I was a lonely loner for the biggest part of my life. Growing in the middle of the forest, surrounded by old books, with insects and lizards as closest friends. I know how wrong it all will sound, but it needs to be said.

Talking with a stranger is like shooting in the darkness. You try to open up, an oyster with its pearls, converting your inner senses in sound waves — and they reply with: what did you say? Missed. And another one. And then you run out of bullets, helpless.

Sometimes they catch it— and answer, and here it begins. Martial law, the city under attack— and the alarms go mad. Fight the fire, load the witty answers in the machine, we need a new supply of funny stories, bring them from the reserve! What do you mean finished? All the reserves are used, all the military forces are in action, the screams of citizens in basements are mixed with the heavy sound of soldiers’ boots and the roar of guns. And then — silence. You return home, shaking. Another great battle, we will sing about it for centuries.

There are people who do this as easily as breathing. I observe them, curious. Do they have more years of practice, and their soldiers are seasoned veterans? May be they have some special tool, magic weapon? Or they never run out of supplies?

And I got this funny idea that they may be don’t even make a war out of it.

Because what is the purpose? Not the battle, but something which comes after you lay down arms. Understanding. Recognition. Friendship. Love. These priceless moments when you say a half of a word — and the other gets you. When you stand up, in smoke and ashes — armies are gone, machines are done — and see each other, real, alive.

May be the magic skill of getting along well with people is to propose them all that things without military actions. Diplomacy, agreements, or how do they call it. I’m just trying to study something about this next step of civilization.

I have these moments in my mind, covered with golden glitter. Moments of togetherness and connection, of common context, of union. I fought hard for some, I struggled, but it doesn’t matter anymore.

Socializing still hurts. But it’s totally worth it.

Stories from another hemisphere, written under a stripper pen name and in a second language. Because God forbid we make things easier for us.

Stories from another hemisphere, written under a stripper pen name and in a second language. Because God forbid we make things easier for us.