Anyone can stumble. Fall too. Not everyone then returns, restores, no matter how harsh it may sound, a human appearance to himself. Examples are a dime a dozen. Just look at the homeless. Here is this story about a homeless man. And the way it ended does honor to this particular, homeless and unemployed person who found himself due to circumstances.
He got into trouble: he lost everything. By his own stupidity. I grew up in an orphanage. Orphan. But first he made plans that everything in his life would work out. Alas! Got involved with bad company. After learning about this, the girl left him. And then he was fired from his job. They were automatically evicted from the workers’ dormitory. While there was money for a drink, I was bragging, I thought I would get out. No, it didn’t work out. The life of a homeless person was delayed. It didn’t matter what he was wearing and shod. With whom he drinks from the same glass. He spends the night on the side of the road or in the basement. Sometimes he had gaps. But he hated them. Because it was necessary to admit that he had lowered himself to the bottom.
He was not allowed to fall low in the orphanage: the orphan was not only fed and clothed here. Here they took care of him, taught him to be smart. And they taught in such a way that neither the headmistress nor the teachers doubted that Pavlik would definitely go to university. Worthy. And the knowledge base is appropriate. He submitted documents there, rewrote the schedule of consultations and exams. He even repeated something while lying on a bed in a dormitory where the same applicants lived.
But as soon as Pavel went out to the supermarket one evening for a mineral water, a cheerful company of young people met on his way. They turned to him as if they had known each other for a hundred years, and invited him to the embankment with them, promising a noble evening. And Pavel went. Maybe because I had no idea what a “noble evening” was. But the fact remains: he went. And this evening ended a week later – Pavel spent all this time with new acquaintances.
They went to one of them at the dacha and lived there until the alcohol ran out. Then, having bought a new portion of booze, we rode on another friend’s motorboat. And drank. He didn’t remember the name of the alcohol. I remembered the freedom, the courage that each sip of alcohol brought.
When Pavel finally woke up, it turned out that he had missed all the exams. He was evicted from the hostel. It really shook the guy up. He went to look for a job. I found an apprentice turner at the factory. With a working dormitory. With an advance. Also with a girl I met in the factory canteen. And fell head over heels in love with her. I understood that she liked it too. They spent all their evenings together. Finally, she invited Pasha home to meet her parents.
How he was going to! Of course! He goes to a real house, which he never had. Moreover, he goes to the house to the girl who is everything to him. Pavel smoothed himself and cleaned himself. Several times he ran a comb through his red curls. And, finally, calmed down: everything seems to be fine. And everything would continue to be fine.
It would be nice. But Pavel stumbled again: he did not refuse a drink, which was offered to him at the “Nalivaika” by two shabby peasants. If I knew, I would have gone the other way to my dorm. But I’ve walked this one so many times, and nothing. And here two peasants seemed to be waiting for Pavel. They said the magic words:
– Hey, man! Will you be the third? Drop anchor. We’re not greedy. We know the laws. We drink for three…
And he became the third. Pavel listened to their stories “for life”, which they gave out in a slurred language, interrupting each other. He even received a kind of master class: he had never heard such intricate plexuses of obscenity before.
The story dragged on. The men took turns four more times went to the “Filling machine” for an additive, demanding to pour it into the same container. And when Pavel remembered that he had to go for the girl with whom he was going to the cinema, it was already too late. And he knew he couldn’t go to the dorm like this. It was as if the men had read his thoughts:
– Nowhere to spend the night? Nonsense! Come with us! Suite room. Everything is included. And there’s enough room for everyone.
And he went with them to the park, into its very depths. There I spent the night on the grass.
I woke up, and the day was already in full swing. Well, and the work shift, of course. He imagined how his girlfriend would look at him. And the master? And the foreman? I would have failed on the spot! No, he’s not going anywhere. These two will neither ask him about anything, nor teach him to live. He’d rather stay with them.
A few days later, he dared to meet his girlfriend at the checkpoint. When she saw him, she ran up and wanted to throw her arms around his neck. But then she stopped abruptly:
“Have you been drinking?” Have you been drinking all this time? I’ve been looking for you in hospitals. I even went to the morgue. Did you just drink? Go away! I don’t want to know you anymore. Go away!
