Dreams

7 YEARS OLD POST REPUBLISHED
Your wishes and dreams are like seeds thrown in soil and waiting for time to sprout and blossom.
Thus I cheered myself up going along one of Vienna streets, and gusts of cold wind threw raindrops in my face. As alien I peeped in luminous shop windows, observing Christmas candles and  people in their purchase amok. For me – solo as I was, Christmas meant only a few additional days of aggravated solitude.
I didn’t manage well, besides arrival of accommodation welfare was delayed for two months. So the very idea of buying Christmas presents sounded improper, when two-digit figure of my recent bank report swirled in my mind as epitome of all I possessed and achieved after years of struggle in Austria.
At last I entered bakery to warm myself up, and as middle-aged sales woman glanced at me questioningly, I felt obliged to buy the cake and registered automatically miscount in 40 cents.
I walked for ages, and now it was middle of nowhere. The buzz of traffic subsided, and road widened in avenue of poplars and mansions, running forward to rural districts.
One could see around small picturesque gardens, lawns with statues and fountains. Some houses were richly decorated with clay molding and wood carvings.
I slowed my pace down and wondered, why surrounded by embodies of prosperity, I felt myself indistinguishable speck of dust at roadside. What did I want of life and what was strongest wish in the muddy pool of my conflicting desires?
Something emerged from deepest resources of my soul, when big villa with peaked roof and trellised fence came in the view. And then I realized with dull pain in the heart, that I wanted to live in that beautiful house and look outside from that red curtained window. I closed my eyes and addressed universe, or that higher enigmatic unnamed force that controlled my existence.
It made nuisance of me saying  every my wish would be sooner or later fulfilled. I could fuss around with tablet on my forehead saying I wanted big villa in Austria, and nothing would ever happen. I could go out nude or burn myself in front of parliament, report being raped by chancellor Faymann or confess being spy of Chinese intelligence hunting for Austrian national secrets. Nobody cared, what I said. People had no organs to perceive me. The most important was, that God did not care too.
But instantly other part of me objected: “Don’t moan. Your wish can be fulfilled in one simple way: as lonely woman, you can create matrimonial union with owner of such villa. You have no money, but you have something valuable to invest  –  that is your complete devotion”
I recollected time when before emigration to Austria I lived in Moscow intending to run off Russia. As many other women in my situation who were faced with complex of problems and decided to find partner in other country, I saw in marriage the only way to escape and then start new life abroad.
After enormous selection, I made my mind for 55- years old respectable Englishman, who recommended himself being well off and having big house in Nairobi, where he invited me to spend summer.
Dissertation about internet marriage seekers reliability expands  limits of this piece of writing. I only say that many west Europeans and Americans tried to import wife from countries, where economic situation was hard at the time, and thousands of highly educated, lonely attractive Russian women left their home for foreign lands.
The circumstances were so that after leaving Moscow for Kenya I was faced by possibility to live in this country in big house together with rich gentleman.
Arthur was rather good-looking, blue-eyed tall kind of a man with something like typical national air of dignity and reserve in appearance. The house was two-storied building, and it was wonderful wild life of huge National Park nearby with giraffes, rhinoceros and lions wandering around. There were also black servants in the house, who tried to fulfill slightest whim, and who took care of my bed and my belongings, including my underwear.
In spite of fact, that Arthur was veteran of bride search, and there was quantity of women, who spent trial period in his house, he seemed to be ordinary male, hoping to find submissive and quiet wife and sincerely expecting to be happy with her. The role of imported spouse would be that of orchid, planted in new ground to grow and give joy.
There was big library, swimming pool and piano in the house – all necessary things to sooth leisure spans of foreign concubine, while Arthur was busy in city and returned home only for supper and a few sweet minutes spent with orchid in bedroom.
Luxurious house was not more than golden cage. Or it was cage, made of cheaper, harder material, and covered by thick layer of luster. Gold is soft metal, after all.
If principle of freedom deprivation counts, there is no essential difference between such cage and cellar, where kidnapped Natasha Kampush had spent ten years. Girl was imprisoned by man, who loved her in his own fashion. And because of this love, he turned her life in hell. I wonder, how many men create in their imagination analogous model of relationship, fantasizing about complete power over other human.
The only way to survive with such a man is to merge with him and become true part of his life, sharing his feelings, dreams and attitudes. Some hard providing, business-like men have tendency to be self-assertive in relationship, and this tendency takes form of domineering in union, where woman is completely financially dependent.
After a few weeks in Nairobi, I realized truth about the situation: compensation in form of beautiful villa I was living in, was not great enough to counterbalance deprivation of trapped person I felt.
Freedom to decide your destiny and to make your own life choices, was of immeasurably higher value, than material rewards I could gain in exchange for it.
When I am looking at faces of people around me in their buying December race, something gives me suggestion that many of their urgent needs, except of material ones, which don’t manifest themselves formally, stay forever unsatisfied.
Any wish will manifest itself in reality, only if you are ready for ALL to make it true.

I came back home, and ascending staircase met old lady in red hat, neighbor from downstairs, who never replied to my greetings before. Now she suddenly smiled and beamed at me with friendliness.
Then I opened the door of my lodge and stopped at threshold, amazed by view.
It was cozy, neat and quiet flat with writing desk in the corner. The sun was shining through red curtains, and room was filled with enchanting light.
I felt happy coming back home.

Galina Toktalieva

Kyrgyzstan-born author residing in Graz, Austria

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