The most beautiful people I’ve known…

Have you met such children in your life?
Or, may be, you’ve been one of them?

I was not “removed” – I stayed with my family –  well, with whatever was left of it by then… No one cared, no one noticed – it was better that way. I was ‘caught’ only a few times at school. Once I struggled with completing a test in writing because my hands were shaking too much. On another occasion I punched a girl. She saw my dad coming home drunk and started making silly jokes about that in front of the class. My fuse was short – my fist was fast… I was taken to the principal. He could not make any sense of it: “You’ve always been such a good quiet student, always getting the top marks, always listening to the teachers. I can’t understand why you did that?” I had nothing to say.

I never invited anyone to my place, I never talked to anyone about my family – except my only school friend Lucy and later Ivan.

From Digital Deconstruction

I felt very sorry for Lucy. She lived with her parents and her only sister. Her dad wanted to have sons – no luck. Both children turned out to be female. He never got over it, blaming them and their mum for that. He was often verbally and physically abusive – with both girls and their mother. I felt much luckier – at least, my dad was not bashing me.

Lucy’s sister got married as soon as she reached the ‘legal’ age, which was 18 – just to get away from her dad. Lucy ‘lasted’ a bit longer. She phoned me before her wedding day: “You might be surprised that I’m marrying a man who is 10 years older than I’m,” she said. “While it was the norm a century ago, I know it looks pretty weird nowadays. With a more mature dad, I hope my children will be growing in a better environment and won’t see the hell I went through as a child…”

From http://www.theguardian.com

Ivan’s dad was complete alcoholic. I saw him only once. He was so ‘marinated’ after decades of drinking, that it was even impossible to tell when he was drunk or sober, if he ever was sober. He was trying to say something friendly to me, but I could not understand even a single word. Poor Ivan needed to ‘translate’ for me from Russian to Russian. I felt very sorry for Ivan – my dad at least could still talk properly and was not always drunk.

Alex never talked about his family, but I had a feeling that there was a history of alcoholism in his family too, because Alex would never touch anything with alcohol, whether it was vodka, beer, wine or cider. Not a drop. For that reason, other lads were always mocking him with their usual ‘you are not a man if you are not drinking’ tune. My gender helped in those cases – as none of that ‘be a man’ crap applied to me I could easily get those lads ‘out of tune’ to shut them up.

From Russian Men Loosing Years to Vodka

Victoria was the only surprising exception. Her parents divorced when she was little. Her dad was married three times, her mum – twice. It always puzzled me how they all managed to maintain good relationships. Victoria lived with her mum, however if she needed her dad he was always there for her in the blink of an eye. She had very good relationship with all his children from other marriages – her half-sisters and half-brothers. Her step-dad treated her well too. May be, that’s why she turned into such a carefree chatter box with a beaming smile: always happy, always confident, always giggling…

I’m very proud of my friends. They did not have a good start in life, but they all managed to get their lives into a pretty good shape and provide safe, stable and loving environment for their children. It was a hard work – and still is I’m sure. However they never complained, they never blamed their fate, they never gave up and while steadily getting up on their feet, they never put anyone down.

I do admire their self-discipline, strength, determination and kind hearts. They are real heroes for me, the most beautiful people I’ve known.


From http://morethansayings.blogspot.co.nz

What about you?
Who are the most beautiful people in your life?

THE END

Is it OK for all men to be seen as predators?

stereotypesFrom 5 Things To Show That Men Are Daily Victims Of Gender Bias Too

As a society we talk a lot about racism and other forms of discrimination. But when it comes to men and the way they are being stereotyped and discriminated against, no one seems to have much to say.

I was taught from early age to be fearful of men and talk only to women if I needed help. In spite of good intentions of ‘keeping me safe’, that strategy made it only worse by limiting the pool of people I could ask for help when required. In fact, the safest I ever felt as a child was among boys and men.

Father holding daughter at beachFrom Greatest American Dad

For that reason, I get very upset when I come across examples of men being treated as potential predators. Child advocates advise parents to never hire a male babysitter. Airlines are placing unaccompanied minors with female passengers rather than male passengers.

In 2007 Virginia’s Department of Health mounted an ad campaign for its sex-abuse hotline. Billboards featured photos of a man holding a child’s hand. The caption: “It doesn’t feel right when I see them together,” which implies that my dad or uncle could be seen as sexual abusers if they were holding my hand in public when I was a child. How sick is that? What if I gave my dad a hug or a kiss in public, as I naturally did a lot as a child? Or sat on my dad’s lap? What’s wrong with that? Why should children be denied their father’s affection because of someone else’s sick mind?

From http://www.stopitnow.org/virginia

Not surprisingly fathers’ rights activists and educators argue that an inflated predator panic is damaging men’s relationships with children. Some men are opting not to get involved with children at all, which partly explains why many youth groups are struggling to find male leaders, and why there are so few males involved in early childhood education or  teaching in primary schools.

One of my male friends recently came across a lost child in tears in a mall. His first instinct was to help, but he feared people might consider him a predator. So he asked his daughter to comfort the lost child instead. “Being male,” he explained, “I am guilty until proven innocent.”

And that’s not the worst. In England in 2006, BBC News reported the story of a bricklayer who spotted a toddler at the side of the road. As he later testified at a hearing, he didn’t stop to help for fear he’d be accused of trying to abduct her. You know: A man driving around with a little girl in his car? She ended up at a pond and drowned.

Abigail RaeFrom Neglect Ruling in Girl Pond Death

People assume that all men “have the potential for violence and sexual aggressiveness,” says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University professor who studies fear and anxiety. Kids end up viewing every male “as a potential evildoer,” he says, and as a byproduct, “there’s an overconfidence in female virtues,” in spite of disturbing statistics on physical abuse inflicted on children by female perpetrators.

From Messages the Abusive Woman uses to Control her Children

Most men understand the need to be cautious, so they’re willing to take a step back from children, or to change seats on a plane. One abused child is one too many. Still, it’s important to maintain perspective. “The number of men who will hurt a child is tiny compared to the population,” says Benjamin Radford, who researches statistics on predators and is managing editor of the science magazine Skeptical Inquirer. “Virtually all of the time, if a child is lost or in trouble, he will be safe going to the nearest male stranger.”

Society protecting children by treating all men as potential predators is not safe. Just sick.

From Gender and Aggression

Resources:

 THE END

The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.

Memory
From Memory Quote

“The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.”

