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Describing Kyiv, One Kyivite At A Time —  A Woman In A White Jumpsuit

A ventilator above my head is working hard to keep me cool, and I do feel cooler than I usually am — maybe it’s the refreshing air that descends on me from the above; maybe it’s the magic of an afternoon coffee (which some might call chemistry, but I don’t know chemistry, hence it’s magic for me); or maybe it’s the vibe I’m catching from a woman in a white jumpsuit that sits right in front of me?

A woman like her is hard to leave unnoticed, and even more so when she enters a place like the one I’m sitting in right now.

Right Coffe Bar is one of the impressive coffee shops in Kyiv. Located at Sichovykh Striltsiv street, not far away from the old city, this Berlin-inspired space attracts a diverse crowd. Many of them are young software engineers who look simple and tidy. Others are busy women of marketing who wear either gender-conforming or gender-defying clothes. The most present type, however, are boys and girls who look annoyingly fabulous and work in fashion, or at least it’s what they want you to gather from their looks.

During the day, techno music plays here rather quietly. Brezhnev and Honecker kiss each other on the wall rather sensually. The rest of us are working rather hardly by leaning into the screens of our MacBooks and Lenovo laptops. Our cervical osteochondrosis getting more pronounced and problematic.

Now, imagine how unusual would a woman in a white jumpsuit would look in such a dark and sinister setting — like a bolt of lightning. Yes, like a bolt of lighting in rainy weather, she broke into this dark space of black coffee, techno and sad millennials, confidently heading towards a barista and said: “hi, will you feed me today? Yes? Great, I’ll have an omelette. What kind of filter coffee do you have today? Good, I’ll have filter coffee BUT after I’m done with my omelette, right?”

Then, she marched towards a table that had already been occupied by my boyfriend. How did she kick him out off that table, you ask? Effortlessly, mainly because he often occupies space mentally, but forgets to do it physically.

She sat, looked at the table, gasped, turned around and said authoritatively: “It’s dirty, could you wipe it clean, or shall I take a rag and do it myself?.” Unfortunately, what happened in this reality was the barista cleaning her table, not her, but how fascinating would be to see the other thing happen instead? Sadly, never happened, and never will.

The table is clean, and the woman finally fixates her fit, defined body on a chair — a body of a fitness instructor, at least. She looks at me, and I look at her, and then we pretend to look past each other, perhaps at a wall right behind our heads, but what we’re really doing is looking at each other, and thinking: “You think you are the most gorgeous person in this room, right?” She looked way better than me so I surrendered, and looked away. The battle has been lost, and the title of the most gorgeous person in the room goes to the woman in a white jumpsuit. I take second place in this imaginary battle of two.

Her outfit sent a signal that was easy to decode: “I’M COLLECTED, I’M ELEGANT, AND I DON’T CARE IF YOU LIKE IT OR NOT BECAUSE I DO LIKE MYSELF”. The signal felt more like an air raid alert — loud enough to wake you up from a mid-day nap but not enough to get you rid of your hearing. The jumpsuit had a slightly visible animal print embroidered on it, which added a degree of spiciness to that look. Her hair looked like she just run away from a wedding — maybe as a bride, maybe as a bridesmaid. Her makeup concurred with that assumption.

Past that, nothing notable happened: she ate her omelette, and sat for a while, looking tired — perhaps from the little, annoying things that happened at that wedding she just ran away from. Soon the bolt of lightning flew through the door, and the coffee shop plunged into complete darkness again. She left, but that electric energy is going to follow me for the rest of the day, until I get very tired, go to sleep, and then wake up, and go looking for a new bolt to light up my day.

Most people pass by me like a troupe of ghosts, but the woman in a white jumpsuit rushed by like lighting, leaving her electric energy and animal print behind — she also inspired me to leave the print of my own here.

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