“I have to admit, this delegation Mr. Joffe is not at all what we were expecting, but it is rather fascinating.” Adolf looked quietly down the table of his fellow Soviets.
“Well yes, I will admit that I have never talked politics with such a distinguished…ummmm…delegation.” It was a compliment, but Adolf couldn’t help but notice the emphasis he put on the word distinguished. “As I was saying,” General Hoffman turned to the woman to his left, “it is an honor to be speaking to such a lovely assassin. I hope you won’t be attempting to take any of our esteemed generals’ lives, although none of us could dream for a gentler, more trained hand.” The woman blushed at the perspicacious wit apparent in the grand array of diplomats and generals before her.
It was an odd meeting indeed. It was as if both sides were meeting a world they had only dreamed of. For the poor Russian delegation, which included workers, soldiers, sailors, women, and a peasant, it was a world of dream and fancy. For the diplomats and generals of the Germans, Austrians, Turks, and Bulgars, it was a scene of poverty and chaos, the scene of a new world bereft of monarchical authority, the stuff of nightmares. The longer the Germans ate with the Russians, the more they realized how little they wanted part in this new anarchical society. Russia, it seemed, was a mud squalor.
At the far end of the table the worker was picking his teeth with a fork, and a server asked the peasant in his rough muzhik garb what type of wine he would have. His reply was followed by raucous laughter from the undisciplined Russians. General Hoffman stopped the server on his way out.
“What exactly did the peasant say?” The server smiled bemusedly.
“I think he asked for whichever is the strongest.”
© A River Runs Through It Photography