Borough of Brooklyn, 2012ce
East Bushwalk District
Friday morning of the Labor Day Weekend. The sun is shining and thus the August humidity is oppressive, but the Flushing highway leads deep into the greener pastures of Queens. A heat wave of unprecedented proportions has been ravishing the city for the entire week. The globe is warm.
It is warming up further.
The New York Times, the local paper of the liberal elites says wild fires in Moscow and its environs are blazing completely out of control. As if allowed to burn.
Five to perhaps six dozen tents of assorted makes and models have been erected at the top of green hill whose perimeter is a steel fence; its base a small Dutch historic home and the rest a camp ground in the badlands of Industrial Bushwalk. A big band stage is almost finished in erection to blare live Gypsy Latin music is being set up and sound tested. A four day proclamation of lawlessness has been posted, but only the social club staff and its regulars will truly be encamping. At forty dollars a day, it’s a rather pricey venture to go camping in a field in the heart of a barren industrial wasteland between Brooklyn and Queens know for salvage yards, construction material stock piling, biker gangs, and various front operations.
A railroad to somewhere and poisonous green river called the Dutch Kills Creek separating Brooklyn and Queens officially.
Slavi, stone faced with black hair until he cracks a jovial grin only to those he knows is Sasho’s brother. The sometimes grinning Bulgarian enforcer is at the gate nominally charging people whom he doesn’t recognize as the spoken for “regulars”. Justin O’Azzello, “the General Manager” is cooking up “kielbasa” and barking grinning efficient commands on set up.
“What are the kielbasa made of,” asks Michelle Christina, who has booked all the bands and done much of the production work to make this Bohemian Festival occur.
“What are they made of pendaho,” repeats her husband Raphael.
“Chicken,” says Justin with his mouth, but ‘people’ with his teeth and she refrains from trying.
At various points Justin Toomey O’Azzello has come and gone as Mehanata’s so-called “General Manager”. He’s quit, gotten fired, quit, gotten sober, quit found god, rehired, lost god, gotten very drunk, gotten very sober, and now, he seems to be conducting business well enough and is back in good graces of the management. Which means Sasho, and maybe to a lesser degree in reporting and accounting; Misha Kishbivalli, but Sasho is undisputedly the boss.
The Onderdonk Fields are now held by a colorful gypsy mafia. Sasho and his young son join a game of football game now underway.
And then around 4 in the pm; arrives the medical team; Sebastian and Jared Forgetter.
Sebastian Adon shows up proudly. With his tall street aspiring paramedic partner from Methodist Academy Class 33. Jared Forgetter is carrying a large red medical tech bag, the one Adon was allowed to keep unofficially by his friends and supporters in the quarter master’s office after the Fire Department made him resign in lieu of termination after a long and draining trial over the event that occurred two years prior in Haiti.
The nature of those bloody ruinous events will be recounted in due course. But the big red bag, his experiences and ten thousand dollars were all he walked away with. And the cost of the years with that agency were yet to be calculated.
Jared is tall and dirty blond and lanky and looks exactly like one might draw all stereotypes of the laid back high fiving, dope smoking west coaster; is a skilled electrician and followed his college sweetheart out east.
Adon and Sebastian join Victoria Lynch and Raphael on the top of the hill by the main encampment.
Raphael and Sebastian embrace as they always do. They grin because they know what is coming in the next 72 hours.
A large and gregarious man rises to introduce himself, the slinky slender dark brown haired woman at his side does not. Also seated in the main encampment are Lia Monteleone with her big French tits, Georgie Rabanca, and Natasha Andreavna Skorbogatova.
Natasha ignores his arrival most completely.
A burly Post-Soviet man with a cropped beard and fashionable dress with a camera around his neck steps up and offers his hand.
“My name is Oleg Medved, but you may also call me Alan,” the big Russian says.
“Sebastian Adon,” Adon replies, “this is my partner Jared Forgetter, medical partner for the encampment, not homosexual lover.”
Oleg grins and pours everyone drinks and Adon takes out a large bottle of Spanish red wine and uncorks it.
And he passes out wine glasses wrapped up in socks.
