Traditional Thursday: How To String Traditional
Today we’re showing you how to string traditional lacrosse pockets, but we’re not just teaching you how to string ONE pocket… we’re teaching you how to string ALL the pockets!
Ok, maybe we’re not showing you how to string all the pockets, as there are really an infinite number of options and variations out there in the world of traditional stringing, but we’re showing you how to string a LOT of different traditional pockets!
Take your time, watch the videos, and try each one… we want to see the final products!
How To String Traditional
This is the classic traditional pocket. One string, asymmetrical diamonds, standard sidewalls, a couple of straight shooting strings. This is the OG of traditional, and its lasting power comes from the fact that IT WORKS!
Six Shooter Traditional Tutorial
The six shooter is another classic traditional pocket, and it’s been around for decades. Miles Thompson uses one and that brought the general public’s fascination with this pocket back in force.
Pita Pocket Tutorial
The pita pocket is another traditional variant that has been around for a while. It was made famous by Loyola players who used it heavily in the 90s and early 2000s. Another name for it is the Dog Track pocket, which comes from Loyola, because they are the Hounds, and hounds race on a dog track!
Multiple String Traditional Pocket
You can also string a traditional pocket using multiple strings. The methodology is definitely different from that of a single string tutorial, but it allows you to use more colors! Yay!
If you’re looking for more traditional knowledge, make sure you Subscribe to the LaxAllStars YouTube Channel! We have videos on how to waterproof leathers, how to string mesh, how to shave down a wooden lacrosse stick, reader questions answered, and so much more. Subscribe and check us out!
Traditional Stringing vs. Mesh Pocket
A ton of customers come into our retail stores and ask for a traditional. The first question we always ask them is why? Most of the time, the answer is “because it looks cool” but sometimes we get someone who actually knows the pros and cons of using a traditional stick. So a traditional pocket involves leathers and cross-lace and some crazy knots to make a cool looking pocket. Some of the most popular styles are the Pita Pocket, the Traditional Pocket, and the Heat Pocket. Even though these are all considered traditional sticks, they will all perform different. So why do we ask people why they want their sticks strung traditional? Well if they don’t have a good answer, we usually recommend they don’t use one. Sure they are cool and perform pretty well, but they are expensive to have strung and if you aren’t capable of tweaking the pocket yourself, your game will suffer. Traditional sticks are a ton of maintenance due to the amount of knots that keeps the pocket together. If something goes wrong in a traditional and you aren’t sure how to fix it, it will most likely perform horribly.
Now what makes a traditional better than a mesh pocket? Well I wouldn’t say anything makes them better or worse, but it all comes down to preference. A traditional pocket has way more control over the ball. The leathers provide a soft resting place for the ball to stay while cradling. Another feature of a traditional pocket is the release. You can feel the ball roll out of the head and off the shooters as you pass or shoot. Sometimes if strung incorrectly the ball will catch under the shooters because the leathers are too soft and the ball will hook. When I see traditional pockets that people string up the main issue I see is tension control. The sidewalls should always be strung super tight and how low you drop the leathers determines how deep you want you pocket. When compared to a mesh pocket a traditional will outperform in hold, whip, and feel…so it’s a shame to see these on the way out.
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Custom Stringing – Men’s Lacrosse Traditional PocketPick Your Head
— Please Select –ECD Mirage 2. 0 ECD Rebel Defense ECD Rebel Offense Gait Torq Maverik Havok Maverik Kinetik 2 Maverik Lock (Out Of Stock)Maverik Optik 2.0 Maverik Tactik 2.0 Nike Alpha Elite Nike C.E.O. 2 + $10.00 Nike Lakota 2.0 Nike Prime Elite Goalie Head + $10.00 Nike Vapor Elite Nike Vapor Pro (Out Of Stock)Stringking Mark 2A Stringking Mark 2G Goalie Head Stringking Mark 2D Stringking Mark 2V STX Duel II + $10.00 STX Eclipse II Goalie Head + $15.00 STX Stallion U 700 (Out Of Stock)STX Surgeon 900 STX Ultrapower STX X20 TRUE HZRDUS TRUE Vektr Under Armour Command 2.0 Under Armour Command G Goalie Head Warrior Evo QX-D + $10.00 Warrior Evo QX-O + $10.00Pick Your Leather Color
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— Please Select –Black Carolina Grey Maroon Navy Neon Yellow Orange Red Royal Teal White YellowSidewall Color
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— Please Select –Black Carolina Blue Grey Kelly Green Maroon Navy Neon Green Neon Orange Neon Pink Neon Yellow Orange Purple Red Royal Teal Vegas Gold White YellowDo You Want Your Head Dyed?
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STX Blog | What’s the Difference Between Mesh and Traditional Pockets?
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Charlie and I’m a self-proclaimed, all-out stringing enthusiast. I’m been a stringer for the women’s game for five years, specifically international play, working closely with Team England and Team Scotland. My work has also appeared on the rosters of more than 20 other national teams at major championships. Working with STX has meant that I’ve been able to use lacrosse to travel and meet some of my favourite players and people in the sport.
Hanging with some of my favorite Team England players, including Claire Faram and Laura Merrifield.
As you read this, World Lacrosse sits on the edge of passing a major overhaul that could revolutionize the women’s game in unprecedented ways. Okay, maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but it’s true that we haven’t seen a change with such massive potential impact in decades.
Last year, the United States approved the use of mesh pockets for women and now World Lacrosse (previously the FIL) is considering a rule to approve the use of mesh and previously non FIL-approved pockets for international play.
For players across the world, this means there’s a whole host of pocket options newly available to them. As always, with more options come more questions: Is mesh the right choice for your game? Is there a way to mix the best of the traditional pocket with the efficiency and ease of the mesh pocket? How do you even string a mesh pocket?
Hanging with the squad in the States at STX’s HQ.
My hope is that this short piece will help you gain a better understanding of the mesh pocket, answer a few of those burning questions and encourage the skeptic in all of us to give it a go.
Before we get into it, let me clarify — mesh is by no means new. In fact, it’s been a staple of the men’s game for years. So, it’s about time women had the opportunity to weigh in and benefit from this major innovation…
Your style, your choice
STX Pocket Line-up: Crux Mesh Pro, Crux Mesh, Traditional & ProForm.
There are a variety of options available to you depending on your style of play and how much time you like to spend customizing your pocket.
The Crux Mesh Pro is a full mesh pocket and provides a ‘fit-and-forget’ approach. After some initial tweaking to ensure the pocket sits within the legal requirements, you’re set. The most common adjustments are as simple as retying the bottom string or adjusting the shooters in order to tighten up your release.
Spotlight: Crux Mesh Pro.
The narrower 7-diamond Crux Mesh offers a bridge between a more traditional set-up and a full mesh pocket. Pairing the narrow pocket with leather runners provides a stiffness that accentuates the mesh channel. Maintaining the pocket simply requires adjusting the bottom string and keeping tabs on the leathers to ensure the channel stays defined.
Spotlight: Crux Mesh.
Putting durability to the test
While our signature downcast and rainy weather has inspired many a great music lyric and movie scene, the constant mix of cold and wet can do some serious damage to sports equipment. But you’re in luck! Mesh is water-resistant and more durable than traditional materials. Especially for players in the UK, this means your pocket will last longer and sustain performance through bad weather, maintaining its grip on the ball. And with the Crux Mesh Pro option, you don’t have to worry about your leathers rotting after many a rain game. Bonus: In addition to enhanced durability features, the mesh pocket is lighter than a traditional set-up!
The learning curve
So, what are the cons? Not going to lie, when mesh was first approved in the States, the stringing purist in me was dead-set against it. It wasn’t until I rocked up to LaxCon and the team threw me a Crux 600 and a piece of Crux Mesh that I started to explore and embrace the possibilities.
One of my favorite weekends of the year — LaxCon. Find me in the zone at the Stringers’ Union.
Of course, with these possibilities comes a bit of a learning curve, but it doesn’t take long to adapt to the ease and efficiency of a mesh set-up. Check out this video with Liz Hogan for some quick tips and mesh stringing hacks.
A sweet spot that stays
When strung properly, mesh provides a strong, consistent sweet spot — it doesn’t bag out with time and use, and the resulting channel ensures a smooth release. Because of the sweet spot, you’ll find that you’re able to dangle the head further back than you can safely do with a traditional set-up. And when working the stick around the side, you’ll find the mesh hugs the ball securely. For players looking to perfect that sidearm low-to-high corner stinger, this makes a huge difference.
Finally, a mesh pocket is removable, so if you unfortunately rip your mesh or a string, repair and replacement is cost-effective and doesn’t require an entirely new head. You can keep your signature head with all its personality and memories!
