Dark circles are definitely the enemy of those who love beauty. Everyone has their own unique tricks to get rid of them. Stanislav Alkonnikov, a well-known dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon in Russia, introduced the secret of eliminating dark circles in an interview with a Russian satellite radio reporter on the 24th.
Alkonnikov said that if the face is haggard, it means that the pace of life needs to be changed to eliminate the factors that cause excessive tension. If a person reads, looks at the computer, lacks sleep, or is over-fatigued for too long, the optic nerve will become tense for a long time, and the blood vessels will become thin and ruptured, which will induce bruises and dark circles under the eyes.
As for how to deal with dark circles, Alkonnikov said, first of all, it is necessary to work and rest reasonably, go outdoors more, and let the eyes rest. Secondly, you can use some beauty products, such as caffeine-containing creams. He emphasized that the effect of caffeinated cream is not to cover up dark circles, but to eliminate dark circles. However, these methods must be persisted for a long time to be effective.
R obert was busy in the small room at the studio in order to wash out a pallet and a bunch of brush. Then little Pierre appeared in the open door. He stopped and watched.
“That’s dirty work,” he judged after a little while. “In general, painting is really nice, but I never want to be a painter.”
“Well, think again,” said Robert. “When your father is such a famous painter.”
“No,” decided the boy, “it wouldn’t be for me. You’re always greasy, and the colors smell so terribly strong. I like to smell a bit of it, for example on a fresh picture when it hangs in a room and just smells very fine of paint; but in the studio, that would be too much for me, I would get a headache. ”
The servant looked at him carefully. Actually he should have spoken his mind to the spoiled child long ago, he had a lot to criticize about him. But if Pierre was there and you looked him in the face, then it wasn’t possible. The little one was so fresh and handsome and serious, as if everything about him and in him were absolutely all right, and just the little trait of imperious smugness or precociousness suited him strangely well.
“What do you want to be, boy?” Asked Robert a little sternly.
Pierre looked at the floor and thought about it.
“Oh, I don’t really want to be anything special, you know. I just want me to be through with school. In summer I just want to wear completely white clothes, including white shoes, and there should never be the slightest stain on it. ”
“So, so,” chided Robert. “So you say now. But the other day, when we had you with us, all of a sudden your white stuff was full of cherry stains and grass stains, and you had lost your hat at all. You know what?”
Pierre grew cool. He closed his eyes except for a small slit and stared through his long-haired lashes.
“My mom scolded me for that,” he said slowly, “and I don’t think she told you to hold it against me again and torment me with it.”
Robert gave in.
“So you always want to wear white clothes and never get them dirty?”
“Yes, sometimes it is. You don’t understand me at all! Of course, sometimes I want to lie around in the grass, or in the hay, or jump over the puddles or climb a branch. That’s obvious. But once I’ve been wild and romped a little, then I don’t want to be scolded. Then I just want to go very quietly into my room and put on clean, fresh clothes, and then it would be all right again. – You know, Robert, I really think the scolding is of no value. ”
“That could suit you, guess? Why then?”
“Yes, see: if you have done something that is not right, then you know it yourself right afterwards and are ashamed. If I am scolded, be ashamed I feel a lot less. And sometimes you get scolded if you haven’t done anything bad, just because you weren’t there when someone called, or because mom is angry at the moment. ”
“You have to count it together, my boy,” laughed Robert, “for that you certainly do a lot of bad things that nobody sees and for which nobody scolds you.”
Pierre didn’t answer. It was always the same. If you let yourself get carried away with talking to an adult about something that was really important to you, it always ended in disappointment or even humiliation.
“I would like to see the picture again,” he said in a tone which suddenly took him far away from the servant and which Robert could consider both imperious and pleading. “Good, let me in for a moment.”
Robert obeyed. He unlocked the studio door, let Pierre in and came with him because it was he was strictly forbidden to leave anyone in here alone.
On the easel in the middle of the large room stood the new picture of Veraguth, pushed into the light and fitted into a makeshift gold frame. Pierre stood in front of it. Robert stopped behind him.
“Do you like it, Robert?”
“Of course I like it. I would have to be a fool! ”
Pierre blinked at the picture.
“I think,” he said thoughtfully, “you could show me a lot of pictures and I would know straight away if one of my dad was there. That’s why I like the pictures, I can feel that Papa took them. But actually I only half like them. ”
“Don’t talk stupid things!” Admonished Robert, very frightened, and looked at the boy reproachfully, who, however, stood motionless with blinking eyes in front of the picture.
