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How well do you know me?

When we are together, you hear only complimentary things about me because people are hypocritical and won’t tell the truth to my face. But when I am not around… You would hear a lot about me. Just remember how well you know me and think over everything that you have heard.

Almost everything will be the truth. Almost…

Unfortunately, I don’t know what people say about me behind my back. And I don’t really care about that. But I would like you to hear the truth. The way I am described is not always true, sometimes it has little to do with reality. Of course, I am not that terrible of a person, but I am not a paragon of virtue.

Every time, alright? Every time you hear about me, remember me and what I’m like. We have so little time, maybe it’ll not be enough for me to tell you the truth about myself.

Perhaps not now and not in a month, but I do want to meet you again.

They say you can get used to everything. Well, for almost a month I’ve been living in the basement (but not permanently). And it is nice here. Although the city is coming back to life, I don’t want to stay there. Every time I go to the city to get the parcels, I come back immediately. When I was coming back from Warsaw to go to war, I knew I would not sign the contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the Territorial Defence Forces — only with the guys I trust, the ones I had been fighting together before.

Trust is fragile and brittle. Don’t ruin that, don’t regret it and don’t complain later that everyone is so bad, and you can trust no one. Trust is like first love. You betray it — and you, jerk, get away with that, but the girl would not believe in love and other bullshit, crucial for living on and being happy. This door will be closed for her, it’ll become some sort of barrier, repelling everyone due to the absence of trust.

Damn boys’ lust and selfishness. I would beat the sh*t out of them. You couldn’t even imagine how tough it is to overcome this hatred within yourself! I would take a few of these assh*les to the basement and teach them to appreciate solitude, trust, generosity, and many other things.

I want to change this world.

You are forsaking your time and healing wounds with it.

Deep and painful wounds of others and your own ones.

Strong in spirit and wise in thoughts.

Nevertheless, could not stop loving her.

There is nothing special to tell. I am not a hero, I just love my country and my home so much. Now I am sitting in the basement, staring at the fire and listening to music.

Vivienne Mort [a Ukrainian indie rock band — Ed.], you are the sunshine in this dark place:

“The one I’m talking about, the one I’m not talking about, but here he is.”

Night, the radio’s chattering… Fire in a tin…

Ukrainian Text by Marian Burak, translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team — Jun 17, 2022

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