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no invitation

We are at a 3 year old's birthday party in the back room of a cafe. Music is pumping from a tiny speaker. Balloon animals are popping, and waving in the air. A man in a yellow dinosaur costume dances wildly. Parents snap pictures with satisfied smiles on their faces.

A little girl approaches gingerly and stands in the doorway, straying from her parents somewhere inside the restaurant. She cannot be more than three. It must be hard to ignore all of the noise coming from this room packed with celebration. There is a perfect little pony tail at the back of her head. She hesitates, as one foot poises in the air and then rests back down. How to understand that she was not invited. How to understand the laughter, the loose jumping bodies, the presents piled high on the window. None of this connects to her. There is a little plate of food waiting for her back there, in the quiet restaurant. Maybe a warm bowl of soup, thick with noodles. I watch her for some time.

That night, her empty e…

red, yellow, blue, green.

Spring in Moscow smells like oil paint and mud. Handfuls of black haired workers paint everything in sight, dripping fire engine red and egg yolk yellow, splashing middle blue and acid green on every banister and bench, every gate and metro entrance. They lounge in their coveralls, smoking cigarettes, eyeing everyone on their way to work. Everything is soft and wet and sticky, as one more layer of paint dries slowly in the sun. Everything I see has gotten a little bit thicker, cruder, more grotesque. I imagine the city will eventually become one giant lump decorated in these 4 childish colors.

The half-empty wine bottles on the kitchen table look beautiful the next morning. Coffee tastes especially delicious. Now E draws pictures of me with a guitar, or clouds and flowers and little birds. Sometimes N is half asleep, bringing my hands to her body in the warmth of the covers. There is a fragile peace and balance to my days now. And now the old wounds are naked in the sun, white and twisted like spiderwebs that could not fully be brushed away.

There is a new restlessness worming its way inside me. There is nowhere to hide here. And maybe, no reason to.

Today I saw a child's toy abandoned on the sidewalk - a little lamb, staring up at me.

Helpless, was my first thought. The next, was to buy something to scrape paint away, down to the bare metal.


Comments

willwilisovsky said…
Ah, but there is no metal.
This city is made of paint.
The rest is silence Brother Marco

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