Each mind is a mythology of Self and Non-Self, woven out of facts and fictions. "Bottom Feeder" is a collection of stories by Pavel Somov, a Russian-American psychologist-author, who grew up in the Soviet Union.
Psychologist, author (Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, Eating the Moment), international speaker, CrossFit enthusiast, on Advisory Board of Mindfulness Project (London, UK). A modern-day ape continuously lost and found in the jungle of Real and Abstract, ever interested in the monkey business of being human. I grew up in Russia, served in the Soviet military, and immigrated to US in my early twenties. You can find me online at drsomov.com or pavelsomov.com. I am also on Twitter @pavelgsomov and on Instagram #unprincipledknowledge
You never know what you run into on a mid-night run through the proletarian projects of Moscow.
In the dark, I made out a figure of a man, on the bench, sort of slouching to the side, and a dog laying down around his feet, sharp ears standing tall and on guard, panting, warm air billowing out of its muzzle. I turned back and came up to the fence. Taking off my headphones, I called out: “Hey, guy! Are you ok?” There was no answer but the dog bent her ears back and issued a whining noise. I jumped over the fence to investigate. Not knowing the dog, I approached the bench slowly. I took off my left glove, bent down a bit, and offered my hand for the dog to sniff, my eyes, however, fixed on the man, who seemed motionless. The dog did stand up but didn’t oppose my advance and settled down immediately after sniffing my hand, its leash – I noticed - being tied to the iron-wrought legs of the bench. I poked the man with my left hand and, still not getting any vital signs, slapped him a bit harder on his shoulder. He didn’t protest. The dead generally don’t. For no reason at all, I started trying to straighten him up on the bench but Earth’s controlling mistress of gravity wouldn’t have it. The body kept falling over to the side, even worse than before. He was frozen. I leaned in to smell his breath and did pick up a strong odor but that means nothing in Russia – most older men, at least, where I am from, have a smell of hangover on them.