Russia

Yesterday, the Moscow airport was bombed. 34 people were killed and 168 were wounded. Doku Umarov, a rebel leader, claimed responsibility. He said, "the war will come to your streets and you will feel it in your own lives and on your own skin."

This summer Russia was on fire. The forest was on fire and the peat bogs were on fire. And they had record heatwaves and people were dying from the heat, and from drowning.

I went to Russia in August, but it was not bad where I was.

I performed. I stuck my tongue out and licked and licked and licked, and people pulled out their cameras and took my picture.

In Russia I danced amidst metal. I performed with a caiman. If that creature is not some sort of prehistoric god, I don’t know what is. I smiled too much, talked too loud, dressed too American, and looked too Jewish to blend in.

The caiman’s owner was a friendly, smiling man my age. His surname meant sunshine. He told me his father spent his life bringing light and happiness into people’s lives. He was determined to do the same. He brought me a clementine on a cloudy day, “a slice of sunshine,” he said.

He owned the saddest monkey I have ever seen. Tiny and depressed, dressed in a frock, she sat on a small table in the middle of a room, leashed to one of the legs. She looked miserable and resentful. She shared the table with a rabbit. The rabbit did not need a leash; it had no interest in jumping off. He gave me and the rabbit and the monkey cucumbers to eat. He would cut cucumbers for her so she could eat the seeds, her favorite part. She looked interested and anxious and excited when she was eating cucumbers. She made a mess of them. She got hostile when he took the cucumber remnants away from her but not violent. He wiped her down and dressed her up and she glared. When he finished she grabbed the rabbit to her, and held and held and held him. Comfort, I guess.