I was sorting through the photos from our March visit to Lugansk and found this one.
That’s how the three kids of Ira and Petya were seeing us off. They are from Pervomaysk, or rather from a small village nearby that’s under UAF control.
It was snowing, and the boys were glued to the window and kept waving to us while we were trying to start the car. We looked at each other to the last.
Now it’s hot summer, Moscow and other big cities are up to their ears in the World Cup carnival.
A week ago I met with Vitya, we drank tea and he gave me money.
It just so happens that every time he makes the donation in person. We run into each other in the city and casually learn something about one another. He’s a handsome young man who’s been living abroad for a long time and who sometimes visits Russia. He’s got a successful career and a brainy wife.
In the course of our conversation, I accidentally said:
–I was planning to give it all up and stop going to the Donbass.
He sharply replied:
And I was taken aback.
Just as I was taken aback on the New Year’s Eve.
There is an unusual place in Gurzuf, on Chekhov’s Street.
There used to be a faucet there from which anyone could get water. There were many such “fountains” all over this old town. Even in the ’90s they were all over. Then these spots were covered over with concrete and the valves were shut off. Only their pedestals remain.
A mirror appeared on one of them, with bread next to it.
Crimea in autumn can vary. One day there is a strong wind blowing, with trees bending down along the roads. Storms waves beat the rocks, the air is crisp and clear, and there are far fewer people though it is still the tourist season.
Another day, the sun can be blazing so much so that it seems it’s still summer.
It seems this is the best time for these spots.
Today it’s cooler, though the sea remains warm.
I’m sitting in the garden, wrapped in a blanket, and am catching the neighbor’s Vai Vai.
It was already completely dark. We were racing down the road from Pervomaysk when we heard strange sounds.
The tire was cut to shreds. I am afraid to come out, besides it’s cold already. I sit it out in the cabin while the guys with telephones install the spare. We’re alone on the road–it’s past curfew.
Yesterday I wrote an angry text. Brimming with pique, exhaustion, frustration, and aggression. I read it to my friends before posting it. There were several of us, and one of my girlfriends began to cry.
I don’t know why.
Everyone said it was not my text.
A day later I realized what was happening.
There was hail in Lugansk.
The sort of hail that is not written using a capital letter or quotation marks [a reference to the Grad, i.e. “Hail” 122mm artillery rockets used to bombard Novorossia’s cities].
The right sort of hail.
Which makes you run into the house and lock the door behind you with wet hands just in time.
There was thunder off in the distance. Prolonged and loud.
Today, at the market, we heard distant shell explosions. Nobody even turned their heads–everyone continued moving between the stalls.
Besides, why turn one head if it’s so far away? Buying food for the supper is more important.
My Crimea begins at the airport, with the warm steppe air.
I was riding the subway with my daughter, and it so happened that a pair of kids stood opposite us–a hemp-haired boy with his girlfriend.
When I was seven my brother Van’ka of whom I have two, brothers I mean, said that on April 12, at the Gagarin Square, exactly at midnight, the monument raises its arm. He proposed we go there and see, in case I wasn’t convinced.