London at the beginning of spring

The bump and I made it over for a media conference – a very good media conference – but its contents sadly don’t fit the format of this blog, though they do fit the format of my work.

It was good to wind up back in London precisely at that moment, reminding yourself that London exists, that your friends are still your friends, that men in suits are capable of saying interesting things, that Europe is a small place, that Oxford Street is as exasperating at rush hour as Fulham Road is joyful at exactly the same time. There are annoying bankers with their girlfriends at PJ’s on Fulham Road, and proper people down at the Hour Glass pub – a place of power, Helen and I agreed. Every time I wind up in Britain, I seem to discover a new place of power. I collect them. I also made it in time to buy Kate Atkinson’s new book in paperback, with full report coming, and have Lola’s cupcakes with an old friend at Selfridges. The tube made me appreciate the Moscow metro all over again. I talked to the bump about the things I could see and realized, suddenly, how much I want his father to see London the way that I see it. I peered up at glowing windows at night and made plans for the future.

Arriving back at pretty Domodedovo, I walked through the place where Anna had died. I told her I was sorry. She’d loved London too, I remembered. But I didn’t feel sadness, I didn’t feel as though I was passing through ghosts, gossamer or otherwise. I just felt the time, moving on.

Rest in peace, Anna

anna yablonskaya

Playwright Anna Yablonskaya is among the dead at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport today. We heard it from her family.

This photo of Anna was taken by my husband a few years ago – back when he wasn’t my husband. As you can see, Anna was very beautiful. She left behind her husband – and a little girl.

One of my favourite plays by Anna is called “Семейные сцены” (“Family scenes”) – and it’s one of my favourite plays in general. It’s about a modern Ukrainian family – the husband comes home after serving as a mercenary overseas, and has zero interest in his wife. The wife is sleeping with their son’s teacher. They neighbours all have a lot to say about the situation. It’s a hilarious and heartbreaking play – I first saw it read at the Dakh theater in Kiev, Marat Gatsalov directed the reading. At the reading, I felt as though I had been transported out of my life and temporarily placed into a bullshit-free world. I was too shy to approach Anna then – I got to know her much later. It was my husband, back when he wasn’t my husband but already my lover, who formally introduced us.

I think I’m able to write everything I have written here because I’m in shock.

P.S. About a month ago, Anna wrote the following on her blog: “It seems to me that I have very little time left.” She was right. Maybe she felt something – I’m sure that a person as sensitive as Anna was capable of such a thing.