They all then dance and dance and drink and steal and make art and chat about the world. And the fearsome, but utterly kind hearted in disposition Ukrainian-Israeli gangster Oleg Megved “from Boston” takes a wide assortment of photos of former and Postsoviet models. Victoria has arranged a series of photo shoots and allegedly Alan, who most call ‘Oleg the Bear’ is local celebrity “up in Boston” and he takes tons of fashionable pictures. Sebastian in his blue paramilitary style EMT uniform with a red bandana arm band is soon dancing the half tango, half salsa with Natasha clad in a yellow mesh cocktail dress with blue Indian war paint under her eyes; it makes for a lovely picture.
“I didn’t recognize you in the uniform and your little partisan cap,” she earlier exclaimed.
The four day Bohemian Gypsy Festival is in Friday day one full swing by evening.
It’s a very Old Soul-Old School movement of a moment.
They’ve taken a barren camp ground in bad part of warehouse district and turned into something of a cross between the Gypsies of Patagonia and or a cold war partisan encampment.
Adon has little medical work to do so Jared at some point disappears into a tent with a young Russian girl to smoke some weed and then later they see the tent shaking gently, arithmetically. Sensuously.
And Adon begins working on sketch of Georgie and the big French tits on Lia, and Georgie with a laugh mentions he found black and blue marks all over his woman’s body the night she went back to Sebastian’s home two weeks prior. The night Natasha nearly killed him.
“I fell down some stairs,” is all Lia says. And Georgie laughs it all off because he knows Sebastian is tragic man, a good man but a tragic man. He doesn’t have it in him to have any affairs. Georgie who is CUNY Grad center professor and also a computer scientist has affairs all the time, but he is not an American, or tragic, or rarely ever sad.
However Lia’s black and blue marks are from Sebastian fucking her dirty and rough, and then fucking her with love making. Just one week ago.
Georgie wonders when it will be that Natasha Skorobogatova gives him the opportunity for a good long strong affair, but Sebastian has and does have affairs all the time, including with Georgie’s girls and main mistress. No regard at all for other men’s relationships. Admittedly such a conquest seems expensive in a few regards. Georgie feels sad for Sebastian at times, buys him drinks periodically with an ugly Romanian smile. He has never understood the complexity of the man, or the complex behind his tragedy.
Recently he became aware of the possibility of the small and short affair between Sebastian and another regular mistress, the French girl named Lia Lewis; he was shocked that beautiful women could find pleasure with such a sad broken man.
And low and behold Natasha and Sebastian are dancing up a storm to the Latin Ska-Gypsy Jazz Band Eskarioka now playing. Followed by the Sunny Side Social club. George has never even seen the man dance more than two or three forced times. No use of hips at all!
She is the woman at the tavern that turns all the heads as per the usual lately. Even more so than that American girl Jessica who always takes off her clothes and climbs the downstairs stripper poles, even more than Amelia who after the Sebastian affair has been around a great deal less. Even more than the Moldovan twins who kiss! She arrived perhaps six months ago and now certainly has a regular card. Sebastian turned his in for some time and has just begun to reestablish it.
A regular doesn’t just show up early and stay late two of three weekend days open; they make themselves part of the tavern’s atmosphere. They have affairs, they get in fights, they make scene.
“Now I could not have seen that happening,” says George to Raphael, “he never ever dances!”
“She’s fucking that hot, prosto,” Raphael says, prosto is Russian for simple.
Sebastian Adon who is half of the medical team for a three day commitment here, but is also part of the back-up team if needed for Raphael’s planned raid on Citi Plaza Tower, the “big blue building in Queens,” has been given the green light to have a good time after three non-intensive demonstrations of his worth a competency paying for themselves. And the not giving of a shit on Sasho’s end if the house paramedics are intoxicated.
Jared Forgetter is kind to people and ‘really fucking West Coast’ as a spacy partner and is high as a kite making out with some young lady in a tent somewhere, she’s a just off the boat and he’s never had a “Russian girl” before. She’s not really Russian, she’s Moldovan, but Jared isn’t really sure what the difference is. He’s good long and uncut and after three spliffs the young girl drains him dry. His cock, not his pocket. Although she does manage to take forty bucks off him. While he was in the tent Sebastian attended to three small intermittent soccer related injuries.
Natasha is never far from the fact that Sebastian not only has steel toed boots and two left feet, but she takes him up on his hand to dance over and over.