“Look,” he said, “there are some in the house over there some old pictures, I like them much better. I want to have pictures like this one day. For example mountains when the sun goes down, and everything is all red and gold, and pretty children and women and flowers. It’s actually much nicer than an old fisherman who doesn’t even have a right face and such a black, boring boat, isn’t it? ”
Inside Robert was entirely of the same opinion and was amazed at the boy’s frankness, who actually pleased him. But he didn’t admit it.
“You don’t quite understand that yet,” he said shortly. “Come on now, I have to lock again.”
At that moment there was a sudden puffing and grinding noise from the house.
“Oh, an automobile!” Cried Pierre happily and ran out, under the chestnuts, through forbidden abbreviations across the lawns and with jumps over the flower beds. He arrived breathless on the gravel square in front of the house and just in time to see his father and a strange gentleman get out of the car.
“Hello, Pierre,” called Papa, catching him in his arms. “An uncle arrived that you never know. Give him your hand and ask him where he’s from. ”
The boy held the stranger firmly in the eye. He shook hands with the man and looked into a red-brown face and bright, cheerful, gray eyes.
“Where are you from, uncle?” He asked obediently.
The stranger took him in his arms.
“Boy, you’ve gotten too heavy for me,” he shouted with a cheerful sigh and let go of him again. “Where I come from? From Genoa, and before from Suez, and before from Aden, and before from – – – ”
“Oh, from India, I know, I know! And you are uncle Otto Burkhardt. Did you bring me a tiger or coconuts? ”
“The tiger ran away from me again, but you can have coconuts, as well as mussels and Chinese picture sheets.”
They went through the front door and Veraguth led his friend up the stairs. He put a hand tenderly on his shoulder, who was a good deal taller than he was. The housewife came up to them in the corridor. She, too, greeted the guest, whose happy, healthy face reminded her of irretrievably happy times in past years, with measured but sincere cordiality. He held her hand in his for a moment and looked into her face.
“You haven’t gotten any older, Frau Veraguth,” he cried in praise, “you held up better than Johann.”
“And you are quite the same,” she said gently.
“Oh yes, the facade is still blooming, but I’ve gradually given up dancing. It didn’t lead to anything anyway, I’m still a bachelor. ”
“I hope you came over to watch the bride this time.”
“No, madam, that has just been missed. I don’t like to spoil pretty Europe either. You know I have relatives and I am gradually developing into an uncle. I should never be seen with a woman in my homeland. ”
The coffee was served in Frau Veraguth’s room. One drank coffee and liqueur and chatted for an hour, about the sea voyage, about rubber plantings, about Chinese porcelain. At first the painter was quiet and a little depressed; he had not been in this room for months. But everything went well and with Otto’s presence a light, happier, more childlike atmosphere seemed to have come into the house.
“I think my wife would like to rest a little now,” said the painter at last. “I want to show you your room, Otto.”
They said goodbye and went to the guest rooms. Veraguth had set up two rooms for his friend and took care of all of their furnishings himself, made the furniture and thought of everything from the pictures on the wall to the selection of books in the shaft. Over the bed was an old, pale photograph, a droll, touching picture from the institute from the 1970s. This caught the guest’s eye and he stepped closer to look at it.
“Jesus Christ,” he cried in surprise, “that’s us, all sixteen from back then! Boy you are touching I haven’t seen that thing for twenty years. ”
“Yeah, I thought you would enjoy it. Hopefully you can find everything you need. Do you want to unpack right away? ”
Burkhardt sat wide on a huge ship’s trunk covered with copper corners and looked around with satisfaction.
“It’s fine here. And where are you at home? Next door? Or upstairs? ”
The painter played with the handle of a leather bag.
“No,” he said lightly. “I live over there now, by the studio. I’ve grown. ”
“You’ll have to show me that later. But – – do you sleep over there too? ”
Veraguth left the bag and turned around.
“Yes, I sleep over there too.”
His friend was silent and considered. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick bunch of keys that began to rattle.
“You, we want to unpack a bit, don’t we? You could go and get the boy, he’ll have fun. ”
Veraguth immediately ran out and soon came back with Pierre.
“You have nice suitcases, Uncle Otto, I’ve already looked at them. And so many notes on it. I’ve read a couple of them. One says Penang. What does that mean: Penang? ”
“This is a city in the back of India, where I sometimes go. Pay attention, now you can open here. ”
He gave the child a flat, multi-pointed key and had him open the locks on a suitcase. Then the lid was opened, and The first thing that lay on top and stuck in the eyes was an inverted, flat basket of colorful, Malay wickerwork, which was turned over and freed of paper, and inside, between papers and rags, lay the most beautiful fantastic shells, as one would find in exotic ones Port cities to buy.
