Почему снишься обманчиво, долго

чтоб я ночью металась в пространстве

холодных и синих реалий?

За что ты отвечаешь очевидным,

и в безимянстве

нарочно кажешься не безобидным?

Procrastinating work on an overly complex theme in an equally complex novel, I fell in love from a hyper or false sense of worth and empathy. No one in the office noticed, as I learned just yesterday. I warn all tourists of this first: it is not unavoidable because it blossoms forth from friendship, but because it results from your over-estimation of the behavior of your mirror object. The Russian is necessarily more open, talkative, and passionate, and what for him might be a preliminary hypocrisy, someone unused to this mistakes it for a much higher level of mutual understanding, interest, or even affection, in either sex. It strikes as a case of the flu here, its symptoms are redundant and immediately recognized until the rest of the personality is wantonly dragged in, and suddenly the whole city is participating in your dilemma, except that it doesn't know about it yet.

Yevgenni Ivanovich, a dirty old man who used to be a physicist but now spent his days sitting on a bench on Tverskoy Boulevard, used the term разбилось об этот бульвар when referring to our bloody cardiovascular organ, and I won't make analogies to the idiom фейсом об тэйбл, faceum ob table, an anglicized Russianism (and not vice versa, because the semantics of the idiom cannot be carried out of national context), but all euphemisms imply an immediate, perhaps messy accident: втрескаться, вляпяться. Look at the first morph треск- refers to rattling as a verb; shattering, crunching, etc. The more semantically vague unit ляп has connotations to getting stuck in something sticky, bumping into something (uniquely Slavic onomatopoeia). A discussion (in a car in New York City) with my father on the Russian concept of falling in love lead me to temporarily reverse my conclusion that a Russky muzhik lived like an animal, and if every daily function was left to its own devices because of the acquired helplessness, it also collected more poetic associations as it rolled around in toilet tanks, greasy coffee cups at work, in smelly bathrooms stuffed with newspaper, or vodka glasses. I restate my first thesis then, pointing to an evolutionary trend- once man started spending less time and energy on survival, he began examining and systematizing living functions. This can be said to be more visible in more economically developed nations. Concerning this particular aspect, however, which I haven't even articulated, it is still unclear whether it is a function of economical development or something unique to Russian sociology.

It is difficult or impossible to write about. I suddenly desire to write a love story among others, but still cannot put my experiences into words because I can't help believing that they are banal. That which I call banal can be as overwhelming as wandering around in a modulated reality. For the writer it is practically unbearable when a character from a work walks under the Sun- thus I saw the manifestation of many people, as though upon arrival everything had turned into my own narration. I narrate my own days, and the nights I construct with special attention. I don't use people for their personalities so that I can later make them characters, instead I use myself as a character, abstract myself, place myself to live among them and change with the breathing of others, though it might be painful and dangerous. I fall deeply in love and no one notices, I become a pawn in that game; recently I became a personage in a soap opera.

And if I don't write all this down, who will? Will I remember ten months later Aram's benevolently cynical "why are you yelling?" and me replying that I'm at a train station buying tickets for Prague? What happens at train stations- a policeman who, judging by his girlish smooth cheeks is probably younger than I, stopped me at that train station and asked, "Young lady- where are you going? Are you going somewhere?" and "do you have documents?" and "May I see them, please?" and that mercilessly cruel "Where do you officially reside?"

I hate keeping a diary because everything in it for me was always frivolous and pretentious, but everything that I've experienced now glows with the wonder and incredibility of fiction. I force myself to write this to keep track of the birth of new plots and nuances for my novel, but a part of my days associated with tender or violent inter-relationary feelings is as fascinating and insignificant as a soap opera. My lexicon draws forth a part of my life like a piece of meat, as the experience and only way of understanding a world or worlds is necessarily linked with the personal life of the experiencer and in this case, narrator- but since you, baseball becapped WASP youngster whom I adore, despise and envy will not have the misfortune of being either, I will include first hand material.

How does it happen here, how is it different? Is it different? Are we embarrassed to call things by their names here because of our upbringing (see Intelligentsia) or are we all squares? There is no clearly defined system of dating here, although in comparison with the west, there is no defined system of anything. Then again in the west, dating, like anything else, is done systematically according to analytical rules. Is that peculiar, or is the strangeness found here? Are we not normal, or are they? The American builds a relationship like he builds his career, but the Russian doesn't use the word relationship in his vocabulary, and the translation otnosheniye can be heard only in a very vague context, mentioned only when one is deliberately trying to avoid the subject. Things happen here of their own accord, and no one ever believes he has any right or ability to ever get what he wants. Where romanticism is concerned, the level of fatalism is preposterous. My colleague or perhaps boss, at work, who speaks to me informally and is ten years older than I am sits on the table and jokes with the secretary who left the next day while I translate official text and glance up to wonder at the amounts of tea consumed, at the fact that no one has done anything substantial in all the time I've been here. Then he is joking with me, asks me things, tells me to eat, to sleep, to stop asking silly questions, and on a person who is not accustomed to "hanging out" at work this can have a slightly intoxicating effect. Two days later I felt like I woke up with the flu.

I had plans- I handpicked people, and there was also Michael who knew everyone in Moscow and would take me to some happening or other that lead to various complicated situations. When a Russian digs inside himself to find out whom he loves and whom he does not he comes upon places which are far more complicated and horrifying- the ten-year old sock or baby-tooth covered with mold, the aftereffects of a sadistic teacher at school, age-old political stigmas that remind you of yourself at every street corner, and other complexes so uncanny that any American shrink would change his profession if he even poked with a ten-foot pole at that tender, bleeding mind. I dig inside myself and return terrified and lost, so I try to stop, but my western mentality has grasped me so deeply that not even chaos helps.

I loved Aram for three months in silence, and he didn't notice. Change and become banal, please, this is easy and can be followed with the simplicity of a flow-chart. It was colorful then, it is boring now. But after I finally told him in November- that's when- nothing really changed. He still calls occasionally and teases me. I still call him and ask him if he's become famous yet. Drank with him yesterday in a window-filled yard, but was entirely distracted by something else while he was kissing two or three women.

"In the tangled spider webs that are constructed quickly and mercilessly in this city, one can occasionally observe a similar social chiasmus in casual speech: that I, thinking of something I would rat-her not mention lest it offend my partner in speech, suddenly hear him hide some sort of mysterious cause of anguish, automatically believing it to be of the same type as mine in regard to someone else, taking for granted that his could not be in regard to anything else but me, not because I've become so shallow in thought, but because I play the same games with him, and within an analogous position with someone else who knows per-sonally the catalyzing object of my games, but not the role he plays, though we are colleagues allegedly at the same job, but not doing any work."