15 June 2021, Tuesday, 15:40
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Late Walks In a Straitjacket

Late Walks In a Straitjacket
Uladzimir Khalip

They don't usually survive.

This dull regime has been hopelessly sick for a long time. They don't usually survive. Too many severe ailments have accumulated in less than twenty-seven years. The way of life is to blame for everything - hectic and stupid. That is why an impressive collection of ailments was not long in coming. However, optimists argue that mental disorders are not dangerous for others. You just have to keep your distance and not relax. But a straitjacket is inhumane and ineffective. Wouldn't it be better to just be patient and wait?

But, in real life, not everything is so rosy and serene. Back in the Brezhnev era, a familiar employee of a youth newspaper was suddenly lucky: he got an apartment in a five-story building. He settled there with his wife and little daughter and was immensely happy. He couldn’t even imagine why he was suddenly so lucky. The floor is suitable, and the neighbors on the site are young and cheerful.

And only in the apartment opposite - a lonely, taciturn man of pre-retirement age lived. He did not answer greetings, smirked mysteriously. As it turned out later, he was a patient of the corresponding institution. The condescending council admitted that his malaise as a result of prolonged treatment had entered a stage of permanent remission. Therefore, he can return to the ranks of the builders of communism without any problems.

However, a few days later, when our newcomer returned from the editorial office late in the evening, a taciturn neighbor grabbed an ax and, without any reason, began to chop down his door. The police squad, summoned in the confusion, stopped illegal actions and drew up a report on a domestic incident. The law enforcement officers explained that there would be no consequences for the brawler - he had a certificate. And then there's the moon. Look how huge and ominous it hangs outside the window. So the victim was simply unlucky. And the compiler of the uncompromising protocol, a former philologist, added meaningfully that the gray little imp was to blame for everything. Where it came from, he did not specify - everyone is literate and will understand.

Who would have thought that years would pass and the whole country would find itself in almost the same situation? Quite possibly, this time there was no question of any kind of certificate. And the moon in its unknown phase was hiding somewhere behind the clouds. But from vertical heights was thrown, as if casually, terrifying in its essence phrase: "Sometimes it is not up to the laws."

And it happened at a republican meeting of prosecutors - seemingly uncompromising guardians of the law. According to their duty, they seem to be in this case indignant and put the ruler who made the ridiculous joke in his place: the law is holy for everyone! However, someone prudently kept silent. And someone chuckled obsequiously. And off we go. The system took a run and then fell off the chain. Genes took their toll. Because everyone, regardless of age, yearning for hard power coming from thirty-seven. So there is no reason to pretend and hide something.

And those with a baton and a paddy wagon in the operational rear do not understand the hints at all. Someone gave the go-ahead - they go do it. Everyone knows that diligence pays off. And in one night, a seemingly European country turned into absolute hell. And this condition lasts for almost eight months. And the events after the total reboot are lining up in a clear and monotonous line - according to the police-"vertuhai" template.

It turned out that the enemies are sitting in every crack. And everyone is bribed by the West. Billions of dollars have been spent on keeping agents and overthrowing the chair. And then, there is a rabid wolf roaming the country and brazenly showing its teeth to foresters. So only the special services and faithful television cameras remain a reliable means of communication with the people. And we must not miss, tell everyone about the intrigues of innumerable enemies. And of course - about the most important thing. About the cellar in the Homel region. About hordes of off-road vehicles, straight from the African deserts, rushing to the peaceful Drazdy. To expose the insidious plan of lawyers and Pushkin scholars who encroached on the very sacred - an afternoon nap in Azerny.

He realizes that all this is a slippery slope. An old anecdote about a carriage with a large-caliber machine gun can no longer take the audience. There is not that servility around. And the thrill is not the same for a long time. Therefore, in the hope of sympathy, one has to reveal the secret of his fruitless negotiations behind the blind Kremlin door. But even while frightening his inner circle with new horror stories, he must constantly remember about curtsey towards Moscow: “And thanks to Putin! Somehow, I didn’t notice, and the specialists didn’t pay attention. At the last negotiations, he said: “Did you notice that they wanted to do something with the energy sector in Minsk? Do you understand that you can't turn just it off with a switch? This is cybernetics!" He said: "I dare to tell you out of friendship, two or three hackers do not carry out any such cyberattack on power supply systems. This is a foreign state operation! Israel recently carried out such an operation against Iran and blew up a nuclear facility. They wanted to arrange something like that for us."

Madness and fear always wander somewhere nearby. They are especially amused by late evening walks. Residential areas. Dark skyscrapers. Emptiness and hopelessness. The full moon in the high black sky allows you to see that far around is deserted and quite safe. And in general, why be afraid? Here is a simple AMAP patrol, having completed the task of strict inspection of the special control zone, fussily moved closer to the illuminated highway. And the gray little imp already flickers ahead, showing the shortest path to the light. And it is not for nothing that this flying detachment is in such a hurry there.

The windows suddenly go out and flash again. As if someone was sending signals to someone at that moment. And the skyscrapers and other houses scattered throughout the space suddenly acquire voices and begin their evening roll call: "Long live Belarus!.. The city is ours!.. We believe, we can, we will win!.." A sensitive echo will repeat each call many times. And everything that used to be on the main streets and squares suddenly returns to these quarters, to this city, to this country. And already no patrol can do anything to help the outgoing government.

And what is left for it in the end? Only to grab an ax in despair and chop, chop, chop this cursed door to nowhere.

Until the moon went out at its zenith.

Uladzimir Khalip, specially for Charter97.org