Saturday, May 11, 2013

Old Man Kyiv

If Kyiv were a person it would be an old man.

He knows he should wear his age with pride, but he is still ashamed of it. His face, his center, is painted in a dusty facade of pastels. He holds his head high and takes a rattling breath that is felt in his lungs, the subway. The air blows fast and cool in the metro stations with the hope of fresh life and the reality of stale relief. Yes, Kyiv likes to dress in his best clothes, but if you look closely you can see that his knee and elbow patches are worn straight through.

His veins are sweaty bus routes that run down to his wrinkled hands. In these torn up, weak hands, he holds his joural. The pages are the decrepit apartment buildings. They seem like they were built to fall apart. Like there wasn't a chance in the world that they'd ever be beautiful. He's on his last pages of his book. But the youth graffiti their new words onto the graying pages with the hope that their stories will matter. That they'll pump oxygen through his blood. That they'll enrage him so much that his fire is reignited. What they don't know is that they are aging him faster than ever. What father does not groan at the thought of his sons defying and ignoring his wisdom? They don't read the pages already logged over a thousand years. They'll make the same mistakes as their elders.

His wisdom is shown through his trees. No matter where they are planted, they grow in elegance. Kyiv knows a thing or two, but not what he believes he knows. He thinks he knows politics and advertising, but he really knows budgeting and tiny businesses. His roots uncover his true self. But instead of grass to stand on, there is a blanket of weeds. They're all of the green with none of the care.

The world sees him as an example, an elder, a wise man. He hides his mistakes and his faded tattoos and his truth. Kyiv is an old man who is praying for forgetfulness so he can erase his past transgressions.

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