Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 172. At the world’s end

It cannot be counted how long ago the Russians for the first time became puzzled by the question: “What is it “At the end of the world?” And where is it really located?”

However Tolya Veselov knows exactly, where the “end of the world” is. I was not there myself, so I am not going to lie. Though, as for Tolya
For the two final years at the institute Tolya worked actively in a scientific-research group at the Department of pathologic anatomy. He was very much determined to remain to work at the Department after graduating from the dear Kemerovo State Medical Institute (KSMI). He had all necessary preconditions for that, and there was even a proper “document” from proper authority. And if I confidentially tell you that Tolik’s mother was even though a deputy head, but not of some collective farm “The Right Way”, she was a deputy head of an Executive Committee of Central district administration of Kemerovo. Now you are convinced that Tolya had absolutely all grounds to believe that a position at the Department of pathologic anatomy was in his pocket. That was the way Tolya thought; that was the way his mother thought, and that was the way all Tolya’s acquaintances thought. However an incident changed everything. God determined that Anatoliy Veselov needed to get acquainted with the place that is colloquially called “at the end of the world”. The Almighty chose well known to all students Yevgeniy Nikolaevitch Sherstennikov as an instrument for that. If you just ask Tolya where and how his and Sherst’s paths had got crossed, he would not tell you.


Nevertheless it is still a fact that Sherstennikov insisted on Tolik to be placed on a job at Muriuk. Yes, it was the very same Muriuk, to escape which Shurik Popovitch used all means possible and finally managed to escape it. And it happened so that he does not know (A.K.Popovitch) where the “end of the world is”, and Tolik and Liudmila do know.

Tolik was preordained to happen to come to Muriuk, and what for did Liudmila need that? It goes without saying – love is a terrible power. And how much of the very power the young and beautiful Tolia’s wife needed to overcome that? It is scary even to imagine. See for yourself; the Veselovs flew by U-2 plane to Tolik’s job placement destination; they flew not because he was some VIP, but because a car could not make it there, and there were no trains to the location as well, that was taiga, excuse me, “the end of the world”.
And immediately there was an unexpectedness; the plane landed not in Muriuk, but on a clearing by the Bold Mountain, and that was also “the end of the world”, but sixteen kilometers away from Muriuk. “I happened to make a mistake”, as the pilot said and flew back to Kemerovo.

There was nobody to meet and welcome them. I believe everybody will understand and forgive Liudmila for all her reproaches expressed to Tolik, and her tears of despair will be forgiven, when night fell down on the clearing. Liudmila’s question: “Why did not they fly back on the plane?” hung in midair over the clearing, and even playing at maximum volume radio set “Spidola” could not muffle it. Yeah, the night spent on suitcases in the middle of the clearing in taiga left unforgettable memory in the Veselovs’ family. How happy they were, when in the morning they saw a horseman at the clearing, who started even to stutter, because of the unexpectedness, however he explained to them where they were, though there was no reason to explain: “the end of the world” is everywhere “the end of the world”. The stranger rode to Muriuk and sometime later returned with two horses for Tolik and Liudmila, but he forgot to bring the rope to tie the bags, so he rode back to Muriuk. Tolik was happy; his beloved focused all her anger on “the perfect fool”, who was hanging about between Muriuk and the Bold Mountain all day long. Well, to cut it short, “the perfect fool” returned with the rope before dusk, and the caravan started on the journey by the night time. Interestingly enough, the distance, which “the perfect fool” travelled four times during the day, the illustrious gathering made only by the morning time. Yeah, that was taiga!!!

Yet the caste of Soviet bureaucrats was unimaginable: they shouted from the roof-tops that there was no doctor at Muriuk and the corrective labor colony located there. They were making a lot of noise about the demand, though did not bother to meet two doctors who literally fell down to them from the sky by U-2 plane, and did not prepare a place to live for them.
Generally speaking, somebody can get anywhere, if he knows how to use his tongue, and Tolik and Liudmila were brought by the tongue to a hospital of Muriuk, where they threw on the floor what they had at hand and fell asleep for twenty-four hours.

Sure enough, I cannot talk about Vologodsk or Tambov regions, but in Kemerovo region “the end of the world” is definitely Muriuk. If you do not believe me, ask the KSMI graduate Anatoliy Veselov.

February,8 2014

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #214040401245

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content