Before R left for work he gave me the rundown on the news about Ukraine. He thinks the stock markets will collapse or something equally unfathomable to my less developed brain (money wise that is). In the early mornings I can hear the booming voices of the BBC world service coming from the kitchen.
I have a hard time relating to these events. I am a child of the cold war, I grew up in a beautifully reconstructed medieval city about two hours drive from the minefields, barbed wire fences, floodlights and watch towers that were then the inner German border. I had no interest in what was behind it, I imagined a mix of ruins, barren landscapes and eternal Doctor Zhivago-ish winters if anything. The most eastern place in Europe I have been is Prague on a school trip during the cold war which meant that once we had figured out how to exchange our deutschmarks on the black market we really truly lived it up. On the last day we handed out the fattest tips just trying to get rid of the stuff before we were frisked at the border.
While R, who grew up on this green neutral island way out on to the West of Europe, is forever trying to get me to see the potential impact, contacting former colleagues now working in Odessa and Moscow, circling the vast contaminated area around Chernobyl on the page of the Times atlas of the world. And of course, he knows everything about the Black Sea ports, the Crimean Tartars and the steps from the Eisenstein movie. Ok, I knew that one as well.
All I know is that I am glad my mother is dead. She would be terrified. In my dream some nights ago she was sitting on her chair by the kitchen window, smoking and crying. And the three of us were silently watching from the door, not able to understand what was going on, waiting for our father to come home, to hold her and talk to her in this special voice for a long long time.