Piece of not so great a prose, written in a half-bent pose

December 11th, 2014

Unfinished essay, the beautiful jump of a frightened deer, the wind, counting the windows, always leaving a widow, windowless glass on a balcony, rain rain rain, my dear, I noodle, seemlessly the seamen in the storm, without tobacco, not backing off, Tobakoff, wishing I had noised my opinion better, but who can think of(f) a great prose in a half-bent pose?


Piece of not so great a prose, written in a half-bent pose


Tobakoff has built a canoe. Some 40 years ago, while the thought of brewing his own beer has not yet descended low enough to reach his levels. It would be a folly to think that Tobakoff could have ascended instead, he was no angel, not yet a spirit, and, while some described him as having a ghostlike ability to not exist, he was here, in this world, in some sort of a body – that much he knew.

Add to that, his expertise in matters of sinking. From age 6 when first sinking occured, to age 46 when he predicted, albeit in a very silent voice, the sinking of world economy.

His pupils, for Tobakoff had an important mission to teach young boys one or another craft – mostly ship building, called him Reny.

While of a tediously precise mode of operating with and on various things, Tobakoff had clumsiness in understanding the difference between deer and dear, which often put him in a not so forgiving position of treating people as animals and animals as people. Nonetheless, as wide range of records state, he was no extremist and indulged in things with Aristotelian moderation. At times, in almost exact manner of the Great Greek – riding on his whores between five story student appartament houses, for he could not imagine himself being in a position of an animal, due to great admiration he had for domestic, as well as wild, beasts, and less so for human ones.

Tobakoff found things that looked like him repulsive, thus, naturally, he had few men friends. This fact led some to believe that Tobakoff had either homophobic or homoerotic tendencies, which, of course, was entirely untrue, as the boys of his craft class knew very well.

The canoe that Tobakoff has built himself some 40 years ago was never used and remained a virgin trapped in a big three floor storage outhouse. She was no beauty, but had a trait characteristic of those, who never have left their master – faithfulness and a deep-seated desire for adventure. Made from fir plywood and accordingly named Christina, she spent the days dreaming of the time her master – if not release – then at least please her by taking her out to open waters, of which there was plenty around. After graduating in astronomy, Tobakoff decided to take more grounded path and moved to the mountainous seaside at the edge of the country. As Tobakoff was fond of reminding his guests – the land where the stars are closer than bars, having said that he would pour himself and those around a significant amount of vodka into tin mugs, for he was a travelled man of earthly taste.

Even though he loved company, Tobakoff valued his alone time – thus after few vodka mugs, would retreat into the back parts of his large house to read the classics. Curiously, the records remain silent on the matter of Tobakoff’s choices. Nevertheless, it’s safe to deduce that Tobakoff would eagerly subscribe to the saying, that vodka and books are the best man’s friends. As for women, besides loving to ride them during his youthful days, Tobakoff led as chaste a life as a bachelor in his late fifties can. While confusing deer and dear, he had no such difficulty with beer and bear, though the thought of creating a bear beer brand was not a stranger in his, now devout beerster’s, head. It should be noted, to avoid misunderstandings, that while vodka was his friend, beer was Tobakoff’s lifeline, obviously, after the friend has (which it always does) abandoned him. Though never on a cloud nine, dispirited at these moments Tobakoff would mix malted barley with herbs he picked on the walks – the attraction he loved: another thing he shared with the Great Greek. Inhaling the scents of each leaf with such devotion as is only seen in romantic movies, performed by beautiful women, who, by all appearances, have never smelled a rose before. And alive, then, would Tobakoff come again! Clap his hands, smile, almost laugh – hell, why not! – laugh like there’s no tomorrow, which, on closer inspection, is quite literally true for all cases of today. And – why not once more – cry at the same time, for the same reason, cause there’s no tomorrow!

If there happened to be some people around (people have this strange ability to be around, at least on this earth), Tobakoff’s outburst of joyous despair would induce fear and not literal confusion in their hearts and minds. The herb devil, some would say. Other would try to smack him back into his senses, leaving Tobakoff senseless. The moments of great truth, alas, are not meant to be experienced orgiastically.

