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Unfiled October 1, 2004
Hight Society Evening
By Edward Limonov Browse author

I arrived to "Praga" restaurant by smallest Russian vehicle -- "Oka" one-door tiny car, where we were packed, four National-Bolsheviks, counting our driver -- Yuri, ex-patrol man. Other distinguished guests of Radio "Echo of Moscow" were driving much more distinguished vehicles -- I noticed them stepping out of foreign "BMW's" and "Mercedeses". Yuri have stayed in his tiny car, as I comrades Dmitri and Iliya went to restaurant. We when through metallo-detectors, then mounted on second floor, where jass band was playing. "Praga" is old-fashion building full of columns, huge windows, carpets, palm trees, all that retro chic, you know. So Jazz is playing, National-Bolsheviks on my sides, I am entering that gathering of beaumonde. It is 19:15. Although soiree have started at 19, the place is swarming with people.

First who I saw was chef-editor Alexei Venedistov, his red scalp hair looking like a barbed wire bouquet. My butterfly-tie, white shirt and black velvet jacket made him happy. He shaked my hand and said in delighted voice -- The only man wearing a butterfly-tie here is the leader of National Bolsheviks party! -- I have counted on your appreciation -- said I. Congratulations, your radio is only one left island of liberty in Russia.

Bronzed Irina Khakamada emerged from a crowd. I am working on my comrades to get you into Committee of 2008 -- said Khakamada. At least we will have one, who is doing things, the others only talk. You remember, I told you your party should switch from "food terrorism" to make serious projects... You did it. You should talk to Nemtsov about "Committee of 2008". -- Will Ministry of Justice register your party "Free Russia?" asked I. -- I don't think so, Khakamada said. -- I don't believe it either, said I. -- My comrades liberals are making plans for elections in 2008. I personally don't believe it will be elections, Khakamada said.

Jazz is cool, white Georgian wine is cool also. Secretary of East European embassy give to me his visit card. Journalist from Spanish newspaper asks about my telephone. Two girls from French consulate stopped by, we speak French for a few minutes. Then I see a woman from my past -- at least from twenty years ago. Irene is her name, she was translator of Francois Mitterrand, as well as escorted Jacques Chirac to Russia and now she is charge d'affaires in French Embassy. She is will a tall man in dark-grey suit, wearing small red stripe on his jacket -- Legion of Honor. I kissed Irene, who introduced me to man who happened to be French Ambassador. She said -- that is monsieur Limonov, our French citizen, "co-citoyen" she said. It sounded sarcastically, but I am holder of a French passport. Ambassador asked about me visiting France. I said that I am afraid that Russian authorities will not let me back to Russia. Ambassador probably was happy to hear that troublemaker will stay on Russian soil.

Zhironovsky was passing near. I found his eyes by mine and said, "Good evening Vladimir Volfovich." He shaked my hand -- Your beard, he said, looks good on you. -- Why don't you have a beard? I suggested. -- Me? Don't want, too much trouble... -- How is your abouts? I asked. -- My beard? misunderstood he. -- No, you, your party, how are you? -- Tired, Zhironovsky said, tired. And he looked tired: grey sheen, unshaven two days old bristles on his cheeks... He looked as old Mussolini just before arrest. Liberal-Democrat Party camera was following Zhirinovsky, he filmed all Zhironovsky's movements. I said "We all love you, Vladimir Volfovich," what wasn't truth, and he moved from me, satisfied, I guess.

I gulped a glass of white wine, to prepare myself to talk to communists. A group of them were eating and drinking, crowded around Zuganov. I shaked hand to second in command, to Melnikov and started conversation. I thanked communists for helping to liberate two National Bolsheviks Party activists from prison in Moldova. It was possible to do because Moldova's president Voronov is communist himself. Then Zuganov joined us in conversation. -- And what do you think about situation? he asked me. I said that I like how the things go, that President Putin does everything in order to reject all groups of society. -- Look around, Gennadi Andreivich, I said, was it possible to imagine to gather such different people together even few years ago? -- We are here thanks to Putin. He unified opposition. -- And what do you think about this summer events? Asked Zuganov. Obviously he wanted to hear from me what do I think about his party split. I said that is fault of vanity and megalomaniac of certains of communists leader. -- You should more carefully choose your comrades, said I. Zuganov nodded. That is his usual manner to talk to people, to ask questions. Difficult to say is he interested in your opinion, or that is communist politeness.

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