Москва

This is happening in an unnamed city with a river like a gash slashing it open, or at least that’s how we’re picturing it. A man and a woman who don’t know the local language are waiting for the metro in a half-built station. They’re talking about subway stations in Moscow. The man mentions the chandeliers and the whole grandiosity of the constructions, and the woman talks about the local dogs that take the subway regularly and actually know their way. It’s clear that neither of them has ever been to Russia, and they probably don’t plan to, but by the tone of their voices you can guess that every possibility is a shared dream. It’s funny to see so much future in their eyes because this is the last time they see each other. When you’ve already seen the end of the movie, the hero’s resolutions at the beginning sound ridiculous, even cute. You really think you’re going to save her that way? Awww.

It’s hard to trace the map of their journey, even though we’re making it up. Did they reach this city together? Anything is possible, so let’s say they come from opposite ends of the world. He arrived first, maybe just a few hours before her. Even though he knew it was still early for her to appear, he kept catching glimpses of people’s feet from the other side of the Arrivals door in hopes of recognizing her. They were so eager to get lost together that they couldn’t find their way to the hotel and a kind but monolingual taxi driver made the situation even worse, criss-crossing highways to the point that they no longer expected to get anywhere. But here they are, so they must have made it, eventually. So far, they’ve had fried eggs with salad for breakfast and red hot chicken for dinner. They’ve soothed their aching lips with sweet soy milk and kisses. It’s obvious that these are the happiest days of their lives—because we want it to be so. If you want, we can give them a humongous lantern parade and a nightly walk down a beautiful creek right in the middle of an avenue. We can make them so blissful that everyone wants their picture, and a guy with a guitar stops them on their way and asks them to sing along with him.

Look at them boarding the train now, so confident and hopeful. They lean against the window in silence, their eyes fixed on the immense river before plunging into the earth in search for another station. We made it all possible for them, but we don’t know what they’re thinking right now. In the future, when we leave them on their own to see what happens and they realize that they did not make it to Moscow or anywhere else together, they won’t know it either.

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