Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Raven and the Writing Desk

I am sitting in my bedroom on Zverinskaya Street watching the sky violently belch forth wave after wave of hail and rain.

I earlier made the mistake of crossing the Palace Bridge just as one of the many flash storms began. When I lit my cigarette, the sky was blue and the air warm. It was not yet half burned down when a huge gust of wind smacked me in the face with a bucket of salt-like hail and claimed my by-then soaked through tobacco. All at once the sky darkened, thunder began, then lightning, then rain, then hail. I was the only person left walking on the bridge, blinded by the hail clawing at my glasses and finding its way into my eyes. The wind was so strong it nearly pushed me into the line of cars that lay mostly stationary on the bridge, paralyzed by their own sudden blindness. I was not sure whether I was meant to be Evgeny or Parasha, in those moments.

Ten minutes later, it was done. The sun reappeared, and the cafes and parks repopulated almost instantly. I walked into class looking like some sort of kikimora lesoviki, my long hair messily clinging to my neck and back in gnarled devil's plaits braided by the angry wind. Nikolai Georgievich lectured about the Russian futurists, and ego-futurists, and cubo-futurists, and of Lentulov's churches, and Malevich's new realism. Russian futurist paintings seem rather like icons unbound by sacred truth.

Tomorrow, I go to Karelia.

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