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Hey, Lyosha

There are prison tattoos on the backs of his hands. Faded, blotchy shapes and a finger that jabs at a phone. "Hey, Lyosha!" He shouts, as every face on the bus swings to him. There is no answer, no voice on the other side. "Lyosha." He says again, then stares angrily out the windows. I step on someone's foot by accident, apologizing quickly. The young man waves his hand as if to say I did not need to say anything. The man with the tattoos sips from a giant cup of soda from KFC that is balanced on the empty seat next to him.

We pass a hotel we used to live next to, where expensive escorts are ferried in and out like yachts in a harbor. There is a fresh line of flags snapping in a low wind, and an American one is curiously absent. Plenty of the businessmen behind those windows are from the states.

The man brandishes the phone and hands it to the young man in front of me. I did not see that one coming. The young man wipes invisible dust from it, a reserved frown …

the daughters of time


Truth is the daughter of time, not authority. 
Yes, I thought as I read this. The text is attributed to Francis Bacon, but Mary Tudor before that and truly Cicero before her. It is an old idea, profoundly comforting in this age of un-reason. In time, this will all make sense.

The rooms are dark. I work in silence, bare feet sweeping across the floor to make coffee, to hang the wash to dry. The light is soft and dim in the windows. The snow has come, a sort of relief. A filthy wet blanket, a constant. My hands smell of garlic and ginger. There are great cups of hot black tea, steam climbing to the ceiling.

The little one is triumphant, marching around half-naked with her head flipped all the way back in a great laugh. My wife is half-whirlwind, capable of the impossible before breakfast. My older daughter is a mysterious collection of bones and thoughts, a jumble that aligns itself when I look out of the corner of my eye and then hides again. I have a small pile of new pages, a new book, a plane parked on the runway but at least in the airport. The camera is full of fresh film. There is money in the bank. There is a little ice cream left in the freezer.

Maybe everything will be ok.

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