Anton Lushankin | They That Were There

The wind carried me through the streets, like a blind person guided by a seeing-eye dog. I turned at every corner, mimicking the movements of a car.

The sky was clear yet cloudy. I took a deep breath. A smile spread across my face like drops of wax on a candle. I noticed a small movie theatre by the viaduct. I had been here before, but now there was something all around, a sense of destiny, as one might call it, in everything.

I walked inside to buy a ticket, but there was no one at the ticket booth. There was no one in the theatre either, so I went back outside, wanting to touch the sky. To run my hand across it like it was something incredibly delicate, like the soft skin of a woman.

“I like that we share similar scars, and I feel like we want to heal them for each other since we can’t heal them for ourselves.” This is how the perfect confession of love should sound to someone you’ve only ever encountered by chance. In passing. On the streets in motion. Unintentionally, as if you didn’t notice them at all or simply imagined that they were there. I allowed my imagination to see someone there who didn’t actually exist.

But it’s all just lyricism, they said, and I moved on.

When I left the movie theatre, it was already night, even though it seemed like all the shops, stalls, and pubs were still open and would remain so for many more years.

February 5, 2021,

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