KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA VIII

1/5/2022   

Mr. Petrov laid on his rented bed in a remote location, somewhere in Kamchatka. His thoughts went back to his early youth, as some of the memories of a 5-year-old become established in the cranial gray goop that forms the beginnings of who we are. Fast forwarding, VP started putting together a timeline of his indirect Russian encounters only through memories shaped by his parents and teachers. The first vivid memory was when he was 7 years old. At his grandparents’ city house, the neighbors next to them had an underground fallout shelter. This highly coveted, safe place was buried in their backyard with special pipes sticking out of the ground. Access was through their basement wall so the neighbors couldn’t see them going in. Grampa relayed how that shelter was full of food and water and had enough supplies to house 4 people for a month. Grandpa, being familiar with 2 world wars, knew that a bunch of neighbors would show up at this fallout shelter in the event of a Russian nuclear attack. Not having enough supplies for anyone else, they would deny entry and seal themselves inside. Knowing human nature well, he told his grandson Vicktor that as a last-ditch, dying effort, someone would take a shovel and bury those specially designed, filtered, breathing pipes in the backyard just to spite their selfish behavior. Humans! Vicktor then remembered the drills in grade school, where all the kids would crawl under their desks and cover their heads just in case a Russian nuclear missile would fly into his school. Dumb! When he was older, Vicktor took 4th of July tours of some of the 8 Nike installations that surrounded his city. They were designed to shoot down Russian bombers. Now, here was Vicktor sleeping in a Russian bed while the Russian owners slept with the mosquitoes. Could it be that someone had lied about those evil Russians? Could it possibly have been Vicktor’s earlier government that installed all that hatred into that little boy’s head???

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