Cookie Vice versa

The story from the book of the priest of Alexander Dyachenko “Sholei. Simple and complex stories about people”, published by the “Nike”.

  • “The Comforter”
  • “In school I won’t go, now I’ll walk you to the Church”
  • Blessed “Misha” and “vitenka” kept the faith of the people and left
  • I’ve never seen ordinary shoes could cry about the pain
  • “Grandpa, no one wants to be a horse, come”

Priest Alexander Dyachenko

“According to meteorologist last September was very rainy over the past half century, which monitored the weather. So, in Moscow during the month fell two and a half monthly norm of precipitation, which exceeded the record figures of 1885.”

I did radio in the car down:

— Elena Andreevna, you see what’s going on: since 1885 such rains never seen before.

“During the last Sunday telethon to help flood victims in the far East across the country collected nearly 564 million rubles… which is equal to 17 million dollars… evidence of our passion… 135 thousand victims… During a charity telethon, a resident of the city… donated the largest amount — 30 thousand rubles.”

— Yes, sir, trouble. I saw the flood on TV. A terrible thing. And people have to see what kind of heart, replied, thank God.

Radio began advertising, and I by pressing the button turned it off. My companion continued to ride in silence. Though, probably, in vain I did, because while it was broadcasting, it was possible to remain silent. And to go in peace and be silent all the time uncomfortable. Maybe turn it on again? Too uncomfortable leading talk all nonsense, and nothing to talk about, I don’t know.

Elena Andreyevna had long been asking me about this trip, but there were some things, and our event has been postponed every time. Although, truth be told, the real reason was in me. It is very hard for hundreds of miles to carry the mother on the grave of her only son, the more that this son is suicidal.


Getting to the cemetery, the priest begins to pray, I know it myself. Go between the graves and sing to myself lity. Read the names on the monuments and commemorate all those who see the crosses. The priest about it and do not need to ask, it all somehow comes out. Third party person will never guess that you’re praying.

What do I do next to the grave of a suicide? Pray for those whom he had dispossessed, left without grandchildren and great-grandchildren? What to say to his mother, son survived for thirty years?

Almost every year in our village, something happens, somebody, most often it is not old man or still quite a young boy, settles scores with life. And then my phone rings and punctuated with sobbing female voice trying to tell about their grief.

— Father, my son, my son killed himself. What to do?

Then I meet with parents. During the meeting, the father usually is, and, with bowed head, looks at his feet, and his mother, trying to touch the priest, like a straw, sometimes he crouches to you, pressed his head to his chest and crying.

Lord have mercy, how scared they are crying! It’s not really a Creek, and just sobs and howls a little offended by all the dog. And you can’t do anything.

Most importantly, you have to pray and comfort the family can not. I can only stroke her hand and with her cry.

Then the suicide is buried, and in the temple there is a new Church member who comes to every service, because the prayer for her — the only way not to go crazy. She cannot, like her husband, to binge, she goes into prayer. Black clothes are now her clothes for years. She often confesses, blames himself in everything that happened to her son.

Photo: Dmitry Terentyev /

Have to have it to drive away the idea to go after his son. This struggle lasted a few months. Then the mother appears less frequently. After some time, the mother comes to life once again begins to think straight, out of her life is not in danger. And she leaves the temple, usually forever. But I do not blame anyone, because it is unbearable not to have opportunity to pray for the departed.

Elena Andreyevna is not gone, for life remained in the Church. Perhaps this is it and saved. I already knew about her tragedy, but never asked. Vladimir, son of my companions died long before I became a priest.

She called me herself:

— Father, I have a question for you. I’m old, soon to die. And everyone is afraid, like me here in the new cemetery not buried. In the fence near my son in another place is, it’s mine. And where he lies, nobody knows. So please, take me to the grave Volodya, I told you my place will show.


…We’ve been driving in silence on the highway. Finally, I think, to say something, I asked my companion:

Elena Andreyevna you dream of?

