Having grown up in New York, I had taken for granted that people were always striving for something, or at least striving to be striving for something.In Russia, most of the guys I met were engaged in some sort of dubious import/export business in electronics; the rest were involved in “business” (if you ask what kind of business, and there is a marked pause followed by the word “business,” you should refrain from asking any more questions).And when I say “provide,” I don’t even necessarily mean in a monetary sense as much as in a paternal one.
Russians, on the other hand, aren’t going to let a little thing like your disinterest keep them from being your boyfriend.
But what I mistook for a smile was actually a grimace. But then Anton hugged me, heat and sweat rising from his torso, his arms wrapped around me in a promise of eternal protection, inhaling me in that way men do to show they’re grateful that you’re safe.
And in that strange and romantic moment I thought, “One day I’m going to put this in a story to explain my convoluted relationship with Russian men.” I should preface this story by saying that I am Russian.
But I’m not going to lie: Part of me was turned on.
Here was a guy protecting my honor, placing himself into bodily harm on my behalf.