top of page

“I Have Never Seen Anything Like This” – Operation Lockdown

“I have never seen anything like this”, a friend said to me a few days ago, as we watched the line in our little grocery store wrap around the aisles and go all the way to the back of the store.

“I have”, I said slowly.

I don’t remember much, but I do remember that there were a lot of lines in the USSR right before it collapsed. Lines and empty shelves. A loaf of bread cost a quarter (of a ruble). I remember eating most of the loaf on my way home (not because I was hungry, but because the bread was so good). I also remember that grownups were really stressed out. There was this nervous energy in the air. And the smell of fear.

I asked my grandma this morning what infamous bread lines were like after the war. “Three days”, she says. “They’d write a number on your palm in blue ink. And we took turns going home to sleep and shower.”

“Oh, and it didn’t matter what they sold. You’d see a line, and get in, because at least they were selling SOMETHING.”

“But I have never seen anything like this”, she said. “We never had to avoid each other.”

Hugs, SOLO


bottom of page