— ‘ve seen. The first few months. On the background of fire. If somewhere in a dark room standing near the stove, and the door she opened. Flashes fire in the face. Looks at me in silence. I have never seen. And then, quite recently, in July… Yes, July, again had a dream. I was surprised. If the wolf is small, but I was still very young. Go with him down the hallway past the room of our communal apartment. Barracks still pre-revolutionary construction, with large Windows and high ceilings. I hold his hand and we come to one of the rooms. The door is open, in the doorway stands an elderly man. I know who he is, and he doesn’t recognize me. I asked him, well, how so? We both grew up together, I remember reading Jonathan swift mocked by midgets? I do not remember…

And a packet of biscuits, remember when you brought cookies over Coffee, we tore the paper wrapper, and in it biscuit, two piles of five things each. You went on for five cookies. You took of his glasses, I — from his. Ate slowly and tried to take at the same time, and to eat them at the same time and not be jealous then I already ate, and you still have. All the cookies were laid is stamped on them drawing up, and suddenly see in your pile one cookie is bottom up, not the picture. Remember how you surprised?

Oh this thing to biscuit in the pack suddenly lying opposite! You got him, run to my mom and shouting “Mom, mom, look, it’s wrong! Mom, look, a cookie on the contrary! Cookie on the contrary!”

And now, if not for this man, and my little wolf flees and he yells to me: “Mom, mom! Cookie on the contrary!”

And that man after I told him all this said, delighted. “You’re Lena, — speaks, — you Lena! I know you! You Lena!”

And how strange are dreams, father: woke up, and kill — I do not remember who this man is. About “cookies” remembered, but it is not. Indeed, it was then this cookie “Coffee”. The boxes they were Packed in a pack of five stuff, and could pack ten. Delicious? Then everything was tasty. During the war, all the food was delicious. In life remember one boy, he’s in the other entrances they lived. His dad served somewhere in the supply and get scarce products. The boy goes out into the street, he hands over a paper bag. He comes up to me and asks:

— Do you like this cookie?

— Cookies? And what is it?

It shows a bag, and I can see small slices of fragrant dough. I agree:

— Of course I love this cookie!

And we eat this bag for two. Nothing tastes better, I haven’t tried. Boy someone called, running away, he threw the empty bag on the ground, I lifted and for a long time, smelling the paper, enjoyed a magic smell like cookies.

Even after the war, you know, as we ate the cookies? Not like now. Drinking tea and dipping biscuits in hot water — the tip of the bit. Lowered and then removed. Licked a tongue that was swelling, and drink tea, and biscuits remains almost untouched. Two “cookies” you can drink a few cups of tea. As we were then economical.

One year mom the results of my work as a drummer labor awarded cut to suit. War, hungry, and fit Christmas, then mom takes the cloth and goes somewhere in the villages to change the interval for food. And, I remember, with the flour and oil she had brought the jug of sour cream.

Cream decided to save before the holiday and put in a cold place, the window between the frames. I have never in my life have not tried that is sour cream, and, of course, during the day while at work, I decided to try.

Elena Andreevna laughs:

— Oh, father! Well, just naughty kitty. Climbed up, removed the lid and put cream finger. Licked and realized that so yummy I have never eaten, or even “cookies” and couldn’t keep up with sour cream. And so, for a week I have this pitcher and managed. Got, of course, from the nurse, but not much. Sorry, I guess.

After hearing her story, I say:

— Probably, so to remember all these tastes and odors may be the only ones who survived the war and then survived the terrible starvation after the war.

Elena Andreevna sighs:

— Perhaps, sir, you’re right.

During the conversation we quietly drove to the cemetery, left the car in the Parking lot and passed through the main gate.

— Father, let’s first go over here to the right of the main Avenue. Somewhere in here was the grave of my grandmother. I do not know, preserved or it’s gone?

For a long time we walked along the barely visible path covered in yellow leaves. Grandma Lena hurries ahead of me, and soon I hear her exultant:

— There! Found.

Suited to a wooden cross with a modest white sign.

— Grandmother died at the beginning of 1942, probably in February. Remember, the coffin was on the floor. It was very cold in the house burned all that they could to give warmth. Tables with benches is also burnt.