Sebastian is so happy to be dancing again and he aims to do it well, but that is a highly subjective “well”. He swore to her on the night she almost killed them that he never dances anymore. So that night before the fall, she made him two-step as she watched and pressed her weight against his hip until he came correct.
“Your hips man! Move your goddamn hips.”
And he almost crushes her bare foot with a steel towed combat boot dip.
Ernesto is wearing a gold baseball cap and sits watching with his wife Victoria manically try and direct this shit show. Bands not showing up, nothing going to schedule everyone getting more and more furiously drunk. In yester year and future year Raphael commanded men, now he mostly makes life. With his music twice a week at the tavern as part of Bordel Dali and he also makes love with his camera twice a week and always maintains a slave job at a boutique blue jeans fashion blog.
But, a revolutionary is a revolutionary and when asked by the resistance three weeks ago to activate his cell and raid the big blue tower to deposit the transmitter for the Fire Station to broadcast orders and shut down government coms during the Labor Day Parade, he agreed.
Jumping out of planes, carrying out raids and building non-lethal bombs is like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it.
“I like to see him pretending to be happy,” says Raphael to Victoria.
“They are another tricky thing now moving too fast,” states Victoria as she watches out the corner of her eye. Victoria is very happy with herself for it was she who made this four day festival come together. And it is mostly out of control.
She has no idea her husband and most of the Peruvian Ska band Eskarioka are about to stage a raid on the tallest building in Queens. She has no idea that Oleg Medved and Yulia Romanova are poisoning half the camp with vodka based neurotransmitters. She was no idea there is dead hooker in the tent next to hers. She has no idea that an Islamic Sleeper cell is carrying a bomb into the heart of Times Square to black out the city in a thermo-electric pulse Monday morning. She has no idea that 2 million black woman, men and children are coordinating their revelry amid an armed uprising. She just isn’t aware of those things.
She doesn’t know about all of her husband’s affairs, she doesn’t know he used to lead a guerrilla band in Peru called the “Bolivarian Hotshots of the Brigade Cinqo de Mayo”. She loves Raphael her husband with all her heart, she loves Sebastian Adon as her tragic brother, she loves-hates Sasho who gives her a platform for her fashion, art and music. She wasn’t a child one day. She came to this city and got a job at the Tavern as events producer and tavern has taken over most of her life and time. She doesn’t see the world like Raphael does, or Sebastian did before his friends put him into sleep.
Sleep is the cousin of death, but not physical death. It is simply reducing the size of the world one can see, third, fourth and fifth and sixth dimensionally.
Sebastian and Victoria can only really see a couple days into the past and future. Whereas people like Raphael, and Natasha Andreavna can see things much further back and forward, see things happening in other realities. It makes them very, very functional in this reality.
But the more one drinks, the less they see.
If Victoria Lynch Contreras was aware of any of those above listed things, she’d have a baby heart attack. And probably move back to upstate New York where the world is safer. Back to her hippy parents Alpaca farm. Way out of the coming crossfire.
“She can’t be tamed by any man,” states Raphael Ernesto.
“He will try, but when he fails I’ll have to pick up the tragic pieces again,” states Victoria. She’s already had to coax him gently from his Maria to his Yelizaveta and then to freedom and then through the affair where he broke the French girl Amelia’s heart and it’s now back to the bondage of his wanton reckless emotions and habits of loving early and often. She admires that about him though, she’s a hopeless romantic herself.
It is Victoria’s shoulder where Sebastian does his most cathartic crying over the past three years since they all met on Floyd Benet Field at the original Bohemian-Gypsy-Tabor festival on the abandoned tarmacs of Idlewild airport.
A cool breeze breaks the city’s August humid heat wave.
“Spin me faster man!” commands Natasha.
He is under her spell.
She feeds him still more wine. He can be known to drink in uniform when a General like Sasho gives him the green light to do so. Sebastian has at least some discipline, but like a regular rank and file loses this discipline if the drinking lets him and the front seems far. And surely it takes a lot of drink to render him incapable of splinting extremities or dealing with overly intoxicated people, the most likely of injuries. But now, he’s really not good for much but chasing this woman. He knows nothing of Nicholai’s “great big job.”
And as a card carrying Banshee member he has several local ambulance crews on speed dial worse comes to worse.
