My parents divorced in 1989. That same year, poetically, regimes fell and the wall came down. By 1991, the Soviet Union, the ideal of my Childhood, had fell. I was in tears. I was 14 and I had a poster of Lenin in my bedroom.
Because my mom lost custody I lived alone with my dad.
My dad is a postman. At the time he was single and was a social centerpiece at the local pubs. Knowledgeable about almost any topics especially in popular science and amazing things found in nature, he often had girlfriends.
Our neighbour, an immigrant from Serbia, was involved in the war in former Yugoslavia at the time, had a large backyard party Serbian style. I think they roasted a whole pig. At this party my dad met a Russian woman. She was an ex-KGB officer, who defected to Norway before the collapse of the Soviet Union, because her husband, a leading Party member in Krashnodar, Siberia, had done something hostile to the State and defected to Norway before her.
She moved into our house some time after 1994 I think. Immediately the bachelor laidback style was replaced with a Russian mother’s touch. Everything was cleaned, and our house every day smelled of Siberian cuisine. We had Borsj and Pelmenje almost every day. I learned how to drink Vodka every day and empty a bottle without pulling as much as an eyebrow. She had visitors from former Sovier Union, often shady characters who ran operations trying to get people into Norway illegally. Once we helped a Pakistani woman who had been forced to marry her uncle. We gave her a secret identity and help her escape into the underground .
At that time I had already built my own computer. I used it to go on the internet (illegally, the internet was not generally available at the time) and try to get information about nuclear pollution in the air in Leningrad (i will always call this city Leningrad) for some of her Russian friends who lived there, being lied to from their government, still, now that it was a “democracy”.
I never liked my stepmom. She taught me a few things you can only learn in jail or in the army, the kind of thing that you lose your innocense as a child, because now you know people cannot directly be trusted, without you knowing that all humans are directed by their lower instincts and thus motivated by egoistic needs.
She showed me how to court a female by showing how I should take a woman out for dinner, how to dress, how to act correctly. I hated that shit. She showed me that although she despised the KGB, and the Soviet Union, she still held on to her medal “Order of Lenin” that she was awarded at one time, for dear life. As if it was somehow a validation of her accomplishments for the very regime that threatened to kill her children.
How can personal satisfaction on being socially accepted, be more worth than your childrens lives?
I told her I was gay and not into women. That the tips and social etiquette she tried to teach me, from some conservative Russian culture, she could just shove it up her ass. Cause it’s not going to fly. I live my life as a Lone Wolf. People should take me out for dinner. I should not have to court a female like some 17th century Russian aristocrat.
We had many arguments. I never respected her and she knew it. I believe she worked the system and never truly had any ideology. Except to care for her family. That she did. I believed in values beyond just family or selfish needs. Because I loved the system she hated. At that time. Back then I would have signed up for the KGB and worked to defend the socialist system at the cost of my life.
Today I know better of course. I know better than the KGB, my mother, my dad and my real mother, and the Serbian neighbour.
I feel more sad now than ever now that I am walking in truth. The truth, as they say, will set you free. But the sight – it is not pretty.