# 3 Marco Smirnovsky

For those of you who are familiar with Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, you’ll recognize the photo. Although I initially felt I was going a little bit over-the-top in choosing as the image for my former roommate Marco Smirnovsky the picture of a man known for abducting women and children and eating their organs in the woods, I now actually think it’s a pretty good image. Even kinda looks like him, too.

I’ll start off by saying that Marco is not Russian. He could could easily be mistaken however for a Eastern European immigrant, in particular, one of those awkward ones from the old Soviet Block who wear tourist skintight tourist t-shirts and ask for directions to the bathroom from random strangers by calling it a toilet (as in, “can tell me you where I can find toilet?”.

Marco was actually from somewhere much, much, much warmer than the Ural Mountains, Caucuses or Siberia. He was a Brazilian who just seemed really Russian. Perhaps it was his pale complexion and and high cheekbones. Or maybe it was that my roommates and I weren’t familiar with the sound of a Brazilian-Portuguese accent. Then again, he could have actually been a security services secret agent. I’ll never know, because I think he was deported. Either way, we had trouble accepting that this kid wasn’t from the land of vodka, gulags and babushka-wearing women. After all, he did end up in Brooklyn, home of many Iron Curtain immigrants.

Marco came to us as a friend of my roommate Patrick. He showed up one night in December of 2001 with two girls from his native Sao Paolo. They needed somewhere to stay and were willing to share this tiny room with no windows. it was desperate and kind of cute, really.