THE OTHER

St Petersburg

Anya Florenskaya,
artist, creator, fine person

You never know
how the evening will end

My friend Marina has a son, Sasha, who is an absolutely brilliant young man. I mean he’s intelligent, handsome, artistic, dresses extremely elegantly, and plays the guitar. Or maybe the bass guitar – I don’t remember. One day, he comes home very late and rather gloomy. So Marina thinks, “He’s quarrelled with his girl, I expect.” And while Sasha makes himself some tea in the kitchen, she says, “You know, Sasha, don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine. The people you really need, they’ll always be by your side.” And so on in that vein. Sasha, meanwhile, continues to respond gloomily with “Well, yes, well, yes.” Then Marina, to change the subject, asks, “Incidentally, why are you so late? Where’ve you been?” Sasha replies, with the same gloomy intonations:

“Oh, I dined with the Scorpions.”

“Who did you say you had supper with??”

“With the Scorpions. In the [Hotel] Europe.”

“How on earth?”

And Sasha replies, “Oh, it was quite simple, really. I was walking along and saw this crowd of people carrying signs – they seemed to be waiting for someone, by the hotel.”

He asked them who they were waiting for and why. They respond by showing him their signs with the legend ‘Scorpions forever’. Sasha says, “Scorpions? Who are they?”

At this point the crowd of fans literally clutch their hearts and almost fall into a collective faint. “You don’t know the Scorpions?? You don’t know Wind of Change???”

Sasha says, “I don’t know them. I was just walking by. Write down the title of the song for me, please, and I’ll listen to it when I have time.”

They wrote the title on his arm for him, and he was just about to continue on his way, when an enormous Mercedes drove up to the hotel and out of it jumped the Scorpions – the whole band, with all their regalia. They greet the gathering fans and move onto the hotel entrance. Behind them is a striking-looking girl – an interpreter perhaps or a photographer or journalist. As she passes Sasha, she takes his arm and says, “And you, young man, come with us!”

And so in the end they’re sitting around a large table, eating supper – the Scorpions, the unknown girl, and Sasha. Sasha says to Marina, “Well, I realized their leader is the small one in the baseball cap. From time to time I waved at him and said, ‘Wind of change!!!’ So that he shouldn’t be too lonely. And he was extremely glad and shouted in reply, ‘Yes, yes!!!’.”

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