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Polina Sychova
“On my way home”

The ship was late because of the strong storm last night, just one hour ago we threw anchor in the small French seaport; the night train to Germany was gone. Therefore, I had to stay an extra night in a strange and unfamiliar place. Evening seemed to be boring, because there wasn’t any entertainment, except of dull music and boring conversation with completely strange companions. I wasn’t feeling like going to the hotel, so I just walked down the lit street, full of people, noise and music. At first I enjoyed walking through the provincial crowd but soon I became bored by all this intimacy of strangers, their laughter, they looked at me as it I was a stranger. I didn’t like how the light was pouring from thousands of sources, everything in this place was unpleasantly strange to me. As I spent one week at sea, I still felt a sense of intoxication in my blood. Suddenly my head spun and, in order to escape from the noise, I turned into a lane, without looking at its name; into another one, narrower, in which gradually the noise began to die down, and next I break into an aimless roam in a labyrinth of branched, like veins, streets, that was turning every time darker and darker as I was moving away from the main square. Tall arch lanterns, these moons of main streets, didn’t burn here, that is why thanks to poor illumination I finally could see the stars and dark cloudy sky again.

It seems that I was not so far from the harbour, at sailor’s district, - I could feel it because of sharp fish smell, by the sweet putrid smell that keep algae even discarded with a surf on the shore, by that, appropriate to a musty rooms, fumes, which impregnated those alleys until the moment when strong storm will scent them of by its own breathe. I was revelling in the twilight and unexpected loneliness, I slowed down my steps, looking down one street after another, but none of them was similar to its neighbour. Some were peaceful, others...
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