To see the previous post My Mother Paola Volkova – Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir Part 3
On the day of your funeral a few men came to see my husband. They told him that they were the last love of your life. There were 3 or 4 of them. All were persuaded that it was true.
When I went back to Moscow for the last time to empty your apartment, the first thing I saw upon entering was a stack of letters addressed to you. There were holiday greetings and announcements of events in the cinema and literary clubs to which you belonged. I left them on your dining table as if you might read them anytime soon. A few days later the phone rang. A woman called from the RTR, the 1st TV Channel. She wanted to ask you to participate in a talk show about Ludmila Gurchenko, a famous Soviet TV star. I told them you had died. They kept apologizing, saying that they did not know, how they had missed the news that you were gone. I thought it was your way of communicating with me while I was in the apartment.
One of the gzhel boxes you had at home, the one which has a lid in the shape of an officer lying on a sofa, had keys in it. There were about a dozen of them. There were of all sorts of shapes and colors. Some were marked with a pink or blue ribbon. My husband suggested that I should keep them. I decided not to. I wonder whether you knew what these keys used to open.
The other day I went to see a movie by Woody Allen, Magic in the Moonlight. In one of the scenes the main heroine, a clairvoyant, Sophie Baker, who talks to the spirits of the dead, creates a performance for the guests. During her performance she asks a spirit one question. The code to understand the answer provided by the spirit is one knock for “Yes” and two for “No”. It made me wonder what questions I could ask you if I were to get in touch with you. The most immediate would be:
- Are there enough spas in the place where you are now?
- Do many people speak Russian?
- Do you see Tonino Guerra and Andrey Tarkovsky?
- How often do you get new dresses?
- Do you still give lectures on Fine Arts?
We lived together for 42 years, two months and two days.
A few days ago my husband quoted from a book he was reading about a ‘show biz’ celebrity, Mrs. C. She wrote that the thing she was afraid of most in life was making an extra trip on a merry-go-round. I thought the quote was about you. You did not want to make another trip on the merry-go-round.