Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rare chance sightings…

It’s about 4:15 on Tuesday morning. I just woke up. Monday turned out to be effectively my first work day of the year. It was interview day. It ended up to be about five hours of actual table time with people coming to visit me for a first visit. There were a couple of surprises and some old friends who I hadn't expected also passed by and stopped to say hello.

I think the interviews went well. The interviewing students were a mix of adults and university students. One group of grown men who came by was kind of interesting. I don’t really think it is ethical to speak about clients too deeply but to say it briefly, I can't seem to figure out what profession they are supposed to have. I mean, I asked them several times what they did for a living, an awful American habit I know, and they said that they wanted to better know English for some kind of selling career they were involved with. The more I asked the less they wanted to share except to say that it didn’t seem to be a lot of work, they have lots of free time and they go to Dubai a lot. I just don't know what this means. So this and that I am not really so understanding of their academic qualifications or what sort of work they will be capable of, but in any case, I will do my best to show them the ins, outs and nuances of the English language so that they can better do... whatever the hell it is that they do down in Dubai. It will be a challenge.

In general it was a challenging day. I have been away for a while and have gotten out of the habit of sitting and talking with people for long periods of time. In the morning I rode up and put in another week of advertising. I am happy to be getting around town well by bike. I also met with Losha for coffee and hung out at the Zolotaya Kolos before the meetings started. I had green tea and showed him some movies I made while I was in the states. Losha and his wife just had their second child but are having issues with naming the boy. I think they are leaning towards Demitri, or at least this is his wife's favorite but as of the moment he is still the player to be named later.

Other than the interviews, which were all quite pleasant, visiting with Losha was probably the best moment of the day. The weather was very kind and several people who we knew passed by and there were lots of pretty girls in sun dresses to admire. The tea and cookies were nice too. But probably the worst moment of the day was at about 5:00pm, just after I had finished doing my hours at the table. I was heading across the yard to the store to get something for dinner and I saw Annie out on the street with her friend from my old address, the lone person who her mother allows her to play with. I was happy to see her and shouted her name but rather than answer, she turned and ran all the way home.

My daughter ran away from me.

Now, most probably I know why this happened. The girl ran because her mother told her that she was not allowed to talk to me. I can't tell you how much this moment hurt. Events like these happen all the time though and really, after such a nice day, such a nice beginning to the year, it just took the heart right out of me no matter how used to the abuse I am supposed to have gotten. This was just yet another example of exactly how tragic this situation with Tanya is.

I have been thinking if I really want to talk about this here. It is pretty personal. My daughter in a lot of ways is really the sole reason why I still live in Belarus. Not that I am unhappy with my business or the people I know here but generally, the situation with Anya and her mother is the single most pervasive issue in my life. I think I want to talk about this, not necessarily for the therapy of it, but rather to take the time and try to get everything said clearly- or maybe that is therapy. But in any case it's going to take a long time to unravel this story and explain what has been happening in some decent detail. Basically, the situation is that legally I am only allowed to see Anya twice a week and it was to change and make better this situation that I have moved to this new apartment. According to Belarusian law, the actual number of square meters one’s living space is comprised of is one of the most pervasive details in choosing between warring parents. My old office space, which Anya and I both liked very much (she had lots of friends there), was a single room- I guess you would call it a studio apartment- a few blocks away and near to the university. The new apartment has three rooms (Anya would have her own room here) and is literally 50 meters away from Tanya's house. We now share the same yard which was why I had that very rare, chance sighting of my five year old. So really, everything that has been done has been about normalizing my relationship to Anya, being closer to her and in the hope of getting more time with her via the courts. It is also about getting the courts to understand my situation with Tanya better.

Yea, I need to work out how I want to talk about this. It is a very long winded and difficult situation and not very pleasant to talk about. There is also a lawyer now and, like most lawyers I have run into in my life, the lack of interest and time actually spent helping the situation get better just has been adding to the disheartening quality of it all. Actually, now that I mention it, I need to plan a trip to Brest to see him after I get all of my documents, something I am pretty unenthused about doing at the moment. The lack of enthusiasm comes from having already been blown off two or three times, the time and money which will need to be spent on the trip and having to go there despite having been told that they were coming to me here in Pinsk. I guess this will have to be on Thursday.

I don't think you are supposed to work out these blogs at 4:15 in the morning. I think if you try to work out a blog at 4:15 in the morning you tend to get a very disconnected piece of writing rather than something which helps you see what you need to see. Or maybe worse, working at that early hour it brings up topics which are not so fun to have to look at. But in any case, really, it is all about Anya. I guess if I am going to be speaking about my Belarusian situation I need to say that right at the beginning. It is really all about Anya.

More soon…


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