09 December 2012

Letter from Ben

Ben really wanted to be included more in this blog, but wasn't really sure how to go about it. While I was at work, he texted me and asked if he could write his own post. Obviously, I told him I would be thrilled if he did, but he struggled with coming up with an idea as to what to write about. I told him to just write me a letter about what he was thinking about and we could go from there. 

This is what he wrote:

Dear Lisa,

I guess I don’t know quite where to begin. That we are moving to Moscow in a month is still entirely surreal to me, and even though I’ve gotten into the habit of telling all those people who are so very interested in what exactly our plan is after this semester that yes, we are actually moving to Russia, and yes, we do know to a certain degree what we’re getting ourselves into, the confidence with which I say all these things in no way reflects the degree to which I have fully realized something that until now was just one of our daydreams.

But it’s becoming less cloudy every day, and each time we take a step and make some action that involves the day to day logistics of actually living in Moscow – securing an apartment, mapping out the route to the nearest train station, getting a bed – I believe in it more and more, and now that my mind is fully committed to the idea that I will once again be moving to Russia I am torn by two fundamentally conflicting desires. On the one hand I want to tell you everything I remember about Moscow, everything I remember about my friends and Muscovites and the places we frequented, and then too about all the places I wish I had gone and how the buildings made me feel like a communist and the best bread I’ve ever tasted cost less than forty cents. I want you to know about all the good experiences I had in Russia, and to understand the good memories and feelings that surface whenever we talk about it so that you don’t have to be so worried. It is a good place, and you will not be alone.

On the other hand, I want to tell you absolutely nothing. I want to leave you completely in the dark until we get there and let it hit you with full force. I want to run around that whole city with you and let it be the first time for everything. I want to forget what I’ve seen and paste the memory of you and I discovering all the nooks of Moscow together over the entirely ordinary scene of me passing half heartedly through the red square with a point and shoot having dutifully snapped a few photos of the candy towers. And even though I’ve already spent time in this city, there is so much left for us to discover together, and I want to make a point to go somewhere we’ve never been before every single week. You never know what the future holds, and we might stay in Moscow for a long time, but if nine months is all the city holds for us I want to squeeze the life out of every last second of that time.

God I hope we have a balcony. Do you know what I want to do our very first night? I want to go to the nearest produktiy and get a bottle of the cheapest and paradoxically most delicious vodka you’ve ever tasted, and stand on our balcony smoking cigarettes, toasting our first foray into the craziness of real life and seeing if we can’t see our pond.

Here’s to the first of many great adventures.


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