Still not convinced? For a complete breakdown of all your traditional and mesh pocket options, What Kind of Lacrosse Pocket Should I Get? is a must-read!90,000 Fashion dictionary. Fashion terms with illustrations
(a glossary of fashion terms with illustrations)
Argyle – a pattern of diagonal rhombuses or squares and intersecting diagonal lines. The geometry of the argyle pattern adorned the kilts and rugs of the famous Scottish Campbell clan. The pattern got its name from the name of the area of Scotland, in which the Campbells lived. Most often, the argyle pattern is used in knitted items.He came into fashion in the 1920s thanks to the British company Pringle of Scotland, which produces luxury knitwear and knitted items. The argyle V-neck sweater is a classic symbol of British style.
Alpaca – animal hair (alpaca) from the genus of llamas. Wool is fibrous and silky from it knit expensive knitwear, also used in costume fabrics.
Ascot – a type of wide tie that resembles a neckerchief.The name comes from the name of the Royal Ascot Races in Great Britain, where the dress code was just such a scarf tie. Ascot is now common as a groom’s accessory at weddings before 6pm.
Buggy (baggy jeans) – loose, baggy look, jeans lowered on the buttocks.
Bardotka – blouse reduced to the size of a bra. Named for Brigitte Bardot, who appeared in such a blouse on the screen.
Bateau neckline is a boat-shaped neckline.
Bermuda – elongated shorts. Classic Bermuda shorts have arrows, tucks, welt pockets, belt loops, cuffs, knee length and are made of sand-colored cotton fabric.
Bispok (bespoke) – production of any things on an individual order (from the English be spoken – “agreed in advance”).
Black tie (black tie) – strict dress code, requiring a tuxedo and bow tie.
Bolo tie – consists of two braided cords fastened and tightened to the collar with a buckle. Came into vogue in the Wild West. The name comes from the word boleadoras – a hunting device that looks like a strong cord with heavy balls at the ends.
Bomber – short light jacket. This model was originally created for the US Air Force and was worn by bomber pilots. The jacket was equipped with elastic cuffs on the sleeves, as well as a knitted stand-up collar.Later, a bright orange lining appeared at the insistence of the rescue service – so evacuated pilots and surviving pilots were easier to see from a height.
Borsalino – most often under borsalino they mean fedora: a soft felt hat with a silk ribbon on the crown and three dents, and borsalino is a trademark of an Italian company that has been producing such hats since the mid-19th century.
Ankle boots are a mix of shoes and ankle boots.As a type of fashionable footwear, appeared relatively recently. The French name “ankle boots” literally means “ankle boots”.
Brogues – perforated shoes. They can be either with open lacing or with a closed one. A characteristic feature is a detachable toe of various configurations. Usually brogues have a tapered toe, lacing and a low heel. Stylists of “Image Industry” will help you to choose the right brogues
Boutonniere – a flower in the buttonhole of a jacket.
Wayfarer (wayfarer) – the model of the iconic glasses from Ray-Ban, produced since 1952.
Vicuña – a species of wild llamas found in the Red Book, the wool of this animal is considered the most expensive in the world. 200 grams of wool is cut from each animal once every 2 years. After processing the wool, a fiber with a thickness of 12-13 microns is obtained. Only a very limited number of producers have access to purchase vicuna wool.
Winkle picker – pointed flat shoes (entered into men’s fashion in the late 1950s).
Tie – regatta – a tie with a ready-made factory knot – on a tape that fastens under the collar.
Guide-line – the semantic core of the show, a memorable detail.
Leggings – a kind of shoe covers with buttons on the side and a strap that tightens under the heel.Originally intended to protect shoes, they are now a stylish accessory. Can be either short or long to the knee.
Leg warmers – a piece of clothing (can also be attributed to accessories), reminiscent of socks cut at the bottom, worn over shoes. Originally made from leather, now more often from wool and knitwear. Leggings are often used as an element of sportswear, for example, in professional dances, leggings are worn during rehearsals to quickly warm up the leg muscles.
Guinem is a print on a cotton fabric, which is a small check on a white background, a distinctive feature of which is that the stripes of a muted tone, forming a check, form a dark square at the intersections.
Gladiators – a type of sandals with a lot of straps and ropes on a flat sole. The name bears in itself the history of the appearance of this shoe, previously a large number of straps were necessary for the convenience of a fighter’s maneuverability.Now the straps have a decorative function.
Glovelettes – long gloves with clipped fingers.
Boa – a fur scarf or skin with the head and legs of an animal that fits the neck.
Duffle coat (monticot) – a short coat with a hood with a fastener in the form of loops made of cord or leather and wooden buttons in the shape of a fang.
Deserts – boots with a suede upper with a rubber sole with two pairs of lace holes.The desserts were created by the famous Nathan Clark, Clark’s artisan.
Derby – shoes with open lacing, in which the sides are sewn over the front (ankle boots are sewn over the vamp). Derby can be with or without perforation. This type of footwear bears its name in honor of their inventor, the Earl of Derby, but in England these boots are called “Bluchers” after the Prussian Marshal Blucher, who participated in the Battle of Waterloo. According to the legend, the soldiers of the Blucher army wore boots with open lacing.Derby shoes are considered the most versatile shoe (less formal than Oxfords).
Jute sole – sole covered with jute or hemp rope.
Dorsay – the style of shoes that cover the toe and heel and open the bend of the foot.
Camerband – a wide belt for men, which is worn with a tuxedo.
Cape – Cape coat with a cut for the arms.
Gatsby cap – (aka “Newsboy cap” and “eight-piece cap”) Gatsby’s name comes from the novel by Francis Scott Fitzgerald “The Great Gatsby”, in which the protagonist wore such a cap.
The Gatsby cap has a curved visor and a rounded cut, distinguished by a more curvaceous shape, dividing the upper part into 8 sewn panels and a button, trimmed with material at the very top. The top of the cap can be sewn to or detached from the visor.
Covercot – a light men’s coat, which is an elongated jacket. Initially, the carpet coat came into fashion as a riding jacket. Now it is part of the men’s business wardrobe.
Creepers – boots with a dense rubber sole (platform), in a classic design they are decorated with leather weaving.
Clutch (clutch) is a small elegant women’s handbag without handles, it is carried in the hand or clamped under the arm.Translated from English, the word “clutch” means to grab.
Loafers (from the English loafer, ie loafer) – boots resembling moccasins, they differ from moccasins by the presence of a rather thick sole with a low heel. Classic loafers have decorative leather tassels. For the first time in mass production, this shoe was launched by the Spalding family from New Hampshire in the early 1930s. In the 1950s, Gucci began selling its signature loafers with a gold-plated bridge buckle.Loafers are available for men and women.
Martins (Dr Martins boots) – army-type shoes for everyday life. The boots are designed by an army doctor and are comfortable and durable. Initially, they were popular with older ladies, now they are favorites with informal youth.
Menadier (Menadier) is a small handbag with a thin long handle or chain. From the word “flirt”.
Menudier – miniature solid handbag-box without handles and straps.
Mitts – fingerless gloves, in which the division (bell) is only on the thumb, these are a kind of cut-off mittens.
Moccasins – traditional footwear of North American Indians. Moccasins are sewn in a special way: the leather top is pulled from below onto the last and from above it is fastened with an open seam.
Moonbuts (lunar rovers) – warm winter footwear for out-of-town walks. The design and name owes its name to the first man landing on the moon, which inspired shoe designer Giancarl Zanatta.
Mules – mules, originally popular among women of easy virtue, later became home shoes for aristocrats in the 17th century, and in the 1950s became popular thanks to Hollywood stars who wore them with feather pom-poms.
Norfolk – aristocratic hunting jacket from the time of Sherlock Holmes. Classic Norfolk single-breasted, has patch pockets and a belt at the waist. The jacket got its name thanks to the Duke of Norfolk, from whose estate the fashion for this model went.
Oxfordets – women’s low shoes with laces, with a low heel and a thick sole. Element of youth fashion of the 20th century.
Panier – a whalebone frame, reminiscent of a basket (hence the name in French. Panier – basket), to add splendor to the skirt. Another name for this piece of women’s clothing is tansy (from German Fischbein – whalebone).
Parasol – an umbrella that protects from the sun.It is usually made of paper or lace.
Paisley (Indian cucumber) – a decorative ornament in the form of a drop of Indian or Persian origin, also known as “Indian cucumber”. In various sources, its shape is compared with the fruit of a mango, cypress or palm tree.
Plastron (aka ascot) – a type of short and wide tie, often worn for special occasions.
Plexiglass – shoes are shoes with transparent elements made of flexible plastic (called plexiglass).Such shoes are not recommended for wearing in hot weather and require particularly careful care so that the transparent inserts are always in perfect transparent condition.
Harness – an accessory in women’s fashion, consisting of belts in different sling, which is worn over a dress or blouse.
