I’m a stereotypical yuppie parent

Despite being broke and living in the jungles of Novogireyevo.

Lev and I listen to the Marriage of Figaro on Saturday mornings.

At night, I can leave Lev with daddy and go trudging through the snow. The soldiers outside the barracks near the ponds still offer me their cigarettes. Nikolay Khomeriki still tells me all the same things when he’s drunk (and he still doesn’t know who I am).

Most of the time I’m just bloated with bags under my eyes, and with high blood pressure, and with distant plans to “get myself together” one of these days – but I also don’t hate myself. I wouldn’t have the energy to do so even if I tried.

I walk by the frozen ponds in the dark, and listen to the sound of the highway mingling with the sound of the winter woods. The birches and oaks are asleep and, at the same time, they are watching. I come hope and peel off layers of clothing, and Lev is asleep in his crib, and we drink discounted wine and make no plans for the future. We’re learning to live in the here and now.