14 August 1857

…naturally, staying and going are polar opposites, but there is a subtlety herein overlooked.  To stay means one is not to go, and to go means one is not to stay, and what’s more in order to go one must have somewhere to go to, and this I am convinced is the heart of all man’s travails: Where have we to go?  And, far more importantly, where have I to go?  Is there no place for one such as I, who, while showing some promise in the Arts and in the making of honey, is in the end not too tall and in possession of only a modicum of good taste?


15 August 1857

Lordy me, am I hot!  This smoke shooting from my ears is unbearable!  It whistles at night, like a tea kettle.  If only one could find good cork these days.  I must see Galashnikov in the morning, for I am certainly on the verge of breakdown…





A plenary commission was hastily organized.  The myopic Mayor sat beside the pleasant Peasant, with the Priest and the Sheriff besides, and one could see by their faces that they suspected one another of having more than his fair share of the blinis.  Together with some town’s people, and with Mama Temkin, Anton Antonovich Ovitch, and Mikhail Papavich Dzhugashvili, they awaited Doctor Vassilli Galashnikov’s diagnosis.


“Misha Temkin,” said the doctor, “was conflicted.”


The audience took a collective gasp and was instantly abuzz.  Mama Temkin fainted.  The Mayor hammered for silence, but due to his poor eyesight hit the Peasant on the head, and the Peasant screamed aloud, and this got the audience silent instead.