Solomon Ibn Gabriol

* * *

The Giver
by Lois Lowry
(excerpt)
Giver

“Giver,” Jonas asked the next afternoon, “Do you ever think about release?”…

“I guess I do think about it occasionally,” The Giver said. “I think about my own release when I’m in an awful lot of pain. I wish I could put in a request for it, sometimes. But I’m not permitted to do that until the new Receiver is trained.”…

“Me,” Jonas said in a dejected voice. He was not looking forward to the end of the training, when he would become the new Receiver. It was clear to him what a terribly difficult and lonely life it was, despite the honor.

“I can’t request release either,” Jonas pointed out. “It was in my rules.”

The Giver laughed harshly. “I know that. They hammered out those rules after the failure ten years ago.”…

“Giver,” he said, “tell me what happened. Please.”…

The Giver looked sad, thinking about it. “She was a remarkable young woman. Very self-possessed and serene. Intelligent, eager to learn.”… I loved her…

“What happened to her?” Jonas asked.

“Her training began. She received well, as you do. She was so enthusiastic. So delighted to experience new things. I remember her laughter…”

The Giver closed his eyes. “It broke my heart, Jonas, to transfer pain to her. But it was my job. It was what I had to do, the way I’ve had to do it to you.”…

“Five weeks. That was all. I gave her happy memories: a ride on a merry-go-round; a kitten to play with; a picnic. Sometimes I chose one just because I knew it would make her laugh, and I so treasured the sound of that laughter in this room that had always been so silent.

“But she was like you, Jonas. She wanted to experience everything. She knew that it was her responsibility. And so she asked me for more difficult memories.”

Jonas held his breath for a moment. “You didn’t give her war, did you? Not after just five weeks?”

The Giver shook is head and sighed. “No. And I didn’t give her physical pain. But I gave her loneliness. And I gave her loss. I transferred a memory of a child taken from its parents. That was the first one. She appeared stunned at its end.”…

The Giver continued. “I backed off, gave her more little delights. But everything changed, once she knew about pain. I could see it in her eyes.”…

“She insisted that I continue, that I not spare her. She said it was her duty. And I knew, of course, that she was correct…

“I gave her anguish of many kinds. Poverty, and hunger, and terror….

“Finally one afternoon, we finished for the day. It had been a hard session. I tried to finish – as I do with you – by transferring something happy and cheerful. But the times of laughter were gone by then. She stood up very silently, frowning, as if she were making a decision. Then she came over to me and put her arms around me. She kissed my cheek…. She left here that day, left this room, and did not go back to her dwelling. I was notified by the Speaker that she had gone directly to the Chief Elder and asked to be released.”…

“When the Speaker notified me that Rosemary had applied for release, they turned on the tape to show me the process. There she was – my last glimpse of that beautiful child – waiting. They bought in the syringe and asked her to roll up her sleeve… And I listened as Rosemary told them that she would prefer to inject herself.

“Then she did so. I didn’t watch. I looked away.”…

Jonas stared at him. “Release is always like that? For people who break the rules three times? For the Old? Do they kill the Old, too?

“Yes, it’s true.”

“And what about Fiona? She loves the Old! She’s in training to care for them. Does she know yet? What will she do when she finds out? How will she feel?” Jonas brushed wetness from his face with the back of one hand.

“Fiona is already being trained in the fine art of release.” The Giver told him. “She’s very efficient at her work, your red-haired friend. Feelings are not part of the life she’s learned.”…

“Jonas,” The Giver said, after a moment, “it’s true that it has been this way for what seems forever. But the memories tell us that it has not always been. People felt things once…. We know that they once felt things like pride, and sorrow, and – “

“And love,” Jonas added, remembering the family scene that had so affected him. “And pain.” He thought again of the soldier.

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”…

The Giver shook his head. “Jonas,” he said, “the community has depended, all these generations, back and back and back, on a resident Receiver to hold their memories for them. I’ve turned over many of them to you in the past year…. If you get away, if you get beyond, if you get to Elsewhere, it will mean that the community has to bear the burden themselves, of the memories you had been holding for them.

“I think that they can, and that they will acquire some wisdom. But it will be desperately hard for them…. Remember how I helped you in the beginning, when the receiving of memories was new to you?”

Jonas nodded. “It was scary at first. And it hurt a lot.”

“You needed me then. And now they will…. My work will be finished… when I have helped the community to change and become whole… When my work here is finished, I want to be with my daughter.”

Jonas had been staring glumly at the floor. Now he looked up, startled. “I didn’t know you had a daughter, Giver!”…

Her name was Rosemary,” the Giver said.

Giver2

* * *

Let’s never forget the killed, neglected, hungrybullied and torturedhumiliated, abused. Let’s share their stories, let’s share the wisdom, let’s stop that pain…

tearsFrom Heart-Wrenching Sorrow

THE END

Love, passion, obsession and oppression

difference_between_east_west_womenFrom Difference between East and West Woman

East or West: which way is that best?

Some people in Western societies tend to point fingers at other cultures, often ignoring problems in their own lands. While criticizing the veil as ‘oppressive’, they rarely realise that Western culture is as ‘oppressive’ towards women with its body-shaming and pressure to use provocative clothing displaying women’s ‘biological assets’. Every media outlet – many magazines edited by women – focuses attention on dresses, body sizes and shapes, skin and hair color, the length of the nails, the length of the skirts, the height of the heels. Women are under constant pressure to ‘beautify’ themselves and display their bodies in public, as they are often ‘judged’ by the beauty of their bodies rather than the beauty of their minds and hearts, especially in the younger generation.

Some Western people rarely realize that over-sexualisation of children and teenagers puts them at risk of abuse as much as a wall of silence surrounding the subject of sex in more conservative societies. Some Western people rarely talk about peer-pressure experienced by lots of teenagers in Western societies to have sex in earlier age no matter whether they want it or not; no matter whether they have any emotional connection with another person or not. It is not rare now to hear teenagers in Western societies say: “All my mates say they’re having sex. I’m the only one who isn’t therefore I should have sex with the first stranger I meet.” Sex is turning into something like a sport rather than intimate relationship between caring and loving people. “Sexy” often means “Successful” in the West.

To highlight some of these points, I decided to publish on my blog an excerpt from Nabokov’s provocative masterpiece ‘Lolita’ – a story of love, passion, obsession and oppression.

* * *

“Passion is a positive obsession. Obsession is a negative passion.”

Paul Carvel

lolita_ver4

Lolita

( by Vladimir Nabokov, 1955 Abridged.)

