here, the sun is a led light in january – only brightness, no warmth. through window glass it can fool you well enough; i spent a long indulgent morning off curled up on the sofa in a pool of sunlight, pleasure-drugged.
it’s siberian weather, they say. my grandfather would have smirked – he was an artillerist in the winter war. it was forty below zero, then. he stole boots bigger than his own from a dead russian and filled them with hay for insulation, and when he got struck by shrapnel he was more worried about whether he would be getting new trousers than he was about his leg.
he never told anyone else but me about the war. i was ten when he did, but i knew even then what an honour it was. though i wonder sometimes about the parts he must have left out – and i wish i could have known it all. i wish that i had asked.
i’ve noticed my signature resembles his more and more for every year. (which is strange, because he had atrocious handwriting, and i don’t.) i hope that’s not the only way in which i take after him – i hope to be honourable as he was, and generous as he was, and poised as he was.
i keep his commemorative medal in my jewelry box. for luck. and for love.
he would have turned 101 this year.