Trafika Europe 13 - Russian Ballet

Igor Sakhnovsky

In another two minutes, the boy was standing on the stair landing of the building opposite and, through the glazed window glass, until his eyes hurt, tried to make out what was happening in D.’s apartment. He not so much saw but guessed at the presence of two or a few shadows, their blurry comings and goings, the distortions of the partially blocked light. The wayward dog wanted to play with him, and when the boy, slamming the door shut, ran out into the yard, the Airedale raced after him, barking – so that anyone looking askance would have thought that the boy was running to escape and the dog was a menace. The driver of a Lada hatchback, a working-class man with a tired face, offered to drive him home and back for 40 rubles. They drove unbearably slow. And then the key, turning in the door, seemed to belong to someone else. The mother wasn’t home. It ’s better that way: no one to ask him where he was going with those unwieldy binoculars, where he’s cal l ing, having dialed the number a second time. “ The number is unavai lable,” the mechanical woman informed him, and this too seemed to contain an i l l omen. By now, the Airedale terrier met him as though he was a member of the fami ly. The l ights were on in the windows. The boy returned to his observation point. He was shaking feverishly. His eyelashes spread over the violet surface l ike an overgrown, thorny hand fan – a momentary occlusion of


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