After my lessons in the workshop I often went to the park. An old name for a piece of forest near seashore, not far from the main square.
In the workshop I had been working on my project for the graduation - pieces of mail for my dress I wanted to wear for the official part. I usually stayed late in the evening, when everyone already went home, even my teacher. I didn't have much time left to finish. I remember it was cold in the room, freezing to the bone. The heating was jacked and it's an old soviet building made of brick, like a castle of a dead nation, it would succumb to the temperature outside. I was used to it. I'd spent a good part of my life in that workshop, also the previous flat we used to live in had the same problem with the heating.
To tell the truth, it felt warmer outside, than on the inside that day. It was spring and there's nearly no snow left. To my surprise, it heavily snowed that day.
I took my usual route. I didn't live far from my workshop, but when I wanted to go for a walk, to walk in the woods, go by the sea or just have some time by myself, maybe with a cigarette in my mouth, I took that route - along the road to the nearest intersection, then to the right, across the road up to the blocks of flats and to the dark road stretching deep into the park. That said road wasn't lit with a tiniest ray of light, so when you turn there, you can't see a thing before you, at first. Then, as you go deeper, you start to see the road, only because of the reflected moonlight on the snow, especially when it's fresh, like it was that day. If I were a person, who gets scared easily, I wouldn't go there. All alone, surrounded by huge black trees, in a place, where I can certainly encounter a bunch of stray dogs or drunks - it isn't the best place to have a late-night walk in. Yet it wasn't the first time I went that road. Not very smart, I know, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
My stash of cigarettes wasn't big. I couldn't buy them myself. I could afford to smoke 2 cigarettes in one day at best. When I wanted to smoke, I always took a trip there. I call it a trip, because it could take me several hours. I didn't want a single soul to know, that I smoked, especially my parents. After I smoked, I stayed in the woods for a while to vent my breath and clothes, so that I won't have any kind of smell on me. I went through the unshoveled snow, trying not to get any in my boots. Got to the main entrance and turned to the sawdust path, that the runners made for them to be able to run in the forest. The meadow, on the side of which the path was, was completely lit with the moonlight. I turned my head towards the moon. It was full, as expected. The sky was clear. The light was so powerful, I could see every detail around me - fallen trees, stumps, signs on the trees for same runners, dog’s footprints leading to a house to the left. The port in the distance, hills on the background.
I descended further. Went right to the edge of the cliff to see the opposite shore, to check if any lights there are on. The place looked magical. The forest looked like a set for a movie – picturesque darkness, pines and fur trees towering to the sky, snow like a fresh paper sheet, but soft as a pillow of feathers.
The sea looked deep. Small waves glistening near a ferry bright with lightbulbs on the inside. The sky is of dark ultramarine, stars like semolina grains scattered all over. I could even see the dim outline of the Milky Way right in the middle.
The opposite shore looks uninhabited, only with a couple lights here and there. There are no houses in that part of the district. That shore always attracted me with its void solitude. I dreamt of leaving that town and going far away, when I was looking at it. Logically, there was no use of going that way, there was nothing there. It was more like a symbol for other places, where I wished to go. Living secluded, so far away from any kind of civilization is mentally hard. Makes you think you can never leave that place.
I did though.
Yet in that moment my thoughts were not of that. In my eyes, eyes of a child at the time, I saw something that wasn’t there. The whole landscape picture was ravishing, dreamy, the way I learned to see that place, to not go mad. It looked like on that site I spent so much time on – site with pretty pictures of the places I would never visit.
I imagined I was in Alaska. I imagined that was the view Rust Cohle used to see, when he was my age. Just a kid. And I don’t know why, but it felt right in my heart. I was filled with hope and love. I smoked. Enjoyed the view for a couple moments. But I couldn’t stand the cold anymore. Also I kept turning around to check if I was still alone. I finally left.
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I don’t remember what happened then. Most likely I went home and started to watch some movie or series. I remember that moment still. I cherish those memories of home. Those things used to keep me going, make me believe in something better. I forgot it all. I lost hope, I unlearned to believe. Without it I’m nothing. A shell of a person. My life is a 100% different now and I have to learn how to live it all over again.
But I have to remind myself to believe from time to time. To remember those moments and not shed tears because of it. But to smile. Like I used to smile.