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the empty

The fat girl as they call her, came to school with a hypodermic needle in her backpack. It may have been to defend herself, it may have been to instigate something. She comes from a broken home and this is her second or third school. E steers clear of her, and the bullies she tangles with. It was never understood  - how things began, who threw the first insult, the first punch, the first grabbed book but the end is a chronic cycle of violence. At one point, the girl's mother got the police involved and this was seen as offensive, a step too far. The police did not resolve anything so it was all just a lot of saber rattling. That is the most common sound here. The empty threat.

Last week, there was a sobrani, sort of a cross between a parent-teacher conference and a school meeting. I was busy, so E went by herself and took notes. Five minutes in she messaged me, that I was wise not to be there. Nothing about this girl was going to be resolved.
"Boys will be boys" was all …

the taste of coins

The best part of the day comes at 5:30, when I pick up E from detskie sad. I often see her before she sees me. Her fluffy green jacket is still a little big. She stands with giant eyes, chattering with the other children. I see them dancing in a circle, holding hands. I see them running and hiding behind bushes, and under the apple tree.

I had just seen the blind girl from poje (later) in the street.

She was walking better, but still not very well. I thought to call out to her, but felt this was intrusive. Somehow I thought she would need to recognize me - not the other way around - for this sort of run-in to work.

Her eyes wide open, her face turned towards the sky and the light rain that fell on both of us.

Later, E came back to the office with me, where she would decorate the room with corn flakes, dolls and clay.

Passing under Smolenskaya, some stray dogs gnawed on blood red bones. Some guys sat around them, drinking cheap beer and smoking. I felt an algae taste in my mouth, like the back of my throat was covered with pennies. I could feel a cold coming on, and surrendered to it.

The snow was coming, and it would be easier once it arrived. A sort of relief, for the long slow winter to start.

Comments

brenda said…
Wait a minute. How could the girl recognize you, if she's blind? But oh how I love "the taste of algae" and the cold coming on. Cold, in every sense of the word.
ccn said…
Lovely blog. I walk around here feeling full to bursting often too... and I have an E who is almost four. We should get them together some time. We live near Patriarshy.
Rabbit blogger said…
ccn! sending you an email.
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