Russian Fragment

by Bobbi Lurie

I went to the Writer's Union everyday. I went for the instant coffee and stale sweet rolls.


I got a special pass into the union because of Golodny, who was my true love.


Without saying so, we all knew the importance of appearance in terms of a sense of belonging. Talk of idealism constituted admission of defeat.


Golodny was thin, eager, and in his rebellion, never bathed.


I hated going home. Father was an alcoholic, my brother an accountant for the government. Sometimes I saw myself as selling out as he did.


“We have the power to determine the fate of the world,” Golodny told me many times each day. He was always on the lookout for heretics so, though I loved him, I cautiously kept my weaknesses from him.


Both Golodny and I kept ourselves separate. He never came to my house because I feared him seeing Father and Brother. I feared him jumping to conclusions about my own weaknesses because of theirs.


I went to Golodny's house only once. It was for his sister's funeral. Golodny's sister was killed by a bus. I hated her that day, seeing her body laid out for inspection. She was beautiful. Golodny cried so hard for the loss of his sister, I barely felt ourselves to be friends that day. His sister belonged to Goldny like I never could. Golodny ignored me that day.


I stood at a distance while Golodny's relatives showed great respect for Golodny's sister's unmoving, heavily made up body. I stood observing the house surrounding her: dirty green walls, the sharp smell of disinfectant.


Green is the color of hope.