“The savage extremities of Love” by Pavel Pepperstein (from his book “Spring”).

In the “Peking” restaurant in the centre of Moscow there lived a man whose right hand was passionately in love with his left one. The slightest thing sent it dashing to the right hand, hugging and kneading it, as if it wanted to fuse with it completely. And what utter madness all this led to! One day the right hand noticed that their Owner liked to scratch his Adam’s apple with his left hand. Well then, as they say, all of the twenty-six lower heavens were clouded over by the jealousy of love. The right hand waited for their Owner to go to sleep, crept up to the throat – and started strangling it. The brainless creature almost killed the Owner and itself at the same time. It was a good thing the Owner woke up at the last moment and saw that his life was hanging by a thread. He started pulling off the right hand with the left one, but the right one was stronger, more muscular. He fell on it with all the weight of his body, but it broke free, he couldn’t restrain it. He called for help. His friends, hotheaded people, came running up and they started stamping on the hand with their feet. The Owner cried out in pain – it was his hand after all. Since then he has to wear a heavy manacle on that hand. His right hand just dangles there, fettered, it can’t budge at all. The left one sometimes creeps over to it out of pity and strokes it a bit, to console it. Only love can lead to such savage extremities.

© Pavel Pepperstein, 2010

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