Preppy – style in clothes. The name of this style is an abbreviation for pre-college preparatory, which is the name for educational institutions preparing for admission to prestigious universities.The main distinctive features of the style are elegance, neatness, classics, high cost and emblem or brand symbols. Style elements: Oxford shirts, polos, cotton threesomes, bright cropped trousers, sporty dresses and pastel chinos. Shoes are preferred without heels. Preppy girls should look as fresh and natural as possible with a minimum amount of makeup on their face. Accessories are very important in this style, these are a variety of scarves, gloves, hats, bows, ties, cufflinks, etc.p.
The preppy style is also used in classic clothing in some sports such as golf, squash, tennis and lacrosse. This is due to the fact that the listed sports have always been the prerogative of people from high society.
Famous preppy brands: Ralph Lauren Polo, Lacoste, Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant.
New preppy – correlation of modern fashion with preppy style, reorientation of the classic preppy style to a freer way.
Prepsters in a narrow sense are adherents of the preppy style, if you look at this phenomenon more broadly, these are, first of all, educated, intelligent and emphatically well-mannered young people who value their time and comfort, preferring expensive branded things. The Prepsters maintain a healthy lifestyle, political system and family traditions. Glasses are often worn, not as a fashion accessory, but out of necessity.
Plume – small bags with a loop.
Polo – sports shirt with a soft turn-down collar and a fastener to the middle of the chest.
Ridikule (from the French reticule – funny, from the Latin reticulum – mesh) is a soft-shaped women’s handbag in the form of a pouch on a silk cord or chain, decorated with embroidery, rhinestones, beads, etc., initially in the form of miniature wicker bags, that’s why they got the name “retikul”, which translated from Latin means “net”, “wicker bag”.However, later they began to be called derisively “reticules”, which translated from French means “funny”. The prototype of the reticule was a handicraft bag, which from the middle of the 18th century. brought into fashion the Marquis de Pompadour.
Clogs – a type of sandals with a thick wooden sole. Sabot – translated from French – a wooden shoe. Initially, clogs were worn by low-income strata of the French population and peasants, because they were comfortable to walk on paving stones and did not get wet.In the 16th and 17th centuries, this type of footwear fell in love with French women of fashion. In Holland, clogs are called “klomps”, in Lithuania – “klumpes”, in England – “clogs”.
Sling is a backpack bag, but with one strap.
Slip-ons – summer sneakers without lacing with a rubber sole. Slip-ons were invented by Paul Van Doren (founder of Vans, which is why in America such shoes are called Vans shoes). Originally designed as a lightweight surfing shoe.
American Ivy Style Students Style – 80s golden youth style, same as preppy style.The Ivy League is an association of eight prominent private American universities (Brown, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Dartmouth College). The name comes from the ivy shoots that surround the buildings of these universities.
Temdera – women’s boots with a wide shaft.
Tishaida – a model of glasses with small round lenses in a thin frame. Especially popular in the 1960s, they were worn as part of the hippie subculture.
Heelys – sneakers equipped with wheels in the heel area.
Chelsea boots – This model was invented in Britain in the 19th century. A distinctive feature of Chelsea boots is the insert on the sides of the elastic band, so no lacing or zipper is required, they are easy to put on and take off. They were originally working class shoes. At the beginning of the 21st century, they gained popularity in fashion circles.
Shemiza – long shirt as underwear.Until the 14th century, shemiz was sewn from flax or hemp (hemp was rougher), and after the 14th century cotton became the main material.
Eglet – plastic or metal end of the lace, thanks to which it is easier to thread the laces through the eyelets of the boots.
Espadrilles (in Latin America they are called alpargats ) – summer shoes (for men and women), cloth slippers with a rope sole made of natural materials.Worn on bare feet. They appeared in Spain among peasants and in the south of France among miners. Came into fashion in the 80s of the twentieth century. The main trendsetter of espadrilles in the 20th century was Salvador Dali, who wore their traditional version with ties around the ankle. With the invention of the elastic band, these ties gradually disappeared, and the shape of espadrilles became more like home slippers with a heel counter.
The dictionary is periodically updated with new terms from the world of fashion, stay tuned.
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Interesting facts about fashion
Last week I already wrote about the fourth book published some time ago about the adventures of the charming maniac Dexter Morgan.Of course, first of all, the book will be of interest to fans of the series, but based on personal experience, I want to add that Jeff Lindsay’s novels themselves are pretty good detective stories, otherwise they would not have received such a gorgeous film adaptation.
In order to form a certain idea of the novel based on personal experience, the publishing house AST offered to lay out the first three chapters of the novel for familiarization. So pleasant reading.
I warn you in advance that the text below may have problems with missing hyphens, unnecessary hyphens and spaces.These are problems of this text exclusively, caused by reformatting costs, and do not apply to the finished printed product.
A little explanation for those who have just joined us: Dexter Morgan is best known as a character in the American television series Dexter (in the Russian translation of “Dexter’s Justice”), but he first appeared precisely as the hero of the Jeff Lindsay series of novels.
Dexter is a killer maniac, but an unusual maniac. He strictly adheres to his code of conduct, developed for him by his adoptive father Harry.Dexter only kills serial killers who eluded justice. Although, to be honest, sometimes Dexter specifically allows the release of the criminal in order to deal with the killer himself. The point is, Dex is the leading medical examiner at the Miami Police Department. He has a half-sister, Deborah, a girlfriend, Rita, and a number of friends in the police department. None of them know about the true nature of Dexter, because he is good at pretending, to please people and is well versed in human psychology.
Only the first book of the cycle was screened, which formed the basis for the first season of the series. In the future, both the book cycle and the television series began to develop in different directions, each year accumulating a list of discrepancies. In total, there are currently five seasons of the series and five books about Dexter. In Russian, the publishing house AST published the first two books of the cycle – “Dexter’s dormant demon” and “Good friend Dexter” (second version of the design). “Dexter in Action” is the fourth book in the cycle.Chapter 1
Pardonez moi, monsieur. Ou est la lune? *
Alors, mon ancien, la lune est ici, ouvre la Seine, e’norme, rouge et humide **.
Merci, mon ami ***, now I see, and – take it easy! – this is the most suitable night for the moon, a night as if created for piquant pleasures in the moonlight, for a dance of death performed by Demonic Dexter and his very close friend.
But merde alors! **** Moon over la Seine? It turns out Dexter is in Paris! Quelle horreur! ***** The dance cannot be performed, in Paris – no way! Not to find him here a friend, not to hide in Miami nights, not to give the remains to the waters of the warm and gentle ocean.Here – only taxis, tourists and this huge and lonely moon.
And, of course, Rita. Rita is everywhere, leafing through a phrasebook, getting confused in maps, rustling with pages of guidebooks and piles of leaflets promising delight and happiness and, by the way, miraculously giving all this … to her. Only to her. Parisian bliss went exclusively to the newlywed, while her newly-married husband, formerly the high priest of lunar lightness, Dexter the Disciplined Virtuous, can only marvel at the moon and firmly hold the impatiently shuddering Dark Passenger in the hope that the happy madness will soon end and we will return to orderly life is a life of hunting other monsters with a knife.
Because Dexter loves to cut free, cheerfully and clearly, and now he is forced to follow Rita everywhere, marvel at the moon and savor the irony of the honeymoon, where everything honey and lunar is forbidden.
So, Paris. Dexter humbly walks in the flagship’s wake, examines what is supposed to be, nods and occasionally makes witty remarks like “wow!” or “uh-huh …”, and Rita gives herself free rein, releasing the thirst for Paris, clogged up in her all these years.
What about Dexter himself? Is he able to resist the legendary delights of the City of Light? After all, even he is obliged to see all this brilliance, even inside him an echo of even a feigned feeling must stir. Does it happen: Dexter is in Paris, but he doesn’t feel anything at all?
Of course not. Dexter feels a lot. Feels tired. And boredom. And a growing urge to find someone to play with. Would rather! The sooner the better, if it is for cleanliness; for some reason, family life whets the appetite.
Well, agreement is agreement: Dexter will have to do one thing in order to be able to do another. In Paris, as well as at home, Dexter follows the maintenir le deguisement ******. Even the French, sophisticated people, would shudder to learn about the monster, an inhuman monster, whose whole life is subordinated to doom all other monsters to their well-deserved death.And Rita, in her new image of a blushing, embarrassed newlywed, is a wonderful deguisement for my true self. Who would believe that this creature, meekly weaving after the ideal embodiment of American tourism, is a cold and unfeeling killer?
Of course not, mon frère. C’est impossible *******.
