• Marina

The Birch

Обновлено: 15 сент. 2019 г.

When I installed my bed under the ceiling it didn’t have a tree yet. It was just a floating bed in space and it had a surrealistic René Magritte kind of look. Despite the obvious danger, the first night I slept like a baby, feeling cosy in my little warm nook.

The next day my roommate left Moscow for two weeks and at night I had a panic attack. I realised that if I fall from the bed, nobody will help me, my phone would stay there, while I would be bleeding on rotten boards. The building is half abandoned, so nobody would hear me screaming and the chance of an occasional visitor is equal to zero. In two weeks, insects and rats would eat me alive. Then the landlord would break in because nobody paid the rent, to see my half-decayed body and say something like “for fuck’s sake, I have to clean it!”.

Shaking with fear, I waited till morning to call somebody. At 10 am, I rang my online friend Ivan, explained shortly about the risk of being eaten alive and he said if I buy materials, he would fix the problem. It was 2016, I moved in here recently after a devastating divorce and I was dead broke and didn’t have money for even a subway ticket.

My only solution was to search for stuff amongst trash and I explored all local garbage and I found some food, but I didn’t find anything suitable for the bed. It was a snowy winter day and I got home cold, tired and I almost slept into despair, when Ivan called me, very excited to say "I found it!"

In an hour, he was at my door with a big birch tree, fluffy with snow and dry leaves. The frosty freshness and the smell of scorched foliage entered my little ugly room. Ivan found it by chance while cycling in a park and brought it to me on his bicycle through the harsh February snowstorm.

We cut the leaves and branches to fit the suitable part of the tree under the foot of the bed and used the rest of the wood for protective handrails. The next day I painted it all white and since then the birch is the center of my all-in-one room. With the tree, the beauty of nature lightened this godforsaken apartment and I lived happily ever after *ironic laughter with notes of sadness*

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