Tobakoff loved water so much, that he never learned swimming – as with all great loves the most obvious way of fulfilling it is usually left, for one reason or another, uncourted. He would sit on the rocks, watching young boys and girls dive into the depths of his beloved one, while not jealous, yet still melancholically not at ease. Remembering or, rather, reconstructing visions at these times, of himself, a young boy aged six, sinking deeper and deeper, surrounded by soft and cool blueness of the river, and then, suddenly, lying on his back, looking at the gay sky, which for some reason becomes dark and starry. In it he reads his fate, and being like his canoe, faithful and just a little bit stubborn, decides to follow its laid path. Or so Tobakoff imagined himself and his life starting there and then, for every life must start sometime and somewhere.

A person of liquids, Tobakoff had a dry sense of humour. When pushed to its extremes, one could make an observation that it was a desert sense of humour. Tobakoff’s once best friend Platonoff had a chance to be at the receiving end of it on numerous occasions. Though asked about it, Platonoff declined to comment, lowering his head so close to his knees, that one might have thought the man was having a heart attack.Or it simply might have just been the size of his head. Perplexing are reasons of why the men lower their heads so close to the knees.

The reader will have to forgive me for not being able to describe, or find anyone capable of it, the sense of a desert sense of humour, which was the one Tobakoff had, probably in spades.

What I can describe, though, is Tobakoff’s appetite for sweets. Sugar, candy, strawberry, maple leaf syrup, vanila sauce, zephyr, chocolate sticks, ice cream – all mixed in banana puree. Tobakoff ate his dinner as all the wasps died from envy. The only sweet thing in the world that Tobakoff knew of and couldn’t enjoy was honey.

Honey made him sick, not in a stomach or mouth, but in his heart. And even though it was a sweet kind of sickness, it made him think of bees and, consequently, of beehives, and, in sequence, of country side, and, as is frequent in honey sick thoughts, of little children lost in woods.

When tired of life (for there’s not much else to be tired of), Tobakoff would play what he called relaxing death games – the archetypal process of it consisted in making up problems that allowed for – and required – only one solution, only one move. His favourite, what Tobakoff indulged in over and over, and – if exceptionally fatigued – for excessive amounts of time, was throwing a piece of sugar into the sea – it gave him huge relief, for in it Tobakoff saw a unification of opposites, albeit false, and a metamorphic change of one form of matter into another, which is nothing else if not death, but since not total, it was an extremely relaxing experience.

One particular game Tobakoff didn’t enjoy much, but still played – for the immanent truth of something being a game is that it can, and thus must, be played. He called it „The fly vacuum“ – Tobakoff would sit, stand or lie in relaxed patience, waiting for a fly to come near his mouth and then suck it in. The game required to catch the insect without moving anything, but one’s lips.

Neither the fly, nor Tobakoff knew the meaning of this game, but it is safe to posit, that both were surprisingly amused by the happening. No one died during it, as the rules of the game did not state which of the participants should play dead. And so, being the lover of animals as he was, Tobakoff assumed the pretension of being dead.

As is with many men, Tobakof was once so dissatisfied with his name, that he decided to move his vowels, and since then preffered to be called Tabokoff – it gave the name a hint of fresh space, and – not in the least less importantly – him a sense of being closer to his roots.

How close? The records are not clear on the matter – while his name and some habits surely resembled those of a russian, the archival footage of his grandparents show them, exclusively, in either Lithuania or England. The origin of the name, thus, might be entirely accidental and, to put it lightly, the result of a dark sense of humour that his parents inherited from theirs, and dissinherited, with some mutations, onto their son.

However that might turn out, Tabokoff was a much more confident man since. So much more, that his co-workers had to invent a saying to capture the essence of this change: „Once an ass, always an asshole“. Of course, said in a proper manner of these things behind, let’s be honest, Tabokoff’s beautiful arse.

