Tatu has followed me around for 10 years: from nearly arriving just in time for my first same-gender pangs to keeping me company in my car rides filled with nostalgia for youth’s reckless-heart days, Lena and Yulia and I have been through it all. I first heard about Tatu from my friend Asya, who immigrated to the U.S. aged 12, but whose heart never left the motherland. She had returned from her annual summer stay in Moscow in time to start our first year in college, and in the few days beforehand we were making the most of the concrete floor of her outdoor patio, pretending we were sunning on a more supple beachfront. Although the summers of my late teens were filled with enough angst, lust and SAT prep to satisfy Ivanka Trump, the atmosphere around Asya’s yearly culture updates was intoxicating with possibility and held an onus of importance in the course of our meetings.
She sticks one of her new acquisitions into the stereo and in Russian I hear, “Nas degonyat”…. “Not gonna get us” and the song instantly cuts to my quick.