Pierre was given the shells and became very still with happiness, and the shells were followed by a large ebony elephant and a Chinese toy with moving grotesque wooden figures, and finally a roll of glaring, glowing Chinese picture sheets, full of gods, devils, kings, warriors and dragons .
While the painter was helping the boy marvel at these things, Burkhardt unpacked the leather bag and distributed night shoes, linen, brushes and the like in the bedroom. Then he returned to the two of them.
“Well,” he said encouragingly, “enough work for today. Now the pleasure. Can we go to the studio now? ”
Pierre looked up and again, as at the arrival of the car, he gazed with astonishment at the agitated and joyfully rejuvenated face of his father.
“You are so funny, papa,” he said approvingly.
“Yes,” nodded Veraguth.
But his friend asked: “Isn’t he so funny otherwise?”
Pierre looked from one to the other, embarrassed.
“I don’t know,” he said hesitantly. But then he laughed again and said firmly: “No, you’ve never been so happy.”
He ran away with the shell basket. Otto Burkhardt took his friend’s arm and went outside with him. He let himself be led through the park and finally to the studio house.
“Yes, there has been cultivation,” he stated immediately, “by the way, it looks pretty nice. When did you have that done? ”
“About three years ago, I think. The studio itself has also gotten bigger. ”
Burkhardt looked around.
“The lake is priceless! We want to swim a little in the evening. It’s nice for you here, Johann. But now I have to see the studio. Do you have any new pictures? ”
“Not many. But one thing, I only finished it the day before yesterday, you have to see that. I think that’s good. ”
Veraguth unlocked the doors. The high workroom was festively clean, the floor was freshly scrubbed and everything was tidy. In the middle stood the new picture. They stood in front of it in silence. The damp, cold, tough atmosphere of the cloudy, rainy morning stood in contradiction to the clear light and the hot, sun-drenched air that flowed in through the doors.
They looked at the work for a long time.
“Is that the last thing you did?”
“Yes. There must be a different framework around it, otherwise there is nothing more to be done. Do you like it?”
The friends examined each other’s eyes. The bigger and stronger Burkhardt with the healthy face and the warm, cheerful ones Eyes stood like a big child in front of the painter, whose eyes and face looked sharp and stern through the prematurely graying hair.
“That is perhaps your best picture,” said the guest slowly. “I also saw the one in Brussels and the two in Paris. I wouldn’t have thought it, but you’ve made progress in the few years. ”
“That pleases me. I think so too. I’ve been pretty hardworking, and sometimes I think I used to be just a dilettante. I learned to work properly late, but now I’ve mastered it. I can’t go any further, I can’t do anything better than this. ”
“I understand. Well, you’ve also become quite famous, even on our old East Asian steamers I occasionally heard you talked about and I’ve become very proud. How does it taste like being famous? Are you happy? ”
“Happy, I don’t want to say that. I think it’s okay. There are two, three, four painters who live maybe more and can give more than me. I never counted myself among the greats, and what the writers say about it is, of course, tin. I can ask to be taken seriously, and since that is what I am doing, I am satisfied. Everything else is newspaper fame or a question of money. ”
“Well. But what do you mean by the really big ones? ”
“Yes, by that I mean the kings and princes. One of us takes it to the general or minister, then he’s at the border. You see, there is nothing we can do but be hardworking and take nature as seriously as is humanly possible. The kings, however, are brothers and comrades of nature, they play with it and can create themselves wherever we only imitate. But of course, the kings are rare, one does not come every hundred years. ”
They paced up and down the studio. The painter, looking for the words, looked down at the floor, his friend walked alongside and tried to read Johann’s brownish, lean, strong-boned face.
Otto stopped at the door to the next room.
“Open up here,” he asked, “and let me see the rooms. And give me a cigar, guess? ”
Veraguth opened the door. They crossed the room and looked into the adjoining rooms. Burkhardt lit a cigar. He stepped into his friend’s small bedroom, saw his bed and looked attentively at the few modest rooms in which painting implements and smoking equipment were lying around. The whole thing was almost poor to look at and spoke of work and asceticism, such as the small apartment of a poor, hardworking bachelor.
“So you’ve settled down there!” He said dryly. But he saw and felt everything that had been going on here in years. He noted with satisfaction the objects that pointed to sport, gymnastics, and riding, and he sadly missed all signs of comfort, little comfort, and indulgent leisure time.
