HAMSA, 10.

24 December, 2016
“Coy Russian Agitprop”

Sebastian has many women in his life, but not all are his advocates or lovers. Sometimes the friendships seem forced out of pity. However, Polina Mazaeva loved him very much for as long as she could. It should be well understood that she walked him all the way to the airport check point in Nizhny Novgorod; her big sad eyes betrayed however that the minute he stepped on the plane and became Kawa Zivistan; well they were over.
The year of letters were shredded the very minute he boarded the air bus for Erbil.
“An artist, is just a colorful, self-destructive fool making muses left and right of women who he is too poor to build a life around, but so much of a distraction he can keep them for a bit amused. An artist is a social parasite, with no aim, especially a poet for god’s sakes. Death to the artists and cheers to the investment bankers, the engines of productive society, I’d like to be fucking one,” so says Maria of Moscow voting with her lips not her feet against American artists.
“He appears more infatuated with the idea of a real relationship, than the mechanics needed to keep on going,” said Daria to the secret police when the arrested her in January.
“Who is Polina Mazaeva? A coy Russia agit-prop? No, No, she actually has fallen in love with this radical. And they are preparing to meet, but have composed a number of Russian American, or Americano Soviet love songs and scribbles. Truly, I just wish he would disappear in Syria and we can close his file,” wrote Case Officer David Smith of Homeland Security, Station 4443.
David Smith and his partner Alex Smith, along with an informant named Jon Forti were all sorts of hot on the case of what precisely Sebastian Adon was up to in Syria. While the Smiths mostly sifted through the email trail and social media. Jon Forti was nominally Sebastian’s bickering business partner. They were supposedly in the start phase of a contracting firm for EMT training, but really Sebastian was siphoning labor for the Syria project called QOST; Qamishly Operation for Specialized Training. There was not one business like bone (Hastu, in Kurdish) in Adon’s body. But, Forti was a filthy rat. He was forwarding all the reports to the Homeland Security guys.
Why and when Sebastian and Polina began to write each other is of no great mystery, both were in existential crisis. They wrote often and eloquently in the year leading up to his deployment in Kurdistan Syria and Iraq. These letters and poems all sounded similar, but not the same to previous love affairs across the Cold War, but they reinforced each other’s motivation.
We will talk a lot about ‘motivation’; it means a lot to The Party to stress it in their ideological indoctrination. It is motivation that keeps us fighting, if we lose hope, if we lose sight of what we are all taking this risk for; then of course we are dead before the enemy can end us. Polina was discovered by Sebastian on social media about one year before he attempted to bring EMS to the PKK allies of North Syria. They sustained each other’s motivation and through words kept each other afloat. He of course grappled with feelings of failure and hopelessness. Aboard his ambulance at various hours he found a kindred soul in a red headed Russian mother. Over email, Viber, Facebook messenger and other social mediums they wrote sometimes in art and sometimes with song and sometimes with dirty pictures.
Dear Polina Mazaeva,
[American Russia Love Song 116]
We now sit down in different cities,
We are all dying, on our own, in a terrible way.
We went hunting, for the words in Russian or in English for, the clever, slash redeeming things, we might, even begin to try, and say.
Raise your head and hands up rude boy!
That’s not how the Story Ends, this time!
“You found your son, you saved your wife you helped your people win the war.”
Ana Campbell isn’t dead this time, regular people, comprehend the revolutionary side of this long epic thing that sounds like lullabies and gory folk lore!
That’s not how the story ends this time;
Tragically as it might be, you get to start again. Tell us what you fought for!
No, no, no, this isn’t right, I turned my gun on Newey before the fire fight that night.
Polina’s alone and in poverty, she’s trapped in Novgorod. What have I done!
Sebastian is sealed in a psychiatric ward! Making these fucking phrases rhythm rhyme for fun!
Anya’s losing her little mind in Baghdad.
Piling and Dan Newey are in French and British prison, so this happy tale is really quite black and rather fucking sad.
That’s not how the story ends this time!
I’m a woman not a shot girl, I’m a journalist not someone’s whore!
What were these hands grasping for!?
Tell it better, give us something, give us hope give us something to believe in!
Don’t let your martyrs’ dies for nothing, hold out longer dear dead Afrin!
That’s not how the story ends this time!
Sebastian finds his mind in chapter three.
And long live the Kurdish resistance, I wonder what Anya can see, when the lights go out and the rubbing oil turns her to Cleopatra.
But, this is sad long terrible black soliloquy. Resistance was our mantra.
About the things we did, to we. It was murder carried out like tantrum.
That’s not how the story ends this time!
Afrin is defensible, Anya is a happy kid again. Yazan conquers his disease. Sebastian has the strength of lions, of over 45 men! But that’s all in your sad Americano mind game!
But now we begin, everyone lost something and it seems hard to think we could ever win. It’s over you all lost, things are still the same.
Give them something to believe in!

