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Harder than stone, softer than a rose

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  Harder than stone, softer than a rose
  People - harder than stone, tender than roses.
   Leonid was lying on the green grass, his arms outstretched to the sides, as if hugging the ground as the woman he loves. The window of his apartment on the eighth floor was uncovered. About resuscitation machines were three men in blue robes and smoking. Police car drove up. As soon as it happened, Dasha immediately called to Sergei.
   Sergey took out a pack of cigarettes a raincoat and a lighter, lit a cigarette. Around there were a lot of onlookers. Two grannies remembered who it could be, who lived in the apartment on the eighth floor.
   Should be raised in an apartment? Should talk with Dasha? And what need to say to her? Express condolences? Now probably she"s hysterical. Nausea rolled to his throat.
   Sergei stepped aside, found a bench and sat down.
   Surely police want to question him. Although how do they know that he is his friend? Sergei watched as a police officer, the cap-tain spoke with two grannies and wrote something down on a piece.
   On the streets of yellow buses and cars crawled. The sky was a beautiful blue and, as often happens in May. Somewhere birds were chirping and the music were playing.
   He wanted to get away from this terrible place and left.
   He was only thirty-seven, like Sergei as Pushkin, when he was killed. Only Leonid was not Pushkin. Who now remembers about him? He also wrote. Even he published a book once. How many of these writers are now in the country? About his death did not write in the newspapers, and Andrey Malakhov did not devote his memory transmission. How many on a day in the country to commit suicide? Finish them all: plumbers, laborers, drivers, art-ists and the unemployed. Better than the writer of the unem-ployed? Probably it"s nothing.
   Three days passed. Sergei came to the cemetery, when the tomb was empty. He stood at the wooden cross and smoked. On the grave wreaths and fresh flowers lay.
   Sergei had a rough facial features, his brown hair was in a lot of gray hair. In his movements and the way was something aristo-cratic, although his family never had intellectuals or aristocrats.
   The weather was beautiful again.
   Sergey went to the Dasha.
   In a single room, guests sat among them Sergei learned only Leonid's mother in law. There were three more some men, prob-ably they were relatives Dashi or Leonid, and two women are likely to Dasha's girlfriends.
   Sergey retired with Dasha in the kitchen. They lit up. Dasha opened the window.
   "From friends, no one even came to the wake, neither Artem nor Nikita or Maxim. And here, no one came. Only you" said Dasha.
   Sergei looked at Dasha and stared out the window again. She was very beautiful: round face, blond hair, all perfectly straight. When he looked at her face, all the items blurred on its back-ground into some shapeless, which has no clear outlines and borders. Sergei thought that beauty is something of a god. Just what kind of a god or a goddess or a deity? Perhaps this is some dark deity. He remembered the Mel Gibson movie "Apocalypse". There Mayan priests perform sacrifices to their god, beheaded people black stone knives, sickles at the top of the pyramid. Head rolled down the pyramid, and dancing people caught it in the nets. Somehow Sergey presented Leonid in the form of one of these victims.
   "What's on your mind?" - Asked Dasha. "You think it's me is to blame?"
   "No. No one has done wrong."
   "And what the hell he wrote all these books that no one type it?"
   "It's hard to explain."
   "Because impossible."
   "It is possible. Not everybody can understand what the real creativity. I did not always get to a point where I understand what I am doing worthwhile things. And sometimes it happens that you close your eyes and feel yourself weightless in the air space between heaven and earth, look down and see the city with white houses on the green hill. As if you move in time. It's better than sex with love girlfriend."
   "You're all crazy. But at least you do not jump out of the window."
   "I have difficult moments a life too. They just have to survive as a disease. Maybe I'm too fond the life."
   Sergei drank three glasses of vodka for remembrance of the de-ceased. He did not hear what guests say. Yesterday he called and told Artem wich talking to a policeman. Dasha and Leonid's mather in-law gave contradictory statements about what hap-pened. First, they argued that they were not in the room when Leonid gets out of the window. Then witnesses have denied. They confessed that they were in the room when Leonid opened the window and swung his legs over the sill outside. He sat for a minute. Why was not trying to stop him? Dasha said she thought Leonid just scares her and her mother. What they all said? No Dasha or her mother could not remember. Clearly, most likely the quarrel was as usual from money, from of its eternal shortage. Thank god the daughter Irina during all this was in school.
   Last Sergei sees live Leonid four months ago. They were sitting in a cafe drinking beer, smoked a lot. Leonid said that he was in another black band and does not know how to get out of it. He worked as an engineer. At the firm have any problems. The com-pany was on the verge of bankruptcy, the salary cut. Dasha de-manded that Leonid was looking for a new job. Leonid searched but could not find something worthwhile, and with previous work it was not released. There was a time when it is good money, and his wife probably got used to the good life, could not come to terms with his failure. Apparently even then Leonid wanted to speak out, because it has become painful. Sergey offered him a while to get away from his wife and live with their parents. Then he realized that the conflict between him and Dasha quite serious. But Leonid tolerated. He loved his wife and did not change her for twelve years of marriage.
   Sergei left the Leonid and Dasha's apartment. In the courtyard, he sat on the bench and lit a cigarette. His personal life also evolved unsuccessful. He was alone. A loneliness is hard, but looking at a life of Leonid life and their married friends, Sergei thought that maybe he's one lucky them all together. He had women and casual relationships. He could not for someone to catch. Maybe he was a perfectionist? He did not earn a lot, but it was enough for life. Women always want their men to earn a lot, but those who earn a lot, they are few, and they have a great se-lection, they are spoiled. Therefore, women often have to carry out the selection of those who earn little and make them, push them to ensure that they earn a lot, to the fact that they cannot do or do not want. The desire of wives to the impossible - that's the cause of many conflicts in families. It would be better if they did not marry, but the trouble is that every woman wants to have a family.
   Sergey smoked got up and went along the house. At the en-trance, he passed, there was a spectacular groomed brunette thirty years in trendy purple cloak. She was a beautiful narrow face and bright lipstick. Out of the house came out a little fat bald middle-aged man in a suit and tie. The brunette took his arm, and they followed Sergei.
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