Now, alas, très impossible ********. No hope of slipping away for a couple of hours and getting a well-deserved rest. Not here, because in these parts, Dexter is not known to anyone, and he himself does not know the habits of the local police.In an unfamiliar and foreign country – it is impossible, the harsh laws of the Harry Code do not apply here. Harry was a cop in Miami, and everything in Miami spun at his word. But Harry had no French words, and French cops were not at all familiar to me; no matter how the darkness beats in the backseat, it’s too risky here.
Actually, it’s terribly insulting – after all, the Parisian streets seem to be made for ominous ambushes. Narrow, dark, chaotically tangled. So it seems: here is Dexter, wrapped in a cloak, gripping a dagger, hastily gliding along the gloomy alleys, hurrying to meet in these old, similar houses, hanging low, calling to the bad… And the streets themselves are open spaces for slaughter, the pavements are made of boulders such that they would have been ripped out in Miami long ago, thrown them over the windows of passing cars, otherwise they would have sold them to builders on new roads.
Alas, this is not Miami. Paris. And I’m biding my time, letting Dexter’s new, vital double bottom harden, while I myself hope to get through one more – the last – week of Rita’s dream honeymoon. I drink French coffee (weak by Miami standards) and vin de table ********* (alarming, blood red) and admire my young wife’s talent for absorbing everything French.She didn’t learn to blush so sweetly, asking: “Table pour deux, s’il vous plait” Rita’s dreams: they nod, smile and literally are ready to sing “La vie en rose” *********** when they lead us to the table. Ah, Paris. Ah, l’amour ************.
During the day we rush through the streets, checking the very important clues on the map, and in the evenings we spend in intricate restaurants, where French music is often served in addition to food.We even went to the play “The Imaginary Sick” at the “Comedie Française”. I don’t know why it’s given without translation at all, exclusively in French, but Rita seems to like it.
And after a couple of days she seems to like the show at the Moulin Rouge just as much. In general, in my opinion, my wife likes everything in Paris, even river walks. I’m silent that it’s much better to relax on the water in Miami, at home, where she never even wanted to ride a boat, but, frankly, I’m starting to wonder what’s going on in her head.
She throws herself at every city landmark. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, Notre Dame – all fell under the pressure of a passionate blonde armed with a ruthless guide.
The price for deguisement is too high for me, but Dexter is the perfect soldier. Wandering on and on, laden with family commitments and water bottles. He does not complain about the heat, or about worn legs, or about the wild crowds of tourists in tight shorts, souvenir T-shirts and flip flops.
However, one day he makes a timid attempt to show interest. Bus tour of Paris; the voice on the tape mutters (in eight languages) the names of delightful places of extraordinary historical significance; Dexter’s brains boil almost audibly . .. and suddenly a thought comes! After all, it would only be fair if here, in the City of eternally sounding accordions, a center of culture was found for a monster exhausted by wanderings … and now I know which one. At the next stop, I hesitate at the door of the bus, wanting to ask the driver a simple and innocent question.
– Excuse me, won’t we drive along Morgue Street?
The driver is listening to the iPod. Discontentedly tugs the earpiece out of his ear, gives me an arrogant look, raises an eyebrow in bewilderment.
Morgue Street, I repeat. – Are we going down Morgue Street?
I speak louder and louder, in vain attempts to explain myself to a non-American, then I stop and pause in confusion. The driver continues to stare at me. Hip-hop tinkles in the dangling earpiece. Then the driver jerks his shoulder and bursts out with a short and impetuous tirade in French, hotly exposing my utter ignorance; shoves the earpiece into his ear and opens the bus door.
I follow Rita, humble, submissive, not much disappointed. It would seem so simple – to honor Morgue Street with a stop, to pay tribute to this important cultural landmark of the world of monsters … I repeat my question later, to the taxi driver, I get the same answer; Rita translates with a somewhat embarrassed smile.
“Dexter,” she mutters. – You have a terrible pronunciation.
“My Spanish is better,” I say.
“It doesn’t matter,” she says.- There is no street Morgue.
– What ?!
– This is fiction. Edgar Allan Poe invented it. In fact, Morgue Street does not exist!
The effect is as if from the words “Santa Claus does not exist!”. No Morgue Street? Isn’t there a delightful historic mountain of Parisian corpses? Really ?! No, this is probably exactly the case. Rita’s knowledge of Paris is vast. There can be no mistake – she has read a huge number of guidebooks in her life.
And I retreat, again I hide in the shell of unrequited compliance; the smallest glimmer of interest faded like Dexter’s conscience.
There are three days left before returning home to the blessed depravity and bustle of Miami. We have a day at the Louvre. And it piques some curiosity even for me; even though I am soulless, this does not mean at all that I do not appreciate art. Quite the opposite. After all, art is the creation of ordered images with the aim of producing a meaningful effect on the senses. Isn’t Dexter doing the same thing? Of course, in my case, “impact” has a more literal meaning, nevertheless, I am able to appreciate other means and forms of expression.
So, with this very definite interest, I followed Rita to the Louvre, through the huge courtyard and down through the glass pyramid of the entrance. The wife decided to visit the museum on her own, without tourist groups: not out of dislike for the stinking crowds of gawking, drooling, depressingly ignorant rams clinging to any guide, but because Rita was driven by a desire to prove her ability to get rid of any museum, even a French one.
Under her leadership, we stepped straight to the line at the ticket office, where we spent a few minutes until Rita finally bought the tickets.And now forward to the wonders of the Louvre!
The first miracle appeared to us immediately upon leaving the foyer and into the premises of the museum itself. In one of the first galleries, as many as five excursion groups crowded, at the entrance fenced off with a red velvet cord. Rita made a hmmm-like sound and pulled my hand. We hurried away, away from all this crowd, and I turned around as I walked – everyone was looking at the Mona Lisa.
– How small! I gasped.
“She’s been grossly overrated,” Rita said sternly.
I understand that on a honeymoon it is supposed to recognize a life partner from new sides, but I have never met such a Rita before. The one whom, as it seemed to me, I knew, in my presence did not express any firm opinions, all the more contrary to conventional wisdom. And then he suddenly declares that the most famous painting in the world has been “overrated”! Boggles the mind . .. at least mine.
– This is the Mona Lisa! – I objected. – How can you overestimate it?
My wife grunted again and only pulled my hand harder.
– Let’s go see Titian! Much prettier! Titian’s canvases were very nice. As well as Rubens, although I did not notice anything in them that would explain the naming after them of the classic Ruben sandwich with smoked beef and Swiss cheese. However, I turned out to be hungry and now, remembering about food, I managed to carry Rita through the next three very long halls with very beautiful paintings in a cafe on one of the upper floors.
We had a snack on sandwiches, which were very expensive and tasted only slightly more edible than the food at the airport, and then wandered through the museum until the evening, looking at paintings and sculptures.There were just so many of them, and by the time, already at dusk, we again went out into the yard, my once magnificent brain was completely enslaved.
– Well … – I remarked, tiredly getting out into the air. – The day was long …
– Oh yes! – responded the wife. Her huge eyes are sparkling, and in general she does not seem to be tired at all. – Simply incredible!
Then Rita took my arm and pressed herself with such a feeling as if this whole museum was created by me personally. It became more difficult to walk, but in the end, this is how people are supposed to behave during their honeymoon in Paris, so I did not mind, and we stumbled on.
Around the corner of the museum a girl with piercings all over her face stepped towards us and thrust a piece of paper into Rita.
– And now it’s time to see the real art! She announced. – Tomorrow night, huh?
– Merci, – Rita responded indifferently, and the girl went on to distribute leaflets.
– It seems that she has a little free space on the left, you can still pierce … – I said thoughtfully. – And in the eyebrow more …
Rita narrowed her eyes, examining the sheet of paper.
– A… This is a performance!
Now it’s my turn to squint in confusion.
– Wow, how interesting! – exclaimed Rita. – By the way, tomorrow evening we are not going anywhere … We will definitely go!
– Where are we going?
“This is great,” she announced.
Maybe Paris is indeed a magical city. Rita was right.
* Excuse me, monsieur, where is the moon? (fr.)
** Here, my dear, the moon rises over the Seine, huge, red and wet (fr.).
*** Thank you, my friend (FR).
**** Damn it! (fr.)
***** What a horror! (fr.)
****** Maintain visibility; disguise (fr.).
******* My brother. It is impossible (fr.).
******** Absolutely impossible (fr.).
********* Table wine (fr.).
********** Table for two, please (FR).
*********** Let.: “Life in a Pink Light”, the title of the song performed by Edith Piaf (fr.).
************ Love (fr.).
“Wonderful” was located in a shady alley, not far from the Seine, in the area that Rita anxiously called “Rive Gauche”: the exhibition space with its showcase turned to the street and was called “Reality”.