Lolita( Photo by Danaya )

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita…

Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as “nymphets.”…

Furthermore, since the idea of time plays such a magic part in the matter, the student should not be surprised to learn that there must be a gap of several years, never less than ten I should say, generally thirty or forty, and as many as ninety in a few known cases, between maiden and man to enable the latter to come under a nymphet’s spell. It is a question of focal adjustment, of a certain distance that the inner eyethrills to surmount, and a certain contrast that the mind perceives with a gasp of perverse delight. When I was a child and she was a child, my little Annabel was no nymphet to me; I was her equal, a faunlet in my own right, on that same enchanted island of time; but today, in September 1952, after twenty-nine years have elapsed, I think I can distinguish in her the initial fateful elf in my life. We loved each other with a premature love, marked by a fierceness that so often destroys adult lives. I was a strong lad and survived but the poison was in the wound, and the wound remained ever open, and soon I found myself maturing amid civilization which allows a man of twenty-five to court a girl of sixteen but not a girl of twelve.

No wonder, then, that my adult life during the European period of my existence proved monstrously twofold. Overtly, I had so-called normal relationships with a number of terrestrial women having pumpkins or pears for breasts; inly, I was consumed by a hell furnace of localized lust for every passing nymphet whom as a law-abiding poltroon I never dared approach…

The fact that to me the only object of amorous tremor were sisters of Annabel’s, her handmaids and girl-pages, appeared to me at times as a forerunner of insanity. At other times I would tell myself that it was all a question of attitude, that there was really nothing wrong in being moved to distraction by girl-children…

Marriage and cohabitation before the age of puberty are still not uncommon in certain East Indian provinces. Lepcha old men of eighty copulate with girls of eight, and nobody minds. After all, Dante fell madly in love with his Beatrice when she was nine, a sparkiling girleen, painted and lovely, and bejeaeled, in a crmson frock, and this was in 1274, in Florence, at a private feast in the merry month of May. And when Petrarch fell madly in love with his Laureen, she was a fair-haired nymphet of twelve running in the wind, in the pollen and dust, a flower in flight, in the beautiful plain as described from the hilss of Vaucluse…

I have often wondered what became of those nymphets later? In this wrought-iron world of criss-cross cause and effect, could it be that the hidden throb I stole from them did not affect their future? I had possessed her – and she never knew it. All right. But would it not tell sometime later? Had I not somehow tampered with her fate by involving her image in my voluptas? Oh, it was, and remains, a source of great and terrible wonder…

Lolita1
( Photo by Svetlana )
* * *

The gloom of yet another World War had settled upon the globe when, after a winter of ennui and pneumonia in Portugal, I at last reached the States. In New York I eagerly accepted the soft job fate offered me: it consisted mainly of thinking up and editing perfume ads… I cast around for some place in the New England countryside or sleepy small town (elms, white church) where I could spend a studious summer subsisting on a compact boxful of notes I had accumulated and bathing in some nearby lake…

The Haze house, a white-frame horror, appeared, looking dingy and old… I pressed the bell button. A coloured maid let me in…

“I see you are not too favorably impressed,” said the lady letting her hand rest for a moment upon my sleeve… “This is not a neat household, I confess,” the doomed dear continued, “but I assure you, you will be very comfortable, very comfortable, indeed. Let me show you the garden.”…

Reluctantly I followed her downstairs again; then through the kitchen at the end of the hall…

I was still walking behind Mrs. Haze through the dining room when, beyond it, there came a sudden burst of greenery – “the piazza”, sang out my leader, and then, without the least warning, a blue sea-wave swelled under my heart and, from a mat in a pool of sun, half-naked, kneeling, turning about on her knees, there was my Riviera love peering at me over dark glasses…

“That was my Lo,” she said, “and these are my lilies.”

“Yes,” I said, “Yes. They are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!”…

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA( Photo by Prozor )
* * *

Friday. Saw her going somewhere with a dark girl called Rose. Why does the way she walks – a child, mind you, a mere child! – excite me so abominably? Analyze it. A faint suggestion of turned in toes. A kind of wiggly looseness below the knee prolonged to the end of each footfall. The ghost of a drag. Very infantile, infinitely meretricious. Humbert Humbert is also infinitely moved by the little one’s slangy speech, by her harsh high voice…

Saturday… I know it is madness to keep this joutnal but it gives me a strange thrill to do so…. Let me state with a sob that today my L. was sun-bathing on the so-called “piazza”, but her mother and some other woman were around all the time. Of course, I might have sat there in the rocker and pretended to read. Playing safe, I kept away, for I was afraid that the horrible, insane, ridiculous and pitiful tremor that palsied me might prevent me from making my entree with any semblance of casualness…

Monday. I spend my doleful days in dumps and dolors. We (mother Haze, Dolores and I) were to go to Our Glass Lake this afternoon, and bathe, and bask; but a nacreous morn degenerated at noon into rain, and Lo made a scene… I have all the characteristics which, according to writers on the sex interests of children, start the responses stirring in a little girl: clean-cut jaw, muscular hand, deep sonorous voice, broad shoulder. Moreover, I am said to resemble some crooner or actor chap on whom Lo has a crash…

Thursday. Last night we sat on the piazza, the Haze woman, Lolita and I… We sat on cushions heaped on the floor, and L. was between the woman and me (she had squeezed herself in, the pet)… I launched upon a hilarious account of my arctic adventures… All the while I was acutely aware of L’s nearness and as I spoke I gestured in the merciful dark and took advantage of those invisible gestures of mine to touch her hand, her shoulder and a ballerina of wool and gauze which she played with and kept sticking into my lap; and finally, when I had completely enmeshed my glowing darling in this weave of ethereal caresses, I dared stroke her bare leg along the gooseberry fuzz of her shin, and I chuckled at my own jokes, and trembled, and concealedmy tremors, and once or twice felt with my rapid lips the warmth of her hair as I treated her to a quick nuzzling, humorous aside and caressed her plaything. She, too, fidgeted a good deal so that finally her mother told her sharply to quit it and sent the doll flying into the dark, and I laughed and addressed myself to Haze across Lo’s legs to let my hand creep up my nymphet’s thin back and feel her skin through her boy’s shirt. But I knew it was ll hopeless, and I was sick with longing, and my clothes felt miserably tight, and I was almost glad when her mother’s quiet voice announced in the dark: “And now we all think that Lo should go to bed.”…