Then they returned to the picture. So This is how these pictures were created, which hung everywhere in the places of honor in exhibitions and galleries and which were paid for in heavy gold; Here they were created in rooms that knew only work and renunciation, where there was nothing festive, nothing useless, no trinkets and odds and ends, no scent of wine and flowers, no memory of women.
Two photographs hung unframed above the narrow bed, one of little Pierre and one of Otto Burkhardt. He must have noticed it, it was a bad photo taken by lovers, it showed him in a pith helmet with the veranda of his Indian house behind him, and below his chest the picture flowed apart in mystical white stripes because light had hit the plate.
“The studio has become beautiful. In general, how hard you have become! Give your hand, boy, it’s nice to see you again! But now I’m tired and I’m leaving for an hour. Do you want to pick me up later, for a swim or a walk? Good thank you. No, I don’t need anything, in an hour I’ll be all right again . Goodbye!”
He strolled comfortably under the trees and Veraguth watched him as his figure and his walk and every fold of his clothes proclaimed security and calm joy of life.
Meanwhile Burkhardt went into the house, but walked past his rooms to the stairs, climbed up and knocked on Frau Veraguth’s.
“Am I disturbing or may I keep a little company?”
She let him in and smiled, and he found the short, inexperienced smile on the strong, heavy face strangely helpless.
“It’s wonderful here on Roßhalde. I’ve been to the park and the lake over there. And how did Pierre thrive! The handsome guy could almost spoil my bachelorhood. ”
“Doesn’t he, he looks good? Do you think he’s like my husband? ”
“A little yes. Or actually more than a little. I didn’t know Johann at that age, but I still remember pretty well what he looked like when he was eleven or twelve years old. – He seems a little overworked, by the way. How? No, I’m talking about Johann. Has he been working a lot lately? ”
Frau Adele looked him in the face; she felt that he wanted to investigate her.
“I think so,” she said calmly. “He very seldom speaks of his work.”
“What is he painting now? Landscapes? ”
“He often works in the park, mostly with models. Have you seen any pictures of him? ”
“Yes, the one in Brussels.”
“Has he exhibited in Brussels?”
“Certainly, a lot of pictures. I brought the catalog with me. I want to buy one of them and I would like to hear from you what you think of it. ”
He offered her a notebook and pointed to the small reproduction of a picture. She looked at the picture leafed through the booklet and handed it back to him.
“You have to help yourself, Mr. Burkhardt, I don’t know the picture. I think he painted it in the Pyrenees last autumn and never had it here. ”
She paused and continued distractingly: “You gave Pierre a present, that was nice. Thank you.”
“Oh, there are little things. But you must allow me to give you something Asian as a souvenir. Do you want that? I’ve brought a few fabrics that I want to show you and you have to choose what you like. ”
He succeeded in sparking a little jokingly gallant war of words out of her polite lock and putting the withdrawn woman in a good mood. He brought an armful of Indian fabrics up from his treasury, spread Malay knickknacks and hand-woven pieces, laid lace and silk over the back of the chair, chatted and told where he had seen and haggled this and that, for almost nothing, and developed a funny, colorful little bazaar. He asked for her judgment, hung the tips over her hands, explained their design and compelled her to spread out the most beautiful pieces, to look at them, to touch them, to praise them and finally to keep them.
“No,” she said, laughing at the end, “I’m going to make you a beggar. I can’t possibly keep all of that. ”
“Don’t worry,” he laughed against it. “I recently planted six thousand rubber trees again and am about to become a real nabob.”
When Veraguth came to fetch him, he found them both chatting happily. He was astonished to see how his wife had become talkative, tried in vain to join the chat and started a little ponderously to admire the presents.
“Don’t worry, these are ladies’ things,” the friend called out to him, “we want to go swimming now!”
He pulled him out and into the open.
“Your wife really hasn’t gotten any older since I last saw her,” Otto began on the way. “She was just very happy. So far everything is fine with you. The big son is still missing. What is he doing? ”
The painter shrugged and frowned.
“You will see him, he is coming these days. I wrote you about it once. ”
And suddenly he stopped, leaned over to his friend, looked him in the eye and said softly:
“You will see everything, Otto. I don’t feel the need to talk about it. You’ll see. – We want to have fun while you’re here, dude! And now we’re going to the pond; I want to swim with you again like I did when I was a boy. ”
“We want that,” nodded Burkhardt, who didn’t seem to notice Johann’s nervousness. “And you will win, my dear, what you used to do not always succeeded. It’s a shame, but I actually got a stomach. ”
It was evening. The lake was completely in the shade, there was a weak wind playing in the treetops, and light purple clouds flew over the narrow blue sky island that the park left free above the water, all of the same type and shape, in a brotherly row, thin and elongated as Willow leaves. The two men stood in front of the bathing hut hidden in the bushes, the lock of which would not open.
