Did I mention I’m at a resort? It’s a nice one too. There’s a bathtub. There is a shower. There’s an endless amount of hot water. Everything is spotlessly clean.

There is also free wi-fi, and evidently not everyone else is using it at the moment, because I’m listening to Polish hits on Youtube in kind of real time.

It’s wonderful.

And I’ll tell you some things about how this all connects. It’s incredibly lonely not to hear the languages I grew up with. It’s lonely not to speak them.

That’s one bit.

But there’s also a memory I didn’t tell you about. It’s terrible. I don’t have the emotional impact of it. Just the narrative. I imagine the emotions will come later.

There was someone named Magda whom I loved. The part who talks about this says she was his mommy.

Magda’s murder was the first murder I witnessed. I was very small when it happened. I was small when Stecia was killed. I was smaller when Magda was.

Magda’s death and Stecia’s death are the same kinds of experiences. I’m in the room. There is a knock. The girl seems to know what this could mean, and I am hidden somewhere. With Stecia, it’s under the bed and with Magda it’s in the closet.

Yuri murdered Magda with scissors. I hid in the closet and peaked out and I saw some of this, until I got too scared and then I went and hid under a pile of clothes until someone came and found me.

The thing is I was told to hide and to not make a sound, not to talk, not to move, not to make any sound. And so a part of the memory is of this intense need for silence. A terrified silence.

And I think part of what I take from it as a message is don’t speak. I think there is an even stronger message not to speak any of the languages that I heard only there. Don’t speak Polish. Don’t speak Russian. Don’t speak Dari. But these are the languages I was loved in. These are the languages that feel like home to me. So I’m listening to Youtube on our luxurious free wi-fi, and there’s this intense sense of being able to breathe again, of being safe. If I am allowed to have these languages again, then I must be safe. I must not be dead. I must not still be in the closet or under the bed, trying to maintain absolute silence.

There’s another loose piece floating around.

Sometimes, later, when I am trying to process the day and the part of the day in which I saw C, I feel a terrible desire to touch her. And I know this has to just roll. I don’t know what it means really. I half know how I feel, but not really. It just has to roll so I can figure it out.

I want to stroke her hair. I want to touch her neck.

And listening to music now, it seems that I know what it’s about. I want to be Nata, and I want to touch C in the way that Nata touched me before we were lovers—it’s totally inappropriate to C’s culture. It’s totally inappropriate to my home culture, if you want to call it that. It’s totally inappropriate to being a teacher, but it’s what I remember about how a loving person expresses affection to a child. It’s what I grew up with, and what was normal in that world—just a lot of physical closeness. It is what I grew up having the people who loved me most do that made me feel safe.

There are more pieces floating around, but it’s way past my bedtime, and I think I’ll just listen to a little more Russian pop and try to sleep.

Good night.

 

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