I stand outside in the rain, smoking like a sniper.
The cigarette gets wet anyways. I snap it away. A friend, whose name I can’t remember, approaches. I hold out my hand. He looks at it suspiciously.
“Ah, right,” I mutter. I pull off my glove. He shakes my hand.
“How are you?” he asks.
I shrug. “Pretty shit.”
He nods, looking up.
He thins out his lips, stern.
“I am going to protest. Want to come?”
I smile. “Oh, yes, getting arrested in Russia sounds like a blast.”
He nods, grinning. “So, yes?”
“No,” I laugh, “I don’t even know what you’re protesting.”
His eyes go wide. “You haven’t seen the video?”
My blank face is enough of a response. He pulls out his phone. A few moments later he puts it in my hand. A blue man, made of paper, looks out from behind a desk. He begins speaking Russian very quickly.
I look up at my nameless friend.
“My Russian is not good enough to follow.”
My friend nods.
“Ah, right, okay, so he is talking about corruption in Russia. Our Prime Minister has been taking money for years. And he bought all of the sunlight in Russia.”
I frown and look back at the video. My friend pushes the time to half-way through. It’s the view from a drone. It is flying over houses, flooded with sunlight.
“You see!” My friend proclaims, “he has stolen it all. That is a video from January! You see all the sunshine?”
I nod. He is furious. He looks up. I join him. The sky is pregnant with darkness.
“It is March!” he cries to the heavens.
I place my hand on his shoulder. He is gritting his teeth so hard I worry they might break.
“Will you come?” he asks.
I hand back his phone.
“Look, I love the sun as much as the next guy. But, I’d rather see a sunless sky than no sky at all. You know?”
He gives me the long deep look of a disappointed parent. I shift uncomfortably.
“You’re what is wrong with the world,” he whispers.
He turns and walks off.
No one is around to disagree.