In my life I was handsome and slender, not afraid of a word or a bullet, for the usual framework unfit, but since I was deceased they have bent me, they have chromed me all over and bullied, nailing me to the base by the heel. Now I cannot shake off meaty granite, my Achillesí heelís stuck as of present in the pedestal column of mine, and the iron ribcage of the carcass is constrained by a layer of cement, causing cramps to traverse down my spine. By my stature I long was respected: Try to measure! I knew not that I would be subjected when I perish. But Iím put in the usual framework, - ítwas a challenge! And my daunting, uneven dimensions now are straightened. When I died, in the frantic commotion a posthumous mask was fast sculptured by my overly diligent kin. I donít know who provided this notion, but they quickly shaved off from the plaster oriental profiles of my cheeks. Never thought nor I dreamed of this minute, not suspecting that I was in danger to become a byword for the past, but the graveyard monotony lingers on my toothless smile frozen in anger, on my shiny posthumous cast. In my life I tried not to displeasure those whoíre scary, and all those who approached with a measure felt quite wary, but the clay for my mask at postmortem was extruded; a mortician approached me quite promptly with a cubit. A while later, with crowds in attendance, as the high point of my mending and tweaking, as if trying to right all mistakes, my well-molded and durable statue was unveiled to the vigorous singing, to my voice from the magnetized tapes. High above me the silence was broken by the speakers that roared and bellowed; from the roofs a strong light shone at once, and my utterly desperate vocals were transformed to a pleasant falsetto by the technical marvels of science. I was numb, I was wrapped in a cover. That was lethal! At the same I still screamed like a castrate to all people. Then the shroud was removed. Oh, they had me, Try to measure! Is this how you imagine my stature once I perished? The commanderís footsteps sounded angry. And recalling the past I then pondered: "Should I walk down the towering slabs?" And the panicked crowds fled to the alleys when I tore out my foot with a grumble, and the rubble run down in cascades. Tilting hard I looked naked and ugly, and I busted my gut, but I reached them by extending my ironclad five. When at last to the pavement I tumbled, from the crippled and battered loudspeakers I rasped out: "Well, it seems Iím alive!" The collapse easily broke me and bent me, left unsettled, but my cheekbones stick out, disobeying, from the metal! I could not do the way it was scripted, on the quiet. I, in contrast, walked off indiscreetly from the granite.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2022