WHAT’S IT LIKE TO LIVE UNDER FASCIST DICTATORSHIP
I am writing this post at the request of my writing mentor who said "We all want to know!" Irkadura was supposed to be the book that drew from the wealth of information I'm sitting on, having grown up in Soviet Union, lived in GDR in my teenage years, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, and having returned to Moscow where shortly after snipers were shooting people from the roofs, and the country as I knew it ceased to exist. This was the book he asked me to write. It didn't turn out the way he envisioned it, as I was still going through lots of personal pain which spilled itself out in Irkadura. I wasn't ready. Nor am I ready now. TUBE is not what I thought it'd be either. I'm still healing, still trying to find the ground under my feet. Hell, I'm not even supporting myself financially yet, after turning my life upside down and giving everything up to write and finding happiness where I didn't think was any. But I will try. Because these are the times when I must speak, and speak I will.
Let me preface this by giving you a little history on me, as I'm one of those people who isn't surprised or shocked by anything anymore, and therefore I might appear to you callous or brutal or unfeeling. My jokes might appear to you as inappropriate; too strident, too sarcastic. That is not so. I'm overflowing with warmth and love; I simply learned to protect it. Survival was never a question for me, it was a necessity and it was what I did. If I didn't laugh at my hardships and the hardships of others, I would've wilted in misery and despair. Hence, my harsh humor. I'm a generation of Russians who have laughed to keep from crying, and yet our generation has not seen the horrors our parents have seen, nor what their parents have seen, so our pains are really nothing compared to theirs.
Well then. Here is my tale.
It was a cold February of 1976 when I was born in one of Moscow's hospitals, small and thin and one month early (or a few weeks—not sure how early). Unknowingly, I was born into what America is about to taste—a despotism, a dictatorship that aggressively exploited the fear of foreigners (non-Russians), non-conformists, and anti-communists, and an authoritarian nationalistic regime where any opposition was squashed before it could be voiced. In other words, red fascism, and I don't say this phrase lightly.