First night in Turkmenistan, it was a little bit rainy in the capital but I was enough happy to be in this part of the world to think about the problem of getting wet.
I went to the train station, I wanted to know if there was any service going in my direction just in case I needed it for a emergency exit; it’s good to remember that I was in a transit visa, only five days and not a good idea to over-stay there.
I found the big building, white marble as the other megalomaniac icons around. All the lights were absent, closed. “Great”, I thought. I got closer and found one man sitting in a dark corner, asked about the trains in my caveman-like russian. “Trains”, “when”, “who”, “where”; and all the possible combinations of those words plus the gestures related.
He just went deeper in the shadows and pointed somewhere that could be anywhere. I went to the platform, only two souls there. I asked the only man standing, the woman sitting didn’t look so friendly. I prayed to all the Turkic and Russian deities to give me enough words to shake that mummified man.
I asked, without results, to the man that after being unable to answer more than five words just looked in another direction, it was a hard and unnatural movement because I was fourtyfive centimeters away.. But he managed to make me invisible. Looked to the woman, she looked as responsive as those that looked into Medusa’s eyes.
Turned 180° to escape, and I saw her. Walking in the wet platform, there was she. She was wearing a grey overcoat and two thin white lines climbed to her ears, just next to the infinite darkness of her hair. There was never a single night of such a deep and pure color. Black to white and all the possible components of the light in her graceful face. She was astonishing.
I approached her wearing the clothes I have been using for six months, every day with seldom and unproductive washings. Each piece of my outfit a gift from someone I met somewhere. As soon as she saw me and as I didn’t look like a local there (even my appearance as a russian is doubtful) she took out her headphones, but the rhythm belonged to her not to the music. She smiled, it stopped raining immediately.
I told her about my reason to be there (now I had much more to stay) and we walked a couple of hundred meters to another building, maybe that mysterious place that the man in the shadows had pointed before. While walking I thought for a second If he would be still there.
But there was something much more urgent in that moment. She smiled when I told her where I was from, the sound of the name of my country in her russian made me a patriot at once and for all. “Forget the anthem, put her voice”, I shouted to the parliament or to my inner forum.
It’s important to say that the sound of the russian language, with its sharp “i”s and its wonderful way to elaborate a meaning has conquered my heart long time ago. And when it’s grasped by the night itself, well.. “How difficult would it be to get a residence permit here?”, I asked while walking beside her the only few meters to the building. How slow can you walk without looking weird?
And I say yes, you’re are wonderful tonight.
We found an opened door, once in we had two minutes of solitude in a small room with four doors. Three of them closed, unfortunately the one that we came from was still working. Well, “there’s nothing else to do about your train tonight” her face seemed to say; her eyes as bright as the absent moon, she had her own.
“But”, she added, “Where do you spend the night?”
The time collapsed, the shadows cut from the lights, the rain dared to come over, our eyes in touch in an eternal blink. The moon that was not, the night running in her back.
How many answers did that question have? Where to jump when every ledge seems weak enough to throw you into the void?
“I am sleeping in my friend’s house”, I said jumping back to the stable rock, swimming back to the shore where all the things that we didn’t say lay, where they dry up, almost drowned in the salty water of fear and ashamed of being alive.
“Ah”, she said. “Priatno” (Nice to meet you), added while walking. I waited for a few minutes, I had to go in her direction, but anyway since we had lost our lifetime love it wasn’t a good thing to keep walking together.
I saw her, walking gently, away from the shore and the ground proper of those who didn’t jump. A mermaid that has no time for simple humans.
She faded away in a twisted stair, a whirlpool that took her deep into the darkness of my memory.
We’re all that things we never said, that things we never did. The words that after the silence became rocks impossible to swallow, the ashes in the hands that never let those flowers go, the salty tears that blur our eyes every time we try to recall that things that ashore wait to jump back into the water. Just waiting for another reason to swim until their cramped arms will lead them to the most beautiful darkness, deep and away from the light. And her eyes..