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talking to the trees

Most experiences cannot be discussed. No one wants to hear the ugly truth, and chances are you will be attacked for sharing it. To be able to speak freely means that you need a willing listener, otherwise you are just talking to the trees. Time and again I have come to understand that there is no difference between New York and Moscow, no difference between East and West. They are just cults of personality, built on violence and money and moral quicksand.

The life of an expat evolves from those early, awkward victories to one of assimilation or in cases like mine - eventually understanding that you have no country you can (or want to) call home. I am left with just these four walls and my family. This apartment is the only place I actually belong. This is the only place I do not need to soft-pedal my thoughts, where I do not need to apologize for what I have unearthed. The river of betrayal runs deep whether I look outside, or across the ocean. Willful ignorance, willful indifference…

there is no dream (Spring)

There is no dream.

Frost is on the windows. No silk gifts. No warm sand. Nothing but work and desperate naps, faces like animals in the street. We are almost out of eggs. Time to do laundry. Time to make the bed. Time to make breakfast. Time to make lunch. Time to make dinner. Time to pay the rent. Time to pay the phone bill. Time to pass the train station that runs all the way to Paris with its curlicued entrance. Those green metal flowers are surely ice cold as they stare back at us.

Pens are breaking, staining fingers with black ink.
A clump of birds circle the trees. I watch them swooping in lopsided arcs, now here now gone then back again.

Luggage is hidden under the bed collecting dust.

There is a hot shower under the dribble of water that spurts out, smelling faintly of gasoline.

A near full bottle of maple syrup is on the middle shelf in the fridge. I keep it there, waiting for N to ask for pancakes.

The snow keeps coming, piling in clean drifts that blot out the black ones. The rest of the world is starting Spring. I imagine girls are somehow in sundresses, legs naked. I imagine men are wearing scarves and light coats walking down Madison or Fifth, staring at those girls as they flock outside for lunch filling the sidewalk with hair turned behind ears and purses held close. Young men with guitars in hard cases are passing, heads down with half a melody under their breath they are trying not to forget. I would be up in my old place on 1st Street with pennies on the windowsills, cracking them open and letting the wet air in. The radiators would be banging still, pipes dancing in the bathroom and less noisy in the bedroom. A single rose still sits in an empty bottle from some good night, crisp, dusty, ready to fall apart if I move it. The phone rings. It is a wrong number, someone breathing heavily asking if Carlos is home. I can go out for lunch across town, sitting in a quiet place at a table in the corner. My pile of pages can be there, and a good pen to mark the changes then continue the story on the last one where it is still blank, scribbling in crooked lines and then onto the back of the page and then the back of the next page putting numbers in the corners and circling them so I can decipher all of this in a week or two when I type it up sitting in the living room with the computer propped up on the radiator cover with the moist night air coming in and the scraps of trash that somehow made it to the rooftop below my window while they flip around in the wind.


liv said…
Winter lasts far too long there.

And there must be moments, days, when it seems like all Spring is is a dream.

But they tell me that the earth is still spinning. Probably can't feel it when you are sitting there in front of your computer typing out the words. Wish it would spin faster and pop you into Spring and out of your cold days.

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