Borough of Brooklyn, 2012ce
Bohemian gypsy encampment,
He awakes on Onderdonk fields and she is still in his arms. She is warm and breathing deeply and clutching his hand to her ample breasts and thus is pressing her body against and besides him. Very much engorged he presses his hardness into the plump of her buttocks as if waiting for her to wine.
The sun has very much arisen. He finds it very tranquil and makes no effort to wrest her into wake field yet. The drumming has begun again and the camp is awakening and she smells of perfume and also cigarettes.
Sprawled out on a Persian carpet, on a now deflated air mattress the thick of him pressed against her rear parts, tits in hand he smiles happy victory; for she is most beautiful.
The Labor Day weekend is allowing about half of the teeming eleven million multitude of the NYC masses not to engage in much less Monday work. This Festival is well timed but is a small Gypsy side show to Winkle and Baltic’s production at Pzeier Chemical Factory, OR the Juveaurt festivities before the Labor Day Parade on Monday.
“Today is just Saturday which means there are three more to go!” declares Raphael Ernesto, “hooray for our liberated labor! Labor Day is designed to fall not anywhere near international May Day, which is communist international workers day to all other workers. Labor Day is designed to separate the bullets from the proverbial gun of the American proletariat,” Ernesto Lynch explains as Natasha rolls her eyes and throws back some breakfast Vodka Oleg Megved has obtained to wash down late breakfast.
Oleg Megved, the Ukrainian-Israeli photographer ‘from Boston’ exclaims: “This man looks just like Mayakovski!”
“You’re right, it’s the hat and uniform and red arm band. A little junior communist we have here,” agreed Natasha.
“Who was Mayakovsky,” asks Sebastian Adon.
“Mayakovski was the greatest Russian Poet that ever lived,” says Oleg.
Natasha had then cut in sardonically, “the second or third greatest of his period at the very least.”
“And you look just like him!” she says pointing to Sebastian.
“He had lovers all over the cities and the towns! Stalin let him tour Europe, Cuba, Mexico and America knowing he’d bring those capitalist pigs to their knees: Just with words,” puts in Oleg Megved.
“Let me put on this cap while you draw me more perfectly,” Natasha orders him.
He did as she ordered. And she looked like a partisan girl wearing it, a freedom fighter made so by the circumstances of her times, certainly not of individual ideals, bare and rugged necessity made fearless.
Early deaths for most.
“Spitting image of a Partizan,” said Oleg Megved.
A burly Russian gangster, although really of Ukrainian origin with a puzzling stopover in the Promised Land north of Tel Aviv, an Arab ghetto citadel called Nazareth, only an Amerikanski might dub him “a Russian”.
Or to use Adon’s favorite lexicon a “Former Soviet” or “Postsoviet.”
“Mayakovski was something of a total romantic and free radical,” Natasha then went on, “he wrote no less than thirteen volumes of Soviet poetry. A full third just to his tovarish, lover and muse Lily Brik.”
“Tell him about Lily Brik,” says Oleg the Bear.
“Let him read about it,” said Natasha Andreavna.
Sebastian who was earlier working on an epic caracatura of Victoria and Raphael; has turned his artistic abilities toward the capture of Natasha’s breasts on paper.
“Woman, tell him the goddamn story of Lilya Brik,” commands Ernesto.
Natasha grabs Sebastian Adon by his artistic medical coat tails and lays the sordid affair down in New Speak, Jive;
“So here you have Russia’s greatest poet and writer. Stalin gives him a Carte Blanche to get away with almost anything. So here we have his madness and his love life. He meets Lily Brik and her publisher husband early in career and they have a sick ménage where husband and Mayakovski have to share Lily while being partners themselves creatively.”
“They lived together right up until his suicide. He had to sometimes listen to her screw him from the kitchen even! That level of openness about the affair was absolute as her husband was a polyandrous man, a futurist,” she declares.
“What is a Futurist,” Sebastian asks.
“We believe in the future,” Natasha says calmly.
Oleg gives her a look, and grins a burly grin.
“A Futurist rejects all aspect of his past, the utility of pasts in general.”
“This is what I just said,” Natasha snaps at him.
“You didn’t say it gracefully enough in English for my liking,” Ernesto sneers playfully.
She give him dagger eyes and continues.
“In the end of many trials and many years Mayakovski couldn’t wrest her away from her husband, his closest friend and lifelong editor and then at age 36 he put a gun to his head and ended his foolish, albeit brilliant life over this Brik woman.”
“And then there was also the Tatiana affair in Paris to complicate the matter further,” breaks in Oleg Megved, “two perfect archetypes of unobtainable Russian women one red and one white.”
“Don’t kill all his limited American hope in one shot of story,” retorts Natasha, “Vasa will go acquire the books if he wants to hear the whole series of events.”
And shortly after Vasa and Natasha leave the encampment to wander the urban wastelands looking for a bodega and a place to buy more wine.
They make a curious spectacle walking together through the desolate warehouse district. There was not a Bodega in miles it seemed.
