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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…

Sancho Panza and Don Quixote

The ocean whorls and spits and turns back on itself, a blue muscle pushing against sand. 

There are groups of old women, mostly in threes taking in low voices as they move slowly down the white tiled street. Little men in red berets all start to look like Sancho Panza. The rain is not salty, running down my cheeks and across my lips. My feet are wet.

After the rain, the cherry blossoms hang low. I watch them bobbing from invisible hands. A man sits on a bench waiting for someone. Children jump in puddles all messy hair and smiles, their raincoats open and flapping around them. Someone is smoking a cigar. A man with one leg shorter than the other is waving papers on a corner trying to hand one to everyone that passes.

Umbrellas choke the sky as I walk narrow streets.


A few days here and Moscow's deep snow cannot be imagined. I block it out, sipping on cafe con leche in little shops with their doors open to the damp air. I think of E in school, offering her homework to the teacher that bends down with a red pen and gives her a star, a correction or the casual grade. I think of her at lunch, slurping soup from a tiny spoon with her big eyes watching the other children not looking down at her bowl. I imagine her on the playground, hands in pockets, walking in slow circles in dirty snow, maybe kneeling to retie a shoelace.

I imagine what it will be like to travel with her someday, to climb little mountains and look down at cities, to feel sand between her toes, to order randomly from menus we do not understand and eat baby eels for lunch.








Comments

liv said…
And what are you doing in Spain?? Looking for your own Sancho Panza?

And most importantly - what are you eating? I am envious.

Safe trip!

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