On Sunday, I was trying to talk to mom about that summer. She confirmed that she was returning to Sosnovaya Polyana every day after work, and thereby her commute was three hours every day. She said that my father “rarely” was there and that “she needs to tell me everything.”
Actually, she already gave me her letters to my father and his letters to her from that period, and she gave me her diary to read, so I know how it all looked like both from her and his perspective.
I do not doubt that I need to write about it, but I am still unsure whether to include their story in my or tell it separately.
For now, let’s say that my father came to Sosnovaya Polyana from time to time and that he took lots of pictures. I like the photos which are not focused on me because I can see the interior of this tiny apartment, and I can see Baba Ania, even if only in the background.
Also, when I look at these pictures, it is very visible to me that my father loved my mom, even if it was in the wrong way. I mean, even though he a completely messed up person, he loved her the way he could love.
Below are some pictures, which were taken without the subjects knowing they were pictured. My mom never printed the photos where I was not present, and I never saw them until Boris bought a device to scan black-and-white films. It was in 2012, and only then I learned how many pictures of my father and of other people I have.
I did not see any pictures of Baba Ania except for the photo on the tomb and a couple of the “state” photos that Deda Fedya hang on his apartment wall. I was unsure why her image from my childhood was so different from these pictures, and I was not even sure whether what I remember was a real her or it was my imagination. When I look at these photos, I know that this is Baba Ania, the way I remember her. And it still strikes me that on these pictures, she fifty-two, almost six years younger than I am now.
The last picture was taken upon our return home from Sosnovaya Polyana. I guess that was the last shot on the film, which had to be taken before this film could be processed (because nothing should go to waist). On the tram stop at the corner of the Labor Square and Union Boulevard.
My historical posts are being published in random order. Please refer to the page Hettie’s timeline to find where exactly each post belongs, and what was before and after.