One of the first things Alexei noticed upon arriving in America--aside from how unbelievably fat the people were--was that random men on the street were staring at his crotch. The first few times it happened, he instinctively checked his fly to see if it was open, but it never was. These men, Alexei realized, were homosexuals.
“Brooklyn is full of queers,” Alexei said in Russian to his neighbor Natasha, who had lived in the U.S. for ten years and understood Americans, to the extent that they could be understood.
“Moscow was too, they were just hidden there. What brings this up?”
He explained about the crotch-staring.
She studied him, and a smile slowly spread across her face. “It’s your jeans.”
“But I’ve had these for years. They’re perfectly normal.”
“Straight men here don’t wear such tight jeans. Alexei, my boy, the Americans think you’re gay.”
"They would stereotype me that way?" Alexei's mouth dropped open in horror. "What judgmental people these fat American queers are."
Natasha nodded. "You get used to it."
"Is there anything else I should know?"
"Well. Their sour cream comes in plastic tubs from grocery stores. They mix their vodka with cranberries or orange juice." She sighed. "And when they hear your accent, for some reason most of them will ask you to say the words 'nuclear wessels.'"
Opening: Lightsmith.....Continuation: Lynn