Monday, 24 August 2015

Evidence of my Time Travel!!!

Okay – I am in complete shock. It seems that evidence of MY OWN time travel – time travel that I as yet know nothing about; that for me has not happened yet – has been uncovered at the Mayakovsky museum. At the moment I have no idea what to think about this, or what to do about it, but this is what has happened:

Yesterday I had my meeting at the museum, at which the new director, who was visibly shaking with nervousness and unease, handed me an envelope with his name and my name on it, with an instruction (written by whom we don’t know) for him to give it to me (“Rosy Carrick (Leaver)”) specifically THIS Summer – the Summer of 2015. The entire museum building has been undergoing repairs for the last two years, and this envelope was found by workmen amongst a boxful of other old photos, letters and documents. 

Inside was another, much older envelope, which has obviously been opened at some point, and half of which has disintegrated/been ripped away. The postage date stamp on the back says the 7th August 1934. On the bottom half is just a simple address, to Vsevolodivich Snegiryov (there is no first name, but maybe that is on the torn off part on the bottom left of the envelope), No. 8/12 Andreevskaya Street (a small street far out of the centre in the South West of Moscow).

The top half of the envelope has the address of the sender:

Klyazma Halt (“polustanok” – which translates literally as  “half the machine”, or “half the machine tool”),
North Railway Road.

Klyazma is the name of a factory, but I don’t know what sort.

And inside this envelope was this letter, dated 1928:

At the moment I am getting ready to leave Moscow and come back to England. I have the letter with me and will start to deal with it when I get home, but for now... is this not completely insane?! I have spent the last month tracing Mayakovsky's footsteps on the streets of St Petersburg and Moscow, and thinking about the uncanniness of watching a show in the Stray Dog, of standing at the front door of his house in Zhukovsky Street, of walking along the cobbled streets of Kuznetsky Most and, yesterday, of walking up the stairs to his own office room in Lubyanka passage, the place of his death. Can it really be that I have not only been tracing our movements through the same space but different times, but that I was in fact really there, in his time too?

When I first met Yelena in 2012, she frequently commented on our immediately close relationship. I had been a little worried about going to stay with an 86 year old woman about whom I knew nothing at all except that she was the daughter of Mayakovsky, but in spite of this, and of the massive age gap between us, we got on extremely well, and it was like we'd known each other for years – so much so that when she gave me a copy of her book, Mayakovsky In Manhattan, she wrote this dedication on the first page:

I am now beginning to question everything in my past in a way that is making me feel quite crazy. I have to go to the aiport to go home now so I can't write anymore, but I will decide what to do when I get back.


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