Saturday: For some days already I had been leaving the door ajar, while I wrote in my room; but only today did the trap work. With a good deal of additional fidgeting, shuffling, scraping – to disguise her embarrassment at visiting me without having been called – Lo came in and after pottering around, became interested in the nightmare curlicues I had penned on a sheet of paper… As she bent her brown curls over the desk at which I was sitting, Humbert the Hoarse put his arm around her in a miserable imitation of blood-relationship; and still studying, somewhat shortsightedly, the piece of paper she held, my innocent little visitor slowly sank to a half-sitting position upon my knee. Her adorable profile, parted lips, warm hair were some three inches from my bared eyetoothl and I felt the heat of her limbs through her rough tomboy clothes. All at once I knew I could kiss her throat or the wick of her mouth with perfect impunity. I knew she would let me do so, and even close her eyes as Hollywood teaches…

Monday. I’m like one of those inflated pale spiders you see in old gardens. Sitting in the middle of a luminious web and giving little jerks to this or that strand. My web is spread all over the house as I listen from my chair where I sit like a wily wizard. Is Lo in her room? Gently I tug on the silk. She is not… Well, let us grope and hope. Ray-like, I glide in through to the parlor and find the radio silent (and mamma still talking to Mrs. Chatfield or Mrs. Hamilton, very softly, flushed, smiling, cupping the telephone with her free hand)… So my nymphet is not in the house at all! Gone! … And then comes Lolita’s soft sweet chuckle through my half-open door. “Don’t tell Mother but I’ve eated all your bacon.” Gone when I scuttle out of my room. Lolita, where are you? My breakfast tray, lovingly prepared by my landlady, leers at me toothelssly, ready to be taken in. Lola, Lolita!…

I want my learned readers to participate in the scene I am about to replay… Time: Sunday morning in June. Place: sunlit living room… My heart beat like a drum as she sat down , cool skirt ballooning, subsiding, on the sofa next to me… With the monkeyish nimbleness that was so typical of that American nymphet, she snatched out of my abstract grip the magazine I had opened… Lo flipped violently through the pages in search of something she wished Humbert to see. Found it at last. I faked my interest by bringing my head so close that her hair touched my temple and her arm brushed my cheek as she wiped her lips with her wrist… Picture of the week, said the legend. I whisked the whole obscene thing away. Next moment, in a sham effort to retrieve it, she was all over me. Caught her by her thin knobby wrist. The magazine escaped to the floor like a flustered fowl. She twisted herself free, recoiled, and lay back in the right-hand corner of the davenport. Then, with perfect simplicity, the impudent child extended her legs across my lap. By this time I was in a state of excitement bordering on insanity; but I also had the cunning of the insane. Sitting there, on the sofe, I managed to attune, by a series of stealthy movements, my masked lust to her guileless limbs. It was no easy matter to divert the little maiden’s attention whileI performed the obscure adjustments necessary for the success of the trick. Talking fast, lagging behind my own breath, catching up with it, mimicking a sudden toothache to explain the breaks in my pattern – and all the while keeping a maniac’s inner eye on my distant golden goal, I cautiously increased the magic friction that was doing away, in an illusional, if not factual, sense, with the physically irremovable, but psychologically very friable texture of the material divide (pajamas and robe) between the weight of two sunburnt legs, resting athwart my lap, and the hidden tumor of an unspeakable passion… I kept repeating chance words after her … as one talking and laughing in his sleep while my happy hand crept up her sunny leg as far as the shadow of decency allowed… My moaning mouth, gentlemen of the jury, almost reached her bare neck, while I crushed out against her left buttock the last throb of the longest ecstasy man or monster had ever known…

I felt proud of myself. I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a minor. Absolutely no harm done… Thus had Idelicately constructed my ignoble, ardent, sinful dream; and still Lolita was safe – and I was safe… The child knew nothing. I had done nothing to her. And nothing prevented me from repeating a performance that affected her as little as if she were a photographic image rippling upon a screen and I a humble hunchback abusing myself in the dark…

Lolita4( Photo by somnambula SL )

* * *

When a bride is a widow and the groom is a widower; when the former had lived in Our Great Little Town for hardly two years; and the latter for hardly a month; when Monsieur wants to get the whole damned thing over with as quickly as possible, and Madame gives in with a tolerant smile; them, my reader, the wedding is generally a “quiet” affair…

Into the fifty days of our cohabitation Charlotte crammed the activities of as many years. The poor woman busied herself with a number of things she had foregone long before or had never been much interested, as if by my marrying the mother of the child I loved I had enabled my wife to regain an abundance of youth by proxy. With the zest of a banal young bride, she started to “glorify the home.”…

Steering my wife’s car with one finger, I contentedly rolled homeward… Smoothly, almost silkily, I turned down into our steep little street… I uttered a cheerful homecoming call as I opened the door of the living room… Charlotte sat at the corner bureau writing a letter. My hand still on the doorknob, I repeated my hearty cry. Her wrigin hand stopped. She sat still for a momentl then she slowly turned in her chair and rested her elbow on its curved back. Her face, disfigured by her emotion, was not a pretty sight as she stared at my legs and said:

“The Haze woman, the big bitch, the old cat, the obnoxious mamma, the – the old stupid Haze is no longer your dupe. She has – sha has… ” My fair accuser stopped, swallowing her venom and her tears… “You’re a monster. You’re a detestable, abominable, criminal fraud…. I’m leaving tonight. This is all yours. Only you’ll never, never see that miserable brat again. Get out of this room.” …

“You are ruining my life and yours,” I said quietly. “Let us be civilized people. It is all your hallucination. You are crazy, Charlotte. The notes you found were fragments of a novel. Your name and hers were put in by mere chance. Just because they came handy. Think it over. I shall bring you a drink.”…

I went back to the kitchen. I set out two glasses and opened the refrigerator…

“I have made you a drink,” I said.

She did not answer, the mad bitch, and I placed the glasses on the sideboard near the telephone, which had started to ring.