In his beliefs Tabokoff was quite an ordinary fellow – in fear, which happened to be the case more and more frequently, due to Tabokoff’s growing insomnia, he would call for God, in joy – which was also the case more and more frequent, due to his decreasing fear of insomnia, Tabokoff would fall into blissful oblivion and worship all the false idols – from the softness of his bed to singing seagulls and malted barley. And while it is true that ways of God are mysterious, it is no less true that the ways to God are as well.

With more than a half of a pint, but less than a barrel of beer, a jar of strawberry jam, a mug of vodka and a tome of unspecified classic, Tabokoff, in his holiday sportswear and capless hat, decides to take Christina to the fjords, to teach the bitch some knowledge, for he feels confident. In addition bringing two boys from his class to test the future shipbuilders in oral mock exam and lay out on a table practical benefits of being able to build a ship, even if it is nothing like Titanic.

Four of them descend slowly onto the waters and proceed downwards into the sea.

One of the boys, Friedrich, with his shy moustache basking in sunlight, sits in the end of Christina, or, which is not the case unless we see Christina as a woman, which is now true – depending on how she swims – between either her buttocks or, for a lack of more appropriate expression, in her cunt.

Eating sunflower seeds and spitting them onto the ripples of small waves he observes rather curiously. He has no idea what Reny is up to, but the boy trusts his teacher. He is, after all, still a good boy.

The other, though his parents named him Bjorn, reffered to as Karl, sits in front, or, using the same two and a half analogies, leans on a face or among the black hair of Christina. Singing craftman’s songs and joyously engaging seagulls in a feeding game.

Tabokoff himself, as expected, sits in a belly of Christina, whichever way you look at it. Anxious to test his earnest pupils, but also happy as he never was have had taken Christina for a ride. Well, for a swim. Or fly, if you look at the foursome from a bird’s point of view and so establish a situation, that is called „heaven on earth“.

– So, boys, how do you enjoy your day?

Says Tabokoff, happy.

– Let’s get to the point.

Replies Karl, while Friedrich still has no idea what Reny is up to.

– Alright, alright now, no point to hurry. Friedrich, now tell me, what is the definition of a ship?

Tabokoff goes straight to heavy artilery, cunning as he was lately.

Friedrich chokes for a second on a sunflower seed, surprised by hasteness of the situation and having heard a question he has spent evenings pondering on – with ambiguous results.

– Ship is a structure embodied in organised planks.

He shoots.

Bjorn bursts laughing.

– Fuck you, Karl!

Shouts Friedrich angry and knees deep into the buttocks.

Tabokoff, as a lone authority on the matter of ethics, slaps Bjorn on a face with the left paddle.

– Good, Friedrich!

He says, even though deep in his heart he knows that the boy somewhat missed the mark. Tabokoff swallows his bittersweet feeling to teach bjorn a lesson and to give some, given his position in a canoe, needed space for Friedrich.

– Now, Karl, tell me, what is the main part of a well built ship?

Bjorn, rubbing his right cheek, song have deserted his soul, which he, unlike Tabokoff, surely possesses, looks at Reny, straight at Tobakoff’s red eyes.

– Asshole…

– What have you sad?

Tabokoff asks, as though completely unphased and have had expected this answer.

– Asshole.

Repeats Bjorn confidently and courageously. Friedrich at the moment inspecting the waves, lifts his head and starts voicelessly uttering what he thinks is the right answer.

Now, the reader must have in mind that Tabokoff can’t see both boys simultaneously – he has to change positions, when addressing each boy – so he jumps back and forth, for he must keep a good eye on his pupils, least one of them falls off the boat.

Bjorn looks at Friedrich, and Tabokoff, sensing the conspiracy, jumps arround just on time to catch the last silent words rolling off boy’s lips. Instantly he grabs the right paddle and slaps Friedrich on the cheek.

All becomes calm, both boys rubbing their respective faces, Tabokoff looking for a bottle of beer.

– Boys, treat yourself with some strawberry jam.

He says, the peace of his mind have had returned back.

– I’m sorry, Reny, but I have not prepared for this exam.

Manly, as he is, Bjorn puts his cards on the table.

– It doesn’t matter, Karl, it doesn’t really matter.

