“Winter’s Night” by Boris Pasternak. Essence of perfect love in eight stanzas.
Candles always call to mind that poem, that poet in his windswept territory of death and trainyards. His heart shuddering to a stop as a nation’s blind terror shakes him with stained hands. This is Dr. Zhivago I’m talking about. Omar Sharif toiling through ruined mansions of snow, looking agonized.
I spy a woman five floors below and she reminds me of Lara, lost forever to her lover and to all who watch her grace a page. Just kidding—she and Yurochka live happily ever after.
I think it’s her telling me so, little lost Lara, but it’s just me speaking to an empty room.
An armchair glares balefully from a shadowed corner. It is probably because I called him a useless communist when I tripped over him this morning when I was drunk, or is it still morning?
I open a beer. “To my poor, wasted youth.”
A Pushkin quote to start the day.
I’ve always liked Stella Artois—I try to cultivate appreciation for beautiful things.
On the floor, fragments of a cut-glass serving bowl toss sun around my feet. My shoes are in different quadrants of the room, and I stare at the wall through my Stella’s lens of bottle-green, which is an official Russian color. Butilochni. We define the world by what’s around us, I suppose.