A high school teacher who fled with her husband and children: “A tank aimed at us,
We knelt on the glass until the barrel came back. “
“I hope, I pray that the kids don’t really understand. Angelica said the biggest pain was the cat’s death. Misha regrets his four-prop drone and his bedroom. I want to trust him, but I can’t. There was a tank on the corner of the road when we decided to leave the cellar. He saw us and took the barrel towards us. My husband got down on his knees and shook hands. And we are behind it. On the pieces of glass. We punched our pants, cut our knees, but we just stayed there until the barrel came back. That’s when I started walking again. We already understand, one night, what a cannon can do.
A bullet pierces the living room, corridor and elevator shaft. He set fire to wherever he went. To us, in the room, he did nothing. In the sense that there is no blood. It was like a punch in the lungs: Misha threw up, I got dirty. The floor is gone, it’s dark, we don’t know how to get to the stairs. We went downstairs to Mrs. Natauta’s apartment. The burning sofa helped us. The criminals are fleeing with their sheets tied. As I passed the rest of the Natuka porcelain fish, I remembered how ridiculous I thought that collection was. But now that I haven’t had a picture, a picture, a book, or even a shirt since I met my husband, I have no memory now, I understand Nataku’s love for that fish. We crossed the city unconscious because there were not only cannons. My kids saw a burnt city, turned into a skeleton. Take a man, beautiful or ugly always have an identity, do an X-ray and it will be black and white bones as dead.
So is Mariupol. A black and white maze to kill. Roads are covered with dirt and glass. They are no longer sidewalks, they are cemeteries. Three times we changed lanes. Below we saw a corpse. We don’t want to override it. My husband and I didn’t even have to tell each other. We hoped the kids wouldn’t see it. We are hungry, thirsty and cold, very cold. Clothes that you do not change will scrape you off and you will feel itchy everywhere. But of all the senses, the one that strikes the most is hearing.
I thought seeing a dead man, seeing your house burn was the worst. Instead it’s drumming that sets you apart. Dull, distant blow when he leaves. Porn tear, next to you, when it explodes. It comes through your ears and moves you because the earth is shaking in it, the wind is slapping you, things seem to be softening. What is there to fear behind the walls? Everything, when you hear the tears of the explosion because the wall material changes, it turns into a wave. A world of soft walls is not a place to live.
During the day, at night, the body always has to adapt A reality that does not know. She’s home, but she’s cold. He eats, but is hungry. The brain feels unprepared, it never rests. Either you go crazy or you get used to it. We have become accustomed. Strong, deaf blast: long-range artillery fire. Whistle, lacerating blast: off. Alive Our cannonballs go there: no explosions. At a time when no one was shooting we just said “there is silence”. If you pretend it won’t happen to you, you can go out, look for water, light a fire. At first you take refuge from the flute, but then the water does not boil and then you are outside even when the earth shakes and the sound is very loud because the bomb falls nearby.
Here in Zaporizhzhia it is a paradise. There is only the anti-aircraft siren that has already stopped shouting at Mariupol on the fourth day of the siege. Everything happens in a world of soft walls. Also, when a few bombs are dropped, the siren sounds and if it is fired continuously, there is no sound. Here in Zaporizhzhia it is a paradise. There is silence here.
* Professor of Mariupolskiz Techniques Liege, Mariupol Technical High School (Testimony collected by Andrea Nicastro in Zaporizhia)
April 4, 2022 (change 4 April, 2022 | 07:44)