Салават Венерович Вахитов родился в г. Ачинске Красноярского края. Окончил Башкирский государственный университет (1987). Работал учителем русского языка и литературы, преподавал современный русский язык в Башкирском государственном педагогическом университете им. М. Акмуллы. Кандидат филологических наук, доцент, научные интересы – лексикография и жаргонология. Участник многочисленных всероссийских и международных конференций, опубликовал ряд научных книг и статей. Наиболее известные работы – «Словарь уфимского сленга» (Уфа, 2001; 2-е изд., испр. и доп. – 2003, 3-е изд. – 2004), «Карточная терминология и жаргон XIX века» (М., 2007), «Словарь уфимского сленга начала XXI века» (Уфа, 2010).
В 2003 г. организовал собственное издательство «Вагант», которое, помимо издания учебной и научной литературы, активно публиковало произведения уфимских литераторов в сериях книг «Свобода чтения», «Supremum versus», «Места силы», «Уфимская книга», а также отдельными изданиями.
Член Союза писателей РБ и РФ. Художественные произведения опубликованы в книгах «Прощай, рубиновое небо…» (2007), «Люби меня всегда» (2009), «Пушкин 37-го года» (2010), «Разорванное сердце Адель» (2013), «Хорошие люди» (2014), «Любовь 24 часа» (2015), «Страсти по Борхесу и другие истории» (2016). Победитель конкурса «Молодежной газеты» (Уфа) «Премьера» (2010), лонг-лист Всероссийской книжной премии «Чеховский дар» в номинации «Необыкновенный рассказчик» (2011), победитель в номинации «Искусство» премии журнала «Собака.ру» – «ТОП 20. Самые знаменитые люди Уфы» (2011), лонг-лист литературной премии «Ясная Поляна» (2013), серебряная медаль Всероссийского фестиваля «ЛиФФт» (Алушта, 2016).
рассказ «И это была любовь»
The wheels rumbled. To its steady rumbling behind the window the scenes of the autumn were rushing by. It seemed that the pages of human life are being turned over.
– How silly I was! How silly!
The old woman became thoughtful, going through the memories rushed into her mind.
– In Chernikovka, the region of Ufa, after the war we had the camps with the captive Germans. They were building some facilities, the houses among them. The barracks the captives lived in were fenced in barbwire and were situated right on the half way to school where we, kids of the villages nearby, went on foot. There was a great number of postwar kids and we kept together.
The people surely didn’t like the Germans: almost all the families had the killed and missing. If we got to see the lost “Fritz” we showered him with the stones, which the boys as well as girls prepared in advance. In this way we tried to revenge. And it was German which was the most unloved subject. We hated our teacher of German and nobody studied it. The director’s moralizing conversation didn’t help. I’m still surprised at the tenacity of our German language teacher.
On day, having sneaked up to the barracks we saw two Germans, the old and young one, which were smoking and quietly talking the language we hated. Having jumped out from our shelter we began showering them with the stones. The boys slinged. The old man hid shouting, but the young man for some reason didn’t evade of our stones and slowly headed towards us.
Lena, my friend and my neighbor screamed in terror and started running away. The others did the same. But I was so scared that I couldn’t even move, because he was heading right towards me, looking at my eyes and also his serious childishly freckled face reminded me of my elder brother lost during the war. He had the same manner to walk too. I imagined that he would come to me, tug my tresses and say: “Aha! I caught you!“ And satisfied he’ll start laughing himself and so contagiously that everybody who hears his laughter begins to smile too.
He stopped by the barrier and started talking to me. I tried to listen attentively, but surely I didn’t understand anything. I just remember that I was surprised it wasn’t the same harsh deep- throat language we used to listen during our classes and films about the war which sometimes we saw in our club. His speech was melodious and unusually beautiful as if I heard the quite wash of the waves of the sea I had never seen.
My torpor passed. Then I took out my breakfast package my mum made for me. I threw it over the fence and ran away. I thought about that freckled German all the night and hardly slept remembering his quite voice.
In the morning I lied to my friends that I overslept and went to school little later secretly hoping to see my new friend. Surprisingly he was at the same place and waved his hand as if he was waiting for me. I threw my breakfast again and ran away although he tried to call me. It continued for a long time, for about a month before I had guts to stay little bit by the fence behind which he stood. I didn’t understand him. He seemed to ask my name. I just remember the strong beating of my heart and my wish to flatter his hand with the elongated scar from his thumb. Stealthily I looked at his eyes and for some reason couldn’t understand of what color they were. When he turned away I saw two crowns on his head, the same my brother had. Silently I called him Jenya as my brother though I understood that his name was Heinz: he always called himself like this hoping that I would tell my name too, but I kept silent. I was so silly at that time!
My school life considerably changed. I showed good results in my studies. I studied well earlier as well but now I was obsessed by my studies. I was carried away by reading and even the mathematics which was very difficult for me to understand now was clear and simple as the words of some love song. And most of all, of course, I liked literature and German. I knew that I would learn it and be able to talk to Heinz.
And Heinz still tried to find out my name and was very persistent. I was scared to call it and told my friend’s name. I remember he was happy as a child. Lena, my friend, reproached me of becoming reserved and reticent. We lived together and were inseparable. Our mothers were friends too and they noticed that Lena was trying to be like me: she wore the same clothes and braided her hair the same way I did. She went followed me trying to find out my secret. Once she succeeded. She watched me giving my breakfast to the captive enemy and now everybody knew about it at school and in the village. My school friends called me the traitor and little by little stop keeping company with me. I tried not to pay attention to it but after that the insults and followings began. Once when I was going home from school the town boys from the yards near our school started running after me. They drove me in the deep puddle and dragged in the mud. Lena saw all this and though took pity of me didn’t dare to help.
My parents felt the disapproval and neighbors’ scowling glances too. My mum couldn’t bear the continual ill-will and made a row. She usually always busy with housekeeping and that’s why silent suddenly sharply and with irritation came from the yard to the room at the moment I was studying German and started shouting that I was faming our family it was me who caused all the trouble. I had never seen her like that and in torpor I was watching her angry face and only when she raised her hand against me I cried out: “Mummy! He is the same as Jenya!” she burst out sobbing and dropped into a chair. I was crying too, hugging her, patted on the back and whispered: “Forgive me. I won’t do it anymore”.
I didn’t visit the German camp for a long time. I didn’t go the school either. Soon my dad started working in the railway workshop and we moved to Ufa. Before our departure I wanted to see Heinz again. I went to see him by stealth without any hope to see him as we usually met only in the mornings. But he was waiting for me. I told him we were moving and perhaps he understood as he was very upset. He replied me something on his melodious dialect too and at parting gave me a small package. I unfolded it at home. It was a golden brooch in the form of a small snake and my friend’s name was inscribed on it. How silly I was! So silly! For sure I couldn’t show this gift at home and I told everything to my friend. I gave her the brooch as a gift and asked not throw the stones at him anymore.