Olga Popovskaya

5 minutes’ talk about coming to America

“Mom, I am not afraid of leaving. I dread not being able to come back for several years, maybe forever, not being able to see you for some time.”

“I hope you will. I, all our family will be waiting for you. Could you please pass the knife?”


“You know well I can’t come with you. I have lived all my life here. Your sister and your brother are not ready to move, nor am I.”

“But I need to be ready.”

“Yes. It is going to be worse for you guys, I guess. It is good that you are leaving together. Your husband’s support is very important!”

“If only he could speak English, I would fret less. No friends, even mutual ones. Do you believe we are strong?”

“I am sure there are much stronger people then you are. That is why I will always worry about you. But I see the shape of your heart and you can’t stay.”

“I long to take my furry friends with us.”

“No. No. Don’t get carried away. It will be a nightmare for your poor cats. Don’t make more problems for yourself. You will have enough of them in a week.”

“Mom, you raised all three of us by yourself. What did you do when it all seemed to be too desperate?”

“Mm, keep on smiling to yourself in the mirror, keep on doing what you started. In this way, self-teaching really worked for me, it was helpful. And don’t make things more complicated than they are. Don’t stress out too much! Are you hungry?”

“No, I am not.”

“As always; come on, “an army marches on its stomach!””

“Mom, I also wanted to say…”

“Have you seen where I have put the knife?”

“Oh, my Skype is working strangely. Can you see me?”

“Yes! Though it is a little dark in the dining room.”

“It is evening, let me switch the light on. Is it lunch time in Miami? Have you eaten yet?”

“Yes, we ordered some Mexican food, I didn’t expect to find so many Spanish speakers here! And the 10 hour flight knocked me sideways.”

“How do you feel?”

“I am good, very good! I thought it would be extremely hot, but it is raining! I imagined this city as pretentious and luxurious but I found plenty of construction work and it’s pretty ordinary.  But the air is different, still and substantial. I will keep its sweet smell in my heart.  And they use yellow colored paint to mark lines on the asphalt, not white ones. This yellow matches the sweet smell! We rented a room in a small hotel next to the airport so we enjoy planes passing overhead. This morning I met a cat in the breakfast area. Guests and employees fed it with love. Mom, I hope people care for animals more here.”

“I am happy that you are all right.”

“Mom, can you imagine, the bus operator gave us a free ride as we didn’t have change yet. When we exchanged our currency in dollars we were given only bills and no coins.”

“Are you going to rent a car?”

“Maybe. It will be the first experience of searching for the best offer in a new language, with new game rules.”

“You always liked new games.”

“Fall is drawing on. I admire New York, bright, warm and orange, through the train window twice a day.”

“You look different.”

“I feel different.”

“Your eyes are happier than the eyes of your sister.”

“I thought I had escaped from someone, but I am getting closer to myself, that is why I smile more often!”

“Do you like being there?”

“America is super-multicolored. This country shows me so many unusual but, at the same time, simple shapes, forms and ways of living.”

“You look like you are getting stronger, my dear.”

“We learn to be prepared to improve ourselves every day because, in this country, we never know what will happen next. We are ready to open our eyes and be surprised! Who’s that? I can’t see.”

“Your favorite cat who has a tiger's character. I get up at 5 a.m. these days and the cat wants me to start feeding her, the sooner the better.”

“Why do you wake up so early?”

“Who knows? I can’t sleep any longer these last weeks. I am getting old. Or maybe I can’t sleep because of your coming to America.  I will always worry about you.  But you, go to bed! It is almost midnight in NY. Good night! Keep chasing your dreams!”

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