Thursday, December 3, 2015
Upon Whom the Ends
of the Ages Have Come…
a fantasy for an apocalypse
2 History under the Bark
After returning from America to Latvija (someone once told me that my nature was like that of a cat, which is why my name should have been Rumjancov (roamer), where after 46 years I continued not to be swayed by its ways), I soon discovered Daisy.
I found her among a number of young women, who had come to help me weed my unkempt vegetable garden and earn themselves a little money, the latter always a rare commodity in Latvija. While working in my garden, the young women and I exchanged stories of our respective childhoods.
For my part, I told that the First President of Latvija had been my Godfather and that my paternal forebears had come to Latvija from Moravia. I had not yet dwelt into the details of my family history, when a young woman (probably believing my credentials to be part of a tall story) chirped in with an unexpected and stinging rebuttal. It came on the wings of some paraidolic association that made little sense to me. At least, this is how at the time I perceived her rebuttal.
The young woman told me that the father of Daisy (Daisy being at the time out of earshot) had in her childhood committed suicide. This information was as if to tell me: “Just because you have lived in America does not give you the right to think that you are better than us. We have our own, no less important Self.” According to the friend, her father’s suicide was what made Daisy shy, kept her to herself, and sometimes made it difficult to communicate with.
After I had made better acquaintance with Daisy, I came to realize that the personal lives of my gardening crew vibrated from deep within it from the insult of material deprivations in the Soviet past. Indeed, all my young gardeners exhibited signs of childlike bliss, when on a few occasions I paid them more than what we had agreed on. I noted that Daisy was especially happy. Perhaps this was because she came from more impoverished circumstances than the others young women. Of course, I knew nothing then about the real facts of her life, but was making my assumptions on the basis of intuition.
Strangely enough, such a presumption on my part, is why ‘intel’ agencies of exeptionalist America had recruited me as Hal’s matchmaker. Someone at the Central Xtelligence Agency had been perceptive enough to see that my skepticism about American ways was the ingredient needed to make me a persuasive matchmaker. In effect, my criticisms of America enabled me to better perceive the needs of the local people. After all, what the Artificial Intelligence of Hal needed was an individual of the opposite sex who had reasons not to be attached to the history of her forebears, and needed but a small push that would nail her to the present.
Among the ‘nails’ that America counted on most was ‘money’, ‘sex’, ‘food’, and ‘roof’, all of which elements made for a self-consciousness that had no use for a trustworthy memory or morality. By morality, I mean respect for the experience of one's forebears. This phenomenon of lack furthered one’s desire to become ‘a consumer’ of fetishes and things. Since the ‘thing’ was a government subsidized thing or stipend, Daisy, too, would be subsidized—as long as she found the body of Hal to be a desirable box.
As I continued to inquire about Daisy’s past, I discovered that her father had been an ordinary young man from the Latvijan countryside, a driver of agricultural tractors. Nevertheless, he was born of UXrainia parents, who the Russian dominated Soviet Union (aka Big Brother) had immigrated to Latvija. During the height of the Afghan war, the young man had been called into the military, and was sent by the Soviet government to Afghanistan. After he returned from the war (experiences untold and unknown), he married a young woman, a nurses’ aide, who he met while visiting a friend who had been wounded in that war, and who was convalescing in a nearby hospital.
Daisy’s father romanced the nurse’s aide for but a short while before they married. The quick marriage (a kind of elopement) was explained as the consequence of the young warrior’s desire to return to normal life. While Daisy’s presence in her mother’s belly was noted at the wedding, hardly anyone assumed that the marriage had been hastened by her advent. After all, no one, whether male or female, married any longer as virgins.
Then something unimaginable happened.
When Daisy was but a year old, her father was heard speaking of buying a cake to celebrate it, but since winter lay ahead, he also bought her a tiny winter over coat. Then on Daisy's very birthday, as if to send a message (to who is any ones guess), he hung himself.
No one knew what triggered the suicide. The father’s present for Daisy, the tiny overcoat, was delivered to Daisy by her paternal grandmother after her son’s funeral. Daisy of course does not remember or wish to remember any of this.
After the funeral silence enveloped her father’s death. No one knew or cared to speculate over the reason for his suicide. Daisy insists that her mother never volunteered information to her about her father. In fact, she claims that she grew up virtually not knowing of having ever had a father.
After a few years, Daisy’s mother married again.