Sure, it was unfair to post "Back from U.S.S.R." without a story.
Well, at first I thought I'd bore you but here is it anyway.
No one comes to Russia in February. All the New Year festivities are passed, you're just days away from submitting that %#$ing thesis and no, you don't come in February even if you can't afford a dentist here in US, because there's always summer and Eve of the Epiphany is the last day you'd want to walk around with a toothache.
But when you mother, over and over, on the phone tells you in flat sedative voice that grandpa is ok, just like he was last week and a week before and a week before, so that this scary word "stroke" is supposedly lost in the miles and miles of long and winded phone cables, you can't do nothing but to pack your bags and go.
19 hours on the plane with a few connections, one hour subway, 3 hours on train, a bus - and you are walking into tiny stuffed room, where my grandpa like Pope John Paul II with his head slumped to his chest, talks quietly to his own gods, supported by numerous pillows. He no longer recognizes me, but I squeeze his feeble palm to feel that my grandpa is no longer there, he’s in that shaking head that sings his silent songs.
I’ve gotten too soft in America, I hid in the bathroom to cry. To cry among the half a dozen of buckets with my grandpa’s diapers. My grandma doesn’t have a washing machine; she washes them by hand, so that sweet putrid smell mixes with baby talc, with conversations about new nedeed medications and with the simple food that my grandma made for me.
I didn’t take too many photos in Russia. But these two, “Below” and and the previous one “Above” are the only ones I have for you.
I never liked selling my prints, I probably never will, but if you’d like to buy one now, including "Back from U.S.S.R." or something from here [link]
, please, let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll pass the money to my family.