But he didn’t leave. She left. She left quickly, without looking back. Only by the trembling of her shoulders Pavel guessed that the girl was crying. But he remained standing still. And he felt his burning shame turn into anger. At her. Big deal, he doesn’t want to know him anymore! He doesn’t want to know her now. And the masters. And the foreman. And in general, all the purebloods. Will live without them…
He returned to the park. And suddenly I realized that Park is just as homeless as he himself has become in these few days. Once well-groomed, crowded, the park has become abandoned. Here are the remains of the playground. Skeletons of carousels, lopsided slides. The Swedish wall is without half of the crossbars. A sandbox with garbage inside. Shabby tires that children like to jump on. And here is a summer cinema. All the wooden benches have been uprooted. The bandstand is skewed. Weeds sprouted between the rows. Not a single tap-fountain, from which everyone drank – both adults and children. Not a single urn. Because the garbage here is free will.
And what’s that behind the trees? It can’t be! This is the surviving gatehouse of the park keeper. Strong, apparently. He came closer. Not locked. I looked inside. Spacious. With the roof intact. And several beds with rags on them. He understood: this is a homeless shelter. Well, there’s a place for him here, too. He went out and examined the gatehouse again. Yes, it was once a fairy-tale house. Someone made it with such love. And so, probably, this hut-gatehouse looked organically in the general park interior…
And the thought flashed through his mind: if only to restore the hut! But it flashed and disappeared…
Pavel, of course, was already at the bottom. But he was not ready to become a beggar. And he goes and finds a job at the nearest construction site. For a penny, so that there is enough for bread and cigarettes, he is hired to clean up construction debris. Heavily. And mountains of garbage. But, he mocks himself, what they fought for, that’s what they ran into.
After shoveling one pile of garbage, Pavel stumbles upon parquet floors, scraps of wooden skirting boards, pieces of laminate and linoleum. And he comes up with an idea: what if we use this waste for the restoration of the hut-gatehouse? He doesn’t even know the word “restoration”. But he feels what is behind him. And begins, like an ant, to drag the selected waste to the gatehouse. Then he finds nails and screws. At the bottom of the cans – bustilate. That’s something. Then, when the work on this construction site was over, I went to another one. There was a lot of iron. He was especially pleased with the unclaimed parts of the wrought-iron fence. And he had an image, the appearance of a fabulous hut. Pavel didn’t ask anyone to help him. He was very willing to work-to make. Without drawings and sketches. He didn’t even have a roulette wheel. I adapted a piece of strong rail myself. She became the yardstick. It cannot be said that the work was going fast. Pavel first imagined what to adapt from the waste to where. Then I tried it on. And only after that he began to fix it. There was no electricity. So he could only hope for daylight.
But soon the hut took on a different shape. And definitely fabulous. When her appearance began to play, Pavel dragged water from the park river and cleaned the whole hut – from the foundation to the roof. Then he ventured to adapt an intricate geometric figure on the roof from forged rods, visible from afar. He did not notice how during this work he forgot about the drink. He wasn’t thirsty. I wanted to finish the hut sooner. Then it was time to put it in order and inside. Pavel did not graduate from any art school. But my gut told me that inside it was necessary to make it so that there was one whole in style.
And now everything was ready. Pavel opened the doors and two windows in the broken shutters to ventilate the room from paint and glue. The weather was suitable – the end of Indian summer. Both the sun and a light breeze did their job: the smell of paint and glue quickly disappeared. Pavel sat down on the porch and lit a cigarette. And then I heard a girl’s voice:
– Wow! A hut straight out of a fairy tale! Take a picture of me!
This young couple wandered into an abandoned park and stumbled upon a hut. He didn’t want to disturb them and went around the corner of the gatehouse. And a pretty girl in a naughty baseball cap, worn backwards, was already standing in front of the hut. A young guy with a cool phone took pictures, offering the girl this or that angle. Having photographed themselves to their heart’s content, having also taken a fashionable selfie together today, the couple went into the depths of the park. And Pavel suddenly felt just fine. For these guys. And for myself. It turned out really well. But he had no idea that this was just the beginning. And that the good deed he has done will be across the mayor’s throat.
And it was like this. A young couple on the same evening put a photo of themselves and a fabulous hut in the feed. And the likes and questions poured in: where is it? The couple did not hide the address – it’s in an abandoned park. Go, take a selfie to your health! And the people fell down. Now there was not a day that someone was not photographed against the background of the hut-gatehouse. Small videos were also filmed. A fabulous hut against the background of autumn maple trees was worth it to become the heroine of the commercials.
