Diary of War

10 March 2022

Day fifteen

Oleksandr [Zaporizhzhia]

Grandpa Sasha drives me to the commissariat. On the way, he suggests I tell the drafting officer that I am a journalism student and that I speak English.

I show the guard my ID card and pass through the gates. There are many people here—most wearing sports clothes and carrying duffel bags. They’re waiting for their ride to the training camps. I’m not one of them, at least not yet.

The office is on the third floor. “Good morning,” I say as a sign of politeness. “State your age,” the clerk responds rather strictly. “Um, 19,” I mumble, leaving out that I’ll turn 20 in a few days. “Goodbye,” is the only response I get.

I’m guessing it means “Get out, we don’t need you now.” I can’t hide my smirk and walk out of the building. I had resigned to my new fate to fight. I spent an hour in the queue, getting ready for mobilisations. And then—poof—I’m not eligible?

At least my girlfriend Lisa will be happy.