RUSSIANS ON MY MIND, some were passing through Viljandi Town, tourists perhaps. Russians are so different. They are not like Estonians. They look at you on the street, they might even make eye contact or acknowledge your presence in some other way. They might even make a little joke. We share this same plane of existence. How refreshing! The Russians don’t need to invade, they’re already everywhere. Yet the Russians are stuck in the 1950s. Hopelessly stuck. The men still have those short haircuts, the leather jackets, the spotless jeans. The women wear generous helpings of makeup, their hair is blond and frosted. They look like they should be on Happy Days. They are heading to a sock hop. The great Russian sock hop. Comrade Buddy Hollyvitch will be playing, “That’ll Be the Day (When Stalin Dies).” Later, I came home and I noticed my room had been ransacked. All my journals had been rummaged through, and someone had written over my thoughts in blue ink, so that it now read, “When the US humiliated Russia by allowing the Baltics into NATO,” here, or, “And that’s why Putin is such a strong resolute leader,” there. Strange, these NKVD KGB FSB ramblings inserted into my journals. Trying to get inside me, inside my mind, inside my inner monologue. Trying. I asked my daughter if someone she didn’t know had stopped by the house. Indeed, someone had. “You mean that strange man in the leather jacket who was smoking?” The smoking man. He fit the description. “He said his name was Dmitri,” she said. Of course, I thought. It had to be Dmitri. Dmitri, Dmitri. Who else could it be?
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