Tuesday, 31 May 2011

...of estrangement

'We've had some pie and now we're having some cabbage-and-meat soup, with bread,' Petya announced. 'And you, father, must go first thing tomorrow to the District Soviet and the Military Commissariat. Then you'll be put on the list straight away and we'll get ration cards for you more quickly.'
'All right,' said the father obediently.
'Yes, and mind you don't oversleep and forget.'
'I won't,' the father promised.
Their first shared meal after the war - soup with meat - was eaten by the family in silence, with even Petya sitting there calmly; it was as if the father and mother were afraid of destroying, through some chance word, the quiet happiness of a family sitting together.

[The Return, Platonov, A. P.]

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