This was taken outside Ari’s dacha near Odessa at a time when we were all much more innocent. Although only a bit of my own dapper collar is on show (thanks wrk), comrades Raymond, Drong, and Treellama–the old guard–are here. Things took a grim turn shortly after that fall; let’s try to find ourselves, starting back-
Ray was always a believer–an Old Believer, to be precise…until one morning whilst sifting through Solovyov’s garbage, organizing breakfast, he found a bundle of Jesuit polemics. Behoving a tonsured Reader, he read them and was changed. Ray went to seek out new papal pals over the mountains. I remember the last liturgy we attended together, an all-night-vigil at Nevsky Cathedral–his kiss of peace was dry, distant, distinctly Latin: sunt lacrimae rerum.
Drong got turned onto Traditionalism in a big way when he heard Mr. Plyae namecheck René Guénon at one of his storied garden parties. His search for the imam of his own being led him far afield–casting runes with Lovinescu at the latter’s hoary manor in the Carpathians, cracking skulls in a hushed-up stint with the Italian Ordine Nuovo, down-and-out and pole dancing (sacred poles, mind you) in Bloomington, Indiana with the remnant of Schuon’s ill-fated Maryamiyyah–Drong was lost to us; lost in a little toybox of perennialism, peyote, and ねこかわいい.
I miss you, Drong. I think of you every time the kettle boils.
Deaf to the warnings of his father-confessor, Mr. Smith set off in 1962 for a tour of the diaspora in the the American Midwest. He never arrived. Ken Olsen’s thugs were prowling the docks; our beloved brooder found himself press-ganged and marched to Maynard for a life of toil in the deepest warrens under The Mill. His eyesight withered in the gloom, but his hair–or something like it–grew back, no doubt due to inhaling the eldritch vapours of the JUICE eddying in the VAXen herds’ feeding troughs. Treellama’s part in events darkly hinted at elsewhere remains unclear to me.
’tis small wonder 090909 was a rather lowkey affair.