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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 …

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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