After a heavy breakfast, the shit-eating scribbler of St. Petersburg (otherwise as known as Pyetr Turgidovsky) makes way his to work through nineteen boggy fields and one shallow but increasingly putrid swamp, riding a unicycle with a punctured tyre. His workplace consists of an abandoned barn, shared with thousand rats or so: ‘the perfect conditions,’ writes the Russian, ‘in which to create a masterpiece’.
He writes in forty-seven minute bursts. If he goes overtime he punishes himself by ringing his mother, who is guaranteed to remind him of everything that could possibly go wrong with an old woman’s gall bladder. If she isn’t in, he rings the talking clock, which has much the same effect.
Between periods of writing, he often washes his beard in orange juice. On other occasions he throws a needle into a nearby haystack and sees if he can find it. Once he snorted a line of pigeon droppings and had a hallucination about winning the Nobel Prize for Peace (‘the most frightening experience of that week’ he later called it).
For lunch Turgidovsky eats peaches, plums and, on Thursdays, pears. He also eats cheese, which he simply can’t abide.
After lunch, he returns to his desk and starts writing again.