Geometry of Love
Ania Vesenny

I count babushkas on the shelves and sift through the menu. Greg is particular about what he puts in his mouth. He doesn’t eat chicken because of its bones, and mango because of its colour. He doesn’t touch any food with his hands.

This morning Katia braided my hair. “Don’t order anything with meat,” she said. “I puked for a week after eating there. There are better Russian restaurants in town.”

“Greg wants to experience authentic Russian cuisine,” I said.

“This is not how you charm a man, you know.” Katia handed me a mirror. “Here. You look like a snow maiden.”

“May I borrow your lipstick?”

The restaurant is deserted. A tall, ursine man stands in the corner, staring at us, his arms crossed.

“Look, the waiter is wearing boxers.” I say. “He is also the chef.”

“It is pretty here,” Greg says. He smoothes his hair with his hand.

Greg orders lamb perogies, covers his mouth with his hand when he chews, wipes his sour cream lips with the red napkin that matches the curtains. He looks up at me.

“Your salad, is it authentic?”

“Yes,” I lie.

He watches my mouth. Tilts his head to one side.

“Your hair is so soft,” he says. “The lighting, it is like you have a halo.”

We leave. I shiver in my thin coat. He stops under a street lamp. I look up at his round chin and sunken eyes. He blinks several times. He lifts his hand to caress my cheek; I feel its warmth before it touches my skin. I step towards him.

“You have something between your teeth,” he says. He slips his hands in his pockets, and starts walking.

Return to Archive