We talked about how few people in America go in the water and swim. Most just sit on the beach, or go in up to their knees and splash, whereas in the USSR everyone tries to see who can swim farthest, and overzealous swimmers are fished out by the lifeboats and forced to swim ashore.
We walked to the dishwashers’ house and had a feast in one of their rooms. A feast of two dishwashers, a welder, a man on unemployment, and a man on welfare. A few years ago, had we forgathered in the USSR, we would have been, a poet, a musician, a champion Soviet athlete, a millionaire (one of the dishwashers, Semyon, had had about a million in Russia), and a nationally known television journalist.
Moreover, I was suddenly struck by the thought, He’s seeking love, care, and kindness, but I seek the very same thing – that’s why I’m sitting with him, I came for love, care, and kindness. But how can we part? I was distraught. If I’m supposed to give him love, I don’t want to – I don’t, that’s all. I want to be loved, otherwise I don’t need any of it. In return for his loving me, if he does, I will come to love him later. I know myself, that’s the way it will be. But to begin with, let him love me.