(Inside me, it was...)


Dear Zakhar Prilepin


A Chekhovian summer residence on an island not too far from Porvoo. Far enough to be too close to an oil refinery, whose lights shine like a metropolis across the water at night.

In this postmodern setting my parents and I, accompanied by Claymore the Cat, received Easter this spring. It was sunny, and warm. On occasion. Early Monday evening we packed our belongins and returned to the continent.

We didn't spot any roadblocks, like the one on the path to Emmaus; it was smooth sailing for us, once we'd crossed that humble stretch of sea in the aluminium boat.

The sea wasn't in the boat. Not too much of it anyway. We were: three humans and a cat.There were a couple of roadblocks in the sea. I think the proper name for them is a buoy. We saw now pro-Russians we could shoot. Luckily, since we had nothing to shoot them with.

We could have thrown our trash at them, however. That would have puzzled them no end, since pro-Russians as a rule leave their trash on the spot were they were. Someone bringing it along to the mainland with them would have caused a metaphysical crisis in a pro-Russian, if such a thing even exists. MC for a PR, I mean.

During the trip home I was reading Sin by Zakhar Prilepin. I had finished The Goldfinch and Rudin on the island, so Prilepin was all I had left. So to speak.

Ha ha. All I ever had, it seems...

Once we reached my apartment building, and I got the door open to the stairwell, I heard a high voice. Someone was crying, loud. A child, not too small, I'm afraid. A door slammed. Somebody running down the stairs.

Welcome back, the sounds said.

Welcome to Little Russia. Welcome to Planet Prilepin.

In truth he had never left me, Prilepin hadn't. I contributed a long while to painting the face of Jesus on a chocolate egg. Only now do I see whose face I was really after:


Dear Zakhar Prilepin,

you love your country so much, that's swell. That is just great. Why don't you stick to that feeling? Why don't you stick to your country? We don't want it. Nobody wants it... or you, for that matter.

You seem like a nice enough guy, yourself. That's what they say anyway.

It's your nationality that makes my stomach turn. A nation raised with lies, and so proud of its origins.

Maybe, just maybe you could distance yourself from it. A bit? Just a notch, no?

Call me a fool, but I was under the impression you were in the opposition...

Sincerely yours,

Matti Paasio

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