“Leslie speaking. Leslie Tomson…. Mrs. Humbert, sir, has been run over and you’d better come quick.”…

I rushed out… The laprobe on the sidewalk concealed the mangled remains of Charlotte Humbert who had been knocked down and dragged severel feet by the Beale car as she was hurrying across the street to drop three letters in the mailbox…

Mother1( ‘Mother and daughter’ by Gantenbein )

* * *

Hardly had the car come to a standstill than Lolita positively flowed into my arms. Not daring, not daring let myself go – not even daring let myself realize that this was the beginning of the ineffable life which, ably assisted by fate, I had finally willed into being – not daring really kiss her, I touched her hot, opening lips with the utmost poety, tiny sips, nothing salacious; but she, with an impatiente wriggle, pressed her mouth to mine so hard that Ifelt her big front teeth and shared in the peppermint taste of her salive. I knew, of course, it was but an innocent game on her part, a bit of backfisch foolery in imitation of some simulacrum of fake romance, and since the limits and rulse of such firlish games are fluid, or at least too childishly subtle for the senior partner to grasp – I was dreadfully afraid I might go too far and cause her to start back in revulsion and terror…

If we did not get to the hotel soon, immediately, miraculously, in the very next block, I felt I would lose all control over the Haze jalopy with its ineffectual wipers and whimsical brakes… The miracle I hankered for did happen after all…

There was a double bed, a mirror, a double bed in the miror, a closet door with mirror, a bathroom door ditto, a blue-dark window, a reflected bed there, the same in the closet mirror, two chairs, a glass-topped table, two bedtables, a double bed…

“Are we to sleep in one room?” said Lo…

“I’ve asked them to put in a cot. Which I’ll use if you like.”…

“You are crazy,” said Lo…

“Look her, Lo. Let’s settle this once for all. For all practical purposes I am your father. I have a feeling of great tenderness for you. In your mother’s absence I am responsible for your welfare. We are not rich, and while we travel, we shall be obliged – we shall be thrown a good deal together. Two people sharing one room, inevitably enter into a kind – how shall I say – a kind -”

“The word is incest,” said Lo – and walked into the closet…

I opened the window, tore off my sweat-drenched shirt, changed, checked the pill vial in my coat pocket…

She drifted out. I tried to embrace her: casually, a bit of controlled tenderness before dinner.

She said: “Look, let’s cut out the kissing game and get something to eat.”

It was then that I sprang my surprise…

When the dessert was plunked down… I produced a small vial containing Papa’s Purple Pills….

“Blue!” she excalimed. “Violet blue. What are they made of?”…

“Oh, just Purpills. Vitamin X. Makes one strong as an ox or an ax. Want to try one?”

Lolita stretched out her hand, nodding vigorously. I had hoped the drug would work fast. It certainly did…

I was still firmly resolved to pursue my policy of sparing her purity by operating only in the stealth of night, only upon a completely anesthetized little nude. Restrain and reverence were still my motto…

Clothed in one of her old nightgowns, my Lolita lay on her side with her back to me, in the middle of the bed… I had already placed my knee on the edge of the bed when Lolita turned her head and stared at me through the striped shadows. Now this was something the intruder had not expected… When Lolita opened her eyes again, I realized that whether or not the drug might work later in the night, the security I had relied upon was a sham one. Slowly her head turned away and dropped onto her unfair amount of pillow… Some time passed, nothing changed, and I decided I might risk getting a little closer to that lovely and maddening glimmer; but hardly had I moved into its warm purlieus than her breathing was suspended, and I had the odious feeling that little Dolores was wide awake…

If I dwell at some length on the tremors and gropings of that distant night, it is because I insist upon proving that I am not and never was, and never could have been, a brutal scoundrel…

Upon hearing her first morning yawn, I feigned handsome profiled sleep… She rolled over to my side, and her warm brown hair came against my collarbone. I gave a mediocre imitation of waking up…
She put her mouth to my ear – but for quite a while my mind could not separate into words the hot thunder of her whisper, and she laughed, and brushed the hair off her face, and tried again, and gradually the odd sense of living in a brand new, mad new dream world, where everything was permissible, came over me as Irealized what she was suggesting… Suffice it to say that not a trace of modesty did I perceive in this beautiful hardly formed young girl whom modern co-education, juvenile mores, the campfire racket and so forth had utterly and hopelessly depraved. She saw the stark act merely as part of a youngster’s furtive world, unknown to adults… While eager to impress me with the world of tough kids, she was not quite prepared for certain discrepancies between a kid’s life and mine. Pride alone prevented her from giving up… It was then that began our extensive travels all over the States. To any other type of tourism accomodation I prefered the Functional Motel – clean, neat, safe nooks, ideal places for sleep, argument, reconciliation, insatiable illicit love…

From the very beginning of our concourse, I was clever enough to realize that I must secure her complete co-operation in keeping our relations secret, that it should become a second nature with her, no matter what grudge she might bear me, no matter what other pleasures she might seek…

“Let us see what happens if you, a minor…, complain to the police of my having kidnaped and raped you? Let us suppose they believe you… So I go to jail. Okay. I go to jail. But what happens to you, my orphan? Well, you are luckier. You become the ward of the Departmen of Public Welfare – which I am afraid sounds a little bleak. A nice grim matron of the Miss Phalen type, but more rigid and not a drinking woman, will take away your lipstick and fancy clothes. No more gadding about!… Don’t you think that under the circumstances Dolores Haze had better stick to her old man?”

By tubbing all this in, I succeeded in terrorizing Lo, who despite a certain brash alertness of manner and spurts of wit was not as intelligent a child as her I.Q. might suggest. But if I managed to establish that background of shared secrecy and shared guilt, I was muich less successful in keeping her in good humor…

Her weekly allowance, paid to her under condition she fulfill her basic obligations, was twenty-one cents at the start… and went up to one dollar five… This was a more than generous arrangement seeing she constantly received from me all kinds of small presents … She proved to be a cruel negotiator whenever it was in her power to deny me certain life wrecking, strange, slow paradisal philters without which I could not live more than a few days in a row, and which, because of the very nature of love’s languor, I could not obtain by force…

One day while I was engrossed in Mona’s witchery, Lo had shrugged her shoulders and vanished… She had gone for ever…

Lolita5( Photo by  Vladimir Gorbatkov )

* * *

“Dear dad:
How’s everything? I’m married. I’m going to have a baby. I guess he’s going to be a big one. I guess he’ll come right for Christmas. This is a hard letter to write. I’m going nuts because we don’t have enough to pay our debts and get out of here. Dick is promised a big job in Alaska in his very specialized corner of the mechanical field, that’s all I know about it but it’s really grand. Pardon me for withholding our home address but you may still be mad at me and Dick must not know. This town is something. You can’t see the morons for the smog. Please do send us a check, Dad. We could manage with three or four hundred or even less, anything is welcome, you might sell my old things, because once we get there the dough will just start rolling. Write, please. I have gone through much sadness and hardships.
Yours expecting,
Dolly (Mrs. Richard F. Schiller). ”