We had a haste lunch (we even neglected the dessert!) In order to be in time for the exhibition by seven thirty in the evening, obeying the instructions from the leaflet.There were already about two dozen visitors inside, huddled in groups of several in front of the flat TV screens hung on the walls. It looks like a museum … I grabbed the booklet from the counter. The text was printed in French, English and German. Scrolling down to the English section, I began to read.
Literally from the very first sentences, my eyebrows climbed onto my forehead. The brochure turned out to be a kind of manifesto, full of rattling passion, which, perhaps, could only be adequately translated into German. Push the boundaries of art! New facets of sensations! Destroy the conventions that separate art from life! Down with the mossy Academy of Arts! Let Chris Burden, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, David Nebreda and other pioneers do their job; it’s time to crush all the walls! Forward to the twenty-first century! “Forward” we were asked to jerk right today, through a new masterpiece called “Jennifer’s Leg”.
Such fervor, combined with an extremely idealistic attitude, has always seemed to me a very dangerous combination, even somewhere funny… only at this moment Someone Else was amusing himself, having fun from the heart … From the deep crypts of Dexter’s House there was a quiet laugh and whistle of the Dark Passenger, and, as always, his weight sharpened my senses … … Indeed, is the Dark Passenger capable of appreciating an art exhibition?
Now I looked around with different sensations. The whisper of the spectators crowded near the screens no longer seemed to me a tribute to art. In their muffled mutters, disbelief, on the verge of horror, rustled almost indistinctly.
I looked at Rita. The wife read, frowned, shook her head.
– I heard about Chris Burden, he is American. But this one here, Schwarzkogler … – She stumbled over a complicated surname – after all, all these years Rita had been studying French, not German. – Oh … – She finished reading and blushed. – Here they write, he … he cut off his own … – Rita raised her head and looked around at the people in the room. Everyone stared at the screens in silence. – Lord …
– Maybe let’s go from here? I suggested.My inner friend was having fun.
But Rita had already stepped to the nearest screen and saw what was there. Her mouth opened involuntarily, her lips twitched as if they were trying to pronounce a very long and complicated word.
– There … there … there … – she babbled.
I glanced briefly at the screen and made sure that Rita was right again: everything happened there.
“There” was shown a video about a certain girl dressed as a stripper: all feathers and sequins. Such a costume usually involves an enticing, seductive pose, but instead, the girl lifted one leg on the table and swung her vibrating saw.She threw her head back, opened her mouth wide in agony … Fifteen short seconds without a sound. The plot ended and went back to the beginning: the girl did the same thing again.
– My God … – muttered Rita. – This … this is, apparently, editing, some kind of trick … Surely!
I was not so sure. Firstly, the Passenger has already hinted to me that interesting things are happening here. And secondly, I recognized the expression on the face of the girl in the frame all too well – thanks to my own artistic exercises.Her pain was real, this is absolutely true, real torment on the edge, and yet, despite my extensive experience, I have never met a person who wants to personally inflict so much suffering on himself. Now it is clear what made the Passenger laugh so much. Although I myself was no longer funny – if such things become fashionable, I will have to look for a new hobby.
However, a curious plot twist … in other circumstances I would love to have a look at the other screens. Now … I have a certain responsibility for Rita – such a sight is clearly not for her.
– Let’s get out of here, – I called. – Let’s eat dessert! The wife just shook her head and repeated:
– Surely editing!
And stepped to the next screen.
I followed her and was rewarded with another fifteen-second looped plot: the same girl, in the same outfit. This time she cut a piece of flesh from her leg. A dull, endless agony now froze on her face, as if the pain had lasted so long that it became familiar, but no less excruciating.So strange … I suddenly remembered the face of the heroine from the movie that Vince Matsuoka had brought to my bachelor party before the wedding – I think, “Bardak in a student dorm” or something like that. Through the pain and fatigue, this face shone with some strange satisfaction from the category of “Have you seen it all ?!” So the girl admired her own leg, the meat from which was cut to the bone from the knee to the lower leg.
– My God, – Rita whispered and moved to the next screen.
I do not pretend to understand human nature.For the most part, I try to relate to the world from a standpoint of logic, although this greatly complicates my attempts to figure out why people do this and not otherwise. You see, Rita always seemed to me very sweet, cheerful and bright, like the heroine of children’s books. She could burst into tears at the sight of a run over cat on the road. And here, please, methodically examines the exhibits of the worst you rate in your life. He knows that on the next screen everything will be the same and even worse – visual, repulsive muck.And all the same, he does not rush to the exit, but calmly moves on to the next screen.
New visitors came to the gallery, and I watched the horror reflected on their faces. The passenger obviously liked it here, but to be honest, the idea of the exhibition tired me out. I could not comprehend the meaning of the action taking place. After all, what’s the salt? Okay, Jennifer cuts her leg in pieces. So what? Why try, inflict unthinkable pain on yourself, because sooner or later life will do it all for you? What does this prove? And what will happen next?
Rita, however, was determined to go through all the troubles and steadily moved from one video to another.I had only to follow her and nobly endure the repeated exclamations “My God, my God!” after every new nasty thing.
A particularly large group of spectators has gathered at the far end of the room. They were looking at something behind the fence, but we could only see the metal frame from our place. Judging by their faces, there was something stunning in the frame, the real culmination of the exhibition. I already wanted to be there sooner and get rid of this whole gallery, but Rita insisted on watching all the videos first. In each of them, the heroine did more and more monstrous things with her leg, and, finally, on the last screen, in a film a little more than the usual fifteen seconds, she just sat and stared at her leg, from which there was almost nothing left, only a smooth white bone from knee to ankle. The foot was intact and seemed like an incomprehensible process on the pale long leg.
Now the expression on Jennifer’s face became even stranger: exhausted, exultant pain, as if the girl had finally clearly proved something to someone.I looked at the booklet again, but what exactly the artist was proving to us was not explained there.
Rita obviously did not know this either. In a kind of silent numbness, she watched and watched the final plot, and only on the third circle shook her head again and, as if hypnotized, took a step to the side. My wife rushed to the far end of the room, where a large group of people were gathered around the metal frame.
There, obviously, was the central exhibit of the entire exhibition, what it was all started for, I thought, and the Passenger chuckled in agreement.For the first time, Rita was unable to crush your usual “Oh my God.”
Jennifer’s bone leg stood on a square plinth of unpainted plywood in a metal frame. This time, the whole thing, from the knee and below.
– Well, – I remarked. – At least we now understand that this is not a montage and not a focus.
“This is a dummy,” said Rita, but it seemed she didn’t believe herself.
Somewhere on the street, in the blaze of the lights of the most beautiful city in the world, church bells were ringing eight.However, here, in the small gallery, there was neither beauty nor brilliance, and the ringing of the bells seemed too loud – so loud that it even drowned out my familiar inner whisper, hinting that the most interesting was ahead. Nevertheless, I listened to the hint and turned around in search of something new (after all, I’m used to the fact that this voice is almost always right).
The atmosphere is noticeably heated. As soon as I turned around, the door flew open and Jennifer herself entered, sparkling with sparkles.
Until now it seemed to me that the exhibition was quiet, but compared to the silence that followed now, a real carnival was raging here before.Jennifer hobbled into the center of the hall on crutches. Her face was pale and gloomy. A dress of feathers dangled from his emaciated body, and his steps were slow and hesitant – it seemed, from not being used to crutches. The stump in place of the freshly cut leg was wrapped in a white bandage.
We were standing at a pedestal with a bone. Jennifer hobbled past us, and Rita staggered back, so as not to touch the one-legged girl. I looked at my wife – she turned pale and barely breathed.
The crowd of spectators, just like Rita, parted, and Jennifer finally reached and froze in front of her own leg.She stared, looked for a long time (it’s like the whole audience suddenly forgot how to breathe), then suddenly you put a crutch out of one hand, leaned closer and stroked the bone.
I turned to Rita, wanted to joke that “ars longa” *, but I was late.
* Fragment of the catch phrase “Ars longa, vita brevis est” – “Life is short, art is eternal” (lat.).
We arrived home in Miami on Friday night, two days later. Vicious passengers walked all over the airport, shoving each other at the luggage belt, and tears welled up in my eyes. Someone tried to drag Rita’s suitcase off the tape, barked at me when I took away her property … Welcome home!
And even if I didn’t have enough extra sentimentalism, I received mine in full literally on Monday, on the first working day.I got out of the elevator and immediately bumped into Vince Matsuoka.
– Dexter! He cried. – Have you got the donuts?
What a hearty greeting . .. that means they missed me here! If only I had a heart, I would appreciate it fully.
– I don’t eat donuts anymore. Now – only croissants *.
– What? Vince blinked.
– Je suis Parisien **, – I explained. He shook his head.
– You didn’t bring donuts in vain. In the morning they summoned to South Beach, there is some kind of game going on, on the beach, and donuts in the area are not available.
– Quel tragique ***, – I sympathized.
