It’s early morning now, but I can’t sleep any more.
I can’t sleep, and I’m restless, but it’s the kind of restless that comes from not getting enough sleep, and I’m sure that I’ll crash tomorrow. What I really want to do is to play the dizi, but I’m sure it will disturb people and attract attention that I don’t want. I have Milhaud’s Création du Monde going over and over again in my head, and I want to play it out. I feel light and giddy, and I’m a little disturbed that I have such a happy, beginning-type feeling. It’s from not getting enough sleep, I’m certain.
I’m sitting in the little hospital in Serpukhov. I’m in the waiting room, in the corner. Sasha is still asleep, I guess. I’m watching the other people in the waiting room talk and worry and sleep, and I’m watching the world outside the windows turn faintly gray—then pink—then gold—as the sun comes up on the other side of the building. Yong’s wandering the building somewhere, disguised as a doctor.
The pretty nurse from before wasn’t working last night, so there was nobody here to recognize me. She just came on duty an hour or so ago—I saw her as she checked in—but I just have to keep my eye out for her today, and there shouldn’t be any trouble at all.
It’s a very busy hospital. The lights aren’t very bright, so it’s not so obvious that it’s not very clean here. It’s dirty and dark, and all of the staff looks exhausted. The rooms are packed with soldiers.
The doctors wouldn’t let me stay to watch them stitch Sasha up, but Yong is keeping an eye on him. He’s come back here several times to report that the kid is still alive and unconscious. Yong feels like the situation is his fault because he messed up the spell that was supposed to take us to Poland, so I guess he’s trying to be helpful. It’s nice of Yong, but I feel that I should be doing it myself.
I got up really early and bought a newspaper for me and some beer for Sasha. There was no place to buy hot tea, so I had to settle for kvass from a tank on the street. (First thing in the morning. Yuck.) The kiosks are pretty bare here, but that’s to be expected, I suppose. I hate war, if for no other reason than that it makes life a lot less comfortable. There was nothing worth reading in the paper.
I’ve been practicing with Sasha’s accent. It’s not quite Muscovite—he said he’s from north of Penza. We told the nurse on duty last night that he’s my brother, because really, what else is plausible? I said that my name was Ivan Vasilyevich Yaroslav. I really have a very boring name, no matter what language it’s in.
The nurse looked as though she thought I ought to be ashamed for not being a soldier myself. So I explained that I’m a translator for the government, that our father had been a decorated war hero and just recently died, &c. I was sappy and expressive and inordinately attentive to her, and she did her best to make sure that Sasha got a clean bed and prompt treatment. Sometimes I really hate this country. I want to go home.
Anyway, now I have to speak like I’m from the country. It’s fun, though. I haven’t gotten a chance to do something new like this for a while. I’m fairly confident that I can mimic him now. I used my new accent at the newspaper kiosk and when I bought the kvass and the beer.
Dreams came at me last night like pelting hail from all directions at once: blood, music, water, aching in my head. And the blue glow in my shoulder has coalesced into some sort of pictogram or something. I know because my shirt was covered in Sasha’s blood, and I had to take it off and try to wash it out. Also my arm aches in the same place he’s been injured. That’s... eerie. I don’t know; maybe I did something to it and didn’t notice.
I’m not sure what to think of him. He’s interesting. But it’s appalling what comes out of his mouth sometimes. Apparently, his German consists of obscenities that are—to be frank—grossly mispronounced and incorrectly conjugated. Also he smells like cigarette smoke. I’ll have to teach him to speak German properly.
Well, that is, if he comes with me to Warszawa. But I hope he will. Maybe Mama will have some insights on this.
It’s weird that two people would look so alike. And why do I feel such an at-home feeling when I’m with him? I think we have some sort of spiritual connection. Is he my mission? I’m certain that this has something to do with all of the strange powers and the confusing memories. It’s like having had a past life, but that’s not possible, because souls don’t live twice. I think it’s probably some sort of revelation that is supposed to tell me what to do with my life. I wouldn’t be like this if I weren’t supposed to do something important. There must be a reason for all of this, and I will find it out.
Even now, I’m uneasy, not being able to keep an eye on him. I feel responsible for him, somehow. And I’m curious to find out how well my attempt at healing worked. It was exhausting, and I don’t think it was very successful. I’m going to have to figure out what to do to make it more efficient.
Sasha has a really powerful energy aura, and I can sense it. I can say right now with certainty that he’s asleep in the room where Yong left him. He breathes through his mouth when he sleeps. Like I do.
He’s more muscular than I am. I'm a little envious, but I’m going to turn it on myself and give myself a round scolding for not being more active. He said he lives on a farm. I guess he’s not a kulak… those have all been pretty much eliminated in the past ten years or so. That would make him, what? Bednyak? Damn communists. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the stupid Soviet government, the stupid Nazis, everyone in the whole stupid war! I want to go back to Poland, and when I find out exactly what they did to it, I’ll… Well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’m going to make sure this never, ever happens again!
I’m trying to calm down. See? I have stopped scribbling angrily, and I’ve started using this neat, small script.
Now, what are we going to do with Sasha when he wakes up? We’ll take him to Warsaw, I suppose. If he’s any kind of decent human individual, he won’t want to leave his unit, but this is obviously more important, and I’ll just have to explain it to him that way. If he can do the things that I can do—or the things that Yong can do—or something else similar, well then… We ought to go and do something about this stupid war. So he won’t really be deserting. He’ll be serving his country in a much better capacity. I hope he doesn’t feel that we’ve kidnapped him. Even though we have.
He’s awake—I can tell. I’d better go see him now. He’ll be worried.