Holy Man

Our friend Natasha described Lyova as a “holy man. He prays for us all”. I don’t know what our Grasshopper believes, I didn’t ask. He’s a physician by education and avocation. He flies in the clouds, he lives and breathes numbers and formulas. But I’m absolutely certain it’s people like him who keep the world in balance–so I agree with Natasha. Not politicians, stars, and celebs. Everything depends on people like Lev. I know it, I’ve seen it, I feel it.
There is an amazing person in the tiny town of Pervomaysk, which is right in the line of fire in LPR. Most people around him treat him as slightly deranged. Or blessed. But you should have seen his bright eyes. Eyes, genuine eyes, full of life and earnestness. There is nothing ulterior in them, nothing that tears us from within.


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Grasshopper

I will arrive in Pervomaysk and you know what? The first thing I’ll do is drive down the Makushkin Street, away from the central square with the Lenin. I’ll be driving between the poplars arrayed along the road as if they were soldiers. They will stand and greet me. Poplars. Then I will turn into a tiny lane. There will be swans carved from tires, and flowers from plastic bottles. I will come to a tiny home, ascend the stairs to the second floor. Along the way everything will be strewn with five-liter bottles filled with water. Then I will hear rumbling and–it’s Lyova, our grasshopper, who opens the door and is dumbstruck:
–Dunya!
–Lyova!
And I will be interrogating our Lyova–what should we buy, what to bring? Why is his leg hurting? What about arm joints? Is he cold? Is there clothing? What about the passport? Lyova, I haven’t seen you for a hundred years, my dear!
And Lyova, getting up on his one leg, will throw off the crutches and exclaim boldly: “look, I can still do this!” And turn around on his one leg. I have seen this many times and it seems he really likes to shock me like that.
I will be in awe, and why not? Lyova lost a leg back in ’14 after a shelling. He’s been hopping along on one leg since then. He uses crutches, but can make do without.
So I’ll be bugging Lyova, and he, I guarantee it, he’ll ask for another book. About physics and the secrets of the Universe.

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A present for Lev

Do you remember Lev?
Yes yes, that very same physics-technology graduate who lives in Pervomaysk, LPR, with a Soviet passport?
Who lost a leg in 2014 due to artillery bombardment?
Well, we visited Lev in March.
And we brought a present. Not just any present, but the kind of present someone who is studying the mathematical definition of the universe really needs.

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