The Road


1 August 2015

The Road

By Yevdokia “Dunya” Sheremetyeva [littlehirosima]

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

[To read Yevdokia Sheremetyeva’s other dispatches from the Donbass, click on the ‘littlehiroshima’ tag above the title.]

The long road of life.
Dotted with tanks. And shell holes in the asphalt.
Bent safety barriers and bullet-riddled road signs.
An endless procession of sunflowers, sheafs, and steppes.
The grave of a young man between the border of Russia and what once was Ukraine.

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Heat and toil. Girls by the roadside with buckets of apricots or ears of corn.
Burned out gas stations.
Crippled men walking down city streets.

A border, and young kids asking for passports.
An endless line. A caravan of buses with kids.
Young kids squeezed into neckties sticking their noses everywhere. Among them chain-smoking and apathetically cursing drivers.
And then the endless night traffic jams near Pavlovsk. When the road is blocked for a whole night because of repairs.
When you can finally leave the car and walk and stroll without worrying that suddenly cars will start moving. A dead stop. Darkness overhead–clouds are concealing the blanket of stars. And a dense forest.
And then sleep in the car seat on the side of the road. When you can’t go on any more..

It’s a sunrise directly ahead over endless valleys.
It’s clouds of all imaginable shapes.
It’s rain, followed by a rainbow over the fields.
A day and a half on the road. And then home.
Where the biggest problems are the mortgage, low salary, and a loud neighbor.
And then sleep, endless sleep without dreams. But no, no–you jump up nervously, before sinking into it again.
I barely returned and I’m leaving again.
To a close friend on Malta.
To the Mediterranean, a tiny island which I haven’t visited in 10 years.
Where I’ll be writing reports, reports, reports.

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