There are endless bottles of wine and vodka miraculously stashed away about the encampment. All need tasting.
Adon is no obvious martyr today, or yesterday. Obviously for all his past mountains of zeal he’s built up, he saw the loveliest girl in the camp teach him how to dance and then try and kill him two weeks prior. He cannot be unaffected by the contrasts there. And if he was aware that his closest circle is up to something very large and possibly violent, he “is asleep.” He is out of the chain of command until reactivation after his paramedic graduation. Which is in January.
After his work in Haiti, the brought him to the bathhouse, they submerged his consciousness in the great waters of a temple buried in the earth; and to keep him safe they closed his eyes and made him aware only of what was around him in a small circle of seeing.
A hint that there was a close bout with death has been made. Did our protagonist antagonists actually plumed to death off a roof top?
In a futurist play, any bout with death has at least three angels standing guard over the protagonist antagonists. And if he had died on the roof how might he have died on the roof a second time as indicated in Act One, or at the Millennium Theatre after that?
So to clarify.
The night Natasha and Sebastian boxed ferociously after he yanked the cigarette from out her mouth, she shoved him off a roof.
That was two weeks prior from the night before the Blue Moon, now.
He grabbed out for her and they both died falling into the deadly drop pit.
She did shove to kill, but rather than make suicide assembled he pulled her along, to death. They toppled off the roof into that pit of death.
But angels quickly and immediately came to their rescue.
Only Nanoseconds after lying broken and dead in a pit of death, having killed each other over nothing, over posturing and arrogance and lack of respect for physics; reality reset.
The angels, on behalf of the spirits took their two souls from their corpses and went back in time five seconds. And put the souls into the bodies of Sebastian and Natasha, took control to make them step just one foot away from the pit.
So bang! When they toppled this time they just fell to the side and pissed the pit and their deaths by one single foot. A near death experience was now near life experience. Because the spirits were protecting them both.
Panting hard, as if post-coitus she grabs his right hand.
She bit down into his right index finger to draw blood. He makes no reaction his animal soul hasn’t fully absorbed itself into his new body. Then they lay panting by the edge of precipice staring each other down, bitten hand clasped and bleeding; and then she confessed to him things that were highly unnerving.
Some were true. And some were white lies.
Now, back at festival!
Now, “she remembers nothing” and keeps urging him to explain their first night of misconduct under good night almost blue moon and tell her what happened on the “roof of the financial district.”
Had they fallen into that pit having no spirits or angel to aid them you could have taken their bodies out a side basement door and it wouldn’t have even been real news. Senseless tragedy only bothers all of the living as everyone is missed by someone. So now they dance and self-seduce, she would say she is incapable he above it, so they self-seduce.
They are engaged in a passionate stare down, but it is more playful than hot. She is very used to drunken men desiring her. He is very used to being a sober gentleman and sometimes also a drunken man.
Victoria Lynch can see the steam and glow from the tent camp at the top of the hill. It reminds her vaguely of the wild passion that came over her several years ago when she wrested Ernesto from the arms of wealthy temptress and got the ring of marriage around his ways.
Sebastian is a marvelously incompetent, albeit enthusiastic dancer. Natasha drags him off here and there and they imbibe relentlessly without even seeming to stagger.
Night comes and darkness falls.
“It most was tender to see you saving the life of Sasho’s son,” Natasha had whispered earlier making a dry Russian joke out of his earlier handy work.
He had put an ice pack on a not that sprained ankle of the eleven year old son of the club’s owner. But, it was a smash hit. Calling an ambulance costs between $475.00 and $4,000.00 in the City of New York.
“Saving lives is much easier than taking them,” he says with a grin, “in the long run anyway.”
“So what happened again on our fateful roof! Tell me the whole story!” she demands.
“So no one meta died, or really died. Only almost died. Because when dawn broke two weeks prior we were still standing, I called you a cab and we begrudgingly agreed to meet again, only by fated coincidence, as we are both members of the same social club.”
“Fascinating,” she says staring out into the bonfires of the encampment. Pouring perhaps the fifteenth glass of wine. Knowing behind her bluff they were about five three dimensional seconds were warm, bloody broken and dead.
They had gotten quite drunk on wine then Astika, then Rakia and then Vodka, eventually.
Again she pressed him for, “The whole of the story.”