Then a local reputable blogger got involved. He looked at everything himself, and gave out a nostalgically-accused post. That he remembers well how this park lived and flourished in his childhood. How the children played here. How the music sounded on the dance floor, how concerts were arranged on the summer stage at the weekend. How all the rides worked. And with what impatience they were waiting for the arrival of the Luna Park. I remembered that swans swam along the park river, and paddle boats scurried all day. And at the end he asked who else remembers it? And in the postscript he asked another question: who is in favor of the park coming to life?
It turned out that there are hundreds of such countrymen who remember this park as a real recreation place for children and adults. And these are only those for whom social networks are a familiar platform for communication. And how much remained behind the scenes, one could only guess. But there was one more moment, one more effect: suggestions poured in from the people, what else should be done. And two serious entrepreneurs expressed their willingness to build a summer-winter children’s cafe and a mini McDonald’s here. The blogger once again visited the fabulous hut. And managed to get her restorer to talk. And also take some photos of him. From an interview with him, the blogger learned that the first thing to do is to repair park benches and put urns. And he also wrote about this, adding a photo of Pavel.
A couple of days later, there were benefactors who replaced almost two dozen old benches. And others brought and strengthened ten urns on the foundation. Moreover, the urns fit very well into the interior of the hut. But events also developed from the other side: homeless people, who had previously been managing in an orphan hut, grouped against Pavel. Now, when the townspeople came and went here, it was no longer possible to drink freely and play pranks. The homeless tried to rebel against Paul. Even once they didn’t let him into the hut. But park visitors came to the defense – they called the police. An outfit of young policemen restrained the homeless. He also rashly warned that now the police will patrol here every day. And God forbid, they will be caught drinking alcoholic beverages, not to mention drugs. The police, as the chief later reprimanded them, exceeded their authority: the park has long been no man’s land. It is no longer on the city balance sheet. And our blogger found out about this from his sources. Well, he broke out with a post in which he portrayed the local authorities in an unflattering way. But the local government was all-powerful. And it was on her orders that the homeless drove Pavel away. And all because several of the main people in the city rolled out a lip on an abandoned park. It was abandoned: they were going to build a cultural and entertainment center with paid parking here on shares. A win-win option to cut coupons. And no free rides and playgrounds! Come to this cultural and entertainment center, pay money, and there will be attractions for you.
The city government may have received a rebuff from its fellow countrymen for the first time. Not only that, the theme of the park has not disappeared from the Internet. So now the citizens gathered three weekends in a row at the city hall with posters exposing the intentions of the local authorities to fill their pockets, depriving the citizens of a legitimate place of rest. And on other posters there were competent and reasonable proposals that need to be done right now. People knew what they were offering. There was also the restoration of power grids, and the renewal of asphalt paths, the clearing of the river and the strengthening of the shore, the renovation of the playground and the replacement of obsolete attractions. And also retail outlets, as before: ice cream, water and kvass, necessarily cotton candy, because what kind of park is it without cotton candy! And those who rolled their lips at the destruction of the city park wavered: the demands of the citizens were logical. And, by and large, they fit into the city budget. Plus – volunteer benefactors. At the convened extraordinary session, the park received the right to be revived.
And then all the media rushed to look for the one who became the unwitting initiator of this really necessary revival for the citizens. But they couldn’t find him. How he left, driven out by the homeless, since he sank into the water. The case helped. Pavel did not sink into the water. I found a job as a caretaker in a new residential complex, in a small house. An ordinary, no frills house. And if you transform it a little? Just need to ask if it is possible. I asked the housekeeper. He confessed that the fabulous hut in the old park was his handiwork. He immediately warned that he did not need to pay for the interior. He doesn’t even need any materials – he has already looked at a nearby construction site in a pile of waste that will be just right here. This was the last point: he was allowed.
Pavel took up a new interior. And he did not know what was happening now in the park in which he made his debut as the creator of park architecture. And there was a lot of work going on. Large-scale work. Updated everything. Added attractions. They erected, what the townspeople wanted so much, a Ferris wheel. A special alley was allocated where the horses of the local racetrack rolled children and adults. They opened a laughter room, which immediately became popular, and from where laughter was heard all the time. And finally, we got the consent of the Luna Park from the Czech Republic: he will stay for a month on purpose to work here in the revived park. And such a touch, which the locals sincerely welcomed: the park was now officially guarded by the police. Together with the lights constantly turned on at night, he ceased to be dangerous.
