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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

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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