Today a meagre stalk broached the pack-ice and poked its tip towards the half-light of the sky.
Spring is here. But in my heart it is winter.
Hiked to Bretnarogovsk yesterday to buy shoe polish and beets. Irina Borisovna in dress shop buying brown canvas for her sister's wedding dress. Her skin is the perfect, smooth white of permafrost, and her dark eyes are like deep pools of water with a canary frozen into the clear surface ice -- so mysterious, so full of suspended life. I think she smiled at me, but possibly it was a trick of the light or her Tourette's syndrome. Will I ever know what it is to huddle over the warmth of her heart? Will I ever taste that infinite joy? My soul flows leadenly, like a glacier polluted with dead trees.
The screams of the owls mock my soul.
Made beet soup today.
Sergey Andreyevich came over today, with a bottle of beet vodka. We talked of the good times. I recalled the time my brother, Yuri Petrovich, found a potato frozen into the side of his donkey in the heart of winter. Infinite riches! And yet, how fleeting is a potato, how intangible its wraith when it is consumed, how endless the potatoless void that follows! We, like the potato, will be consumed. The donkey is now dead, its flank barren of potatoes forever.
Pain is the only reality. Fleeting visions of joy are but a goad to further torment.
Irina Borisovna walked past my house today. Her neck is like a swan's, her slender waist, like a gazelle flash-frozen in the throes of ecstasy. She was carrying a dead cow to market. I offered her my assistance but she disdained me. O, infinite majesty of woman!
Snow from the north. The stalk has died, deprived of the soil's nourishment by the paucity of liquid water, like my soul, which dies endlessly in hard ice.
So, winter is upon us again.