Cloudy Tuesday

Columns | Vienna Review | December 2010 / January 2011

Clouds have finally rolled in from the mountains, glazing the city in a thick fog as the days grow short, and it seems that with every passing minute winter winds lurch closer.

It’s a Tuesday, and I am exactly where I’m supposed to be – standing by a printer developing a fluorescent tan as warm, freshly-printed paper falls into the palm of my hand. My eyes are blank, straying through the window towards a horizon ignited by a crimson sun and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to remember the sound of my own voice.

Walking back to my cubicle, I look around – faces as expressionless as death masks bask in the glow of flat screen monitors to a soundtrack of frantically rattling keys.

I sit down and settle into my accustomed slouch, running my hand across my smooth wooden desk and exhale.

When no one is watching, I put my fingers together in the form of a pistol and cock back the thumb. I take a deep breath and feel an imaginary weight in my right hand, silently staring somewhere beyond the screen.

With an almost spasm-like jerk, I stick the fingers in my mouth and pull the "trigger," and for a second, I almost hear powerful blasts go off somewhere in the nether regions of my mind. Violent, colorful, alive.

Then it’s over and I realize my fingers taste of paper clips and staples.

Grigory Borodavkin

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