I would like to walk right up to Putin and say “let’s have a drink.” In a matter-of-fact kind of way that would impress him and leave him no room to say “niet.” My sophomore year at college I took a Russian Foreign Policy class, mainly because I particularly liked the professor teaching it, and ended up falling into this deep rabbit hole of interest of Vladimir Putin. The class itself, being taught in a small and conservative University often time was filled with anti-Russian discussion by my classmates, but my mind wandered elsewhere. In no way am I a Russian supporter but I think what my interest had become was a general fascination for the power and the personality of their leader. On many accounts in the books we read in class and in the videos we watched, people of power would talk about how he had this way of manipulation, or, even, a way about him that peered through your soul. A way about him that made you feel like he was your best friend. Many people would never guess that even George W. Bush was friends with him before the war in Iraq complicated things. George had Vladimir at his ranch, here in Texas, not that far away from me. And to think. I missed my chance. I don’t quite know what I would say to him, and I can’t imagine what he would say to me considering the lack of importance I have but I can imagine us drinking a Wodka. A drinker, I am not, but with Vladimir, I would definitely accept a drink or two or three. I can imagine we would bond over our ties to Germany, maybe even speak a bit in German. If I ever had the opportunity, in a non-sketchy, safe, non-consequential circumstance I would love to spend the day with Vladimir. I don’t know why, or what purpose it would serve, but I do want to know what it is like to be peered into. I would like to know how charm, and hell, even a look can have so much political power in this world.