Somewhere in northern Spain, June 15 Ė The day after Flag Day in the U.S.
With the Republicans in Congress hell-bent on ďteaching that socialist Obama a lesson,Ē we may be marching toward bankruptcy. Not much to celebrate.
I hope weíre not headed for bankruptcy. For one thing, it could affect my Social Security pension. Yes, we need to trim spending, but not on social programs Ė weíve already cut them to the bare bones. We need to cut defense spending, which the Republicans donít want to do, and which Obama wonít do enough of, even though he says the Defense budget is no longer sacrosanct.
Ah, well, nothing I can do about that tucked away as I am here in northern Spain.
And I have enough to worry about.
In the last Fiesta Queen column, I was hoping to leave here for Moldova today.
On June 1, I received the following e-mail from my adorable, loving Sasha:
My dear Dane!
I very much want to live with you in September in Orense. Itís cheaper than Madrid.
I love you, Sasha.
So I immediately replied:
Iím glad that you are satisfied to live in Ourense.
In the meantime, do you want to correspond in Spanish? I would like
to very much if you want to. (In Spanish): Do you have a good dictionary? I think that is important. By the way, my Spanish is not perfect. I make many errors
I hope everything is okay with you.
He very quickly replied:
Itís hard for me to write in Spanish. I only know a few words: hola, adios, gracias, como estas. But later we can speak Spanish. Maybe in Ourense?
Do you want to live with me in Ourense? If so, then maybe we can live in the apartment where you live now?
I kiss you, etc.
Donít throw me in the briar patch! My apartment is very small, with one three-quarter size bed and no room for a couch! He would have to sleep with me, as he often did in Moscow (aside to audience, heh, heh)!
So I answered him:
Hello, my darling Sasha,
Yes, absolutely we will speak Spanish Ė if I return to Spain. Yes, I very, very much want to live with you in Ourense, and we can live together in my small apartment Ė again if I decide to return. Itís not expensive. Everything depends on what happens in Moldova.
Okay, my darling. Weíll see what happens.
I love you very much, etc.
He quickly sent an answer:
Youíre a very good man and I love you very much! I will be very much hoping that we are able to live together in Ourense in September.
Can you talk to your landlady, so that in September we can return there (of course, if you decide to return to Spain)? You have a very cheap apartment in Ourense; you mustnít lose such an opportunity.
I love you, kiss you, etc.
God, this beautiful boy is serious! Itís time for me to turn up the heat! Maybe I wonít go to Moldova after all. I havenít heard from Igor in over a week; heís no doubt in the hospital, and no telling whether he will be able to stay in Kishinev, if he is seriously ill. Do I really want to take the chance of losing Sasha?
No, I donít. So I wrote him the following e-mail:
My Darling Sasha,
Thanks, honey, and I very, very much love you and very much want to live with you. In fact, I am re-thinking again if I want to move to Moldova. I love you so much. I just want to hold you in my arms and kiss you for a long, long time.
You can help me with the computer and I can help you with the languages Ė English and Spanish. We will have a fun life. I am afraid that if I go to Moldova, the apartment wonít be available in September, and I think that I should hold onto it. I still donít know what I will tell Misha and Igor. Itís a problem!
Well, my darling, thatís what I am thinking at the moment. What do you think?
I love you and miss you very much.
The next day I received the following, and immediately prevented another case of prostate cancer. Iíve been walking on air ever since
My Darling Dane,
I also want to be in your arms and to kiss you a long, long time. Can you tell the landlady that maybe you will return in September, so that the apartment will be free for us in September? I hope the landlady agrees.
I love you and miss you very much, my dear.
And so I immediately did:
My darling Sasha,
Thank you very much for your letter. I havenít heard from Igor for a week. I am afraid he had an operation and is still in the hospital.
Iím also afraid that, if I leave now, the apartment wonít still be available in September. And for that reason, I think that maybe I should stay here until you come.
By the way, there is a bus from Moscow to Madrid. I have forgotten the name of the company, but maybe you should find it on the Internet if you have a Schengen Visa. It costs about $ 200 instead of the $ 600 or $ 700 on a plane. It takes only 2 or 3 days.
Iím very happy that you are coming. It will be much, much fun to be with you again.
Still, I worry about Igor. But thereís nothing I can do till I hear from him.
Okay, my darling, thatís all for now. I love you, I miss you very much, and kiss you.
Write! I await an answer.
Later that day I found the address of the travel agency in Moscow and sent it to him.
The next day, Saturday, I got the following:
You are such a smart and good man. Thanks for the address of the travel bureau. I will look for an inexpensive ticket on the bus or the plane.
I understand that you are worried about Igor. But I am very worried about you! How will you live in Moldova? And if you get sick there? Igor canít help you, because he doesnít have money, and he is not well Ė frequently in the hospital, frequent operationsÖ.I am worried about you!