“Give, me, back, my shattered life!”
Let my people find a way to win!
And she’s looking at me now like she’s ready to go!
Turn back the clock give us our lives!
And she’s looking at me now like she’s ready to go!
Turn back the clock give us our land!
And she’s looking at me now like she’s ready to go! (Ready to blow).
Turn back the clock give us our lives!
That’s not how the Story Ends, this time!
This is not a ballad for people who build bombs!
This is not a ballad for, people who turn cars into battering rams! Man, your life is nearly gone!
That’s not how the Story Ends, this time!
This is not a ballad for two people who move on. But fundamentally the reality of their underlying narrative was that one day Sebastian, who had more agency via his U.S. passport would fly to her and give her a new life. A more tragic but realistic understanding of the correspondence was that before he was going to do the hard part; give her and her son a new life; he would go to Syria, where obviously he could die.
She brought the contradiction up only seldom. Their worst fights were Polina’s frequent accusations of Sebastian’s womanizing. Which was real, but not as magnified as she made. He wasn’t sleeping with every single woman friend he appeared in a Facebook photo with. But, he had lovers she didn’t see. He assumed she did too, but in reality she did not. She loved the idea of him, but never expected him to ask for some mega long distance monogamous relationship. It was strange. But she had a son and little Yazan kept her more faithful. Sebastian in the meantime took under half a dozen women to bed, the idea of Polina was sentimental to him, but also not exactly real. Periodically she would flip out over a woman he appeared with on social media. But, it would fade. Several times he threatened to cancel the Russian leg of the trip, but he didn’t actually want to. Russia was something he needed to see before he died. And, he’s probably die out there like the 600,000 others who had perished in the war so far. Maybe in an airstrike, but likely from a mine.
The correspondence was real. They uniquely relied on each other to float. The underlying assumption that their struggle was real, that Sebastian would die on some barricade rather than raise a family and that Yazan had sort of frozen her life into place. Sebastian had clearly acquired revolutionary delusion of grandeur and was now enslaved to his own expectations of heroism. Polina had fallen hard for her baby’s father and been rejected and abandoned. The Russian state and her parents shouldered some of the costs of raising a seven year old, but her life was a dull repetition and a soft cage.
Yes, the struggle was quite real. Sebastian had several times adverted a suicidal ideation through her soft tone and patient words. Polina had taken on new online classes and high expectations of what was possible. While the flirtation with self-harm was mitigated by the responsibility of motherhood, she had dark times. They needed each other after a point. They waited happily for the next response which honestly flowed all day every day since he was an ambulance man and she was very per diem self-employed with information technology type assignments in graphic design. They wrote and wrote and wrote. Sometimes poems, songs or sketches. Sometimes he would tell her how hard he planned to fuck her, or she would write out something that seemed hard enough to be a rape scene. But, it was all very copasetic. They both were getting what they needed out of it. A friend in a dark time. Two friends in long distance Post-Soviet love. Two dreamers who live in utter and total nightmares.

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