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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…

bad impersonations


It is not like those exhilarating goosebumps from deja-vu. It is not a fever dream, or a hallucinatory vision. No, it is a wobbly record that skips. There is an overwhelming sense that nothing changes here, that the loop is long, snaking off into the distance but the repeat is always on its way back, an eventual act. The same tree seems to fall from the same wind on the same day. The same sale on juice or chicken thighs. The same upturned shopping carts, stranded by the side of the road. The same mud, the same puddles. The same sour faces. The same shuffling footsteps in the night. The same smell of mildewy carpets in dark hallways. There are times when I think it is all a slow movie and it is still winter, and I am just dreaming about a reluctant spring. That this world outside the balcony windows is nothing more than a bad impersonation. That I am dreaming my children growing, and they need new shoes a size bigger. That I am dreaming of a guitar that waits for me in the States, hiding in an old black case. That I am dreaming the headlines and the chatter, the spinning top that passes for conversation, the invisible board game and the players.


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