a little tipsy muse one evening, but also by the desire to try like him ...
Yes, I know, stupidity, audacity to even think so, but nevertheless I tried it, fifteen years ago. And since then I have been writing to myself on the sly, for my own pleasure. No, of course, I'm as clever and funny as he can't. Nobody knows how. Because there are talents (big and small), and there are geniuses. Genius is where talent ends, and more ... thirty-three million light years up or down, where he dwells. But on the other hand, I can also speak out, sacredly adhering to the main commandment of the great master "you need to write and write when you can no longer." At some point, I “couldn't” either.
Yes, I know, many are now writing, almost all. And that's great. We save so much on antidepressants and splash out on paper what otherwise would have gone to children, wives, other women, neighbors in the yard in the form of sour borscht ... We are so saved from bitterness, evil, rejection, irritation, disagreement with the world, forming inside and requiring satisfaction ...
But I was distracted. Thank you, dear, and Mikhal Mikhalych Zhvanetsky, who remains in my memory until the last breath. I confess I never laughed while listening to you. More precisely, he never laughed outside. I do not know why. But I laughed inside. Perhaps I was afraid to laugh outside, so as not to miss a word. You wrote very tightly, without water, without gaps, without the opportunity to relax and breathe ... so I did not relax. It was like an endless series of waves of our beloved Black Sea going one after another, which can easily sink an inept swimmer ...
Your humor is surprisingly deep, sad, all-human. That is why you were on duty in the country, understanding like no one what was happening in it. You are one of the few allowed to criticize the Almighty, and fortunately, no one stabbed you with a poisoned umbrella or hit you with a random truck. Thanks to them for sparing the genius!
How lucky we, your contemporaries, are! And how our life would have become impoverished if you were not there. Once again, thank you very much for everything: that you have found your path, that you have not turned your back on it. That we have not lost our course. That they did not sit out in the shadows and always took risks, saying flammable, sharp, penetrating to the very liver, turning everything rotten, impartial, turning it into honest and truthful. For “slapping the Baskervilles dog in the muzzles”, realizing that at any second it can come to its senses and tear you apart.
I'll miss you. I understand that nature will probably never repeat such a phenomenon. People like you are very rare, and I am terribly proud that fate has thrown me into the twentieth century, where you have already ended up.
I don't want to join the millions of mourners. I will remain alone in my quiet sorrow. Sadness, a feeling of irreparable loss, like love, are very individual feelings and cannot be transmitted to others. They are born deep inside and can dry out like an obsolete tree or live forever, nourishing the whole body with life-giving juices of happiness and joy. This is how you were, my dear, a breeding ground that fills me (and probably many others) with life, warmth, sad laughter and a unique ability to see what is invisible to others. And there's nothing to say about the ability to describe it in the most amazing way. My God probably smacked you on the top of your head at birth. For which he, and you too, are enormously inhuman thanks.
For everything, for everything, for everything, for everything, for everything ...
And don't be lazy, please. Make those around you laugh now. They do not even understand how lucky they are with you, and it is a sin for us to complain. You have had a long creative life on earth, and you have lived it with honor and benefit. And my parents just by chance guessed, thanks to which I was able to “smell” your genius and fall to an amazing spring, which will water the suffering for a long time. This is the legacy of genius. An eternal spring of inexhaustible creativity. Your creativity, beloved and staying with me forever, Michal Mikhalych Zhvanetsky.
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