This is my house. It’s small, yes, but I didn’t need a bigger one because I was just as small. I kept a goat in the annex and her name was Jeanne. In honor of Jeanne d’Arc. My father Beso worked in Tbilisi and he didn’t like Jeanna. So, when I was at school, he got drunk and choked her to death.
Yes, this is not Stalin’s real photo album. This is the work of a writer Nodar Djin who has tried to imagine the way Stalin’s photo album looked like if he had one.
It’s me at school. I’m in the back raw, but in the middle. The photographer didn’t let me get closer to the pillow, even though I was his best pupil. Probably, he was bribed. By those who are next to the pillow, not by their parents. My parent, seeing the picture, told me to grow faster. But he liked it in general because one cannot see smallpox scars on my face in it.
This is my mom, Keke. She named me Joseph in honor of Jesus’s father, the one who lived on the ground. If she named me in honor of the one from the sky, I would have been the Almighty. She’d decided how to name me before I was born. If I were a girl, I would be Maro, like Jesus’s mother. I’m so happy that I am a boy. But Keke didn’t remember the day when I was born. She thought it was one week after Christmas or something. But that’s not true. Everybody knows now when I was born. One week after Christmas I was christened.
I was 20 when I got my first job in the observatory in Tbilisi. I made good money. The scarf is expensive. One of the policemen who’d been conducting a search, called me intellectual. He said, ‘Ok, Fool’, and so wrote it down. By that time I already didn’t like intellectuals because all of them were gay. I knew one who at the same time was both an intellectual and a Don Juan. He slept with men but wooed women as well. They say that Don Juan was gay too.
As the time went by, I’ve got a beard. But I still had the same scarf. I refused to become intellectual but I still remained homeless.
I’m 37 and I’ve received my second job. I am a Minister. In the book I told everything. I used to keep a diary but I lost it. It must have been stolen. But in the diary I wrote about abstract things only, like the difference between optimism and hope. Optimism is a trait of your soul. Hope is something which even a pessimist can have. At that time I was just like this, a pessimist with a hope. The hope to get everything.