by nairiw

It was early so it was only the two of them on the Hrazdan Bridge.  She wasn’t winded but she was tired of running.  This was easy to see.  The vendor in the velvet trench coat dropped a sac of potatoes at her feet to throw both hands in the air and think, “Aghchik jan inchu es vazum?”  As she stared into the distance, at the runner and beyond her, she slouched over her burlap bag as if frozen in time and squinted through her Soviet frames.  The runner didn’t stop – she never stopped – but sometimes she looked back. Both women knew this was a hard habit to break.  The runner already closer to Arabkir than Malatia might have yelled in return that if she could find meaning in running, which she agreed was an absurd pastime, pointless even, maybe she could also find meaning in another absurd pastime: being a woman in this city.  She might have yelled that before a run or after a run she would reflect on how little she had accomplished, but during a run she was limited only by her own effort.  Women shouldn’t yell, not in Armenia, so the vendor collected her potatoes from the sidewalk and the runner wiped the sweat from her forehead.  She looked over her shoulder a final time and saw a tired woman on a bridge.