Кямал Гасанов является автором многочисленных романов (в соавторстве с Самуэлем Гилбертом), стихов, рассказов и пьес. Получил степень бакалавра в Береа Колледж в Кентукки. После окончания колледжа устроился на работу в Центральном Банке Азербайджана. В настоящий момент работает над своим третьим романом “Metaxophilia”.
Kamal Hasanov is the author of numerous novels (together with Samuel Gilbert), poems, short stories, and plays. He went to Berea College in Kentucky, where he earned B.S. in Business Administration. After graduating from college, Kamal went on to become a central banker in Azerbaijan. He is currently finishing his third novel “Metaxophilia”.
Shred a tear
Fuad Mehdiyev sat on his couch. The microwave hummed a lackluster chorus as his evening meal slowly rotated. The television leaked optical diversions and Fuad was bored. His cat lay across his feet and purred contently, unaware of Fuad as he was of it. The microwave dinged and Fuad heaved himself from the couch to cross the room and pull the dinner out. The vari-colored mix of bright vegetables and dun colored meat served in gravy did little to affect the mood. Fuad carried the dinner across the room, set it on a low sitting table in front of the couch, then went to retrieve his plastic fork. He ate slowly and deliberately, trying to savor every morsel of food (not as savory as the box ad had predicted after all) and immersed himself in the further leakings of the television. The news was on and a reporter Sana Muradova was chattering away on the latest marketing news.
Life had reached its climax long ago and passed Fuad as it sped on towards some greater place. He had been young once, long ago it seemed. Now he was crawling towards a mid-life crisis that would demand as little energy as possible and would only consume as much as mandatory. It was hard for him to remember a time when his gut had not sagged and when his eyes, now so dull and gray, had been hard and grey – full of energy and challenge. His hair had not always been at odds with his scalp, and his face had not always exhibited so many fine wrinkles – a sure sign of getting old. Once he had possessed a full, thick mane and a tanned face that brought the women home. Once…
Fuad Mehdiyev, recent master recipient, was on top of the world. He had graduated top of his class from Baku State University, with honors no less. A degree in communications was his reward for years of late and sleepless nights and hard work. His degree had further helped him secure the job of media coordinator for a major local network. He had been working hard for the past six months. Six months of further sacrifice, of always saying good morning to his boss and always having an answer ready when asked a question. It had all come to this. Today was the day. The day. He would be receiving the major assignment of his career. His official title was media coordinator, but contained within that lowly title was a path to a brighter future. He wouldn’t get a second chance to impress his boss.
It was early in the morning as Fuad awaited his boss’ arrival; Mr. Guliyev was the sort who did not waste time. As Fuad anticipated Mr. Guliyev arrived not long after he had and at once was giving instruction to all those who closed in around him like a flock a birds. He then scattered the birds with a wave of his hand and entered Fuad’s office. For Fuad this moment alone was a sort of test; if he could demonstrate his confidence then he would make a further good impression on Mr. Guliyev. He stood to shake his boss’ hand and looked him in the eye, holding the gaze for perhaps a second more than was necessary. It was all part of a larger scheme.
Mr. Guliyev spent the next forty minutes carefully explaining and detailing the task he had for Fuad, it seemed that he had high hope for this recent graduate. Mr. Guliyev had conceived a concept for a new media campaign, something to pull on the heartstrings of the viewers and boost ratings. He was a man on the way to the top and was looking for young and rising stars to take to the top with him. It seemed Fuad was one of those stars. The campaign itself was going to be focused around the homeless problem in the community. It was something that Mr. Guliyev felt would not only boost ratings but may even (if done correctly) win a few local awards and further propel his rising star. He rose to leave, and handed Fuad a list of instructions supplementing those he had already given. As he went he left one final phrase, ‘call me Ali,’ and was gone.
Fuad sat for a few minutes contemplating the momentous nature of the task before him; if he succeeded it would forever win him a place at the station. It was then that he picked up his list of instructions where he had laid them on the desk; looking them over carefully he huffed. If he were going to make a deep impression it would be necessary to improvise, show that he could really think on his feet. After taking a last glance at the list of instructions, he tossed them into the trash can. Little could he understand the vast implications this one small action would have on him for the rest of his life.
Ali Guliyev (again just Mr. Guliyev) was angry. Though that was not quite enough to cover it, he was livid. The look on his face said it all. Fuad was sinking onto his chair and doing his best to look penitent.
“Not only did you botch the campaign but you cost us advertisers! They aren’t advertising on a network that runs crap like that!” He sighed and his shoulders slumped, it was like watching a landmark fall. “What do you want me say Mr. Mehdiyev, that it’s alright to just completely disregard the instructions of your superiors? Would you like me to say that it is okay to just ignore the things I say? I’m sorry but that is simply not how this company works, that’s not how I work. Pack your things and be out of here by lunch.”
Fuad opened his mouth to speak and Mr. Guliyev raised a hand to stop him.
“This isn’t something that can be discussed. I wish you luck wherever you go, but I’m afraid that your time here is over.” He made a dismissive wave and was out of the office. Fuad Mehdiyev was stunned. He had done his best, everything had seemed to work out perfectly, the campaign had even tested well, and still it had flopped. Fell to the ground in a flaming wreck. He began to pack his things into the cardboard box his boss had provided, he would have been grateful but it was too small to live in.
The lonely bachelor was preparing for bed. The leakings of the television had been long ago turned off and he was now in the middle of his nightly routine. The bedroom was empty, his bed was cold. Swirl the mouthwash and spit, then look in the mirror and check for pimples. He pulled back his hair and gazed at his receding hairline, a just-audible groan dripped out. Then he was off to bed. The bed was a queen, he only needed a twin but he couldn’t bring himself to buy one. His bed, his flaccid pillow and insufficient blankets, they were as much a part of him as his receding hair line and fine line wrinkles. He couldn’t understand it, but it was perhaps more true in spite of this. The last thought on his mind as he embraced the gloom of slumber was on his need to buy more frozen dinners.
The alarm was a harsh and screaming harpy. He slapped at it with increasing viciousness until it fell silent, pulled himself out of bed, yawned and stood. The coffee pot took too long and his tooth-paste-spit dripped on his tie. He had no time to change-merely he accepted his fate and rushed out of the door of his apartment and down the flight of stairs ( the elevators were out of order again) and was on his way to work.
It was a brisk walk and he had just enough time to stop at his favorite café before going into work. He grabbed his morning doughnut, ate it as he walked, spilled coffee on his shirt, and arrived at work with five minutes to spare. The best part of his morning.