“Let’s leave it!” Cried Veraguth. “The stuff is rusted, we never need the hut.”
He began to undress, Burkhardt followed suit. When they stood on the bank, ready to swim, and put their toes into the still, shady water, both men were blown away from the distant boyhood at the same moment; they stood for minutes in anticipation of the gentle bathing shiver and in their souls The green, bright valley of the youthful summer times opened gently so that they were silent and, Unfamiliar to the gentle movement, with half embarrassment dipping your feet into the water and watching the rapidly flashing escape of semicircles on the brown-green mirror.
Now Burkhardt took a quick step into the water.
“Ah, that’s good,” he sighed comfortably. “By the way, we can both still show each other, and if I settle my stomach, we’re still two pretty tough guys.”
He rowed with flat hands, shook himself, and went into hiding.
“You don’t know how good you are!” He shouted jealously. “The most beautiful river runs through my plantation outside, and if you stretch your leg in, you won’t see it again. It’s full of the bloody crocodiles. Forward now to the large cup from Roßhalde! We swim to the stairs down there and back again. Are you ready? So: one – two – three! ”
They rushed off, both with smiling faces and at a moderate pace, but the breath of the youth garden was still over them, they began Immediately to compete seriously, the faces tensed, the eyes flashed and the curved arms shone with wide throwing movements out of the water. They were at the same time at the stairs, at the same time pushed off again and strived back the same way, and now the painter threw himself forward in violent sweeps, gained a lead and was a little while before the other at the goal.
Breathing heavily, they stood in the water, rubbed their eyes out and laughed at each other in silent amusement, and it seemed to both of them that only now were they their old comrades again and only now did the small, fatal gulf between unfamiliarity and strangeness begin to disappear.
Dressed again, they sat next to each other on the flat stone steps of the sea stairs, fresh faces and a feeling of relief. They looked over the dark water level, which was already lost in the dark brown twilight on the other side in the bush-overhanging oval bay, they nibbled fat, bright red cherries, which they were still in the brown for the servant With their hearts set free, they watched the approaching evening, until the low sun shone horizontally through the trunks and lit golden fires on the glass wings of the dragonflies. And they chatted for a good hour without a break and without thinking about their time at the institute, about the teachers and classmates at the time and what had become of this and that.
“My God,” said Otto Burkhardt in his peacefully fresh voice, “it was a long time ago. Don’t you know what happened to the Meta Heilemann? ”
“Yes, the Meta Heilemann!” Said Veraguth eagerly. “She was really a beautiful girl. All of my writing pads were full of her portraits, which I secretly drew on the exercise sheets during school hours. My hair has never turned out quite well. Do you remember, she wore it in two big snails over her ears. ”
“Don’t you know anything about her?”
“Nothing. When I came back from Paris for the first time she was engaged to a lawyer. I met her on the street with her brother, and I still remember how angry I was with myself because I immediately blushed and, despite my mustache and Parisian callousness, felt like a stupid little schoolboy again. – Except that it was called Meta! I couldn’t stand the name! ”
Burkhardt swayed his round head dreamily.
“You weren’t in love enough, Johann. Meta was wonderful for me, because of me she could have been called Eulalia, I would have walked through the fire for a look from her. ”
“Oh, I was in love enough too. Once when I came home from our five o’clock exit – I was deliberately late, I was alone and thought of nothing in the world but Meta, and it was completely indifferent that I would be punished when I came back – then she came towards me, there by the round wall. She had a friend on her arm, and when I suddenly had to imagine what it would be like if instead of that stupid thing I had her arm in mine and she so close on me, I became so dizzy and confused that I stopped for a while and leaned against the wall, and when I finally got home the gate was really closed, I had to ring the bell and was arrested for an hour. ”
Burkhardt smiled and thought of how they had both remembered that meta several times at their rare get-togethers. Back then, when he was young, one had kept his love from the other with cunning and care, and only after years, as men, had they occasionally lifted the veil and exchanged their little experiences. And yet there were still secrets in this matter today. Otto Burkhardt just had to think about the fact that for months at that time he owned and admired a glove from Meta, which he had found or actually stole and about which his friend still knew nothing. He wondered whether he should now divulge this story too, and finally he smiled cunningly and remained silent, and thought it was nice to keep this last little memory locked away.