News » News Stories

The Expatriate

(Mike & Min's, Soulard)


He had lived in Russia since the mid-1990s -- a young expatriated American, working in the import/export business. His fiancée was still there, he said; she was a Russian native. When I asked him what exactly he imported, he responded, smiling irreverently, "What have you got?" No. Seriously, I persisted. "Come on," he said, "I'll show you," and he threw on his full-length military overcoat -- which he claimed once belonged to a general who'd been murdered -- as we stepped out to his car.

When he turned the key, the trunk sprang open like a brilliant cartoon. He pulled out an assortment of objects: gas masks, toys, electrical gadgets, incomprehensible computer junk, old Communist propaganda banners and an authentic cavalry sword. He drew it from its sheath just as a party of revelers in a horse-drawn wagon rode past. They cheered as he posed, brandishing his sword, the tip of its blade pointed impressively skyward.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.