Skip to main content

Featured

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 …

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!

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs