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My friend was kille by Al-Cohol

Vasyl Kozhelyanko (Василь Кожелянко) used that respectful and scary name AL-COHOL for the bad habit he was enslaved during his not so long life. Al-Cohol was described by Vasyl Kozhelyanko as a powerful monster which exists the same time inside and outside you. Al-Cohol has a shape of huge dark cloud covering somebody’s thoughts and dreams. Al-Cohol has a manner to replace all of them. Means where your dignity once was there will be definitely Al-Cohol settled.

If you drink.

I managed to quit when I turned 35. One morning I was woken by a dead body smell filling my room totally. When I opened my eyes I was scared and astonished: who died beside me? Using my own nose I soon found who died - that was my still living body smelled of Death. My skin was grey and the odor was unbearable.

I was at the edge near to The End.

That very day I quit drinking. Gradually, I began to smile to passers-by. I began to visit my dentist and he cured my teeth. I found back my old habit to say ‛hello‛ to strangers and regained my self-assure. Al-Cohol brought all my so-called friends away with him. I stayed lonely and sober.

This way I returned to life.

Vasyl Kozhelyanko also wanted to get rid of drinking. Those days he invited me to his editorial office at the big City of Chernivtsi. He and his old friend Serhiy Pantiuk asked me if I could have a sip with them. I just agreed to sit beside them in a bar. They both were amazed: is it possible for a writer to be sober?

I answered ‛yes‛ and showed them my new novel manuscript.

Why not? To be sober means to have more free time for everyone and much possibility to read many more good books before you write something good by yourself. Even more, you are constantly in good mood and you feel free deciding what to do by yourself solemnly not being driven by Al-Cohol wishes. I hope I inspired them both not went astray.

Years passed peacefully. Vasyl Kozhelyanko became a well known well established novelist. Glory touched him with her soft wing.

The only fact was bothering me - from some time Vasyl began to avoid me when we met each other. You know, several common questions, shake hands, ‛see you later‛. He was hiding his eyes and always was trying to hold a distance between us.

That was another bad sign. As if he had shame of something.

He gradually passed away as I see it now. He helped me much editing and promoting my ‛Ars Muriendi‛ novel through internet but he never saw it published.

One night he called me by phone.

  • Are you ok? - asked I.

  • No, - answered he, - I am drinking again and I do not know what will happen next.

We both were near to cry. We both knew what will happen next. Darkness. Mr. Death always stands behind the Al-Cohol’s back. And this story ends the same way as millions alike: one morning they said they found a Ukrainian writer Vasyl Kozhelyanko’s dead body in his house. Doctors publicized the death’s reason as they understood it. Other writers respectfully buried him.

But I am still sure: Al-Cohol killed my good friend.

by Volodymyr Serdiuk