And you can tell everybody, that this is your song – on the Kiev metro

I rushed out to meet my friends on Livoberezhna metro station last night, to see the new Almodóvar film (we all got the sense that we were watching some sort of illegally downloaded version, judging by the quality; also, I HATE DUBBING; also, “Broken Embraces” is pretty awesome, even if it leaves you feeling a little, well, broken). It was late on a cool evening, and the sun was going down.

At the Dnipro metro station, the train emerges from the underground and runs over a bridge onto the other side of the river. At Hydropark, a young man got on the station and sang about “colours fading” in a beautiful, happy voice, a plastic bag swinging from his wrist as he played his guitar. There was a very glamorous woman sitting next to me, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier with a polka-dotted bow on its head peeking out from her white leather purse. When the young man began to sing, the Yorkie climbed out of the purse and onto her mistress’s arm and wagged her tail happily. “You like music, don’t you, my sweet one?” The woman cooed.

We were headed for Livoberezhna and the dying light of the day gave even the most ravaged faces on that metro car the quality of icons. I remembered Paustovksy on his partying days in Kiev as a young man: “…And the morning light made faces look muted and beautiful.”

I dropped a ghrivna into the black plastic bag, and the young man played up to me for a while. The dog was ecstatic. The train ground to a halt at my stop, and as I exited, I felt as though someone had attached little flapping wings to my feet.

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