EPSON scanner image( Photo by luxy28 )

* * *

I got out of the car and slammed its door… I pressed the bell button, it vibrated through the whole system…. Couple of inches taller. Pink-rimmed glasses. New, heaped-up hairdo, new ears. How simple! The moment, the death I had kept conjuring up for three years was as simple as a bit of dry wood. She was frankly and hugely pregnant…

“We-e-ell!” she explained after a pause with all the emphasis of wonder and welcome… “Come in,” she said with a vehement cheerful note…

A wise girl, she controlled herself. Dick did not know a thing of the whole mess. He thought I was her father. He thought she had run away from an upper-class home just to wash dishes in a diner. He believed anything. Why should I want to make things harder than they were by raking up all that muck?…

She asked me not to be dense. The past was the past. I had been a good father, she guessed – granting me that…

She closed her eyes and opened her mouth, leaning back on the cushion, one felted foot on the floor…. I knew all I wanted to know. I had no intention of torturing my darling…. There she was with her ruined looks and her adult, rope-veined narrow hands and her goose-flesh white arms, and her shallow ears, and her unkempt armpits, there she was (my Lolita!), hopelessly worn at seventeen, with that baby… I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else. She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past… You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and half-throttled, I will shout my poor truth, I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another’s child, but still grey-eyed, still sooty-lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine…

“Lolita,” I said, “this may be neither here nor there but I have to say it. Life is very short. From here to that old car you know so well there is a stretch of twenty, twenty-five paces. It is a very short walk. Make those twenty-five steps. Now. Right now. Come just as you are. And we shall live happily ever after.”…

“You mean,” she said opening her eyes and raising herself slightly, the snake that may strike, “you mean you will give us that money only if I go with you to a motel. Is that what you mean?”

“No,” I said, “you got it all wrong. I want you to leave your incidental Dick, and this awful hole, and come to live with me, and die with me, and everything with me”…

“You’re crazy,” she said, her features working.

“Think it over, Lolita. There are no strings attached. Except, perhaps – well, no matter… Anyway, if you refuse you will still get your… trousseau.”

“No kidding?” asked Dolly.

I handed her an envelope with four hundred dollars in cash and a check for three thousand six hundred more….

“You mean,” she said, with agonized emphasis, “you are giving us four thousand bucks?”…

“You are sure you are not coming with me? Is there any hope of your coming? Tell me only this.”

“No,” she said. “No, honey, no.”

She had never called me honey before…

Pregnant
( Photo by Sunny Man )

* * *

I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicfable and brutal, and turpid, and everything… And there were times when I knew how you felt, and it was hell to know it, my little one. Lolita girl, brave Dolly Schiller. I recal certain moments, let us call them icebergs in paradise when after having had my fill of her… I would gather her in my arms with, at last, a mute moan of human tenderness… – and the tenderness would deepen to shame and despair, and I would lull and rock my lone light Lolita and moan in her warm hair… But the awful point of the whole argument is this. It had become gradually clear to my conventional Lolita during our singular and bestial cohabitation that even the most miserable of family lives was better than the parody of incest, which, in the long run, was the best I could offer the waif…

This then is my story. I have reread it. It has bits of marrow sticking to it, and blood, and beautiful bright-green flies… I wish this memoir to be published only when Lolita is no longer alive. Thus, neither of us is alive when the reader opens this book. But while the blood still throbs in my writing hand, … I can still talk to you from here to Alaska. Be true to your Dick. Do not let other fellows touch you. Do not talk to strangers. I hope you will love your baby. I hope it will be a boy. That husband of yours, I hope, will always treat you well, because otherwise my specter shall come at him, like black smoke, like a demented giant, and pull him apart nerve by nerve.

The Amazon

( by Nikolay Leskov, 1866, Russia
Abridged.
Translated by David Magarshack )

Domna( Photo by Katerina Makeeva )

“It happened a long time ago”, Domna Platonovna said, “about twelve years ago. I was young then and inexperienced and, having just lost my husband, I decided to engage in some business. But what kind of business? I made up my mind that the best thing I could do in the ladies’ line of business was to sell cloth, for a woman understands more about that kind of trade than any other. So I decided to buy some cloth in the market and then sit down on a bench by some gates in our town and try to sell it. I went to the market, bought the cloth and was about to return home with it, but the question arose how I was to take it home with me? While I was thinking about it, a cart driven by a team of three horses rode into the yeard of the inn where I was stranded.”

“We were bringing a load of nuts from Kiev on seven carts, each cart driven by a team of three horses,” the driver told me, “but the nuts got wet on the way and the merchants deducted their losses from our pay and now we’re returning home without any money at all.”

“Where are your mates?” I asked.

“My mates,” he replied, “have all gone back to their own villages, but I’m trying to find some fares to take back with me.”

“Where are you from?” I asked him.

“I’m from the village of Kurakina,” he said.

As it happened it was just my way and, “Here,” I said, “is your first fare.”

We talked it over and he agreed to take me home for one rouble. He said he’d go round the inns to pick up more passengers and that we’d leave the next day after breakfast.

Next morning, one, two, five, eight people came to the yard of the inn, all of them men and every one of them big and handsome. One of them carried a sack, another a satchel, a third a trunk, and one even had a shotgun.

“How will you squeeze us all in?” I asked the driver.

“Never you mind,” he said, “you’ll get in all right, it’s a big cart, carried three and a half ton, it has.”

I was in half a mind to stay behind, but I had already given him the rouble and there was no other driver about to take me back to town.

With a heavy heart I clambered into the cart and off we drove. No sooner had we passed the toll-gate than one of our fares shouted, “Stop at the next pub!” So we stopped at the pub and they all got off and had many drinks there and stood the driver drinks, too. Then off we drove again. We had only gone about a mile when another of our passengers shouted, “Stop! Ivan Ivanych Yelkin lives here and I must see him!” and so they kept on stopping about a dozen times, each one at his own particular Ivan Ivanych Yelkin’s. It was getting dark and our driver was as drunk as a lord by then.

“Don’t you dare to have another drop,” I said to him.

“Why shouldn’t I dare?” he replied. “I ain’t a daring one, anyway. I’m acting like that just because I don’t dare to refuse, see?”

“You’re a yokel,” I said, “just a stupid country jokel.”

“What if I am a yokel?” he said. “So long as I can get a drink I don’t mind what I am.”

“Oh, you fool,” I said, “you fool! You’ve better look after your horses!”

“I’m looking after my horses, ain’t I?” he replied and, raising his whip, he began flogging them.

