Stacy is born in 2078 in Massive Housing Complex 3.
Stacy sat up, pulling himself off the floor, “Listen to this.”

“The whole yard smells: of new buds,
boards stacked in the sun,
light frost – and gutted potato pits,
the smell of fresh new grass.
And the faintest breeze brings from the bushes…”

His voice becomes softer,

“…the smell of alder and juniper,
and smell of fresh buds, catkins and leaves;
and from the fields – the smell of fresh water,
of drying meadows, foamy crusts,
the first coltsfoot, swallowwort, dandelion,
the smell of flooded ponds, the sun's warmth, and the lastof the dirty snow lying in the loamy ditches.” 1

“Mmmm,” Teresa closes her eyes. “I miss the warmth of the sun on my skin. I’m forgetting what it’s like to feel the sun cut your eyes as you look up into it.”

“I remember my grandfather Parker had a lace curtain with monarch butterflies embroidered into it, in his kitchen. When the light broke through the curtain from the window, butterflies would dance on the thick door of the fridge.”

“How much longer are they saying the thaw will last, before we can leave the complex again?”

Six years, thinks Stacy, five if we’re lucky. “At least five more.”

“The winters are getting longer and longer. Do you ever feel like spending all this time behind the complex, without the sun, without growth, we’re losing our connection to time?”

“Mmmm.” Stacy responds.

They share a silence

“That reminds me, there’s something I want to show you.” Stacy gestures towards the door.

Steel boards creak as they walk over them. They pass through endless cement corridors, past the lobby arch; past a monument to the 21st century reading “It’s Later Than We Thought.”

Teresa looks at Stacy, “I don’t think I’ve asked you, how long have you been here?”

“I was born here.”

“My parents came here after the Great Tide,” said Teresa, “during the Uprisings. I don’t know much about the outside, my parents don’t like to talk about their life before the Complex. I’m not sure if it’s too painful to remember or if it’s too painful to forget.”

“I can’t even imagine what their lives were like, when the rest of the world was open to them. When they lived in it, and with it, when they were free to walk it.”

Teresa clears her throat,
“I sit
    drink my beer
look out the window

it's raining ,

newspaper on head        
            a man              
                      runs by

a green raincoat

red street


I sit         drink my beer
look out the window.” 2

Stacy nods, “the world doesn’t want us anymore.”

“Here it is.” Stacy gestures toward a bend in the small concrete corridor, “my mother’s foundry.”

“So it's all here now and tomorrow,
the poets and things that really matter,
like friendship, love,
fluttering of butterfly wings…” 

Stacy pauses and smiles.

“…and, absolutely, potato pancakes, the kind I make, the kindmy mother taught me to make / no onions, please!” 3

Stacy and Teresa laugh.

“sagging branch

Stacy begins,

“a red apple
sagging the branch.”

Stacy looks to Teresa,

“sagging branch
ah! paradise”4

- Veronica Ivanova

1 Jonas Mekas, “How Sweet the Smell of Spring,” Idylls of Semeniskiai , 2007.

2 Jonas Mekas, “1” Daybooks: 1970-1972, 2003

3 Jonas Mekas, “A Requiem for the XXth Century” Letters, etc. 2000.

4 Jonas Mekas, “13” Daybooks: 1970-1972, 2003.