“We boxed. You drank and boxed me harder. Then we fell twenty stories to our deaths in a sub-basement pit,” he explains.
“And now we dance like two lovers who could have been just two separate funerals, in two separate languages, with Raphael Ernesto and Victoria being the only overlapping guests of note,” she notes and winks at him.
The festival has become an alcoholic blur to all involved by midnight thirty.
Natasha and Vasa dance, dance, and dance like they almost died for nothing just a week before. Under a bog moon taking shape in the night sky above the border between Queens and Brooklyn.
Earlier in the day Oleg Medved took a good many pictures of her and the three lesser former and Postsoviet models from Bucharest, Bulgaria, and Transdeisnester Republic. And also of lovely Victoria who always looks lovely and charming and caring for this rowdy band that gravitates to the tavern. While refusing to let the sometimes dirty laundry of her marriage ever be aired in public views. Though there had been improvements lately.
Sebastian kisses Natasha’s hand in the end of the song, then lets her swoop low and he catches her in his arms as she gets an inch from the ground with her long golden locks. It is not a smooth or graceful motion, but he tries the best he can. They nearly topple over.
Then she has her lips pressed to his neck. And they eye into each other, taking in the passion that they are generating without necessarily acting any further on it.
“I will call you Vasa!” she declares. “My name for you from this point out.”
“I will call you Natasha. As I have from the beginning.”
“You like a devil have too many names,” she smiles.
Drunkenly they declare what each had planned to name to the other already.
Then more dancing, dancing and more dancing; sway and grind like they almost died for nothing.
Sebastian kisses her hand in the end of the song, then lets her swoop low and he catches her in his arms as she gets in inch from the ground with her long golden locks. For the second time now with not much more grace than before.
Then she has her lips pressed to his neck. Again. I could fall for her quite hard, he thinks, but he obviously, has thought such thoughts before. A rather ferocious amount of wine and vodka and Astika beer are consumed.
Finally around 3 am the camp gets quieter, the Bohemian festival dies down enough for Natasha and Sebastian to sit almost on top of each other, leaning in, coloring the sketch he’s made of their near fall and of her beauty over two pages of his black archive.
She colors quite enthusiastically.
Oh to live just two lives more! He thinks.
As you know, he will get to.
She, this wild woman Natasha is pressing against me and I feel no pain, he cries out in his mind. She just smiles and takes each color rendering his work into a superior rendition via the brightness of the combined war effort.
Finally around 5 am the camp gets quietest, the Bohemian festival dies down enough for bonfire calm without drumming. Ernesto, Natasha and Sebastian sit at the edge of a terrific fire now also dying down. They are quite drunkenly and “derangedely” speaking on the subject of “phantom physics” and “meta reality”. Sebastian is waxing philosophically, as Natasha’s eyes roll, on the theoretical possibility of parallel reality and past lives. He pulls this from somewhere, according to Natasha, “His own ass.”
A little faux-intellectual rant positing his personal theory of existence.
Raphael Ernesto Lynch Contreras nods in agreement, adding his own deductions. His own Mayan prophesies mixed with some Peruvian socialist folklore of the Arequipa Province.
“What if there are other lives running right alongside this one!” exclaims Sebastian Adon, “other possibilities, other potentialities had tiny little digressions been made on the course we follow in this waking life? What if, mind you the slightest digression and decision had yielded a vastly different outcome from what we experience now? And, what if there was some way to step from one reality to another. Moving about time, changing your body while keeping your soul and memories intact?”
Ironically, like as if he had ten thousand spoons and all he needed was a knife; Sebastian Adon has in his drunken stupor articulates exactly what has happened to he and Natasha just two weeks before.
“Fascinating talk boys before we die,” remarks Natasha yawning.
It is to Adon like one of those grand conversations he once one had in the East Village coffee house Yaffa Café over red wine when he was younger. Or on the Golan Heights hills in Syria. Sweet mental nostalgia.
“Do you believe in past lives?” asks Ernesto.
“Well certainly! It’s so primitive to think this is all a show down between god and the devil over souls, one person, one life one try! How pedantic!”
“So then you believe in alternative realities, and also reincarnation?” Ernesto asks.
Natasha makes faces at Sebastian as they go on. The fire continues to die down.
