Olga, from some Russian country that often features large factory boiler explosions, sent me a heartfelt message that expressed her desire to meet me. She said she found me on an “international dating site,” which was weird because I've never been to one of those. I can't make relationships work with people in the same state as I. Why would I venture overseas?
But love was blossoming and, because whenever that happens, people get stupid. Cupid doesn't send his arrow to the heart. He goes for the head shot. Olga's letter, though, struck a chord in my heart. Surely, Olga was feeling just the same.
In her broken, adorable English, she outlined herself. “Tell to me,” she wrote. “What you to search in women? Ken in you me, that that draws.”
But I put that aside. I imagined myself teaching her more English. She could attend baseball games with me, yelling at the umpires “That was Bolshevik,” she'd say at a bad call. She'd need work using the proper words, but love is about sharing and teaching.
So, I wrote her back. “Why did you write me?”
And she responded. “I receive your letter. So it is happy.” I've not heard girls say that to me before. Ever.
Two days later, she wrote again. A boiler exploded in the factory where she works as a nurse. Apparently, it was bad; lots of people were burned, she said. I looked up on Google the name of her town to see if there was an accident. I found one. But it occurred two years ago. Rough place, I thought. Maybe I could move there and become a boiler repairman; seems like there'd be plenty of work.
She also wrote that she tended to the injured, giving me an image of a caring person who forewent any personal safety to help others. She wrote that she tried dating men in Russia, but they were “all alcoholics.”
And you think America is different? I thought.
“What to give a smile to yours face?” she wrote. “I wait for your letter and I hope, that you to not keep me waiting long.”
She signed it, “Your girlfriend, Olga.”
It was only four days after I received her first e-mail. Maybe Russian girls were quicker to develop relationships. None of that time-consuming, get-to-know-you Bolshevik with her.
I wrote her back again, opening my soul. I told her I had suffered a medical disaster and had no money. I was penniless, I wrote. And I had no family. And, since we were developing our relationship so quickly, I asked her if she could loan me some money. I'd pay her back with interest, I promised.
Olga quit writing.
I waited, checking my spam folder for her letter. So it was not happy.
Days passed. I imagined Olga working long hours, bandaging the burned at the boiler explosion that happened in 2011. But she never wrote back, and, again, I was heartbroken.
Then, just as the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, just as hope returns to the hopeless, just as the Cubs return to last place by mid July, love came back.
“Hi, I hope my little letter finds you in good mood. My name is Olga,” the letter in my spam file read. “I wanted to get acquainted with the kind man not from Russia. In Russia it is a lot of alcoholics.”
If I respond, I'm sure Olga will write back and profess love. She'll send me a picture of her and her mother together and eventually ask me to send her money for plane tickets. She'll miss the flight and ask for more money. And she'll send more pictures.
And when I write back asking her for money, she'll disappear.
Love. It's Bolshevik!