The cart was jolting terribly and I was afraid that we might be tipped out any minute and killed. The men were all drunk and raising an awful din. One of them produced an accordion, another was bawling a song, a third one was firing his gun, whle I was just praying, “Holy Mother of God, save us, I beseech thee!”

Our horses careered along until they got tired, and we were again crawling at a snail’s pace. It got dark in the meantime and, although it was not raining, it seemed as if a cold, wet mist was envelopng us as with a blanket. My hands went numb with holding on to the sides of the cart, but I was so glad that we were no longer going at breakneck speed that I sat there quietly, without uttering a sound. The men, I could hear, had begun talking to each other, one of them saying that he had heard that there were robbers on the road who had recently hald up and robbed many people, wnother declaring that he was not afraid of any robbers because he could fire twice from his gun, and a third starting to tell a story about dead bodies. “I’m always carrying about a bone from a corpse,” he said, “and if I wave this bone over a man, he straightway falls asleep, just as if he was dead, and he’ll never waken again.” Another one boasted that he had a candle made from the fat of a dead man… I just listened to their talk when of a sudden I had an odd feeling as if somebody was pulling me by the nose and I felt so sleepy that in another minute I dropped off.

But I couldn’t sleep soundly because all the time we were shaken up as if we were nuts roasted on a grill, and in my sleep I seemed to hear someone saying, “I wish we could throw that damned woman out! Can’t stretch my legs, I can’t.” But I went on sleeping until I suddenly heard a shout and a scream, followed by a general hubbub, and I woke up. What was the matter? I looked round. It was pitch dark, our cart had stopped and everybody was running about and shouting, but what they were shouting I couldn’t for the life of me to make out.

“Shirl-mirl, shire-mire,” one of them shouted.

Our passenger with the gun pulled the trigger once and it went snap, but there was no report, he fired again, and again the trigger went snap and there was no sound.Then the one who was shouting screamed at the top of his voice again and, seizing me under the arms, swung me off the cart and began whirling me round and round. Goodness, I thought, what’s going on here? I peered into the pitch darkness round me, but all I could see were some hideous, black faces and all of them were turning round and round and whirling me round with them, shouting “Shire-mire!” and, lifting me by my feet, they began to swing me to and fro… and at the same time I could distinctly hear a weird sort of drumming inside my belly: tum-tara-tum, tum-tara-tum!

“What’s that?” I thought. “Am I a drum or a double-bass?” and as I looked at myself, I saw that I was a double-bass and that the little man was standing over me and sawing away for all he was worth.

“Oh dear,” I said to myself, “holy saints!” but he went on sawing away with his bow and what didn’t he play on me? Waltzes and quadrilles and everything, while the others were standing round and egging him on, “Scrape away harder,” they shouted, “scrape away harder!”

I had a terrible pain in my belly, but there I was droning like anything, and so they scraped away on me the whole night. Yes, the whole night I, a baptised Christian woman, was just a double-bass to them, kept them merry, those damned devils!…

DoubleBass( Photo by Dmitry Kuklin )

* * *

India, 2012

In an extraordinary tribute to the 23-year old rape victim 600 guitarists play John Lennon’s Imagine, in Darjeeling, India. Five men accused of gang-raping the student on a bus in New Delhi are to be formally charged in court.

India

From The Guardian

* * *

Related posts:

A chicken is not a bird and a woman is not a person…

“A chicken is not a bird and a woman is not a person.”

( old Russian folk sayings )

( From Angels in Distress )

* * *

Bible

(From My View and Opinion blog)

“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”c 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

( From Ephesians 5 )

BUT

  • Every hour one Russian woman dies at the hands of her husband or partner
  • Over one half (52.9%) of Russian women believed that intimate partner violence in Russia was a “serious problem”
  • Current statistics suggest that approximately 36,000 Russian women are physically victimized at the hands of their intimate partner on a daily basis and that 79% of married women in Russia have experienced physical abuse by their partners during their marriage
  • Women in Russia are four to five times more likely to experience intimate partner violence than women in the West
  • Women in Russia are two and a half times more likely to be murdered at the hands of an intimate partner than women in the United States
  • Certain interpretations of beliefs regarding the sanctity of marriage, the divine authority of men over the family, and the acceptance of suffering and endurance as necessary in individual lives, as an emulation of suffering of Christ, have been cited as common deterrents prohibiting women from actively questioning or challenging the inappropriateness of the use of violence by their partners
  • Spiritual abuse includes the misuse and abuse of religious doctrine as a means of maintaining male power and control in intimate relationships (including the use of religious doctrine as a justification for male violence)
  • The teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church have “condemned women as sinful – wanton, deceitful, instigator of lust and pollution to encourage men to fear and distrust women and to control their sexuality in order to protect the family from dishonor and society from disorder”. Women are assigned an inferior position within the family and society as man’s servant. As such, the main duty of a woman is obedience to her husband
  • The priest and Director of the Diocesan School of Orthodox catechesis and the church pedagogy of St. Sergius Radonezhskiy Anatoly Garmayev points out “The duty of the wife is to honor and respect her husband. … The next duty of the wife is to be submissive to her husband. After all, submissive to her husband – so, revering him”
  • The Church’s characterization of women as the servants of men not only influences the development of individual attitudes that support men’s use of violence against women but have also impacted the status of women in Russian society as a whole.
  • When cases of domestic violence are reported to the militia (police), the issue is often referred back to the family to address as a private matter.
  • The climate of social acceptance in Russia that allows violence against women by their intimate partners to remain largely unchallenged has been heavily influenced by the traditions and principles of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Church’s construction of the family as a private patriarchal institution contributes to the prevailing opinion of Russians that domestic violence is a private matter and should be solved within the family.

