"SHINEL"

This story was written at the urgent request of my old friend Slava Khomyakov.

There is nothing to do with Nikolai Vasilievich.

All events actually happened.

 

 

     It was the second winter of my service in the Soviet army. All this happened in the Kantemirovsk division, in the 43rd regiment of the 2nd battalion in the 4th tank company, the second platoon of which I was called to command. From the very beginning, I did not consider it my calling. It just happened. I ended up in the army in just 40 minutes. The personnel officer of the institute where I worked personally asked me to drive up to the military registration and enlistment office, they say there you need to get a Starley star and get an entry on your military card. Well it is necessary, it is necessary. I'm coming. I sit in the office. I'm waiting. There are two more guys with me. We wait. We are silent. Sopim. Finally, the question was born: "Ah ... trisch captain, how long will it take? .."

     Nikolai Vasilievich would have made a silent stage here. Yes, it actually happened, but it was impossible to call her dumb in any way. One of the three of us broke up a real hysteria with facial expressions and gestures, shouts and vyshepta, tears, nozzles and drooling, which was somehow awkward to look at. But interesting. The thing is, he started first. But if he had hesitated, we would undoubtedly have engaged in the same action, since we certainly experienced the same feelings.  But he was the first. And looking at him, I unexpectedly caught the slippery thought that I would not have behaved this way. Something similar was felt by our third comrade in the happened misfortune. Glory to the heroes who walk first!

     In general, the next day  I was already in the division ... So I became a military man. Dvuhgadyushnik. Thunderstorm of imperialism.

    They gave me, as expected, different clothes, sorry, uniform. Everyday, field, front and many other things. But here's an overcoat of my size on  the warehouses of the division were not found. I'm a healthy guy (a meter and a half or two, as the company commander used to say) - 193 cm from the floor. And I had to order an overcoat in a military studio and it was ready already in a month. And she was big, heavy and somewhat monstrous. But on the other hand, from some very fabric for senior commanders and chiefs, as the dressmaker whispered to me at the fitting, clearly proud of herself and, as it seemed to me, of me  also at the same time.

     Closer, reader, to the story I want to share. Getting closer ... But in order.

     The good thing about serving 27-year-olds is that you already know something better than others, you are almost not afraid of anything that in every episode, every scene of this life performance (where you have the main role) you try to spot something funny. And this good here - there is nowhere to put. Although things happened that were not at all funny, but quite tragic. But more on that later.

     So, behind them were 2 wars (that is, exercises), a parade on Red Square, 2 reinforcements. (For a long time I could not get rid of these language monsters - "personnel", "food intake", "headdress", "right shoulder forward", leading to the constant delight of my friends who did not serve). In the second winter of the service, I was already like a fish in water in all the intricacies of army life. At least I thought so. But, as it turned out,  I was very wrong.

    By that time I had a 7-month-old daughter and a wonderful wife at that time. We were given a room in a communal apartment where we lived. Usually I bought something from the division for food for the house.

    So, it happened to me to go to the outfit in the dining room. Naturally the boss. The task is simple. Establish a service, appoint responsible persons, make timely comments, ensure that the sergeants appointed by the senior,  making sure everything happens on time. The dining room is not a guard, where you have the opportunity and the right to rest lying down without taking off your equipment, where you have your place  - a table with communication means, where you sit for a day. There is no such place in the dining room outfit.

      This became the circumstance of what happened next.

    As I said, it was winter. It's terribly cold outside. It's terribly hot indoors. And, being in the room, the overcoat had to be taken off  take off. But somehow there was nowhere to put her. And this object was very heavy. In short, I found a certain corridor dead end with a window, far from the smart bustle. And so I hung this part of the uniform of my clothes on the window handle.

     The agile outfit has some free time between meals. A good Soviet soldier (a good soldier is neither harm nor good, as the unforgettable company commander used to say) immediately falls asleep at this time. And a Soviet officer, who has done his duty correctly, has 40 minutes - an hour of free time.  And during this time I came up with the idea of driving and buying home delicious Mozhaisk milk, which is always  sold in the officers' mess.

     After making sure that everything was in order, I moved into that distant corridor, in which my greatcoat lived on a hook. I got dressed. Buttoned up. He put his hand into his pocket, where the money was lying, which should have been enough for milk.

    

     There was no money ...

    

     Probably everyone experienced this disgusting sensation  from the fact that you were robbed. This is really disgusting. The wise one, like my grandmother, will say - let all troubles be like this. Well, then you are wise ...

    With a decisive step, with a wave of my hands, I marched to the place of maximum concentration of soldiers sleeping in different positions. "Pa-ad'yoo-o-am!" - I barked into the air with a loud command team.

     In about a minute and a half, the military woke up and assumed an upright position. With the expression with which good people read a verse in order to get "excellent", a fiery speech was made that some shameless  the scoundrel, being a shameless scoundrel and the offspring of crocodiles, disdaining the moral foundations, the laws of the fighting brotherhood and socialist hostel, with his dirty, hooked fingers, violating the sacred inviolability, entered the pocket of his closest commander and boss's overcoat and, with an unknown purpose, took all the money that was there until payday (about ten thirty), which were intended to partially satisfy the growing hunger of a growing organism while still small, but already now, and even more so in the future, a very wonderful beauty and indispensable pride and happiness of everyone who came into contact with her at least once, but not in the same way as he did this is this one. Which is right here right here.

     Having inhaled the necessary air, I continued.

     Right now. I'm going to hang this robbed overcoat of mine right now. To the same place where she was. I'll go myself. Without an overcoat. On FROST, damn it. I'll be back. And there was everything in place, in the same pocket. Crap.

     The troops were silent.

     And I left, climbing again into that distant dead end and leaving my overcoat on the same window handle.

    I generally believe in people. Sometimes I don't even close the car at night. The bars on the windows are not about me. And then I was just sure that I was among normal guys, that we had about the same problems, that we were together for demobilization and all that.

     When I returned, I walked past the soldiers, already busy with an elegant fuss. I went up to the second floor. I thought that I still need to buy milk, and that now I would have to go after him, although I should already be here, and that I would not tell anyone about this misunderstanding, that, of course, they would return the money to me, well, maybe they’ll squeeze 14 kopecks for a smoke, this is sacred ...

I went up to the second floor, went through one corridor. Others. And here is the turn to that dead end ...

    

     THERE WAS NO SHINEL ...

     There was no more. Nowhere. She disappeared.

 

     A few months later, the chief of the company confessed to me that the demobilized album, upholstered with an overcoat made of such a fabric, is EVERYTHING. It's so cool that for this any grandfather will not sell his homeland, but will forgive everything to anyone, well, who is not a schmuck, and maybe even that, Comrade Lieutenant. But it's not us, it's probably someone from the infantry.

     I also remembered. Soviet soldiers had a creative duty to sing a song while marching in formation. And in the company repertoire there was a song with the words "How dear you are for a soldier - a simple gray overcoat." And before the solo the company commander asked the chorus: "What are we going to sing? When is the horned one or Armor strong?"  

1987 - 2017.

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