The funeral is on a Sunday and, distantly, Ivan thinks he mother would be happy. It’s a state funeral, yet Ivan resurrects a few traditions, some his mother preserved from her mother and so on. A triangle stands as an umbrella over the grave, protecting the soul and any offerings. But no little pots of honey or jam, jewelled and translucent, will cast their kaleidoscope on the untended grass. No, Ivan will not visit that grave again. That night, he leaves Moscow.
He leaves for a small ducha, hidden on a non-descript embankment on the Dalmatia coast. Dug into a ridge outside the small local town, white rock kept it hidden while the stamped copper roof distinguished it as a man-made dwelling. As Ivan toes open the heaven wooden door, he finds the inside the same as ever, yet again untouched by that summer’s tourists crowding the town, happy to escape the cosmopolitan, too afraid to venture into the unknown.
The decor is humble enough, antiquated wood furniture that was built ages ago along with the building itself. Some heavy brass pots hang over the stove, ready to be used for a nice pot of sorrel soup, should the occasion arise. From the single kitchen splits two rooms deeper into the bedrock, protected from weather and wind and all things to kill a man. Ivan leaves his bag in the small of the two, his typical room during family vacations.
All in all, the simple abode seems more fit for a fisherman and his family, not one of the most powerful men in the central, a fact Ivan wished, in the course of this trip, to erase.
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