Tabokoff, seemingly have had lost interest in performing oral examination, has a sip of vodka and retreats into the back of his imaginary house to read the unspecified classic.

Time flies as the birds gaze on the passing boat.

Friedrich, now comfortably in a cunt, watches the waves continuing on eating sunflower seeds, while Bjorn resumes singing and playing with seagulls.

– Karl?

– What, Frie?

– Did it ever occur to you that Reny has really never taught us how to assemble a boat, let alone a ship?

Tabokoff, still in the back of his imaginary house, starts to read with increased interest.

– Friedrich, I knew it all along, that he was preaching us a pile of bullshit. What with all quotes, ancient classics and constantly, how to put it mildlym, under the weather.

– So why did you atend classes?

– For the same reason as you did.

– I hoped to learn the art of ship building.

– Bingo.

– But if you knew, you could have changed the course midway through?

– You know, Friedrich, the essence of learning is to learn from your mistakes.

– So?

– So you must commit yourself to one and not shuffle never failing properly.

– How old are you, Karl?!

Says Friedrich in a friendly pat on a shoulder way.

During the boys’ brotherly communion, Tabokoff manages to finish a chapter of unknown classic, but that doesn’t mean that the teacher escapes the wrath of sleep. As he snores, Bjorn notices that Tabokoff’s open book is getting wet. He notifies Friedrich of the fact and the boys start shaking Tabokoff, who is mumbling something about deers and killing, slowly coming back to his daytime senses, while the sun continues its downward path.

– What is it, Bjorn?

Catching Bjorn’s furious look, he corrects himself.

– What is it, Karl?

– Your stupid boat is wet!

– What do you mean – wet? We are in the water!

Tabokoff has yet to switch to a clear thinking mode.

– No! It’s wet inside! Look!

Bjorn grabs the book and shakes it in the face of Tabokoff, whose confusion of dears and deers is still not overcome.

During this little skirmish, Friedrich continues eating sunflower seeds, albeit in a vastly larger quantities.

Suddenly, as if woken up from deep sleep, which, incidently, is induced in insomniacs of a certain type by beer, vodka and unspecified classics, Tabokoff grabs Bjorn and throws him off the boat. In a matter of partitioned second, he does the same with Friedrich. Christina lets out a sigh of relief, but Tabokoff is too frightened to take notice, for he is already paddling as if his life depended on it, paddling from the future into the past. The boys are way behind, and if the records are on track, they survive to see another day, hopefully, one less swimmy.

And so Tabokoff keeps on for incredible amount of time, so long as to stop right at the view of the setting sun and – having jumped arround – coming storm. Tabokoff breathes heavily, his head aching and heart performing rhythms he once heard on a city bus. Never the one to back off, he does what most ordinary men would do in his situation – he wishes for a God.

And God it is.

– Tobakoff, for I won’t call you by your self-ascribed name, you must do what you do best, you must sink to live. So, sink, Tobakoff, sink! Don’t you ever think of swimming!

Tobakoff, caught in a moment of doubt, though not about God, or what it said, but about his name, hops overboard and piously starts sinking.

He sees the wind that shakes the barley, the deers, the dears, the wall-street tableux, in short, all his life coming at him, and, if not for the water, one could see tears rushing down his cheeks. Tobakoff relaxes his muscles and let’s it all take him.

Now, at this point the story of Tobakoff takes an ambiguous turn.

According to one source, it is stated that Tobakoff drowned, for the fishermen found, quote: „a terribly constructed seamenless boat on a shore“, adding, and this I include for poetic purposes: „ with the most strangest kind of smell, that made us giggly“.

The second one, less reliable, but nothing is (reliable) in matters of history, told that Tabokoff for some reason decided to defy God and started swimming (whether on his back or doggy style) and reached the shores, though it is not specified whether alive or dead. However, in my ahistorical opinion, for all we know, he might just have learned doing it dolphin way and is roaming the ocean in his quasi-rooted solitude, following the star, whose name he doesn’t know.

It does not mention the fate of Christina, thus, most likely, she still floats the open waters.




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