What Have I Got to Lose? by Westley Enigam

“Well, what have you got to lose? At least you’ll probably get laid for the first time since you moved to Delian, and have a good time. She’s very pretty, and apparently meets or exceeds your standard of four tooth minimum.” That’s what my boss and friend said one morning in city hall, late June 2004, hearing the news of recent events.

A few days previously, I received a somewhat cryptic email from Narciss. The email was difficult to understand entirely, since it wasn’t translated from Russian to English, as usual, but instead written in English, which Narciss was not good at writing, speaking or understanding. It had been several months since I last heard from Narciss, since I had basically quit corresponding with her, and all the other contacts I had made through the introductory service for foreign brides. From the email, as best as I could determine, she and her fiancé/sponsor, Kent, had a falling out, and her alternatives were going to Chicago to stay with her niece, or visiting me for a few weeks; then returning to Ukraine before her K-1 visa expired. Narciss said she would rather visit me than her niece, who she had stayed with for a few days in May, when she was in transit from Ukraine to Utah to be with Kent. From the email, I presumed that Narciss discovered that she wasn’t destined to become Mormon, and she wanted out of Utah. I intuitively had a certain degree of respect for her because of that.

As I spoke with my boss, regarding Narciss’ email proposal for a visit to Alaska, I had intuitively made up my mind already, that I wouldn’t get involved as long as she was in Kent’s house. She said that she had a means to travel to Chicago, where her niece, Helen, lived and some Mormon friends had offered to buy her a train ticket, and give her a little money for food. So, I told her, by email, to call me when she arrived at Helen’s house. Narciss made good her escape from Utah, while Kent was away, in New York on business. Narciss waited for Kent to be out of the house so he couldn’t prevent her leaving for Chicago, with all her gifts and especially the ring.

After our brief email discussion, a few days later, I received a call from Helen, who spoke very good English, but with that certain husky Russian accent that I have since learned to recognize, like the sound of a rattlesnake in the grass. She answered my questions and concerns, in particular as to whether Narciss’ visa was still valid and for how long. Her 90-day fiancée visa was valid until the third week of August, at which time her presence would become illegal, should she remain in the country. That was plenty of time for a visit to Alaska. Narciss had taken the train from Salt Lake City to Chicago. Now she wanted me to buy an airline ticket for her from Chicago to Juneau.

Over the phone, Helen was translating, and I could hear Narciss speaking Russian in the background, and Helen spoke to her in Russian. They discussed details of the proposed journey to Alaska, and then to Ukraine. I got the impression that both Helen and her husband, James, were stressed by Narciss’ presence, and they both were happy to assist her departure for Alaska. That was okay with me, as I figured I could put up with her for a few weeks. The foremost thing I remember Helen saying was “Narciss says buy her ticket to Alaska, and she will do anything you want.” O.M.G. Such a thought was too much to let my mind get into at the time, but I couldn’t ignore it either, because I was absolutely sure it was true, and it was true. To use a cliché, a woman of few English words, had made an offer that I couldn’t refuse, bottom line, so to speak. The truth is that for me the statement was not necessary, and a little scary, and over the top. I would have bought her a ticket anyway. After all, body language, between man and woman, transcends the spoken or written word, whatever one’s native language, at least while the relationship is fresh.

So, first thing that morning in last week of June, 2004, in city hall, I was telling my boss about the offer that I couldn’t refuse, and that I was shopping for an Alaska Airline ticket, which needed to be minimum layover and plane changes. It turned out easy, online, and for a mere $900 or so, the adventure which began about two years previously, of searching for a foreign bride, percolates, culminates, or consummates, whichever way you look at it. Circumstances, it seemed, had conspired as though it was meant to be. At the time I thought sometimes it’s just appropriate to just go with it, and see what happens. How often in a man’s life does he get an offer from a beautiful woman to come live with him for six or seven weeks, become acquainted, sleep in his bed, share affection and intimacy, and contemplate marriage? I always said that a person has to be careful about what he wishes for. I thought I was being careful, and also very-very lucky.

What had I to lose – indeed?

There was a powerful network lurking, waiting for the opportunity to invade my life, at her invitation. The cause is one thing, and the effect multiplied greatly with the help of a judicial system and social advocacy not of my making, nor there for my benefit. In other words, the Social Contract, within which I always thought I was a subservient and benevolent participant, advocate, benefactor and beneficiary, was interpreted and applied in ways against my consent, which I believe violated the Rule of Law, and more.

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