( From “A chicken is not a bird…” )

* * *
Qur’an
  • According to the Qur’an, men and women have the same spiritual human nature.
  • Men and women have the same religious and moral duties and responsibilities. They both face the consequences of their deeds
  • Nowhere does the Qur’an state that one gender is superior to the other. Some mistakenly translate “qiwamah” or responsibility for the family as superiority. The Qur’an makes it clear that the sole basis for superiority of any person over another is piety and righteousness not gender, color, or nationality
  • The Islamic Shariiah recognizes the full property rights of women before and after marriage. A married woman may keep her maiden name.
  • Greater financial security is assured for women. They are entitled to receive marital gifts, to keep present and future properties and income for their own security. No married woman is required to spend a penny from her property and income on the household. She is entitled to full financial support during marriage and during the waiting period (‘iddah) in case of divorce. She is also entitled to child support. Generally, a Muslim woman is guaranteed support in all stages of her life, as a daughter, wife, mother, or sister. These additional advantages of women over men are somewhat balanced by the provisions of the inheritance which allow the male, in most cases, to inherit twice as much as the female. This means that the male inherits more but is responsible financially for other females: daughters, wives, mother, and sister, while the female (i.e., a wife) inherits less but can keep it all for investment and financial security without any legal obligation so spend any part of it even for her own sustenance (food, clothing, housing, medication, etc.)
  • The Qur’an effectively ended the cruel pre-Islamic practice of female infanticide and went further to rebuke the unwelcoming attitudes among some parents upon hearing the news of the birth of a baby girl, instead of a baby boy
  • Education is not only a right but also a responsibility of all males and females
  • Marriage in Islam is based on mutual peace, love, and compassion, not just the satisfaction of man’s needs
  • The female has the right to accept or reject marriage proposals. Her consent is prerequisite to the validity of the marital contract according to the Prophet’s teaching. It follows that if by “arranged marriage” is meant marrying the girl without her consent, then such a marriage is nullifiable if she so wished.
  • The husband is responsible for the maintenance, protection, and overall headship of the family (qiwamah) within the framework of consultation and kindness. The mutual dependency and complementary of the roles of males and females does not mean “subservience” by either party to the other.
  • Divorce is seen as the last resort, which is permissible but not encouraged. Under no circumstances does the Qur’an encourage, allow or condone family violence or physical abuse and cruelty. The maximum allowed in extreme cases is a gentle tap that does not even leave a mark on the body while saving the marriage from collapsing.
  • Prophet Muhammad taught kindness, care, and respect of women in general: “I command you to be kind to women”

 ( From Gender Equity in Islam )

BUT

There exists, among Muslims a big gap between the ideal and the real.
Cultural practices on both extremes do exist.

* * *

Related posts:


Elena

from “The Insulted and the Injured”
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
(1861)

( Photo by Iguana )

I crossed the road, went up to the house, and read on an iron plate over the gate, “Mme. Bubnov.”

But I had hardly deciphered the inscription when suddenly I heard a piercing female scream, followed by shouts of abuse in Mme. Bubnov’s yard. I peeped through the gate. On the wooden steps of the house stood a stout woman, dressed like a working woman with a kerchief on her head, and a green shawl. Her face was of a revolting purplish colour. Her little, puffy, bloodshot eves were gleaming with spite. It was evident that she was not sober, though it was so early in the day. She was shrieking at poor Elena, who stood petrified before her with the cup in her hand…

“Ah, you damned slut, you bloodsucker, you louse!” squealed the woman, letting out at one breath all her store of abuse, for the most part without commas or stops, but with a sort of gasp.

“So this is how you repay, me for my care of you, you ragged wench… Speak, you rotten scum, or I’ll choke you where you stand!” And the infuriated woman flew at the poor girl.

“Her mother’s hopped the twig! … So I took her and would you believe it, here I’ve been keeping her these two months, and upon my word she’s been sucking my blood and wearing me to a shadow, the leech, the rattlesnake, the obstinate limb of Satan. You may beat her, or you may let her alone, she won’t speak. She might have a mouth full of water, the way she holds her tongue! She breaks my heart holding her tongue! What do you take yourself for, you saucy slut, you green monkey? If it hadn’t been for me you’d have died of hunger in the street. You ought to be ready to wash my feet and drink the water, you monster, you black French poker! You’d have been done for but for me!”…

“Why, have I no rights over her, after that? She should feel it, but instead of feeling it she goes against me! I wished for her good. I wanted to put her in a muslin frock, the dirty slut! I bought her boots at the Gostiny Dvor, and decked her out like a peacock, a sight for a holiday! And would you believe it, good friends, two days later she’d torn up the dress, torn it into rags, and that’s how she goes about, that’s how she goes about! And what do you think, she tore it on purpose – I wouldn’t tell a lie, I saw it myself; as much as to say she would go in rags, she wouldn’t wear muslin!” …

And in her frenzy, she rushed at the little girl, who stood petrified with horror, clutched her by the hair, and flung her on the ground. She beat her victim about the face and the head; but Elena remained obstinately mute; not a sound, not a cry, not a complaint escaped her, even under the blows. …

* * *

“What do you suppose? Mme. Bubnov wouldn’t have adopted an orphan simply out of compassion. And if the fat man’s hanging round, you may be sure it’s that.” …

I was terribly shocked. All these revelations alarmed me. I kept being afraid we were too late and urged on the cabman.
“Don’t be uneasy. Measures have been taken,” said Masloboev…

Telling the cabman to wait for us at the eating-house steps, we walked to Mme. Bubnov’s. …

At that moment a terrible, piercing shriek was heard two or three rooms away from the one in which we were. I shuddered, and I, too, cried out. I recognized that shriek : it was the voice of Elena. Immediately after that pitiful shriek we heard other outcries, oaths, a scuffle, and finally the loud, resonant, distinct sound of a slap in the face. It was probably Mitroshka inflicting retribution in his own fashion. Suddenly the door was violently flung open and Elena rushed into the room with a white face and dazed eyes in a white muslin dress, crumpled and torn, and her hair, which had been carefully arranged, dishevelled as though by a struggle. I stood facing the door, and she rushed straight to me and flung her arms round me. Everyone jumped up. Everybody was alarmed. There were shouts and exclamations when she appeared. Then Mitroshka appeared in the doorway, dragging after him by the hair his fat enemy, who was in a hopelessly dishevelled condition. He dragged him up to the door and flung him into the room.

“Here he is! Take him!” Mitroshka brought out with an air of complete satisfaction.

“I say,” said Masloboev, coming quietly up to me and tapping me on the shoulder, “take our cab, take the child with you and drive home; there’s nothing more for you to do here. We’ll arrange the rest tomorrow.”

I did not need telling twice. I seized Elena by the arm and took her out of that den.

(from the “The Insulted and the Injured” )

THE END.

* * *

1-An estimated one million children are forced to work in the global sex industry every year
2-The global sex slavery market generates a $39 billion profit annually
3-Selling young girls is more profitable than trafficking drugs or weapons

Celebrities are taking part in Real Men Don’t Buy Girls campaign. Be part in this campaign and spread awareness…

* * *

  • ECPAT network ( End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes )
  • ISPCAN (International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)