What love looks like in war? Like Marta – child’s face, sharp and beautiful collarbone, hair that shines like in a shampoo ad. She stands in front of a three by two meter mirror. Smiles at himself. Wearing Bellini: heavy satin, symmetrical ruffles on shoulders, bulky skirt. As Marta turns and turns, the sirens suddenly wail: an alarm. She stops, just says “oh”. And turns again.
Three days earlier – in front of the bridal shop in western Ukraine, in front of Marta, in front of “Bellini” – love looks different: Sveta, in love, is sitting on the Berlin-Cherson bus. She has cottony, white-blonde hair and eyes that stick out like a pug’s. Sveta is in love with her wine. Says, “Love is the only thing that gets bigger when you share it.” Pours her sweet red wine into a mug and immediately says, “Drink faster!” She needs the mug back. Because Sveta pours every woman on the bus, but only has four cups that she passes through. And everyone drinks.
Has love or war defeated the world virus? I say.
“You might have stupid questions!” Oksana calls out, laughing.
You can no longer see that she is infinitely sad. The burly, spherical Oksana is one of the Ukrainian returnees on this bus, but unlike the others, she left her son behind. In Germany. She had said that three or four hours ago at one of the rest stops in Poland; with tears on the ball cheeks. Oksana left the country as soon as the first bombs fell on Kyiv – with her son, who is 24 years old. “Only two or three hours after we crossed the border, the men were no longer allowed out. That’s why I’m very happy. And still sadder than ever in my life,” she says, biting into a bratwurst. Asks: “Surely you also have a husband? A child?”
They all want to go back
“Fine, forget marriage, just have a kid. If you don’t know anything about motherly love, you don’t know anything about life.”
I stare hungrily at her mouth, on which the frying fat is glistening and sentences about parental love are coming out. Because the idea of the trip is: to see love in war. The question is: How does love change in times of war?
At the rest stop, Oksana says what she repeats later on the bus: “You may have stupid questions!”
While Sveta now passes her wine, the laughing and drinking people on the bus don’t look like women who are going to a country at war. They are all not afraid of death. No longer. They all want to go back. Although they love Germany. You say the word “love”. Say it often. tell each other Even though they’ve only known each other for 12 hours. Is this a sell out of love? Is love cheaper in war?