I wake up, and I see a vast pink spot. Pink flamingo. The sun's rays breaking through the leaves of maples, the curtain on the window, draw a picture on the wall, a magical illusion, an attraction that is possible only in autumn.
Autumn in Canada is the time for raspberry-coloured sugar maples. Why "sugar"? The answer is simple: juice is collected from trees, transformed into maple syrup by a simple technological process. The sugar maple leaf is Canada's national emblem, while maple syrup is a trademark of Canada. Like Niagara Falls or hockey. All tourist shops are filled with carved plastic syrup bottles, which are shaped like a maple leaf. These are souvenirs, which guests should take with them as a reminder of the country. For us, maple syrup goes instead of sugar and honey for a prominent Canadian breakfast.
I'm sighing. I don't want to get up. There's no rush to work. I can afford to see the raspberry glow outside the window until the calendar leaves come up. You wake up, and they say, "Hi, we'll know each other, I'm autumn..."
The sad time is about her, and it's true. This is the time of year when you need to get warm things out of your wardrobe, to stock up on industrial salt for the winter to sprinkle the paths near the house from the ice. Maybe buy a snowplow? - Winter promises to be snowy, harsh.
Autumn. While it is still warm, the sun warms up, and you can walk around the neighbourhood and get some fresh air. Time is fleeting. Have you noticed that our globe is spinning faster? Days, weeks, what days - years fly. This question gives me no peace, like the other one: how in the southern hemisphere people manage to walk down with their heads?... If, of course, the Earth is round.
However, there is still time to think about this phenomenon, but we must hurry with the camera. Beauty doesn't last forever. The breeze will blow, the rain will pass - and that's it. The grass is covered in fallen leaves—a Persian carpet was woven by nature, a kaleidoscope of paints. Trees stand shingles, pulled into the transparent blue sky, somewhere covered with clouds, dried up brown twigs. Butterflies are low, with copper leaves - rustling, joking, talking to each other. Talk about what? They're gossiping about us passers-by, I guess. We're passers-by in this world, aren't we, travellers? By definition, by default. They are the last who will throw off a light patterned blanket, and others will stay in it all winter, covered with snow, but not broken by the elements.
The pond near the house is shallow, freezing to the bottom in winter. Local boys are happy: they clear the ground from the snow, organize hockey tournaments as it should be - team to team, in uniform, with a judge.
Fresh breeze, maples, as we mentioned, under the windows, what else do you need for happiness? Maples are very useful. They block the view of the surrounding houses. The neighbours are all sawing, drilling, planing, chiselling, rattling. Maples, that's good, on the one hand. And on the other side? Well, a tree 30 meters tall under the window will grow, and if the wind of hurricane power breaks? It will fall; it will crush. It's a couple of little things. What kind of houses are they building now? - Cardboard, dry plaster, brick walls to trick the buyer, sell it at a higher price. Yeah, we know.
No sleep, no rest. They build sandcastles, patch up holes in a childhood dream. It's all one thing. The roof's going to lose weight in five years. We've got to redo it. The air conditioning will break down. The repairs will cost a lot of money. The garage door will rust, you'll have to paint it, or even change it for a new one. Asphalt in front of the garage will undoubtedly crack from the heat, from the rain, the snow will burst. It's going to repaint it. Grass on the lawn in front of the house should be regularly mowed and watered. Otherwise, it will burn, the view is unsightly, in front of neighbours ashamed. Those flowers are planted, no time spared, no money, flower baskets are bought at the supermarket - a total expense. And for what do you think: look, say, how well we live, we have the best.
A cup of Nescafe Taster's Choice at the veranda table. Cracker. One, two at the most. How many calories is that? - We're reading, okay, fifteen if you eat a hundred, about a day's norm for a mental worker like me.
So what's our plan today? What are we waiting for? Oh, yeah. The birthday of our favourite cat, Tyrik. We found him on the big trackwheel. The little guy got jammed up there to warm up next to a warm engine. The kitten was sheltered. The fluffy grey lump brought positive emotions into the house, which we adults lack in life and become family members. A breed? The vet wrote in the cat's metric: local, longhair. What longhair? It's a real "Brit." Shorthair. A descendant of the Cheshire cat! So Tyrik officially became a cat. With his recognized birthday, and gifts, how without them: mice raggy, jars of cat food. He chews off the tails of the mice so that they do not run away.
I think I'm talking a lot. I should sit down, work on a new book. Every year, in the autumn, I'm overwhelmed by the thought: we need to take on something epochal, historical scale. A novel, a tale, a story. Next comes the agony. How about an idea, a story, a headline?
We're in a constant hurry. And in this frenzied race, we do not notice simple things that make us a little happier: the smile of the person oncoming us, fresh frosty breath, the sun's glare, playing in the leaves, slowly crawling in the grass ladybug. The fuss is bustling but pleasant.
In our opinion, the idea is the same shoe in which you need to squeeze your foot. What if the pump presses? I bought the wrong pair; I was wrong. You could take the shoes back to the store and ask for a trade. And while you were going back and forth with your problem, the idea flew away, melted like a mist over a lake at dawn. And there's no - hear, no! - There's no guarantee that your new shoe won't be a scrolling lie. The theory is the theory, and practice is practice.
The plot thread. The thread of Ariadne. Where it will lead my heroes and me, I don't know. There are no universal recipes for how to behave in life. There are no global recipes for how to behave in life. Who am I to write books and teach people how to live? My colleague, the writer, said: the big road begins with a small step. Banalities.
I flinch. The doorbell rings. Should I go open it? Blurred shadows behind a stained-glass window in the door, semi-transparently coloured, like in a church. Demons! They illuminate your essence, your soul, like an X-ray before deciding whether to send you to hell or heaven. Zombies, nasty, blind creatures have come to accompany me on my last journey. They're hunting for you, too.
Тени. Откуда они пришли? Чего они хотят? Я не вижу их, я чувствую их всем своим телом. Крик застыл справа. Налево. Погремушка самоубийства. Или это показалось? Где я? Куда я иду и куда я иду? Нечего дышать. Пыльная дорога исчезает в три этапа. Ну хоть кто нибудь. Луна. Луна. Это мой спаситель. Сквозь туман виден бледный свет, но этого достаточно, чтобы увидеть наполовину законченное здание впереди. Вот куда я иду. Ноги несут себя. Не останавливайся; только не останавливайся. Укройся, спрячься, спрячься там, где тебя никто не сможет найти. Что делать, если есть ловушка? Слишком поздно думать. Лунный свет отражается в грязных, немытых окнах, бликах по каменистой тропе. Осталось всего несколько шагов.
Мы не знаем, что это самая опасная вещь для нас - злые атаки, когда вы этого не ждете. Я провел всю свою жизнь в поисках доказательства того, что есть другой мир. Другой мир. Не наш обычный, осязаемый, реальный мир, но Другой. Другой мир.
Я открываю дверь.
- Кошелек или жизнь.
Дети, дети. Выписан как ад и пираты. Конечно, они здесь для конфет, конфет. "Кошелек или жизнь?" - Они спрашивают. Как я мог забыть, что это ночь Хэллоуина?