The Armenian said one thing that haunts me. He said that Russian women are the most romantic women ever. They are poor, fatherless and in the utter absence of hope. At night, they choke down brown bread with fairytales of princes come to save them on white steeds.
And it is because of these stories that they will fall for the first man who shows them any kindness. Beautiful, breathtaking women, felled by a little attention and empty promises of a future, given by unworthy, deceitful men. They will go to the ends of the earth for these men. Hands and knees. Bloody stumps. Salted terroir.
But only once, he said, only once. After they have loved with all their might and seen that they were not rescued from chains but bridled like beasts of burden, they are forever changed. No longer can they love. Not just the lotharios, the liars and knaves. But any man who comes in earnest and shows tenderness or honesty as well.
No, after loving the first man far beyond his worth, she can never love another, no matter how worthy he may be.