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streetlights

There is no easy way to say it. I was married to someone I hid from. Tucking E into a sling, I would disappear for hours saying I was going shopping for dinner, and if she fell asleep the excuse was that she needed fresh air as I sat on a park bench with her tiny hand grabbing my pinky until she eventually woke up. I would make my way along the side streets of Greenwich as the sun went down, leaning into store windows but not going in. Eventually I would go home, and as I turned the corner there was a security light that would switch on - obviously attached to some motion sensor. In those strange and lonely moments, I would talk to that light. Each time it clicked on, I felt somehow that the night ahead could be survived no matter what madness waited for us behind the front door.

That was twelve years ago.

Another life, another country.

Today, I turned a corner in Moscow with an all-too familiar bag of groceries swinging from my shoulder. A street light flickered on and all at once I…

Heaven is a place (where nothing ever happens)


There are days, wet and dark when the sun never comes out. The leaves are falling in silence. I am out in the street, hands shoved into warm pockets as the lights behind the windows glow from inside old apartments. The drapes are pulled closed, offering no glimpse of a kitchen table covered in plastic, no teapot, no steam, no plate of cookies. Fancy cars gun their engines on these twisted back streets. All at one once a throaty roar as they rush off to nowhere. Old men and women pull little carts on squeaky wheels, a plaid flap bouncing on top, inside a bag of potatoes, a package of herring, a tube of mayonnaise, maybe a small bottle of vodka.

Sometimes, the quiet feels suffocating. Sometimes it feels rare. Nothing happens here beyond a store closing, another taking its place. Maybe a market is selling wild honey. Maybe a tree falls down. Maybe the water will go up to our ankles for a day before it runs into the forest.

I hear the news of another shooting, this time in a small Texas town. I can imagine it is similar, that hushed little village. A place where you know the person that brings the mail, and who sells the milk. A place you might feel safe, because nothing happens there. Until it does.




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