I miss you, kiss you, love you,
Holy shit! Hereís somebody whoís worrying about me for a change. I wrote him immediately:
My dear, loving Sasha,
As usual, Iím very happy to get your letter.
What you say about Igor is true. I love him, I worry about him, but what will happen to me if I need help? Iím an old fart. Nobody there can help me.
And so, my darling, I think that itís better if I stay here and wait for you. How I miss you! I think a lot about you. But if I know you are coming, Iím happy.
Okay, honey, again, thanks for the letter. I eagerly await you.
I very quickly received an answer:
My dear Dane,
Iím very glad that you decided to stay in Ourense! Yes, in September I plan to come to you and live with you and kiss you J
But if you want to go to Moldova for 1 or 2 months to Igor, then please, you can do that, in order not to lose your ticket. You can go see Igor, and see Moldova. Only absolutely return to Ourense in September.
Iím fine. I think a lot about our future life in SpainÖIt will be so interesting!
Have you had any Spanish boys?
I miss you, I kiss you
ďHave you had any Spanish boys?Ē Do I detect a bit of jealousy here? I hope so. I answered him right away:
My dear, beloved Sasha,
Thank god, you wrote, and you are still planning to come to Ourense in September. Absolutely, I will kiss you and kiss you and kiss you
I havenít bought a ticket yet to Moldova, and so probably wonít go. This means I will wait for you here. At the same time, I havenít heard from Igor in almost two weeks. Iím afraid he is in the hospital. He doesnít know yet that I am not going there. It will probably be a shock to him. But I very much want to live with you.
No, honey, I havenít had any Spanish boys. In fact, nobody here knows that I am gay Ė only Drushka and his former boyfriend. But Drushka and I have never had sex. He doesnít interest me sexually. Also the people here donít know that we will be having sex. In fact, I havenít had sex since I left Russia. For that reason, it will be interesting when we are again living together.
Now that I know you are coming, I can unpack
Thank you very much for writing. I love you very much. I kiss you.
On Friday, June 10, I unpacked. I also finally got an e-mail from Igor, two weeks after I had last written him:
Hello, Dane! Will you forgive me for not writing? I have been in the hospital; they did an operation on the cyst on my coccyx. Now everything will be ok. Now I only need to quit smoking in the clinicÖ.and fix my throatÖ.
How are things with you? When are you coming? I am eagerly awaiting you!
I love you, miss you, kiss you! I await an answer.
And then I wrote one of the most difficult letters Iíve written in my life. I had to tell Igor that I wasnít coming to live with him:
My darling Igor,
How glad I am to hear that everything will be all right. That means you are feeling much better. :-) I think your mood is much better too :-) I worried a lot about you, but figured you were probably in the hospital.
My darling Igor, Iím afraid I have some bad news. I donít have the money to move to Moldova. :-( Maybe later I can send you the money to buy a Schengen Visa, but I canít now.
I have to renew my Spanish tourist visa August 1, and I want to visit you them. Can I?
And honey, I also want you to quit smoking. How much will it cost? I hope I can send you the money for this. Can you continue to live where you are in the meantime?
I am very sorry to tell you the bad news, but I hope that later I can send you the money to come live with me.
I love you very, very much and I miss you. Please donít be sad. We will sometime be together, but not, it seems, now.
I love you very much.
Write. I am eagerly awaiting.
In the meantime, I had called Bank of America earlier on Friday to get my account balance. David G. still hadnít deposited the $ 2,000, nor had he written me saying that he hadnít, although he had promised to deposit it on Thursday, June 9. So the little white lie I had written Igor wasnít actually that much of a lie; I really donít have the money, although Iím certain David will deposit it in the next few days.
My dear, dear, beloved Igor,
My friend in America said that he could lend me $ 2,000, but he is having a difficult time financially, and isnít able to :-( For that reason, I donít have the money to move. And so, you need 80 euros for rent, plus $ 150 for medicine and $ 80 for the quit-smoking clinic. I think I have that much and that I can send it to you on Monday.
My darling, I will come Aug. 1 to see you, but I canít stay. If you have an apartment, I can see you and live with you maybe two or three weeks. How I want to see you again!
I can send you the money only on Monday. Everything is closed tomorrow. As I said, this is a Catholic country, and everything is closed on Sunday.
I probably canít send more than this, because I have to live on my pension. But if you need more, tell me. I will try to get it.
I am very, very sorry. But we will survive. And I will come to you in August if I may. Okay?
I also love you very, very much. I miss you a lot, and kiss you always.
Maybe, honey, I can come visit you earlier than Aug. 1. We will see.
I love you very, very much.
Hereís what I received from Igor on Sunday, June 12:
Iím very glad, Dane, that you answered immediately. I am in the hospital again. On Tuesday there will be another operation.
No, Dave, $ 150 for medicine and one more operation, 100 euros for an apartment; we need to pay for 2 months. 50 euros per month for two months is 100 euros; and quitting smoking at the clinic costs $ 80.
