* Cyril, My Love





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Cyril, My Love by Aimee Friedland

"Russia is not a country meant for living - it is a country meant for living on the edge," says Cyril as we run through the night streets hand-in-hand, trying to get to the commercialized outskirts of St. Petersburg before all the big shops close down. We need a sheet, a blanket, a pillow, and some food to eat before calling it a night at my new and scantily-furnished apartment. An impulse-decision. Bottle of vodka - optional. We both had class today at university, but I didn't go to mine. He didn't study for his Japanese test, but went anyway because I forced him with whatever sense of "responsibility" I had left. Yes, this is Russia, where we all don't give a fucking damn about our studies, and even students who were once the strongest and most dedicated in their class (like me) go astray in search of new thrills. Love, sex, late nights, early mornings, coffee mixed with whiskey, emotional breakdowns in public places, frantic pillow-shopping at 11 PM, wasting money, draining our youth, and plenty of those "do I laugh or do I cry?" moments where you realize that,
Shit, this is the life.

Needless to say, I've got plenty going on right now; in fact all of us do. We're all teetering on the edge of some degree of recklessness, and I know that at least for me, something's gonna' give if I keep holding onto these foolish American morals of mine. Those who try to preserve their integrity while living in Russia falter and fall. This isn't a country meant for goodness and honesty - this is a country where we let ourselves go.