Afterword

Two weeks after arriving in Kiev, Elena's parents attacked her and Meg in a failed attempt to kidnap their daughter. During the attack, Elena's mother stole her daughter's passport, enlisted the help of police and criminals, and drove Meg and Elena underground in Ukraine. They eventually made it the Turkish coast, from which they took to the sea on a sailboat for a non-stop voyage to Meg's home on Canada's west coast; described in Meg Stone's Fuck the Rules: A Year-Long, Planet Crossing Love Story.

What happened after Meg and I arrived in British Columbia

On April 27, 2006 when Meg and I rounded the Race Rocks Lighthouse and the pitch dark of the ocean gave way to the lights of Victoria, I realized there was nothing in that city or entire country that I needed. What I needed, I had with me all along. I was with Meg. I was true with myself and I had a life that was my own. Our life at sea was dangerous and exhausting, but it was truly ours. We pointed the boat anywhere we wanted and it was up to us, what our day would be like. Over the months at sea, Meg and I got used to it. This "was" the freedom. Coming to Canada, I lost that freedom, and Meg lost it by association with me. I resent what happened. I couldn't understand why I had to be different from anybody else. Why our family couldn't go on doing what we wanted, and going where we wanted. Why I couldn't just be Meg's life partner. Why I had designation of a "immigrant," in need of a special treatment and endless paperwork. With each new tediously hard earned paper giving me back another right or freedom that was taken from me on the entry to Canada. I clawed my way to Meg's home, risking my life, not to be reprogrammed and tamed in Canada, or expecting anything from it. I did it to be with Meg. I never needed anybody to "save" me or permit me to have my rights. But Meg and I were told that this was what had to happen. So we plunged into the process of victimization and indoctrination and were only done with it more than a decade later, in September 2018. I am proud to say, I won't be attending a Canadian citizenship ceremony.

Not only were Meg and I stripped of the freedom of movement and the right to plan our life, we were berated and demonized for wanting them back, by nearly every Canadian we met. Meg's own mother, later told her she should be stripped of her citizenship for living the way she wants and being outside of Canada for so long, trying to be with me! What we wanted: to be true to ourselves, to explore the world, to dream, to stand strong, be self-sufficient and confident is considered wrong in Canada, and is fiercely attacked. We had to get out of that environment. It was rescue mission number two. If we didn't escape that place, we would perish. Go insane. We needed to live again. To reclaim our lives, our dignity, our freedom.

In August 2012 we sailed out of Juan de Fuca straight and have been on the run ever since.

Meg and I Now

I gave up everything and everybody I knew in Russia, to be with Meg. Silly me, I thought that in Canada Meg and I had another family to come to. I assumed that because Canada's utopia is trumpeted everywhere, Meg's family and country would surely welcome us and recognize what we did to be together. What we did for love.

Being Russian, I don't expect support or compassion from anyone. But I have never seen the kind of contempt toward one's own family member as I did with Meg's family. In Russia, a passer by is more interested in an alcoholic on the street, than Meg's family is about her. They are actually embarrassed by her. Terrified she and I might visit. And instead give Meg money to stay away from them to prevent any embarrassment she might cast on them. It's absurd to me, when one considers that one of their in-laws is a Canadian lesbian celebrity icon.

Meg was out at sea for ten months, surviving on a small sailboat entirely on her own. In Ukraine, she was attacked by my parents, hired crooks, the police and held in custody on false accusations. She came up with, and realized, an ocean crossing endeavor of such an enormous scale and complexity that only a few very wealthy attention seekers undertake, with nearly no risk to themselves. They have the eyes of the world on them, and all the money and support imaginable. Meg didn't. She was alone in it. Supported by nobody, apart from me. She had no sponsors. No media coverage. No helicopter ready for take off had something went wrong. All of it, she went through to be with me. To save me. To make sure I didn't perish and actually had a life.

Meg's family (yes, from that very Canada that is unsurpassed in it's grace and benevolence) dismissed or ridiculed all of it. Not once, did any of them acknowledge, appreciate or feel anything for what Meg did to be with me. For even the fact that she could be killed. Floating dead in the ocean somewhere, under the waves, her family would never see or could imagine. Any words at all were said only on an evening when her family members had an audience at a presentation we were giving in Calgary. With the audience moved, it was only proper decorum in strangers' eyes, that Meg's family even show themselves and say the right words about us to others. That was the only time.

Until this very day Meg and I are completely alone. Our family is the two of us. We have no support from anyone. We survive exclusively on our own will and wits. We have no mutual country of citizenship. So we travel from one country to another, where entry is allowed to both Canadians and Russians.

Meg resents that she is Canadian. She regrets not seeing her country's true colors before bringing us there, and resents that it crushed our dreams of having a country and a family. A place where she and I would not be attacked and berated, but would actually be welcomed and loved. It pains both of us beyond words that what we are and what we cherish the most -- our love, and risking everything for it, our desire for discovery, for making our dreams come true -- are the very aspects that Canada and Canadians detest us for.

The oceans, our boat and each other is our home. The two of us are outcasts, we have been living in exile and on the run for years. We have no idea how much longer we can go on under the conditions that we live in. So far, I see no signs that Meg and I will ever have a country, a homeland, a community that welcomes us and values what we have done to stay together and true to ourselves. Still, we have been incredibly fortunate, we know that such people exist! What Meg and I did to be together has been acknowledged and appreciated. This outpouring of emotion, and recognition came from Americans. Only then, did I discover, that there were people in the world to whom love, freedom, honesty and sticking to what's right for you "was" important! They recognized all of it in our story. This attention was a huge boost to Meg's and my morale. In fact, we are still coasting on it. People's feedback made us see that we are not alone and that we might have a home one day.

It's been a heck of a long journey for you, reading Talking to the Moon and, possibly, Meg's account of our voyage. But the journey was even longer for Meg and I! And it isn't over! Apart form Meg and I knowing that we love each other and will do anything to see another day together, we have no idea what will become of us. Weather or not we will have a country we won't be forced to leave, and where we won't be attacked for who we are. Meg and I developed a tremendous stamina to go on. It is our love for each other and for our own lives. It is freedom, really. We are so "screwed", because we have become free. It is only sad, that in the modern world being free, standing up for your dignity, thinking on your feet, loving your life and depending on nobody, pushes you through the cracks and relegates you to the edges of the world.

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