Springtime in Russia

spring_in_russia

A Babushka stands on the bridge blowing fat juicy bubbles from a label-less container. A drunk man stumbles along the street, shirtless, belting some Russian tune. I carry my thawing body along the canal in a pair of sneakers.

Spring is here.

The ice has melted and the dog shit is rife. I weave my way over to the bricks and take a breath. I light a cigarette. A woman walks toward me. Her left hand is lilted up as though it just finished asking a question. In her right, she holds a cigarette. I try to look stoic. The sun is burning down.

I yawn.

She looks up then, straight into my open mouth. She frowns and looks away. I sigh and go back to watching trash float down the canal.

It begins to snow.

I groan. My phone buzzes.

N: Want to go somewhere?

I shrug at my phone.

“Where?” I ask.

He sends an address. I take an UBER.

It’s a grungy little place; built for dirt and death. There is a cat.

A man with stubby fingers wrapped halfway around a beer sits with N. He is a dentist. His eyes are big. He offers tea.

“No thanks,” I say, taking a beer from N. I sit.

“So,” the dentists asks, rubbing a stubby thumb into his fat palm, “why did you come to Russia?”

I sigh, drink, sigh.

“I like it here.”

“Uh-huh, for the Spring, yes?” he motions to the snow out the window. It is snowing hard. It feels like being reminded of a dead parent just moments after you begin feeling normal again. He laughs. I drink.

“So, what do you do?”

I shrug. “different things.”

He nods. “Do you want to stay in Russia forever?”

I frown. “Not sure.”

The Dentist smiles knowingly, “I bet you get asked these questions a lot.”

I nod into my beer.

“I am sorry. You are just, like, hm–” he points at his refrigerator. I look at it, then back at him.

“I’m a refrigerator?”

He shakes his head. “No, well, yes,” he turns to N and says something in Russian.

“Appliance.”

The Dentist nods. “Yes, you are like appliance. A new appliance. Like a refrigerator. You are new and in my house. So, when you get a new refrigerator, you always open and close, open and close.” He mimes this action, spilling a bit of beer on the cat. “It is cool. But soon you realize, it is just a refrigerator. Still, when it is new. Like you. You are new and now I want to open and close you. Understand?”

I look at N. He is on his computer. I look back at The Dentist.

“Uh-huh.”

He laughs. His tooth, third in, on the top, is missing.

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Flash-365

Author Benjamin Davis and artist Nikita Klimov created one story and one picture each day for one year. In May 2018 they published their first book, The King of FU

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