“Tovarish Philosopher I’m tired and have need to be put to sleep,” she says.
“Soon, soon,” Adon says.
“The Old Soul is what I heard it called once,” says Ernesto, when I was boy in Arequipa Province, “the body is but a vessel my father and mother said. Like a suit for the soul strolling across time, across many lives. An Old Soul remembers these lives and in doing so has a mission to accomplish, what the Hindu call a dharma.”
“Boys! Bed!” yells Natasha.
Sebastian asks her for five minutes to finish his idea. She scowls and gives him three and takes off in a pout.
Raphael Ernesto with a devilish smirk says, “Speak of reality later. Go after her or I will.”
And Sebastian catches up with her mid hill and takes her hand.
“Lie with me,” he says.
“That conversation was a lot a lot of bullshit you know,” she says.
“It’s fun to speak about this bullshit sometimes.”
“Where will there be the best sleep for us?”
“I have a blanket,” he says forgetting about the inflatable mattress.
Natasha and Sebastian sit almost on top of each at the top of the hill under the trees. He pulls a black and green Arabian blanket from his ruck sac. She finds anther bottle of wine as if out of thin air. Pours them both glasses. Watches him prepare the bare accommodations. She pages through and returns to late night coloring the sketch he’s made of their fall and of her vastness over two pages of his black archive.
She stares into him with Old Soul eyes.
“Will you be my tovarisha for the whole of festival?” he asks her, “We can share our wine and food and I will watch over you.”
“Ha, ha. Tovarish is gender neutral. It is not changed to “Tovarish-a” for woman. We are equals in Russian. Only word in Russian without gender inflection. Also I need not to be watched after. I am always safe.”
“Be my tovarish then and look after me then.”
“We will see. For now this an ok plan. Likely I will leave you in the morning.”
They draw closer into a cuddle and then complete spoon. She wraps herself within his arms and he holds her like it is his duty, but it is also a thrill of some buried passion. He holds her tight like a little partisan as the trees whisper and the two double blue moons that are out late can blot out reasonable doubt. He likes to hold her.
They curl together on an inflatable mattress and a green Arabian blanket. They are both, for a variety of reasons unaccustomed to the perfect fit of a well-intentioned cuddle.
The fall into what passes as sleep, her first. As if on demand.
“We almost died for nothing,” he says.
“What if I kill all your hope,” she mutters in a whisper.
“What if I loved you until you know just what hope truly is?” he responds to her in muted tone.
“Don’t speak now of such goddamn stupid and impossible things,” she whispers.
They lie together in that Gypsy camp draped into each other on the air mattress and floating on a dream the only two partisans without tents. He dreams of escaping the struggle against the reaper to be forever in her arms and she dreams of a big black cat with a fiddle while a man on the moon plays the world’s smallest violin just for her little Amerikanski. No that’s just a romantic little literary device. He dreams of her and she dreams of nothing at all. Nothing at all she will ever, ever talk about to a man. And that nothingness is a subjective, but not the objective of her inebriations.
A good night for Sebastian is not to dream at all his dreams are clusters nightmares. She has thus has rendered him peaceful. A good night for Natasha is to drink and dance until the night is blur of happy smiling, swirling dance movies and escaping in a peaceful haze. He watches the moon and feels her breathing heavily against him. He is reminded of some great peaceful moment. Whether that is because a beauty lays in his arms, or something more ephemeral, magically real forms an underling narrative, he cannot say.
She snores a little. Makes unintelligible little cute moans. The last thing he thinks holding her looking up at the big blue moon is that if some monster or bandit came from the tree line, if bad men, werewolves, monsters or devils came to hurt them, if they sky fell out above them, if the blue moon became a meteor, he’d never, ever leave her. He’d fight on whatever level he had to keep this woman safe, to marshal every ounce of his abilities to deliver her from any impending strife.
It all felt like déjà vu, as if it happened a few times before this very moment.
She sleeps indifferent to his hold or his guard.
She has survived a nation of thieves to get here and scuttled through a den of vipers since arrival. Sleeping in a park, with or without “protection”, with or without a mattress or a pillow, these are not so high on her hierarchy of concerns. Amongst many other pressing troubles, the Vodka sung her to sleep.
And the big blue full moon lit up the sky marking on the lunar calendar the end of an epoch and beginning of an existential war.