Independent

Palych was not too much overfond of his neighbor.
Look, he built himself an impressive house, in a grip of crisis, crisis! – Three levels, sauna, garage. He installed outdoor barbecue, decorative lighting, septic (after one of the conversations hold with the neighbor Palych watched in the Internet and found a word “septic”, damned, treatment system, if we speak in our language, and not just simple ones, biochemical, wow!).

- “On gas, everything will operate on gas”, - the neighbor boasted to Palych who glued to the fence. – “Hot water on gas, stove and heating”.

On gas? Which gas? In this town the main gas pipeline wasn’t in a hurry to be installed. It wasn’t in a hurry with admirable regularity, as people in our huge country like to do. Giving lovely promises about “blue” gas but with charmless doing nothing. What kind of fig is the neighbor going to use to “feed” all this stuff?

- “Next week they will start mounting air heating. Have you heard about gas convectors?”
- “No”, - old man honestly said.
- “How wrong you are”, - neighbor is smiling; huge, well groomed, pompous, like his mansion. – “Closed combustor chamber, cast iron regenerative heat exchanger…. You hang it on the wall in each room and voila, you have individual climate control! If you want two degrees in one living-room – no problems. You want thirty degrees in another living-room – here it is.”

“How many living-rooms do you have, money grubber?” – Palych thought. – - “Tomorrow they will come to dig in gas tank”, - the neighbor shacked his head toward the pit dug next to the fence where the trench was lined from to the house; cool to send soldiers there – “and to install gas pipe to the house. Gas tank – you’ve never heard about it? Cistern to store gas! The heart of independent gasification! It will serve my house; it will sweat to provide with coziness and comfort. On gas, Palych, everything will be on gas!”

Where do people get money? Steal, I believe. They started it in time of Eltsyn and cannot still stop doing this. Let’s say like it is – they’ve been stealing all the time…

And what’s this, gas tank?
In the evening, after the conversation with the neighbor which distressed Palych, he went to the Internet. His grandson hardly taught him to use the net. “Gradpa, in the Net, you can find everything you want,” – Artemka kept repeating, grinding the old man what search is (“Yandex, Yandex will be enough for you”) and how it works exactly.

Palych opened the page and entered in search line: “Gas tank, what’s this”. He decided not to put interrogation mark – grandson taught him that the Internet would anyway understand. Shit, how smart it is!

In an hour Palych laid back on the armchair rolled to the table with computer and bent brows. There was a lot of information about gas tank but one website was enough to him. There was heaped high quantity of articles about miraculous cistern.

“So, big barrel with gas … Damn it, moreover independent”. Palych decided not to be in a hurry making conclusions. First, he decided to organize all that he’s read about gas tank and make brief summary.


In English, what is foreign language, gas holder means “holder for gas”. Previously, in the age before last, they looked like cylindrical giants, like whole factories. Today they are steel cisterns with different capacity, just dig it in on your lot and use it. These gas tanks are charged by liquefied petroleum gas, like usual cylinders but one charge is enough to use it during half a year or even a year. And then, lay gas pipeline from the cistern to your house, get your gas, and don’t care about the main gas pipeline. “The heart of the independent gas supply” – they swore on the website; this is the place where the neighbor picked it up. Only one day of mount works – and everything is ready. Fine goings-on!



Palych moved to the kitchen where he added some slightly warm water to the brew. Holding a mug in his wrinkled hands he started walking along the house which was not too big but old, heated by wood; here there is nothing to compare with neighbor’s house.

Independent gas tank … independent, so ambitious … protective coating, three layers, it doesn’t afraid of any corrosion… Heh, I would like to have such paint to refine the gate which’s started rusting… and this bag made of outlandish fabric used in airplanes… what’s the name? “Boeing,” oh! ... Independent, independent… miracle…” – thinking about it Palych fell asleep.

In his dream he hosted his neighbor in his house. On the table there was a cauldron with potatoes, fried chanterelles, pickles, meat and vegetables, cheese, sandwiches with caviar, started bottle of cognac – who knows where all this stuff appeared from, Palych didn’t know it; he’d never accepted guests so wealthy. Since that was a dream, why don’t we do that so wealthy, with fresh-grain caviar and amber cognac?

- “Your oven is irrational” – neighbor in Palych’s dream said, - “oh, so irrational! Cumbrous thing, can you see it? You could arrange cabinet on this area.”

- “And what about the rate of response? Have you thought about it?” – neighbor continued lecturing- “having stove heating you will not be able to play with temperature so much. It heats up long, and cools up slowly too – no good at all! How much warmth flies away in the chimney, do you know it? Now you understand!”

Little bit drunk (even in the dream), Palych indistinctly nodded eating salted cucumber.

- “Your “potbelly stove” will not be able to compete with gas, with air heating; oh, it will not be able to do that. Only disadvantages: maintain your stove, collect firewood, store it, unload… No any assistance from it, only slavery! Fire danger – it’s also exists. Automation is almost “zero” – one more disadvantage. Try to get hot water, ah? Palych, why are you silent? You don’t agree?”

