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January 2022


The fog of alcohol consumed Svetlana’s senses. No Russian from the land of the little sticks dared to push Jesus on Svetlana. Aunt Varvara came dangerously close when she tried to push some water on the woman. A glass of fresh, clean water from Lake Baikal. “Get that shit away from me, Varva!” yelled Svetlana from the porch of a modest Russian home. “It ain’t your salvation I need.” “Your son is watching you, Svetlana,” Aunt Varvara warned her, nodding her head from left to right in disapproval, tying and untying her plaid babushka under her chin, with mechanistic hand gestures. “Watching, thinking, and crying his life away, misguided by broken dreams,” insisted the old woman. “Broken dreams…wings… Ha! Hahahaaaa,” the drunk woman’s laughter pierced through the grey atmosphere of that strange territory called porch, a territory half-owned by her Soviet-style kitchen and the other half owned by a small…