Archive for Muziejaus 11-13

A Story About Ice Surface and What Frozen Chicken Has To Do With It

Posted in English, Stories and Tales with tags on 2014-02-09 by candycactus

Muziejaus street means the street of a museum. After the war it was called that way, because a museum was built there. Before it was called German street “Vokieciu”. And Germans were long gone. I did not know any of that when I was a child. I did not even know that it was built in a place what used to be the heart of the Jewish Wilna ghetto. And the big fire, that I used to see while day dreaming was actually exactly in the place where the great synagogue of the Jerusalem of the East used to stand.

However, when I did not see the fire or other things I imagined, it would be a big yard of a Soviet style urban settlement. In the middle there was some sort of square used for various purposes. In summer stranger boys swearing in Russian would play there football. In winter it would be filled with water that would turn into ice for all kinds of winter games.

Concerning winter games – I never really got into that business. In the collection of bizzare things I got as a present in my childhood were skis. The thing is, I could not figure out how they were supposed to work. No wonder, much later I realized they did not have any metal parts on it, they were basically just planks of wood. Thus, on this ice surface I would go with no particular equipment, purpose or expectation. It was fun.

Well, there is a story to this ice surface and how a frozen chicken was involved in it.

I wished to have a pet. Once a kitten had to be transported for us from Belorussia by some mothers friends. Eventually she (the kitten) got lost in the woods. The friends that transported the kitten apparently got out for a smoke or a pee and the kitten gone lost without that they noticed it. Then the idea was that we should get a dog. My mother was a special lady with special taste. She decided that we should have a basset-hound. There were no basset-hounds in Vilnius at that time, not even one. We had to wait until the puppy came all the way from Riga, which is a capital of Latvia. It came with a Latvian name “Burve”, which means “witch” in Latvian and it almost meant a potato in Lithuanian (which would be “Bulve”). I was very happy.

The puppy grew up eventually. I am not sure what happened with puppies education. What was certain is that I did not have much to do with it. So, Burve was a particular dog with her particular will which happened to be imposed on all of us.

One day, as usually, I went to walk Burve and met a friend. We engaged in conversation. I did not notice some crucial factors I would learn after in my life to be aware of – 1. there were horny stray dogs around 2. I was on ice. The result of this combination was that Burve eventually walked around me several times wrapping me gently in the thing you keep your dog tied to. At a certain point she must have jumped towards the dog fellows pulling me in a way that I changed my position from vertical to horizontal instantly, my head being a point that landed first on ice followed by the rest of my body.

I did not understand much at the moment, but the fact that I could see faces almost in every window must have meant that I cried in a persuading way. My mother rushed out. She brought a frozen chicken. It was apparently the only thing that would be suitable to put on the head to sooth the pains of the bruise on the head.

So, this is how I remember myself on this ice surface – with a frozen chicken on my head waiting for the ambulance. The ambulance came. They told me to stand up, straighten my arms to the sides, close my eyes and try to hit my nose with the finger. I hit something else. Thus I was diagnosed with brain injury and brought to a hospital.

If a person is somewhat strange, Lithuanians say “trenktas”, which means one certain aspect of being “hit”. I can see why, I suppose. Most of my friends at least stepped on a rake at some point in their lives. 

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Muziejaus 11-13. Things of No Importance

Posted in English, Photo, Stories and Tales with tags on 2014-02-08 by candycactus

This is probably the introduction to the book Muziejaus 11-13, which is an address of the place where I grew up.

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I had a slight notion, that the place where I lived was special. But when it really entered my mind was when I was 13. I lived alone my myself and I will explain to you at some point later why. However, I was listening to Pink Floyd “The Dark Side of the Moon” on an old soviet vinyl player while writing my diary, as all at a sudden a flushing water sound entered my ears. It perfectly fitted to the music played, but it was the sound of real water really flushing into the apartment. The door bell started ringing without interruption. I made my way to the door to get help from neighbors and wondered what all this strange tingling in my body was about (it was electricity flushing down from the doorbell). Neighbors managed to get the water turned off. The rest I had to do myself. So, I went to a soviet neighborhood management office and asked for plumbers to fix the pipe. Wait, they told me.

After two weeks two remarkable guys appeared. One was very tall and thin, the other one was short and round. Both were in their years and drunk. They would have fitted into the comic to deliver the message that the job has no chance to be completed. But things took an unexpected turn. Petia, do you remember us being drunk in that corner once? Yeahh, I guess so, it has been a while, ugh?

It turned out that once they were guests of my grandfather, great poet and notorious drunkard. All nation must have passed by here once. I missed that era completely, since my grandfather died when I was just 4. But the same place happened to be a nod of trajectories crossing of many more people to come later.

A great percentage of my childhood time was dedicated to cook coffee for the guests. I had no idea who they were and I had not much idea about coffee since I did not drink any myself – I was a very young child –  but I must have been really good at it. Coffee Turkish way. Very low flame. Plenty of fresh grounded coffee, three times letting the foam come up. My mother would have been a good trainer and will breaker in any detention camp. However, after resisting to learn to deal with the fire, I gave in and was trained to cook probably the best coffee in town. At least this was what the guests would say, and note that these people were not particularly generous with compliments or any kind of superficial remarks as usual in some other parts of the world. At some point I didn’t mind this job. When people ask me when I started meditating I realize that it must have been around that time. Watching coffee cook very slowly.

Thus I witnessed the guests of Muziejaus 11-13 coming and going. Things of no importance. It just turns out that in a small country things of no importance make history.

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This is me and my grandfather in Muziejaus 11-13. This and most of other photographs to be posted about Muziejaus 11-13 were take by my mother, a great photographer Dange Sirvyte

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