Palych nodded. Palych was filling up. Palych raised his glass. He was tumbling on uncomfortable sofa and was smacking.


Next dream was less realistic. No any snacks and tableful conversations. Palych looked at cottage village from the bird's eye panorama. Helicopters were cruising over the lots. Each “chopper” had vertical gas tank fixed on the wire ropes below. A plane with eye-catching banner flew over the town: “INDIVIDUAL GASIFICATION FOR RESIDENTIAL AREAS! INDEPENDENT GAS SUPPLY FOR OBJECTS WITH DIFFERENT COMPLEXITY!”

There were a lot of dreams. The closer awaking up the more fantastic they became. Palych traveled inside 40 feet container which was carrying a cistern somewhere to the Far East. Palych dived in the past, not Russian but Chinese to see grand-parent of gas pipeline – bamboo tubes where gas flew from gas fields. Palych assembled gas convectors…

Finally he woke up.
Sun light was spread through the window, motes danced in the sunbeam. Palych stretched himself, bad joints responded by grumbling.

- “Palych, Palych!” – Neighbor called. Evidently from the behind of the fence; Palych wouldn’t hear him if the window was closed. “It seems they came, these gasificators”, - Palych thought feeling that he slept more than he’d gotten used. Much more. He slept out himself.

He remembered that he’d wanted to see how they would install gas cistern, - that’s why his neighbor was calling him. It’s high time! “The main thing is it not to detonate … they will dig it in next to the public fence … it might break glass in plant house and even worth… on the other hand it shouldn’t, it seems this thing is safe…” The website which Palych studied yesterday assured that independent gas had never been a reason of explosions beginning from 50teens of the previous century, when some cisterns on the factory of Mexicans were launched into the air. In fact everything is made in a dignified manner: safety valve, this and that. Outdoor gas equipment was completely safe.

 

 

Palych stood up, wiped his face with the palms and went out to the porch. The sun was standing exactly over the head, glancing from above to blackened chimney where the bricks at the top were cranked. Palych watched his old house almost embarrassedly, passed through creaky gate and moved along snow white plastic fence that the neighbor was very proud of.

Reached neighbor decares, first of all he saw a new gas tank fixed on the platform of manipulator. Independent, damn, with dark- green necktube, in protective bag that Palych read about yesterday on the website

The neighbor was in a hurry to move toward.
- Arrived, as I can see, - Palych said, - are they going to install it now?

The neighbor smiled.
- Everything is already installed. The guys didn’t cheat.
- How come, already installed? Where? – Palych started looking around. Only now he understood that he couldn’t see the trench and the pit. – But whose is it, the one which in on the truck?
- The other client’s. Not only me who wants to have independent gas. As for mine, it’s there.
- Where?
- Can you see green hat? Yes, yes, here it is. The headwear of gas tank! And the gas pipe which is under the ground runs to the house and surfaces near the socle.

- Palych followed the glance of his neighbor and stumbled upon green pipe with pointer indicator, seemed to be a manometer. Gas service pipe neatly entered the building through the hole drilled in decorative stone and bricks.

- A team of installers was collecting the tools. Professionals were in branded gear with labels (the logos “Gasification” and so on). Their suits and jackets made of strong fabric seemed to discipline and motivate to hard work. In spite of the heat, some of them had yellow hats with black bobs and company’s logo.

- Enjoy your equipment, - said the foreman of installers, little bit tired but smiling, - it will run like clockwork.
- Thank you! – neighbor said.
- Hope, like good clock? – Palych specified, watching his watch, captain’s watch, received from his father.
- Like the most reliable one. The winter will come and you’ll see. Gas will be evaporating even when the frost will start heinously behave.
– The man smiled and held out his hand. – So, we have to go. We have another order, not far from here, in the gardening cooperative.
Good luck!

After saying goodbye the foreman slipped to Palych’s dry fingers rectangular piece of paper, nice on the touch.

Old man dropped his eyes – business card. “GASIFICATION OF HOUSE IN 1 DAY!” - was written on the top of the card. Advertising card had contact information of the company, on the other side next to the phone numbers and the words “Skype” and “E-mail” that Palych didn’t know two gas tanks were shining – vertical and horizontal. Cisterns were shown in section view; they were fulfilled by blue gas.

Palych gave again a glance around the lot; it looked like as if a giant with complete flat-foot took a walk along it. The pit and the trench were filled in by river sand and covered by a layer of the ground.

Palych couldn’t hide that he was upset.
- I wanted so much to have a bit of a look how it came! Yesterday I only was reading about this outlandish gas tank and there you are! I missed it!
- Don’t worry Palych! I recorded this “X” moment, - the neighbor tapped the camera fixed on his belt, - you’ll get live transmission, - The guys also presented a CD with materials. Let’s go, watch the video and have some cognac and caviar. What do you think about seven-year cognac?


- Palych remembered one of his dreams, thought a little bit and nodded.
The neighbor patted his shoulder. They entered the house leaving the gas tank in the garden.
Independent, you know, what can happen with it?

 
 
 
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