We stood a little longer and returned to Central Avenue.

— When right here came out the grave of my uncle Alex, and now she was somewhere in the Outback. He finished the war with the rank of Colonel. The war was a political officer, and in the end he was appointed commandant of a large German city. Yeah, that’s his grave, I can see from here. C’mon, father, it is convenient to pass.

Fit. New burial. Straight to the grave uncle Alex was pohoronili his son.

— Oh, it’s Victor, my cousin. Died and I do not know. Died in July of this year. No one reported. I last saw him in the day when they buried my Volodya, and then just phoned them. We grew up together, I’m older than him by only two years. When uncle Alex was appointed commandant, there in Germany, lived in a separate house of eight rooms and gave the maid from the Germans. The commandant received a good ration. But his wife, my aunt Zoe, was so homesick that after two years got sick and they moved back here in the suburban communal.

Elena Andreyevna went on, and she sighed and I heard her puzzled:

— Wow, Victor died, and I was not informed. How so, because I’m still alive.

Finally, we came to a small concrete obelisk with faded lettering and broken porcelain photo. At the bottom you can read: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” The grave was surrounded by a low fence with one still vacant seat.

— Here, father. Here is my place. Next to Volodya. In life, we could not be together, so at least we lie side by side.


— Elena Andreevna, I’m not going to bother you. You stay here, and I’m going to walk.

And moving away to the side, I began to walk along the graves. Walking between the graves, looking at the photos, don’t know anyone. The cemetery I am someone else, not informative. Say Hello to no one. Whether the case we have in the village churchyard. With many whose names are on the monuments, I knew, someone I worked together with someone side by side and read every second accompanied on his last journey. Tired to bow. And here I was all wrong.


Suicide… “be Merciful to me a sinner…” Yeah, this trouble made the man such a sin. And don’t pray. Looked back towards the graves Vladimir and looked for Elena Andreevna.

A hunched old woman, obmanyvala on the wind the dried branches of sweet clover on the grave of their only son. It is wrong, it should not be. It’s like that… anyway, that…

Trying to find the right word, but to mind nothing comes.


…And here we go ago. And not like it was cold and I still shivered. Turned on the heat, immediately became warm. After a long silence Elena Andreevna tells.

— Father, I knew who that man from my dream. As he looked at the picture of Victor, my cousin, and understood. See how in July he and I had. Aged only very. I now remembered that we then ate cookies. And he caught an inverted “cookie”… Remember, uncle Lesha, Vitya’s father, after the Victory came on vacation. Joyful mom — brother returned from the war. He’s from Germany brought gifts, and other products. Mother fusses, lays the table, puts the samovar. Samovar to heat up, first you need kindle. For ignition was saving wooden plates, collected birch bark. And then, as luck, the whole ignition we ended.

Then uncle Alex calmly, with a smile removes from the wall of the icon, takes the hatchet and dissolve it into chips. Icon, which my mother kept the worst of the cold, he burned our eyes. We didn’t dare him to say anything.

Time passed, and Victor, his son, came to faith and helped the priest to rebuild the temple, even he wrote the icons. All this is strange. Have such a father — a believer son. All my life I went to Church, and my son has killed himself.

Now, years later, I know that I myself and guilty. Raised him alone, tried to be straight with him, it’s hard without a father to raise the boy. The slope can not be given for any prank were punished. Broke it for themselves, not to kiss her child, to hug him, to talk heart to heart… This did not happen. She’s grown up, it’s gone from me. Almost no contact, like strangers.

Before he go into the army, called me to the recruiting office and begin to question, as they say, your boy things with the psyche had not noticed any abnormalities?

In short, put him in a psychiatric hospital and recognized temporarily unfit for service because of supposedly discovered mental disorder. Dr. we have made a whole course of treatment, the military said, let him heal, then we’ll see. He returned from the hospital and is closed in on itself. Fall him in the hospital bed, and he in any.

— Mum, — speaks, — I am no longer in a psychiatric hospital does not lie.


