Space Heater – Jesus is Victory
March 1, 2022
for my friend
Russia finally invaded Ukraine today—quad Americano and menthol disposable pens.
My girl says her family doesn’t like guns, but they own a beautiful farm. Chicago is cold this week!
At the spa, I moan when my delts get pushed. My girl moans, too. Before the after-massage shower,
I check my phone to keep up on the new war. Online, everyone is always angry. One of my friends,
a popular musician in Europe, secretly defends Russia in my DMs. Another friend, who generally
looks like this: 🥺👉🏼👈🏼 , tells me to donate $50 to a Patreon account crowdfunding
mortars, machine guns, and anti-air missiles for the Ukrainians. My pal in Kyiv, that I met a few summers ago,
messages me on Telegram with different memes that I vaguely understand through context. She also tells me
that loud noises are annoying, but more annoying when they could kill you. She says she doesn’t want to
die in a metro station because there’s no signal to browse IG down there. I smile and think, with as much
concentration I can muster, about her apartment, in Darnytskyi. “So,” she says, “Russia finally invaded
Ukraine today.” Buckwheat with bacon and factory rave pregames. That summer—younger—we
sprinted along the left bank of the Dnieper to catch a tram. We didn’t talk about anything that matters
now. Perverzion is on her bedroom bookshelf. So is Infinite Jest, which is what we actually talked about.
“What’s the deal—why is he so depressed?” He has too much stuff in his house. “Did you read it?” It’s too long
and I’m lazy. I read the summary online. Olena, why are there Russian tourists everywhere downtown when
they’re occupying Crimea. I didn’t ask that. We drank Nemiroff at 3PM. We shot AKs somewhere
in the countryside. We went on a trip with friends to visit Chernobyl. I boarded a flight back to the US the next night.
Russia finally invaded Ukraine today—warm water and Aveeno lotion on my face.
I message Olena that I’m happy she’s doing fine. She asks about my life. My childhood home
last Christmas burnt down. My dementia-ridden grandma forgot to turn off her space heater. Everyone
is alive and will be alive forever. Olena, I will FedEx you a heater. If you stay in your apartment. It’s cold
this week in Kyiv and might be for a little while. Pray for peace, as always. Pray for spring this year. Pray for
malfunctioning tanks and misfiring assault rifles. Pray for ceasefire agreements and international lawyers.
When summer arrives, you’ll pick me up at Boryspil and we’ll troll the Uber driver. I’ll say I’m a mercenary.
Kyiv summer 2019, alone at the tacky tourist bar. Matching a group of uni students in shot-to-shot drinking
games I’ll never understand, smiling.