– Will you be like this all day? – offended Vince. – Because we are still oh how far away from the evening …
That day really dragged on. On top of that, there are journalists and onlookers in three rows behind the yellow police tape that encloses a stretch of beach on the southern tip of South Beach. I was sweating as I made my way through the crowd that surrounded the scene. There, on the sand, twenty feet from the bodies, Angel Batista was crawling on his knees, looking for something invisible to mere mortals.
– How are you? – I greeted.
– Until she gave birth. He didn’t even look up.
– Well, well. And Vince said some kind of game is going on here. He narrowed his eyes, leaned even lower towards the sand.
– Aren’t you afraid of sand flies? – I forged it. Angel just nodded and announced:
– They weren’t killed here. From one blood … – He peered. – No, it’s not blood.
– I was lucky.
– And yet, – added Angel, with tweezers picking up something microscopic in a transparent bag prepared in advance.- They also have … – And he fell silent, but this time not because he was absorbed in his mysterious activities with invisible objects, but as if looking for words so as not to frighten me ahead of time. There was a rustling in the silence between us, as if something were spreading its wings in the dark depths of Dextermobile.
– What? – I could not resist.
Angel shook his head slowly.
– They were .. . decorated. – From these words, the spell over him seemed to dissipate; my colleague briskly jumped up from his place, glued a transparent bag, carefully put it aside and sat down on his knees again.
If he is not going to explain anything to me, then he will have to go and find out what everyone is so ominously silent about. And I walked another twenty feet forward to where the bodies lay.
Two bodies, male and female, slightly over thirty. Selected clearly not for beauty. Both are pale, puffy, hairy. They have been carefully laid out on colorful beach towels, a favorite among tourists from the Midwest. A kind of carelessly opened book sat on the woman’s lap (a lady’s novel in a flashy pink cover, so beloved by Michigan on vacation): “Vacation Season.”The most ordinary married couple on the beach.
To emphasize the pleasure they were supposed to experience, translucent plastic diving masks were glued to both faces; from the mask, the human face turns into a huge fake smile, but the real face is still visible through the plastic. Miami, the city of eternal smiles!
But these two beach-goers had a somewhat strange reason to smile, so strange that my Dark Passenger burst into croaking laughter.The bodies were opened from the ribs to the abdomen, and then the flaps of skin were pulled apart, exposing the insides. I guessed even without the joyful hiss of my dark friend that the insides were not quite ordinary.
Someone took out all the usual entrapment (a good start!). No sticky guts for you, no bloody mess. No, all the terribly disgusting dirt was removed from there. And then the female body cavity was beautifully and tastefully turned into a basket of tropical fruits, like those with which hotels welcome special guests.I noticed a couple of mangoes, papayas, a few oranges and grapefruits, pineapple and, of course, bananas. The ribcage was even tied with a bright red ribbon, and the neck of a bottle of cheap champagne protruded from the depths of a fruit vase.
The man was decorated with somewhat more frivolous and dissimilar objects. Instead of a bright and pretty platter of fruit, his exposed belly was filled with giant sunglasses, a snorkeling swim mask, empty tanning lotion tubes, and a box of traditional Latin American puff pastries.Amid all this wildness on the beach, there was a distinct lack of donuts. A brochure or magazine was stuck in the gutted cavity. I leaned closer, trying to see the cover: the South Beach Swimsuit calendar. The head of a sea bass protruded from behind the calendar: the fish opened its mouth in a kind of sinister grin, reminiscent of a plastic mask glued to the face of a dead man.
Someone was walking along the sand. I turned around.
– Your friend? – asked my sister Deborah, coming closer and nodding at the body.I should probably say “Sergeant Deborah,” since my job is to be polite to someone who has reached such a high position. Usually I am really quite courteous and can even ignore such tricks. But in her hand my sister was holding something that instantly neutralized all my politically correct impulses. She managed to get a donut somewhere (with whipped cream, my favorite!) And now she took a huge bite. What an injustice!
– What do you say, brother? Deborah chuckled with her mouth full.
– I’ll tell you that you had to take a donut for me too! – I was indignant.
Deborah grinned, and I felt even more offended, because her lips were smeared with chocolate icing.
– I took it! – explained Deborah. – And then I got hungry and ate everything!
It’s nice when my sister smiles, especially since in the last few years she rarely did it (the smile was unimportantly combined with her favorite image of a cop). But this sight did not generate a surge of brotherly warmth in me – mainly because I never got the donut.However, exploring human nature, I learned that people tend to rejoice in the happiness of their neighbors, and tried to portray this as believably as possible.
– I’m very happy for you!
– You are not at all happy, you are sulking! Deborah objected. – Well, what can you say?
She stuffed the last of the donut into her mouth and nodded again at the corpses.
Of course, Deborah, unlike all other people on earth, had the right to count on my special skill – the intuitive ability to recognize the motives of such murders committed by sick and perverted animals, because she was the only relative of myself, the same sick pervert.However, the fun of the Dark Passenger gradually faded, and I did not wait for any special clues as to why the madman wanted to decorate the corpses with such a greeting to our entire society. I listened for a very long time and intently (pretended to study the bodies), but I did not hear or saw anything – only an irritated cough was barely audible from the gloomy depths of Dexter’s chateau. And Deborah was waiting for an official statement from me.
– All this is somewhat pretentious … – I squeezed out.
“Wow, that’s a word,” she snorted.- And what the hell does that mean?
I hesitated. Usually I easily delve into the essence of absurd murders: my special insight in matters of this kind tells me exactly what twists of the subconscious have led to the appearance of certain human remains. But in this case, I did not understand anything. Even a professional like me is not omnipotent; Neither I nor my inner assistant had any idea who needed to turn the ridiculous fat woman into a fruit basket.
Deborah looked at me expectantly, and I was afraid to blurt out something stupid – suddenly my sister would take her for a shrewd guess and go to the wrong steppe.On the other hand, my reputation required me to express some kind of competent opinion.
“Nothing definite,” I began. “It’s just …
And he hesitated because he realized that I was going to give out a really correct guess. The passenger chuckled approvingly in agreement.
– Yes, tell me already! Deborah demanded in her usual irritated tone.
What a relief!
“Everything here was done with cold calculation, although usually in a different way,” I explained.
Debs burst out laughing.
– “Usually”! For whom is it usually – for you, or what ?! So, so, let’s go to the individual … Okay, let’s go.
– Usually for those who are capable of this. You need some kind of passion, some kind of sign that the one who did it, it was … um … it was very necessary to do just that. But here it is different. Kind of like … “What else can I have fun with?”
– Do you think this is entertainment? She asked. I shook my head angrily – my sister clearly did not want to delve into my words.
– No, I’m trying to explain to you! The entertainment should be the murder itself, this is always evident from the corpses – and here everyone started not for the sake of murder, this is only a way to achieve something.A way, not a goal … Why are you looking at me like that?
– So this is how you feel … – she held out. I was somehow even confused … it’s me, impudent Dexter, who won’t go into his pocket for a word! Deborah was still struggling to get used to who I was, who her father raised me to be. And I perfectly understood how difficult it is for her to accept all this in everyday life, especially at work … after all, her job was to track down people like me and send them to the electric chair.
On the other hand, such conversations were given to me, oh, how hard it was. Even with Deborah … it’s like discussing oral sex with your own mother. In general, I decided not to intrusively change the subject and said:
– You see, the main thing here is not the murders themselves, but what they did with the bodies further.
Deborah stared at me for a minute, then shook her head.
– I would like the hell to understand what you mean … – she drawled. – But even more I want to find out what’s going on in your head!
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. The hiss reminded me of the sounds that my Passenger used to make, and it calmed me down a little.
– Listen, Debs! – I tried again. “I mean, it’s not the killer we got. Our hero loves to play with dead bodies, not with living ones.
– Is there a difference?
– But he still kills? – she asked.
– And will most likely kill again?
– Probably, – I confirmed, drowning out the mocking inner confidence, heard only by me alone.
– So what’s the difference? Deborah insisted.
– The difference is that the murders will take place in different scenarios. It is not clear neither when he will kill the next time, nor who, it is not clear at all, which usually helps to catch the killer. All that remains is to wait and hope for good luck.
– Damn! I never knew how to wait.
A little away from the scene of the crime, at the parked cars, there was an incomprehensible bustle, and someone heavy shuffled breathlessly across the sand in our direction.Detective Coulter.
– Morgan, – he puffed, and we both responded:
“Not you,” he told me. – And you, Debbie!
Deborah grimaced – she hated being called Debbie.
“You and I are partners in this matter,” he said. – The captain said.
“I’m already doing it,” Deborah objected. “I don’t need any partner.
“We need it now,” Coulter said and took a sip of soda from a huge bottle.- Found more similar to these … In the “Elven Gardens”.
