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the trains still run

They never taught us more than how to make things. They did not explain how to take pictures, or write stories, or record songs when the walls are falling down. What should you paint when the sky is falling? And yet, they taught us all we needed to know. As I have begun to understand over and over again, all art is political. All freedom is freedom. The trains still run. The cameras can still be loaded with fresh rolls of film that smell of plastic and possibility. If there is a pothole, at some point it gets filled. Sometimes it just takes a hell of a long time to happen.

The sun rises. Children trundle around in the snow, laughing, falling down and getting back up again. Yes, the news is unthinkable. Yes, the headlines are poisonous enough to make you throw things out the window. But there is still dinner to cook, and why not make it delicious? Why not crack an egg, or laugh wildly at nothing in particular?

There was a night, about eight years ago when I was told that the militia w…

Time

There is nothing like buying a fabulous pair of shoes in New York, wearing them right out of the store and tearing up the sidewalk. Taking in the faces, weaving through clumps of tourists, chomping on an egg sandwich or maybe a steamed pork bun - it's exhilarating. Somehow your worries and troubles and obstacles seem to melt away - fading far in the distance. Maybe it starts to rain, maybe it starts to snow. These shoes are already yours, wrinkling in the right places, creasing your name into the new scratches on the toes.

I had a perfect coffee and cupcake at an old favorite - the Cupcake Cafe. An actress was talking in a loud voice to her director about very personal things. A student kept looking up from her laptop, as if we were all spying on her. This is one of those places that has survived, although it was across the street for a zillion years. I have had to stop feeling sorry about the places that are gone now. So many to remember that it makes my head swim. I decided it would be better to celebrate the ones that are still around, if only at a new address.

I ate lunch at Katz's the next day. An old couple chatted me up - turns out it was their first time.

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Back in Moscow, my office is freezing cold. Got to get them to turn the heat on. Jetlagged and fighting a cold, I walk the streets in those same new shoes. They already have miles on them.

Time to make chicken soup. Time to make E a new hat. Time to find an apartment.

Comments

The Expatresse said…
There's nothing like a fabulous pair of shoes.

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