And while all this was being done in the park, Pavel was working on his object, as the housekeeper called him. He radically changed the appearance of a small gatehouse: now it was a small medieval castle, which can still be seen in Scandinavia. Iron and metal became the dominant material. In combination with artificial granite cladding, and it was used in the exterior decoration of the entire residential complex, it turned out to be a single whole: a small building impressed with its fortress, which, if I may say so, gave calmness, absolutely without causing fear. Pavel himself liked what happened. He still knew neither architectural styles, nor classical or avant-garde combinations of materials, colors and shades. He didn’t even realize that he had an innate talent. And if there was one thing Pavel could secretly praise himself for, it was that he no longer wanted to look into a glass. And Pavel also discovered what it’s like to live in an apartment.
The housekeeper tripled Pavel’s salary, appointing him senior among the watchmen. And he suggested where a small but decent apartment with a full filling is being rented now. Pavel immediately moved there. And having received an old but working computer as a gift from the same housekeeper, he plunged headlong into the architectural theme. And I discovered MAF – small architectural forms. It turns out that they, being called small forms, can make a huge transformation of the territory. In the residential complex where Pavel now worked, there was enough space and a suitable landscape to place sculptures here. Against the background of green lawns in the image and likeness of English, small abstract sculptures made of metal are the perfect solution. Pavel made some sketches. And he did them for the first time. But the first pancake didn’t turn out to be a lump – when he showed it to the housekeeper, he even whistled with pleasure. And he gave his “go-ahead”, saying that Pavel could count on new materials. He will pay for the purchase. Almost all the residents of this rich and modern residential complex met Pavel. Moreover, they showed their guests what a house territory might look like, which has sports and children’s playgrounds, green areas for recreation, and all this in one company with small and emotional sculptures made of metal.
One of the guests headed a local TV company. And I lit up to make several broadcasts about how a residential complex located on a standard plot might look like. And filming began. First, from the gatehouse, which has become almost a copy of the Danish castle in Elsinore. Then the house territory with its green zone, where various sculptures stood, was filmed in detail. Well, of course, the author of all this was needed. Pavel refused to act.
Well, what especially did he do? But TV people know how to persuade. And persuaded. However, they tried to find out why Pavel wants to remain incognito. Well, he couldn’t tell them that he was ashamed: what if the girl with whom he had done such a swinish thing would see him? In short, the whole video was accompanied by a story-Pavel’s explanation of what it is and what it is made of. And at the end, the camera stopped on his face until the credits rolled, and did not let Pavel out of sight.
As soon as the documentary about Pavel and his work was released, our blogger immediately recognized the author of the transformed hut in the park. And I went to the editor-in-chief of the TV company. He said that Pavel had done much more than the magnificent interior of the residential complex and the renovated park. Pavel, most likely without setting a goal to remind himself that the townspeople, not the mayor, are the main ones where they live, pulled their consciousness out of them: this is their city.
So another movie came out. Documentary. Half an hour. And this film opened a new page in Pavel’s biography: he received recognition. And with it, a huge front of work: orders fell not only from their hometown. He was asked to develop a landscape design by his neighbors. Pavel opened his workshop. I found like-minded people. Then I got out to St. Petersburg. And he could not leave Peterhof with its fountains and cascades. In the same way, he could not leave the Summer Garden. He absorbed the amazing culture of outdoor sculptures, marveling at how long people have owned this culture…
But another page has now appeared in Pavel’s biography. He didn’t even dare to think about her: one day the very girl he had never forgotten came to his workshop. He recognized her immediately, but didn’t know how to behave. But she understood. The girl said that she was sincerely glad about how Pavel’s life turned out. And that she wishes him good luck and success. That’s all she said, and she was about to leave. Not expecting from himself, he approached her and, looking into her eyes, said:
– I’m sorry. And know that I loved you and love you.
She answered unexpectedly too:
– And you know that I love you too…
So ended one dramatic part of this story. But to be continued. Already without drama: this is the story of two successful good people whose son is growing up. And although he is only five years old, he already understands architecture. Which both parents are very proud of.