‘She’s hot’ is what I tell people. But better to look at and not to touch.
Black hair, slender neck, creamy skin, wide eyes, full lips and a heart-shaped face. Russian. I've seen her shopping in sweatpants, doing laundry in a bathrobe and unpacking the car in a negligee. I've minded her son, lent her money and given her Internet access. But she makes bad decisions.
She choses cigarettes over food, Gucci scarves over peace of mind, and suitors over family. The electricity goes on and off, employment comes and goes, and boyfriends move in and out. She's 37. At any given moment she is either proud or in despair. Lessons go unlearned and that’s what's so tragic.
On a good day she holds her shoulders back. On a bad day she strokes her hair. She talks for pity and listens like she's fulfilling community service. She's never once asked about me. Untrustworthy, and yet it's hard not to feel sorry for her. She’s disabled in the most obscure way and one gets the feeling she always will be.
Good-bye my neighbour. Good luck in that fascist country and shotgun marriage. Try not to forget the good things you had and left behind: a safe home, a faithful husband, glamorous job, and a son. Regrets are not always a bad thing. Sometimes they're the only way to grow.