Nothing changes in the apartment. The same gauzy curtains let light filter into each of the tall-ceilinged four rooms, but we get so little light most of these days of late winter in Ukraine. Elaborately patterned dish towels from the old textiles factory parade down the hallway on the clothesline like pennants. I weigh flour using the ancient manual scale that makes me tare by sliding a piece of metal to the right. In the living room where we sleep, we push suitcases together to prevent Miro from reaching the side table that permanently holds some variety of decorative cookies and nuts in cut-glass bowls, a bouquet of fake flowers, cognac, an old cordless phone, a framed photo of the previous Pekingese, and a hand-painted Soviet “lava lamp” (essentially glitter suspended in oil that circulates when heated up). The wallpaper is cream and embossed with flowers; all of the floors and some of the walls are covered in Oriental carpets. The clock in the corner ticks very loudly, and is the only evidence of time moving.
Thank you for being so attuned to this old world life and bringing me back to when I used to be part of a family in Poland, not much different than what you describe in space, size, and activity.
"All I want is to bring Miro back here year after year and let him be the thing that is changing." This is such a beautiful passage.