Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Invite

As Roc came home each day with different stories about different people, I found myself asking more and more about his new friend Vic.
"Is he really from Russia? What made him come here?" I always wanted to know a person's backstory, and I found this guy in particular pretty interesting.
Ends up that Vic was from a country that used to be part of Russia. He is an only child, and his Mom still lives in what Roc and I lovingly refer to as "Shazam-a-stan!" He came to America for the same reason so many do: a better life and more opportunities. He joined our Army right away, knowing that he could gain citizenship that way. He ended up serving two tours in Iraq at the height of the war. He came back to America and then proceeded to join the NYPD. He is still trying to get his mother here legally. Right now, I believe his mother knows he works for the City of New York, but not in any particular capacity. He's said he doesn't want to scare her any more than he already has; back then, I believe he was waiting for graduation to divulge the truth.
My heart broke for this guy. Alone in the world. A new Citizen of the United States. A hero; a patriot. I think I liked him before I ever even met him.
"That's it! You have to invite Vic over for Thanksgiving Dinner!" I insisted one Friday night a couple of weeks out from Turkey Day. The NYPD was kind enough to give them the day off while in the Academy.
"Vic? Why?" Roc seemed bewildered by my adamant request.
"Because he's a new citizen! And because Thanksgiving is an American Holiday! And because if you don't, he'll be sitting home alone. I won't have it." I shot Roc my most serious look. I meant it, and he knew it. Plus, we're Italian. It's our job to feed people. Roc knows this.
"I just feel stupid, Stell. I mean, I only know this guy from class. What am I going to do, go up to him and say, 'My wife wants me to invite you to dinner?' What if he already has plans."
I was exasperated. Apparently I had to up the laser-like quality of my gaze to show I meant business. "You simply ask him! One adult to another, you ask him if he would like to join us to celebrate our American holiday and that's it. Easy! Done! Besides, what's the likelihood that he already has plans?! You've said yourself that he knows no one." I threw my hands up in the air. "It's the Christian thing to do, Roc."
Got him on that one. He knew it was true, so I left it in his hands and prepared to have one more for dinner.

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