This story is dedicated to my father: for 40 years he lived in two houses – in Russia and the USA. He migrated when he was very young, received US citizenship and was practically unable to return to Russia (due to legal, political and other circumstances).
At the end of his life, he became seriously ill and was forced to live on the streets of New York, receiving treatment as a homeless person. In my opinion, this is a project about what the motherland is (and what happens to people if the Motherland is cruel), what family is and what fate is.
Dad said that he circumnavigated the globe eight times by car. He was a trucker with thirty years of experience and could not live without a road, calling himself a bird man. The truck appeared in his life when he migrated from the Soviet Union to the USA without finishing his studies as a pediatrician. The need to survive, reinforced by freedom, resembles a wheel.
He traveled all over the world. He suffered for his homeland. He cursed his homeland. He was coming back. He was leaving. Homeland was a place where he didn’t want to live, but wanted to be buried. It was everything. It was nothing. As I am.
He died at the age of 58 in the center of New York. He was ill with cancer and had no opportunity to be treated in Russia – he was denied the restoration of citizenship. In recent months, he has been saved by a country in which he was a stranger.
This story is about his «last trip» – the 12 days it took to repatriate his body across the ocean; a story about life on the road, the way home and my family.
10-4 is a decimal code that is used to transmit a message by radio, including among truckers. Means «message accepted» or «everything is clear». [Official Website]