by Oksana Marafioti
LAS VEGAS, NV-
My cousin and I are sitting on a kitchen windowsill, smoking. We’re seven.
Outside, Moscow is blooming. Inside, we’re extras in a WWII-themed flick called Sisters, or Girlfriends. I can’t remember for sure. In this scene two women argue about so many damn Gypsies running around town. It’s intense. My cousin and I are supposed be acting like we’re talking, smoking, laughing. We’re so excited we can barely do that.
One of the two women is a famous Soviet actress. She’s crying. We can’t help admiring her skills, but we’re actors, too. So, we talk and smile, and we make sure to smoke as much as possible during the scene, because our parents would break our fingers if we tried it for real. In the name of art, we light one cigarette after another.