Skip to main content

Featured

the first

The yarmarka (farmer's market) is about to close. Some of the people are already packing up, offering their last bruised tomatoes at half-price to anyone walking past them.  I am wandering, staring at bunches of herbs, at the same old options - cabbage, pepper, potato, garlic, apple, cucumber. But then I see a pile of peas. The season must have come early this year. I buy a kilo, and some mint. I know what is for dinner. We have not had it in eleven months.

At home, I rip the bag open, showing them to V. She stands by the kitchen table, eyes wide. I crack one open, showing her the little rounds inside. She plucks one out, her pinky pointing to the ceiling.
"Try it." I tell her.
She does, but she does not like it.

I pull out a bowl for them. She jumps up and down a few times. V always wants to help in the kitchen. I pull her to my lap, and we begin pulling them out from the shells. She learns quickly, tossing them with a flourish into the bowl, a few cascading to the flo…

the emperor's new clothes (are away)


Every night brings nightmares. Better they are mine, not E's is my first thought. Better they are not N's, my second. A headache surfaces each dim morning. Coffee is sipped that turns cold from the wind slipping past the window cracks. The images, the situations of these dreams are like a poison. 

They tell stories that are so black, so ugly, grotesque and thankless I cannot repeat them to anyone. 


The city is empty.

Anyplace else would feel sleepy and intimate. I could feel a freedom on the empty sidewalks and parking lots. But no, this is Moscow. Its facade is so shallow, so paper-thin that it grows transparent in these quiet days. There is nothing here but money and the absence of money. Centuries of history mean nothing.

The people mean nothing.

There is no future, no past. Just potatoes and mud. Desperate sellers of withering flowers. The old growing older. Fake news. Fake companies. Fake reviews of restaurants that are already closed. Fake cheese. Fake wine. Fake shoes.

An expression turns in my mind. "It's not a lie if you believe it." Told as a bitter, funny anecdote it used to make me grin.




We are in the supermarket to buy bread and milk. A handful of young men stand in silence waving their hands. They whip the air with gestures. Quiet grunts punctuate the stale Christmas songs playing on the PA system.

They are deaf.

They are arguing about how many bottles of vodka to buy with an operatic level of sign language. I smell that intense body odor produced by so many people here. Like raw onions and rotting liver, it coats the roof of your mouth if you try to breathe with it open.



As I write, E stands at the edge of my bedroom door. She hovers in the dark corridor, a hand resting on the wall. I ask if she is hungry. Her head shakes no.

She stays there.

All at once she is next to me, arms stretched long and upwards. I hug her. Her arms are tight around my neck. She cries quietly. I run through a list of reasons. She says it is none of them.

"I just don't want to be here." She whispers at one point.
"Me too, kiddo." I whisper back. "Me too."






Comments

liv said…
I've been under the weather, as they say, so I missed this post. But I can certainly identify with it. Sometimes you just want to hold tight to someone you love and close your eyes to the world.

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs