photo by Esther Rose-Anne
He took out two cups from the cupboard…
- One for me, one for you.
And pretty plates to place under them…
- One for me one for you.
He boiled water, took out the bowl of sugar and placed it between us.
-Spoons!,_ he said and took out two spoons from the kitchen drawer.
I sat and smiled at the way he poured the boiling water and mixed the tea.
-So,_ he said as he put a steaming hot cup in front of me and sat down himself. -What will we talk about?
I looked down into my cup and the lovely color of tea poured on my thoughts.
-Tell me, how do you imagine our home to be like?
He beamed and took his cup into his wonderful hands. The steam climbed up his face went into his hair and it seamed like fog on a hill top.
-I see my home somewhere where it’s wet and foggy. Somewhere where the grass is the deepest green and the soil is dark, warm.
As I looked at him, my breath swept the steam off his hair like a wind and dew appeared on the grass where our house stood. I looked into my cup again and said nothing. My hands seamed cold, so I danced my hands over the cup, the steam warmed my palms, rolled around my fingers, slipped up to the ceiling. I played with the clouds above the roof of our home.
- I imagine a beach nearby,_ I said while watching him put two spoons of sugar into his cup.-With white sand. Like sugar.
He sipped his sweet tea and said with a smile.
- I imagine laughter in my house. Of out kids, of you.
I sipped some tea. It tasted of jasmines, lemons, cinnamon…
-I want a garden,_ I said. -With beautiful trees.
-And a candlelit porch… a table placed between trees where we will drink wine._ he said and continued. – On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays you will be the one to choose the wine from our cellar. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays it will be me.
- What about Sunday?,_ I asked.
- On Sunday we will have a trip to the mountains and arrive too tired for wine. We will have a warm bath with lavender oil while listening to Coltrane.
-We will have a whole room for old records and an old record-player,_ I said.
-Music will pour out of our open windows and you will dance barefoot with a cup of coffee in the mornings,_ he said smiling at his cup.
I sensed tickles in my toes and said. – You will teach me how to dance and will dance in the evenings.
The electricity turned off in the room we were sitting and the place was semi-dark as he continued. – We will dance under stars in the darkness, the stars will be large and deep, the brightest stars you have ever seen.
I swayed in my sit, looked up at the ceiling and saw the universe. – We will watch the stars through a telescope on our roof when we can’t sleep at night. I will lean on you and dream as you count the stars under your breath.
The room was totally dark now, I heard him put the cup of tea down on his plate and murmur. – I will carry you to the bed and take off your shoes. I will cover you up, but suddenly you will wake up and say…
-I will ask you to read to me.
-And I will take out Dovlatov and read to you until you fall asleep again.
-I will wake up in a room with big paintings,_ I said.
-You will have your own studio where you will paint,_ he said.
-We will have a library with books going up to the third floor ceiling.
-With black and white photographs of our family all over the place…
Suddenly the electricity was on again.
-I will make steamed fish with wine, cinnamon apple pie and salad with figs while you will sit on the counter and tell jokes.
-I will cut the vegetables and you’ll give me some soup to taste. We’ll sway with the music and cook at the same time, waiting for our guests…
-After we say goodbye to our guests we will dance in an already-silent room while Billie Holiday makes us sleepy.
-All we shall hear will be Billie, the cold rain on the roof and our heartbeat.
-We shall sit by the large chimney and plan a trip somewhere far away…
We went quiet now… our minds traveled over countries, borders, islands and speeding trains for over three silent minutes…
I was warm and cuddled with silence. Looked up at the clock and said. -It is late…
He grinned. -Don’t worry, I will walk you home.