My Father, The Stranger
I knocked on the door of a stranger.
I've traveled halfway around the world to meet him.
I was seven years old when I last saw him.
As the Soviet Union collapsed, so did my family.
I remember my father and I dancing together in our tiny apartment in Moscow and him giving me my first doll.
I also remember him leaving.
Sometimes he would be gone for months at a time and then unexpectedly be back.
Until, one day, it was our turn to leave.
My mother woke me up and told me to pack my belongings.
She said we were going on a trip. The next day, we arrived at our new home, California.
We hardly ever spoke of my father. I had no pictures of him, and over time, forgot what he looked like.
I often wondered what it would have been like to have a father.
I still do.