Paris is nice in any time of the year – as it is known from the famous song :
“Ï love Paris in the sunshine – I love Paris in the rain ………”
But in Christmas time this town is wonderful illuminated and decorated with
trees and guirlandes. It is really a very special atmosphere.
We were strolling carelessly near Notre Dame and we were passing through the center looking at the decorations ,and tourists from different places of the world were all around us. Then we crossed the river and continued our walk at the other side of the Seine. We looked in the shops and visited a gallery with paintings.
We decided to take a lunch in the Quartier Latin not far from the hotel where our friend was housed. When we came inside , the sound of music came to us – it appeared to be real life music played by a shaggy violist who made nice soft nostalgic music with his fiddlestick.
Hans and our friends started to study the menu. I was looking to the features of his face and it seemed to me that his face was familiar to me. I was asking myself :”is that Stas or is it not Stas …….. that was the question” I told my friends that I was going to the restroom and I directed my way passing close to the bar so that I could have a better look at the musician. When I approached him I was more and more sure that it was Stas, but with his beard and long hair it was difficult to recognize – however the glance in his oriental eyes was the same .
One of his eyes winked me , so he recognized me. I took the last stool at the bar and Stas finished his melody and then came to me with open arms and embraced me with one hand. He carefully took his violin and fiddlestick and he told with a big smile : it is like we parted only yesterday. You are looking well but there is now a little more of you – so better stop that now. I told to Stas: “You are looking wild and
uncared for with all that hair on your face”. He answered : “don’t offend me – you see in what place I am playing now ! It is not a concerthall in the conservatory”
He pronounced this without bitterness but with a kind irony while putting his instrument in his case.
-But you came to Paris with concert but not as a minstrel in a bar for some extra money.
-Concert finished quickly - answered Stas ,and after that I had to earn some extra money.
-Stas – I asked him – now in Russia begins a new investment in art and music – perhabs it is now a good time to go back to Moscow.
-Don’t try to be smart Valeria – you know how many top-musicians went god-knows where. Some go in service, others in business. Many moved abroad and even the Borodin quartet played in the streets of Amsterdam. By the way, you are still living in Holland ?
-Yes Stas, in spite of the compelling atmosphere of Paris; but Hans is still tied to Holland. I opened my box cigarettes and offered one to Stas. You still smoke ? Yes, but these are to light for me. He took his Gitanes and said to the waiter who came with a lighter: Campari tonic with ice for me and with lemon for the lady.
– You still remember my favourite drink? -I asked Stas
-I remember everything, and how you danced on my chardasz music in your big lovely flat in Gorki street.
-I don’t remember that so clearly - perhaps it was a good company and a good time, and we were drinking not only campari ?
-But do You remember, that I was fell in love with You,-asked Stas.
-I do. I liked You too, Stas, You now that.
He answered with the famous poetry of Yesenin :
“We all were in love this year
so somebody fell in love with us too”.
-Stas , I said – shall we go to our table, for it will be interesting to speak with Hans.
No, darling, I still have to play some more music and I also have to go to some other café.
Besides, I don’t know if Hans will recognize me with this beard and hair. Our drinks were finished and I should go back to my company.
I asked him: - Stas we can organize your concert in Eindhoven and Amsterdam – we did that before for a Russian artist – or friend. We rented a hall, organized reclame, so we have some experience. And you have a reputation and repertoire; after that you can go to another level.
-But why you don’t like this level ? Here is the same public, only not in tuxedo but in jeans. O.K., they don’t pay me as much as in a concert hall, but it is enough for my bread and butter + a small room under the roof.
We know such mansarde under the roof. In summer it is to hot and in winter you freeze.
Stas: believe me Valeria, here it is not bad for me. I like Paris – here I am at home, so don’t be worried for me. If you will meet somebody of our company. Please pass my best regards to them.
- Thank you, I shall do that. Soon I shall meet Kirill Pokrovsky who is now living and working in Belgium – Olga Malchanova in London. We made a CD together.
- I opened my bag and took our CD “BROKEN EMPIRE”. This for you for good memory. In this CD is a song about Paris with my poetry. If you will study this song till our next visit, then we shall dance with Hans on that music.
- Oh, that is wonderfull, smiled Stas , imagining that view. When you will make a new CD, I am ready to participate.
- We changed visitcards and said each other good-bye.
- I came back to our table. Stas was taking his violin and started playing chardas Monti. But he did not come to our table – here remained staying near the bar.
His violin had a special sound , just if his soul delicately entered his fingertips.
The public attentively looked at the maestro and discussion stopped.
Stas with his enchanting playing brought us in far away times. Behind our eyes - like a vision - appeared the Moscow street and flat in which we spend our youth, hope and perhabs the best years ? It was a wonderfull time which never will come back Dear nonforgettable. faces. Many of us are scattered throughout the world, like Stas and me. Does exist any luck to see each other again ?
Your eyes became wet ? perhabs from the music ?
Hans whispered in my ear
Cigarette smoke came in my eyes. Behind the window in a golden fog lays Paris so
unlike Moscow, but still, it subtly memorises my incredible gold-cupolaed town..
7.01.2005 Paris V.Anders