— I won’t go and all. To make will be so better with him will do something. I’m not against the army to go. Let them call, but don’t put me in the whole world is a fool.

I couldn comforted, supported.

— Vovochka, son, you don’t worry, mom will always be with you. You know my word is law.

Six months later, bring a summons for a medical examination. And from there re-directed him to the regional mental hospital. Volodya in any locked at home, not out. Now I do not know, and then the laws were executed. At first the policeman came. Dylan didn’t answer the door. I was summoned to the police and asked to consent in his involuntary hospitalization. Where to go, signed.

Bring me home, accompanied by the same precinct and on-call psychiatrist. I go upstairs to the fifth floor. Standing near the door, the officer nods, saying, call me come on. Vovkina hear the quiet steps, and his anxious voice:

— Who’s there?

— Sonny, it’s me, open up.

— Mom, are you alone? If one open. And if you are deceiving me with you local, know that I (***)[1].

I turn to accompany me:

Let’s not disturb him now, you heard the boy on edge.

The woman psychiatrist said irritably:

You know what, I have a lot of work. And I am not going to hang around outside of your door and lose precious time. Comrade policeman, I ask you formally: do by the mum effect!

“Yes,” said the policeman, — you know, failure to render assistance in such an important matter is a criminal offence. So he better get to the hospital than both of you in the area.

In fear I fall to the cracks and whisper:

— Sonny, my dear! Mom never cheated. Please, open up!

Vladimir abruptly opens the door, sees me, smiles, then notices the district. His face changed, in the eyes of despair. He runs to the window, the policeman catches him. (***). Time to turn around, to look me in the eye and shout:

— What are you, mom?!

The policeman managed to grab his arm, but didn’t hold.

Then when I went to classrooms and asked to give her son’s body, went to the district psychiatrist. Come to the office and hear the voice of the doctor that made me to trick the wolf.

— Nikolai Ivanovich, it’s my fault that the boy died. I pushed mother. Now I have to answer.

Says and cries. Then a male voice:

— Don’t be afraid if the mother will say, I’ll write a paper that none of the Prosecutor to you will not carp.

I stood at the door and left. This doctor is still working, and the officer soon went on increasing. Meeting with them in the city, I look away and walk past.

…I listened in silence and drove the car. In memory resurfaced rickety from time to time a concrete monument with a broken picture and the inscription: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

And, in fact, what is his sin? That nobody ever this boy really did not like? The fact that none of the adults in this difficult period of transformation from boy to man didn’t treat him with attention, and the only close person he confided in the most difficult moment overawed and defended?

Who needs to stand on his knees and beg for forgiveness?

The perpetrators of this tragedy will happily end my days, were buried with honors, pre-otpi in the Church. And their sacrifice? And leave with the stigma of an outcast?..

I again turn on the radio. Better it says.

“As informs “the Russian newspaper”, due to the star status the fee Klitschko will be immeasurably more… Team Povetkin won the bidding for the right to host the title match due to a crazy amount — $ 23 million, of which 17 million will receive Ukrainian. “I was shocked, — said Vladimir did not think that the Russian offer so much…” the Most expensive tickets disappeared from the box office in the first place, their value reached 650 thousand rubles!”

Six hundred fifty thousand to go and see a Boxing match. No, I’m not a prude and do not intend to count other people’s money. Legally, everyone has the right to dispose of their income. But still there is something… wrong. And what is this old woman that rides with me in the car, alone, living out his life, and her son for so many years is in the earth, is also wrong. And the fact that it was recorded in a suicide…

And it raises the sight of the boy with the pictures on the monument, but he is still quite small, as in the dream of his mother. He’s running down the road towards the car, stretches his little hands to us and shouts in disbelief: “mom, Mom! See, because it’s wrong! Look, the cookie on the contrary! Cookie on the contrary!”

[1] Here and further the symbols (***) is inserted by the editors instead of deleted descriptions of methods of suicide in accordance with the requirements of Roskomnadzor. The editors apologize to the author and the readers.

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