Thank you, Dave, for helping me!!! Iím very, very glad that I have you. I hope that very soon we will be living together. I hope I can come to you in Spain to live!!! I kiss you, I love you; I miss you very much. I await an answer. íbye.
In the meantime, I started thinking: Iíll be paying for rent in Moldova anyway, and itís only 50 euros a month; I have to pay for food no matter where I am, and I could buy food for me and Igor in Kishinev Ė ďtwo can live as cheap as one,Ē after all :-). Why not live there till September, when Sasha will be coming to Spain?
Now I only need the money from David G., but Iím certain that will be available in the next few days. So I wrote:
My dear, loving Igor,
Yes, I can send you the money tomorrow, honey. What kind of an operation will they be doing on you on Tuesday? I hope that everything will be okay. Iím sure it will.
I think I will come in July, and will live with you in July and August. Maybe we will be together for my birthday (July 6) :-) and for yours! I think September 2, right? It would be fun!
Okay, honey, be healthy and be careful. I will come to you as soon as possible.
I love you very much, sincerely miss you, and kiss you as always,
But I realized I hadnít written Sasha to tell him my plans. So I wrote:
My Darling Sasha,
I received an e-mail from Igor. When I answered him, I told him that I donít have the money to move to Moldova (this is a little bit true).
And then I realized that I can live with him in July and August until you come to Spain. So I think I will do that. It wonít be expensive, and I can see Igor again.
My darling, when exactly are you coming in September? Igorís birthday is September 2, and I want to be with him for that. But I also want to be in Spain when you arrive. We will meet in Madrid, and travel together on the bus to Ourense.
I canít wait to see you and live with you.
Write, and tell me what you think of this. But quickly, because I need to decide quickly what Iím going to do.
I love you, I miss you, I kiss you.
I have essentially finished my book about my adventures and mis-adventures Ė sexual and otherwise Ė in Russia, and am sending it to BB in Seattle to critique. He, too, is an unpublished writer and has a lot more experience than I in pursuing agents and publishers.
In the meantime, I got the following e-mail from Igor:
Are you sending the money today? How are things with you? What are you doing? Today Iím in the hospital. When you send the money, I will go get it. How is your health? I miss you, kiss you, love you. íbye. I await your answer.
So I immediately replied:
Yes, I have already sent the money. Itís cheaper for me to send just one currency, so I sent $ 380 dollars: $ 150 for medicine and your operation; $ 80 for the stop-smoking clinic; and $ 150 for the rent. You can change this to 100 euros, okay?
Iím generally fine. I hope that I can come visit you in July for two months. Is that okay?
What is your operation for, your throat?
Get well quickly :-)
Yesterday he was to go under the knife, so of course I havenít heard from him.
I did get an e-mail reponse from former Moscow student and fantasy, beautiful Peter, who wrote in English:
Itís great that youíre staying in Spain. In my opinion, this country is better for you than Moldova, even with lower prices. But the most important is that you wonít be alone, and your friend will join you in September.
He added that he would try to get vacation time in August so he could visit me. He proposed going to the seacoast Ė the Mediterranean or the Atlantic. ďMaybe I will spend several days in Madrid and then Ourense.Ē.
Fortunately Summer nowadays is rather warm but without smoke and other unpleasant things (of last summer). Anyway we've acquired air-conditioner and for sure it will be in assistance in case of last year scenario.
Trying to persuade him to share my three-quarters size bed would be interesting and fun, but I had to write and tell him that I was probably going to spend July and August with Igor in Moldova.
And then I got the following bomb-shell from Misha:
Hello, Dane, how are you. Excuse me for not writing for a long time, but I didnít have access to the Internet. I got your money. Thanks very much.
Dane, write and tell me how long I need to remain in Moscow, because at the end of the month I have to find a new room, and that means I will need 15,000 rubles ($ 540!!!) to move. I have only enough money to eat. Write. I will be glad to hear. Until we meet íbye.
Iím furious. He told me he has a job making 16,000 rubles a month. I donít have $ 540. And if I donít have it, I canít send it.
While I was fuming, I received the following e-mail from David G., my friend who said he would either lend me $ 2,000 or buy my LaVigne painting for $ 2,000.
I tried depositing in Oregon with old Seafirst deposit slips. They suggested I deposit in (the state of) Washington (where I used to live and first opened my account). And now they suggest I work through my personal banker for a transfer. I am trying honey.
I will let you know if it is complete tomorrow. I am out of time today and driving back from Washington.
So I wrote and apologized for being so much trouble. If itís necessary, I suggested sending by Western Union, but I hope that isnít necessary, because itís expensive. I also sent my local bank number in the event he has to wire the money to my account here.
So it looks like Iím going to get the money, but Iím still furious with Misha for assuming I can send so much without any warning. Anyway, Iíll let that simmer for a while, while I send this off to Basil to put it on line.
And you can join me in simmering :-).