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to be an expat

How can I even begin to explain the experiences of an expat?  The great assumption is that East and West are terribly different. One is vilified, the other painted as a land of patriots and heroes. One is crude and filthy the other has streets paved with gold. Look up and you will see miracles of architecture. Beyond the windows there are supposed to be good people, open smiles and warm hearts. How can I tell you that none of this is true? How can I untie my shoes, and somehow put them on your feet three thousand miles away? You would never believe what secrets they have to tell.

Every time I go back to the states I become more embarrassed to be an American. I overhear conversations in the street, the whines of privileged and moneyed voices. Coddled, dumbed-down and mislead they are drunk on a calculated fairly tale. And then back in Moscow, the same ignorance - the same questions from curious taxi drivers about how good it must be in America, where everything is possible and life mu…

the ocean


There is an undertow at work, a sense of the inevitable. A shiver when you enter an empty room. There are crows fighting in the trees outside the windows. The snow comes, with barely a warning. The sky, a flat piece of paper with nothing written on it. Boots are tugged from the backs of closets. Heavy coats smell of dust, and old cardboard boxes. My gloves appear, twisted into a tight ball from the last time I wore them.

But the undertow is much more than snow, much more than cold weather. There is a shadow, and I ignore it as often as I can. But this lurking ocean, this golem - they can see the future. At least I think they can, and that scares the hell out of me. We live in a time of paranoia. Maybe we have all been living in the shadow of some fear for generations, ever since the atom bomb. Maybe the cavemen were scared shitless too.

I brush it off as often as I can. I make things. I run around in the woods with actors and cameras and brush this sense away, like a bug on a picnic blanket.







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