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Farewell to Moscow

I was not born in Moscow. Yet I have been living there and in the neighbourhood for 15 years, for most active part of my life. This is a city where I met my wife, get first son, first job, and my educational diploma. The city where I loved and was being formed.

This is why the city had a strange mastery over me. Despite the fact that I left, despite the fact that the city and me have changed almost beyond recognition. Very soon after my departure I’ve lost affiliation with people of the city except a handful of good friends. However, the city proper constantly attracted me, luring into a magic network of its side-streets and get-through-yards, inciting good and bad memories, keeping me on line of nostalgia of times past and things eternal.

Today I’m getting home after 10-day visit to Moscow and Chernogolovka. There were intensive lecturing, long and fruitful discussions with local scientists, attending talks. There were tributes to nostalgia, visiting places almost forgotten. There were unusual events and interactions, both pleasant and unpleasant, like being disturbed all night long by drunken Dutch youngsters.

One of the unexpected consequences of this visit is that the city has lost his power over me, or perhaps just decided to prune its subjects by expelling me from its magic circle. I have understood that I don’t belong to it anymore. Moreover, I have recognized a simple and smashing fact: I never actually did. It was all a kind of delusion coming from desire to belong somewhere, to have roots and nostalgic memories. Like a stray dog sometimes fancies to follow a passer-by imagining it has a master.

Therefore: farewell to you, Moscow, ugly and beautiful, holy and blasphemous, capital of unjust power and undeserved mercy, you have my soul not. Most likely, I will come along once again: but it will be my turn to be a passer-by.

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