WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN I WAS STILL A VIRGIN.

That was because, first of all, I was in love with the boy who didn't know me. He couldn't know because he left for the army before I had guts to say hi.  At that time all boys in the Soviet Union had to serve in the army at eighteen. For three years.

Second of all, I dated a girl from my college. I dated her because the boy was away. We only had girls at our college, anyway.  All boys served in the army. In Afghanistan and other places. Homosexuality was illegal in the Soviet Union, but that was what they called love between men. Men were put in prison for love.

Love between women did not exist. We never told anyone we were in love. We did not know how to do anything in bed because there were no books, no movies, or anything like that. We kind of invented stuff. We invented a lot of things, tampons, for example, as all that was available in drugstores was loose cotton wool and it was not always available.

So I was still a virgin and it was a problem. I didn't feel like sleeping with the boys I knew. They had all just returned from the army--or sometimes prison--drank vodka and smelled bad like onions and dirt. My girlfriend already had an abortion. Condoms were not available either. She didn't want to sleep with boys anymore.

One winter day I got a ride from a gypsy cab. Gypsy cabs were illegal cabs. Plenty were available; men would give girls a ride for free "for a talk" and would ask for stuff, but if you said "no," it was a "no," usually. It was dangerous at night and many girls got raped but that was their own fault, right?

So I got a ride from my work to the college. The gypsy cab was a long black government car with a lot of zeros at the license plate. The man wore a leather jacket and talked and smoked without a break. He was maybe fifty and had a strangely large belly, while the rest of him looked skinny. He looked like a pregnant cockroach, I thought. He asked me about school and work. I told him I worked at a military factory and I was studying to be an English teacher.

Then he asked me if I wanted to fuck. And, though normally I said no, I said yes. Because I thought it was a good opportunity to lose my virginity and never see him again. He was married; his wedding ring gleamed in the smoke. He drove me out of town and parked behind a train station.

"Only," I said. "I never did it before."

"Hahaha," he said. "Hahaha."

And then he kept laughing and he laughed and laughed as he found out that it was true. He smelled like moldy cucumber and cheese salad and Marlboro cigarettes, his giant stomach was soft and heavy, and it lasted three minutes and hurt a lot but not as bad as at the dentist's. We did not have anesthesia, so drilling teeth hurt the worst in the world, and we compared all pain to it.

The train passed by; I still remember that tududum-tududum-tududum sound of the wheels, and the whistle and the bright passing light, a flash over the car. I kept my eyes open. And my eyes were dry. So he laughed and gave me 30 roubles and three roubles for not crying. It was a lot of money, my monthly pay, and I said, "No, it's ok."

Honey-Hued Eyes continues...
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About Zarina Zabrisky


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Zarina Zabrisky started to write at six and until now she burnt everything she wrote, including her first novel about trafficking drugs from Ukraine to Russia and her last novel about moonlighting as a dominatrix in Oakland. She wrote and burned short stories traveling around the world as a street artist, fur...read more coat model, translator, kickboxing instructor, and a hot dogs brand ambassador. When not busy writing, Zarina likes to set the world on fire.
2 comments
Discussion
  3 years ago
A lovely, engaging but sad story. Thanks Zarina.
  3 years ago
hard core writing.

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