“Lucky you,” I remarked, turning to Deborah, and when my sister glared viciously, I added: “Now you won’t have to wait!
* Croissants, bagels (fr.).
** I am a Parisian (fr.).
*** What a pity! (fr.)
The text of the novel was kindly provided by the publishing house AST.
Original review can be found at icehockey360. ru
Since 2016, Graf has structured its product range and currently offers three product lines. Overload is a family of classic skates. It includes three models: G735, G709 and G703, differing in the shoe, which can be seen on the slide below.
Overload line of skates.
Three models of the Overload line of skates
The Technology family – skates made with a modern design approach and high-tech materials.The line includes seven models: G35, G1035, G3035, G5035, G7035, G8035 and the flagship G9035, an overview of which you can find at the link.
Technology line of skates.
The brand’s freshest product is the PeakSpeed line. It includes five models of different levels: PK1100, PK2200, PK3300, PK4400 and the top-end PK7700, which will be discussed in this material.
PeakSpeed line of skates.
The flagship of the PeakSpeed line is the PK7700.
The first thing you notice is the unusual design for Graf. Light green has always been the signature color for the Swiss brand. In the case of PeakSpeed, the decision was made to use a more aggressive red, which should emphasize the high dynamic characteristics that the manufacturer has endowed with these skates. Not everyone liked the new design. Personally, I think that the design came out quite restrained, as befits Graf.
Outside of the ridge.
Inner side of the ridge.
Front part of the ridge.
Heel part of the ridge.
The main feature of the PK7700 model is their low weight, and it is this characteristic that the manufacturer focuses on. So skates in size 8R (R – regular (standard boot fullness), W – wide (increased boot fullness)) weigh 780 grams. Of these, boots – 537 g., A glass (Cobra 5000) – 122 g., blade – 121 gr.
The weight of the different parts of the PK7700 skate in size 8R.
My copy in the size 10.5R already weighs exactly 900 grams, and the blade for a glass of size 288 weighs 135 grams. For skates of the Graf brand, the weight is very low, but in comparison with competitors it is not a record (for comparing this indicator, I propose a table).
The weight of the PK7700 model in size 10.5R is 900 g.
Bauer Vapor X: 60
CCM U + CL
Bauer Vapor X7.0
Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG
Easton Mako II
CCM Ribcor 50K
Bauer Vapor 1X
Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3
Graf Ultra G9035
Bauer Supreme 1S
CCM Super Tacks
Such a low weight was achieved due to the use of composite material in the construction of the boot. Its structure is very similar to what we saw in the CCM RBZ and JetSpeed skates: mesh-reinforced polymer. The heel, boot contour and heel are trimmed with synthetic material of impressive thickness. The smooth, glossy surface will pick up damage easily, just like Reebok skates did. In the area of the upper four eyelets, the manufacturer has placed an overlay of dense matte synthetic leather, which should keep the boot from rubbing with the shin guards (if the player uses a fit over the protective tongue and boot).
Construction materials of the boot.
Composite shoe structure.
The upper edge of the boot has a comfortable overlay – Flexfit Collar. The wall of the boot is wrapped in a layer of medium foam and covered in soft Clarino. Compared to competitors’ solutions, the Graf version feels much softer, allowing for an even more comfortable contact between the boot and the player’s foot.
The joint of the sidewall of the boot and the plastic toe has a traditional design and is significantly different from the pattern that the manufacturer used in the G9035. Two elements are simply stitched together in four lines, without the use of special stops and reinforcement. In this case, the joint has an average rigidity or slightly higher, which allows you to count on an appropriate level of protection when the puck hits this area. Although, as practice shows, hitting the joint is always quite painful even in skates with a very rigid structure, as in the Super Tacks model from CCM.
Joint of the plastic protection of the toe and the wall of the boot.
In the photo you can clearly see the pointed heel part of the boot, which forms a kind of pocket under the heel of the foot. A similar shape is obtained due to the fact that the boot is made of two separate sidewalls, which are connected in the heel part (vertical seam).
Wedge-shaped heel of the boot.
Wedge-shaped heel of the boot.
The heel of the boot has a modest thickness. Its construction includes only a thick layer of glossy synthetic material, reinforced with a semi-rigid insert inside (flexible plastic). It contacts the user’s foot through a very thin layer of foam. There is no special hinge for folding the backdrop, but thanks to its thin design, folding occurs without much effort. As a result, the movements are quite free.
Boot heel construction.
Boot heel construction.
The plastic toe cap is made of Grilamid branded impact-resistant material. The lower part, on which the manufacturer’s name is applied, has a smooth surface, the rest is rough with a rough texture. The shape of the visor is reminiscent of those previously used in Reebok and CCM skates, with a distinctive rounded shape for a tighter fit.
Plastic finger guard design.
A tongue is sewn to the plastic protection of the sock: it is based on white felt 5 mm thick. On the outside, it is lined with dense synthetic materials, which we have already seen as materials for the exterior. The inner filling of the tongue has an asymmetric pattern: the padding of medium density foam on one side is twice as large as on the other. According to the manufacturer’s idea, this should help to avoid its displacement during tightening and operation. Controversial decision: there could be more foam, since there is no dense / rigid foam or plastic in the structure.For many it will be surprising, but similar protective elements were absent in the G9035 model. To be fair, I would like to note that there was much more foam in the last one, which puts the PK7700 variant in a much less advantageous position. Fighting weight is a good thing, but if I were considering these skates as the main ones, then the first thing I would think about was strengthening the tongue and secured a rigid plastic insert in front. This would increase the level of protection when hitting the washer and reduce the intensity of the lacing pressure on the rise.
Form of plastic protection.
The base of the tongue is a layer of white felt.
Two-material outer protective tongue.
External finishing of the tongue.
The lining of the boot is made of several materials. The heel and top edge of the boot are covered with Clarino, which has a rough and grippy surface. The main part is occupied by a gray hydrophobic liner, which repels water and dries quickly.At the same time, I would note the low tenacity of the material, which becomes even lower when wet. All this reduces the degree of contact between the player’s foot and the boot. Of the positive properties, it should be said about the comfortable surface of the main finishing material, which is practically unable to rub the foot.
A unique feature of the PK7700 is the plastic toe cap.We’ve already seen a similar solution in the Easton Mako / Mako II skate, in which the surface above the toes was padded with a soft material for a tighter fit. In the PK7700, soft silicone (1-2 mm thick) is located over the entire inner area of the plastic toe. This finish improves both comfort and protection. Dwelling on the last point, it is worth noting that the protection is of a sufficient level: despite the rounded shape of the shield (the probability is higher that the blow will go on a tangent), the blow is tangible. This has already become a recent trend: skates cannot provide full protection and you need to be prepared for the fact that every frontal blow of decent strength will be unpleasant.
It should be noted that the foam layer in the ankle area is very thin and at the same time the padding is not very dense: everything is done to save weight. After thermoforming, the position of the lateral and medial ankles is almost invisible in the foam.
The volume of foam in the heel of the boot.
The skate comes with very simple and unremarkable, hydrophobic coated medium density foam insoles that don’t even have a drain hole. But, if this is important, then you can do them yourself.
The sole of the boot is made of thick plastic, which looks rather strange if you want to save weight as much as possible. The plastic has two large drainage holes to help drain moisture from the boot, many holes and cutouts to facilitate construction.
Thick plastic sole.
The outsole is already made of composite material. It’s thin and has cutouts under the glass posts – another way to keep your skates lighter.
Outer cover made of composite material.
The outer composite escutcheon is very thin.
Model PK7700 was my first opportunity to get acquainted with Graf’s signature glass – Cobra 5000.Their distinguishing feature is their low weight (they are positioned as the lightest glasses on the market, but I am sure that the difference between them is not so great) and frost resistance, which makes them the best choice for outdoor use. The glass is riveted to the boot with 14 rivets, four of which are copper (the RMS bolting system was abandoned due to weight savings – the RMS system requires a thick sole). I noted that some of the rivets have a hole nearby, as I understand it, drilled by mistake.Still, skates are made by hand.
The glass is fastened to the boot using rivets.
The plastic used for the glass is more similar to the one used by Reebok / CCM in the E-Pro. I draw conclusions only on the basis of tactile sensations and how softly they perceive impacts and how easily they are cut.
The size of the glass (aka the size of the blade) is indicated in the heel.
All glasses on the market are distinguished not only by the material from which they are made, but also by the way of fastening the blade.The Cobra 5000 uses a circuit that is reasonably similar to that of Bauer’s Tuuk LS2 cups. In front, the blade clings to the plastic with a spike, and in the back part a special hairpin is used, which does not go into the boot, but into the end part of the rear rack of the glass. To fix it, a special sleeve is screwed onto the stud, for tightening which a screwdriver is used. The advantage of this scheme over the version from Bauer is that the blade (theoretically) can be changed without removing the skate from the foot, as well as in easier access to the mount: a regular screwdriver is enough, while to work with Bauer fasteners, you need key on a long leg.
