A couple of days after arriving in
The thing I learned at his funeral is that I absolutely, resolutely, cannot drink vodka in large quantities. Russian funerals are a lot more involved then the Western ones are. After the wake (which is either religious or civil or both) and the actual internment of the body, there is a huge party, wherein all who attended the funeral proceed to get shitfaced. Toasts are said about the decedent, nothing bad (as you do not speak ill of the dead) and a shot of vodka is taken with each toast. My grandfather had touched a lot of people in his life. I tried to pace my shots, but I was at the head table with my family, and it was impossible to not drink. I stopped counting after 7 or so. By my dad and I stumbled home, wherein I passed out and did not wake up until the following day. I no longer drink vodka. Well, sometimes, but it has to be really good. Like Pravda.
I came back to the States sometime in August. The nightmares of that summer were not over though.
The next 3-4 years felt like a real breather. No significant deaths, famous or familial. I was still depressed, but functional. Then 9/11 happened. Now, I did not actually know anyone who perished, and not to sound trite, but that was a huge relief. I woke up that morning to a panic’d DJ on my alarm radiostation yelling for everyone to turn on their teevees. Just as I did, the second plane hit. I thought it was WWIII, maybe. (I always think it’s WWIII. All day today fighter planes have been flying overhead for something 4th of July related, and it freaks me out endlessly. You can take the girl out of the Cold War, but you can’t take the Cold War out of her brain.) My hysterical mother called me, finally got through, she was watching CNN in
Before I came to
I am fuzzy on this next date, but it was sometime in late December 2001, when I was already in