Today, I woke up feeling quite melancholic.
“Well, duh?! You bitch are Russian,” you just might say. “Don’t you guys pass out with your head collapsed amidst empty shot glasses and wake up reciting Chekhov over a cup of oil-black coffee?”
Da. So, that happens!
But V is not V if she won’t analyze the shit out of a situation. My pondering usually looks like this: With my face hidden behind a curtain of frizzy gypsy hair and my forehead scrunched up to eventually give me a headache, I pace around with a very firm step I’ve inherited from my mother. While doing so, I look down—and only down!—which has made my previous lovers wonder if:
1. I was dangerously pissed off; and
2. if I was about to hurt them.
(Trust me, no self-respecting American wants an angry Russian on his hands: It’s just not that therapeutic for the cock!) In other words: I look fucking intense and there ain’t nothing anyone can do to snap me out of it. Men have tried and failed, painfully. Embarrassingly. Because the worst thing a person can do to me in that moment is torture me with interrogations on what may be wrong or what he can do to help me. No one can do jack shit! I am my own responsibility, like the only child that I am. I am my only source of misery and I am the creator of my light. As a fifteen-year old, I once made my father—a Soviet Army official and the biggest power player in our town at the time—weep and turn gray in front of my eyes when I told him that I would be leaving his country (not mine!) and he had one choice of action: to support me unconditionally—but never financially! So, what skill can a lovely American with a charmed life summon to cope with a stubborn, high-strung, survivor’s will of mine? Nada. Nothing. Thank you very much: but I got if from here!
Back to reality. It took me a few hours of Nina Simone surfing to find the reason for this morning’s broodiness of mine. It eventually revealed itself a couple of nights ago, when a beloved suffered in my arms from a friend’s betrayal. A generous soul, he had been unjustly attacked by a person in the grips of jealousy and self-loathing.
“Is that all there is?!” my beautiful boy wondered. “Does it ever get easier?”
Oh, but it does my darling. Oh how it does! Because these relationships are mere lessons, and eventually—you fucking learn. Some people carry on with their friendships, no matter how disappointing they’ve turned out to be. Then, they couple up with a person and a shrink that annoys them the least—and proceed to bitch and moan about the failure of human nature in others, and to judge their friends behind their backs. They still hang with the haters and the competitors, only to be disappointed again; and to bitch and moan; and bitch and moan; and bitch and moan. That’s one approach (in which one must get a certain level of enjoyment from being miserable).
I personally dance to a different tune. I stubbornly keep the high standards in every love of mine. My friends are a group of meticulously selected, time-tested Mafia of ball-breakers and perfectionists; and I can count them on my two hands. They are the bunch whose numbers I’ve tattooed into my memory for an extremely rare occasion when I might need help. For those few, I shall book a red-eye to anywhere in the world and double over with pain for the length of the flight because they are my very limbs and heart. Their names have been written into my will; because unless this gypsy steals a child to inherit her money—they are the masters of the Estate of V. They are my family—because my life has granted me none! They are my witnesses with the harshest verdicts (but not harsher than the ones I reach on my own) and an army of shadows that follows me through my chaotic existence. But if I just happen to reach back to grab them—they metamorphose into a fucking armor.
The rest—I call “acquaintances.”
“A pretty grim outlook, Russian,” you might justly point out.
Yep. Life’s a cunt. But here is its secret. (Man! I’ve gotta start chargin’ for this shit! ‘s alright though: I’ll just have to settle for my first book contract!):
A life is nothing without love. Life summons as much of an impact as a kernel of sand in a sand storm: The world may know of its existence—theoretically—but neither does the world care about or empathize with its journey, let alone its suffering. The only way to matter—is to love. To love your Self first—yes!—to love your Self enough to do the best you can. But most importantly—to love another. Because that Other is the ear and the eye and the skin that will remember your happening. You will not be forsaken! You will not die forgotten if you’ve had the presence of soul to shut up the bullshit of your ego and to surrender to changing your and at least another person’s make-up—by loving.
So, this gypsy is calm. Because she’s got herself an army of shadows! Her Mafia of Lovers that marches to the beat of her heart. Because no matter the scar tissue all over my brown skin, I shall never—I pray!—look at an opportunity to love and wonder, “Why should I?” but nod, and reveal myself from behind the gypsy-hair curtain, and utter: “Fuck yeah.”