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The Basement Diaries 27

[b]Kyiv - 19 January 2023[/b]

Another day. Like the last, but different, somehow. Already, the team (I can no longer call them my team, although technically they are) has transferred its attention, if not its loyalty, to Andriy. I am not "surplus to requirements", yet. I still have a deep fund of knowledge and experience I am sharing with him. But he is their future.

And they are not mine.

This morning, at his

"This is Senior Lieutenant Andriy, my replacement from Monday."

Raised eyebrows, surprise all around. A well kept secret. Or a well kept secret that they already knew. Does it really matter? These guys are now ex colleagues. Still comrades, still part of the fight. But we will no longer be shoulder to shoulder.

I will be in a noisier place.

At his meeting, my CO made the formal announcements and introductions. That was that. Congratulations. Good fortunes. I said I will say goodbye to you all tomorrow. Never forget. Thank you for everything.

No party. No celebration. This is war. We move on.

I spent the day mostly with Andriy and the team. A little time on my own tidying up my office, making sure my admin tasks are all in order.

A quiet word with the building service crew leader. Make sure the water is hot for the next two days. There is no "or else". People make mistakes, and when people are dying all around, nobody died.

Worked through until about 19:30. Had a shower, long and hot to make up for last night. Dressed and headed for home.

It has been unseasonably warm these last couple of days. Not warm, no, but not as cold as we would expect at this time of year. Even now, as I write this, just before midnight, the outside temperature is around 7C. That's crazy. We should be below zero.

So my walk home was not as unpleasant as it might have been. I didn't freeze, I was not soaked in rainfall. I was not assaulted, though my response might well have been deadly. And I was not vaporised by a Russian missile. Some days just end well.

You know the routine by now. Coffee. Change. Coffee. The basement was very cosy, the wood burner glowing in its corner and some new rugs on the floor that Serhii has liberated from somewhere. He has even hung a couple of framed band posters on the wall. He's turning out to be quite a nest maker.

I am not particularly hungry. I get some bread, cheese, garlic sausage. Another coffee. Sit at the table while the others carry on with their evenings. I need to separate now. Start separating. It is what I do. I remember the last days at school, as the end of my final term drew nearer. I knew I would not deliberately keep in touch with any of the girls from my year. Though we had shared classes and study halls, common rooms, dorms. Shared changing rooms and shower rooms. Shared fun and loneliness. Shared pain and pleasure. Since we were thirteen years. That was it. It was over. If I met any of them later, as I did, from time to time, at University or at social functions, I knew our shared experience, recognised it, but also recognised that it did not make us friends. We were acquaintances, people with some common background.

My time at University was so disrupted by the pandemic and my crazy, accelerated study programme that any opportunity to make friends was dashed.

Now, will it be like this with the others? Broken off even before we have a chance to cement any friendships?

War is not a time, I think, to form relationships intended to last. Fleeting contacts, superficial relationships. Glancing blows. Collide. Move on. Even if you leave a few chips of yourself behind.

When this is over, if it is over, will be time to think of the future. To put the plans back in place.

Time for more coffee. Maybe a glass of wine. I will try to post this later.
KiwiBird · 31-35, F
The slow disassociation begins.....something life has taught and the pandemic and war cements.
There is always time for coffee. Good, bad or indifferent...even heroically.

So hopefully your preparations ensure hot water at the bunker for another day.
How is the information gathering, and learnings going for your new posting?

Yulianna · 22-25, F
@KiwiBird 🇺🇦❤🇳🇿 not really had too much time to look forward, concentrating on the handover. not much more i can do now, team has settled down, everything seems to be working.

i will spend this afternoon looking into my training programmes in more detail.

sarabee1995 · 26-30, F
Some people actually form very deep, lasting bonds during times of war. But you and I are different. We don't bond well with others even in peace time, war only accentuates our need for solitude.

I have made a few friends during my service. I'm sure you remember me telling you about "Baguette". He still stays in touch with me and I with him... But it was he who reached out after our career paths diverged and he who set the cadence of our contact.

I'm sure it would be the same with you. If one of your colleagues reached out to see how you were doing, you would respond. And over time those responses become a relationship. We are like that. Our nature somehow causes us to place that burden of relationship building and management on others. 🤔
Yulianna · 22-25, F
@sarabee1995 @sarabee1995 🇺🇦🤗🇺🇸 yes, i guess that would happen... but i don't encourge it.

the relationship between Yulia and Max in [i]War Stories[/i] was one i could imagine lasting - until i decided to kill him right at the beginning. that was probably a bit of a giveaway...
sarabee1995 · 26-30, F
@Yulianna Neither do I encourage it. But I've learned it is a good thing to allow.

War Stories was such an incredible work Yulia. As much as I'm so very happy you shared it with us, I don't think SW did it justice. It should be published. 🙂
ronisme1 · 61-69, M
Hope you and all continue to be safe. Any day i hope that russia comes to their senses and pulls all troops back. I expect them to attack Alaska next as putin has gone crazy
Yulianna · 22-25, F
@ronisme1 thank you... russia will not attack any nato country while it has other targets to pick off... it is relying on the west getting tired of the war, Germany continuing to wallow in cowardice, and looking forward to an isolationist Republican administration after 2024.

if we do not defeat russia now, we the western civilisation, it is goodbye to nato,
ronisme1 · 61-69, M
@Yulianna you are winning on the guts and strength of the ukranian people. The weapons only help. You are right about 2024 but china should attack taiwan by then also. The only question is will nukes be used?
Zeusdelight · 61-69, M
Thank you for your wonderful diaries. Good luck in your new position. Safe travels:)
Yulianna · 22-25, F
@Zeusdelight thank you

and thank you for reading them all!
Incomplet · 18-21, F
Yulianna · 22-25, F
@Incomplet 🤗

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