Mounting the blade in a glass.
Blade mounting system.
Blade mounting system.
Of particular interest is the blade installed in the glass – Cobra 2.0 Ti. Their feature is the deposition of titanium particles, which makes the edge harder. The spray protects it from damage, which increases the interval between sharpening. The blade has a matte surface and a radius of 10 ft.
Cobra Blade Weight 2.0 Ti in the size 288 – 135 g.
Very often I am asked the question: which glasses are better and why professionals often put a different model from their native one. Everything is very simple, each glass has its own geometry, where the most important parameters are height and slope. The skate boot is responsible for the comfort of the fit, and all the riding habits are preserved in the glass. That is why the players put their usual glass on a comfortable shoe of some new model, so as not to catch a sense of balance again and not to waste time on adaptation.You can see the differences in the geometry of the glasses by following the link. In the case of the PK7700, it is not only the glass that sets the tilt, but also the blade. At the same time, this bundle gives the smallest possible slope in the market.
Graf PeakSpeed PK7700 Skate Scheme.
Skate diagram Graf G9035.
Going directly to my operating experience, it is worth talking about the reasons why the skate test turned out to be incomplete. In fact, there are two of them and both of them are associated with the last of the boot:
1.The depth of the boot is too deep (boot for high instep). With a low to medium instep (Bauer Vapor and Supreme are great, the Nexus is already too deep), my foot, like in the case of the G9035, does not press in the midfoot and heel of the sole of the boot. All this leads to its separation during skating, which makes it difficult for me to control the skates. By the way, the G9035 and PK7700 have a deeper boot than Bauer’s Nexus family.
What is the depth of the boot.
2. The PeakSpeed line skate boot has a fairly narrow mid and heel portions with a fairly wide forefoot (in full R they sit on my foot with a small margin – coefficient 2.76). The problem lies precisely in the middle of the boot – a caliper is integrated into it, which should support the high arch of the foot. Comparing the soles of the PK7700 and CCM JetSpeed skates, we can see that even compared to the very narrow heel and midfoot model, the Graf model is even more compact.The flat platform passes into the wall of the boot, which supports the arch of the foot. In my case, the foot in this area is wider than the flat part and it turned out that the rigid caliper rests on the sole of the foot, causing a feeling of squeezing.
Narrow middle section of PK7700 skate boot.
Width of the narrowest part of the sole in the middle of the boot.
All these difficulties, which directly influenced the operation of skates, remind once again that skates should be chosen, first of all, for the anatomy of the foot.As a result, the model / line that you originally wanted to purchase may not be suitable at all. By being principled in this matter, you can get serious problems during operation, to the point that you cannot use them at all.
Skates designed by Graf Canada.
Most of the questions about the PK7700 model were related to the stiffness of the boot: many were interested in the effect of such active weight loss on this parameter.We are already accustomed to the fact that Graf skates have to be massive and weighty. It is against the background of earlier models of the brand that the novelty really stands out for its low weight. If you compare the G9035 and PK7700, then the first will be 100 grams. heavier (exactly 1 kg. in size 10.5R), but it also offers a taller (see skate diagrams) and stiffer boot. However, speaking about Graf skates, one should rather speak not about stiffness, but about the density of the boot: they are traditionally not oak, but “tight”. For this parameter, I would place the PK7700 between the Reebok 11K and 20K skates.
Indication of completeness on the tag sewn to the tongue.
Indication of the size on the tag sewn to the tongue.
If the boot is divided into zones, then its lower part has increased rigidity, which makes it possible to more reliably protect the rib of the foot. Above, the boot is already less rigid: if you wish, you can even push it a little (as I said above, the PK7700 boot is not oak), and in the upper part of the wall it is quite easy to bring it together: you should be guided by the Reebok 11K and 20K models.In terms of defense, I was not able to fully test the skates. They hold the ordinary load normally, but hard shots into the side of the boot (interceptions of gears) and dense wrist throws showed that the highest level of protection should not be expected. The rule fully works: the lightening of any piece of equipment is most often due to a decrease in its rigidity, and hence its protective properties. They could have been increased with a more impressive layer of padding, but there is not much foam either.
Areas of the boot with different stiffness.
Ankle support when riding is consistent with the stiffness level of the boot. I would compare the PK7700 in this parameter to the Reebok 11K: the boot feels like a roll, especially after such incredibly hard CCM Super Tacks (even users of Bauer skates with a composite boot complain about their rigidity). For a high level of comfort, Graf offers a tighter (stretchy) boot that never digs into the tops of the foot, giving the player a soft contact with the skates.This is why many people choose not only Graf products, but also Reebok.
Outline of the outside of the boot.
Outline of the inner side of the boot.
Speaking of the fit of the boot on the foot, it can be called tapered: the boot actively tapers from the front to the heel. At the same time, there is an additional narrowing in the middle part, as roughly shown in the diagram below.
Approximate foot proportions for which the PeakSpeed family will fit.
A nice bonus to the PK7700 boot design is the ability to gently wrap the player’s foot: the upper edge of the boot along the entire eyelet line is actively pressed against the instep and smoothly wraps around the ankle. This gives the skate a nice snug fit and a great sense of control over them. I consider the wedge-shaped shape of the heel of the boot to be a controversial point: this cavity is not completely filled, which forms a small negative space that reduces the grip of the foot with the boot. For the sake of fairness, I note that the reliability of fixing the heel is more influenced by the correspondence of the depth of the boot to your instep. Ideally, the lacing will securely press the foot against the sole of the boot.
While the PK7700 is similar in height to the Bauer Vapor and CCM Ribcor, which I consider to be quite maneuverable skates, the flagship PeakSpeed is more ankle-tight. The fact is that the Vapor and Ribcor have a certain taper of the boot, which provides the ankle with additional mobility.The boot of the PK7700 skates is tightly pressed against the leg along the entire height, which creates a certain feeling of stiffness. This effect can be neutralized by lacing: if you do not lace up all the eyelets. But this will further increase the load on the ankle.
Due to the mismatch of the boot lasts for my foot, it is quite difficult for me to talk about the intricacies of riding: you feel very uncomfortable and insecure. It is very difficult to assess the dynamics and maneuverability of skates, when during skating the heel constantly comes off the sole and discomfort arises in the foot.I can note that the heel does bend while rolling, but not as smoothly as it is implemented in the Supreme line from Bauer and Easton Mako. This is more important for those who are accustomed to making wide free steps when riding or who rolls a lot with their backs forward.
Finishing off the conversation about skating PK7700, it is worth sharing your impression of the Cobra 5000 glass bundle + Cobra 2.0 Ti blades. For all the time, I have had the opportunity to use almost all types of glasses available on the market. I think that is why I have not experienced any difficulties with the signature glass of Graf.It feels like it’s gently sloping and with minimal slope and this causes minimal imbalance. Having extensive experience in operating different models, it is already very difficult to objectively assess the complexity of the transition from one cup model to another. I can only say that the transition was very easy for me and turned out to be absolutely imperceptible: I got up and drove off. In terms of blades, they feel very similar to traditional models such as Bauer’s LS2 and CCM’s SB Black. Even the structure of the ground surface makes it possible to draw parallels between these glands.At the same time, they do not seem so knurled, since the edge is more tenacious and harder: the sharpening really lasts longer than in the models mentioned above. In order not to damage the coating, I recommend removing the burr after sharpening with a soft single wire with a ceramic slingshot, or carefully remove it with a bar directed to the edge at an angle, acting on the very bottom of the blade.
The thermoforming process for the PK7700 skates is no different from what I described in the review of the G9035 model.Follow the link and follow this procedure by analogy. The shape of the PK7700 boot is slightly better than the G9035, which is expected, since the boot wall of the flagship of the PeakSpeed line is less massive. It bends better, which allows you to more effectively follow the contours of the foot.
The PeakSpeed line matches the Graf Parallel Skate family. You need to measure the parameters of your foot and choose the size based on the tabular data. You will also find recommendations in choosing the size and completeness in the review of the G9035 model at the link.
Summing up, it is worth noting that the main difference between the two families of Graf skates is not the weight, but the last, and this is to be expected. If we take into account that the boot in the G9035 is taller and wider (middle and heel parts) with a more powerful wall, then under equal conditions the difference would be even less than 100 grams. In terms of fit, the two rulers have comparable forefoot widths, but the G9035 offers a wider midfoot and slightly bulkier heel. The differences are really significant. So the model G9035 came up to my foot, but it is not ideal in terms of the depth of the boot either: the instep is too high, which also leads to the separation of the foot in the heel.