Evgeny Grishkovets: The Shirt

"I feel terrible! Lord!! Why did I fall in love?!
“Why are you so green, did you fall in love or something?” Maks obediently jogged behind me. “Can you hear me at all?!”
“I don’t like your beard!”
“It’s a wonderful beard, three weeks and it’s ready!”
“Shave it off immediately… Where is it, dammit?!”
We finally found the car.
“Do you ever wash it?” Maks deliberately opened the door squeamishly.
“Do you ever brush your teeth?”
He covered his mouth with his hand like a kid.
“I’m scared to fly! Scared horribly! Sasha, I would really like a coffee, a roll and a shower!”
Maks put on a pleading face, like only he could do.
And my name is Sasha.
Maksim – is not fat but rather just… solid. He never grows fat, he just puts on some weight. In other words, he becomes more and more regular. If Maks would ever lose weight, nobody would say to him that he’s in great shape. Everybody would be asking if he was feeling well or not. You could never imagine him skinny. Maks is one of those people who never changes. Everybody straight away recognizes him in school and even kindergarten group photos. But this beard was just vulgar!
We were already on our way to the city when Maks asked:
“So, not a good beard?”
“Just horrible! Nothing can be worse!”
“And I thought, for an Ernest Hemingway this would be a great beard!”
“Ernest?! You look more like a Siberian toreador.” I looked closely at Maks’s beard one more time. “A nightmare, simply terrifying!”
“Come on, I just haven’t shaved for three weeks, and then standing next to the mirror I thought that maybe I looked like some sort of a merchant or a bandit.”
“Better a bandit or a merchant. A Siberian gold miner or a hitman, but one that is also sweet and mysterious. But this is some sort of a theatrical character, and a drinking one at that.”
“But I just did slightly…”
“Until you shave it off, I’m not even going into the petrol station with you.”
“I just wanted to make you laugh” Maks turned the mirror towards him and began examining his beard, sticking his chin forward. “So you think I should not wear a beard?”
“Do whatever you want! But can’t you see what I see also? You are looking in the mirror! And, are you happy? It’s just… Just look – you made your face a cross between a skipper and a musketeer. And a cross between a skipper and a musketeer is a fool! And a cheap fool at that.”
“Sasha, it’s growing in wisps, I wanted to try, and that’s it. As soon as we arrive somewhere I will shave it off. Don’t worry that much.”

Translated by Maria Aprelenko, RT

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