The district was quite bleak and they were alone on a lonely highway except for an occasional passing mac or semi-truck. Her yellow dress blows in the wind, but the sun still beats down and he offers her a water canteen and she drinks and hands him a cigarette.
They’re looking for a Bodega in the wilderness.
The grim warehouses are all one or two stories, all fortified and locked down with tall walls and barbed wire. The place is mostly without any life and smells of asphalt melting in the hottest heat of summer.
Eventually after a great deal of wandering small talk they find some foods and make their way back to gypsy camp.
“Could I be plain with you brother,” Sebastian asks Oleg the bear as they watch the girls fool around in the huge rubber inflatable pool, “what is the Russian mentality?”
“Oh, that’s just an American code word for building elaborate prejudices to former and Post Soviets. Or maybe the bunker mentality of thieves in law locked together under iron curtain quarantine.”
“Quite so. That’s what you’re old government did to our revolution and then what our government did to us to preserve it. Locked us down in our Soviet Union.”
“There were other variables.”
“I am no apologist, but the Stalin I grew up with or should I say read about growing up for he was dead; was a very different Stalin than the one you maybe, or maybe not encountered in you college political science. To you all growing up the Soviet Union was an authoritarian gulag state of bread lines and deprivation. To us, growing up before the fall in 1989; it was our country. It was not spectacularly better or worse than yours. But we all could read and we all had jobs and no one was starving and since 1/3 of the world was within our red sphere the quarantine was less impactful. Our zone ran from Havana to Ho Chi Min City; south ways as far as Angola.”
“Your government and your media spent early one hundred years teaching you red terror. The school house desk hiding fallout shelter raids, the numerous adventures with torture abroad, the missile crisis, the Reagan years it all built up a viral fear and hate. And anyway you know what you do with your enemy’s women! Ha. The men are supposed to be barbarians and the women all whores. This is picture your country painted of “Ivan”, well my country too now,” he laughs.
“Agreed, whores and criminals is the stereotype, but I’m talking about the so called mentality. The effects of the iron quarantine.”
“We like new things, this is true, but more importantly we like true security without being in anyone’s debt. Those that even remember the former Soviet Union remember only its hardships mostly via stories told to them. Deprivations and breadlines they really at this stage were too young to remember. I was born in Ukraine, but I really grew up in Israel so I’m not even so shaped by this past. And of course, I’m something of a Jew. At least below the belt. Those that grew up after the fall of communism likely tasted western things and culture and simply grew up knowing they could be better off here. So some like my family used their Jewish heritage to go through Israel then here. Some got stuck in Israel, enough for the fourth national language to now be Russian.”
“Yeah I remember that was about to happen when last I was there,” Adon says.
“Mentality? I don’t know, people are people, we all like a good laugh, some happiness, a toast and a good fuck!”
“Well I believe that, but I think people process data differently.”
“No comrade, not so differently at all. That Natasha you’re consorting with has just gotten off the boat. Whatever barriers between you both seem to have ben easily dispelled with vodka, wine and dancing did they not?”
“I’ve always had something for Russian women.”
“That’s because there’s nothing better than Russian women, everyone knows that of course.”
“Why is it though?! What is it about them,” muses Adon.
“Well I bet you have many most misguided theories.”
“Surely I do.”
“They make incredibly pliant whores” states Oleg to see a reaction.
But, there is none.
Oleg, who got off the boat quite literally three days ago wonders if he has the right mark. This Adon is a charachture of the potentially fearsome guerilla leader his file claimed him to be. This man was, well he was a nostalgic poet. A hipster even living in another age, perhaps uncomfortable in his very own skin. Not a leader of men. Could this really be the most fearsome operative the American résistance had?
“Russian mentality; this sounds like an American device to reduce us all to whores and vicious gangsters. Your media likes this kind of objectification to enable you to kill and rape us with less moral indignation” says Oleg.
“Perhaps that’s the truth though is that many of you do seem to have whore and gangster tendencies.”
“If you claim it,” Oleg.
Natasha storms up to them appearing quite distraught as well as intoxicated.
“Drink man,” she says foisting a bottle upon them. She shoves a cold bottle of red Georgian wine into Oleg’s hands. And he thanks her in Russian.
The she suddenly exclaims;
“I must leave! There is someone who will ask serious questions if I don’t.”
“Please do instead stay,” Sebastian lets alcohol speak for him, “nothing will happen if you do,” pleads Adon.
“You don’t know anything about what will or will not happen to me anyhow!”
“Please stay, its already night and if you leave I’ll have to follow my code and escort you all the way home and then I’ll be waking up drunk on the beach in Brighton certainly.”
“I don’t need you to get home safe.”
“Well the code says real men don’t let women take the trains’ home by themselves after dark.”
“What stupid code is this?”
“The Code of the Haitian gentleman,” he replies.
“Well I am bound by no such nigger code and now I take my leave man.”
“I’ll bring you home,” says Adon abandoning his responsibilities to protect the camp completely notes Oleg the bear.
She storms off and he follows after her and this in itself seems like a thing that has happened and will happen again as if a cosmic comedy.
“I live in Brighton,” she declares, which is very long way off.
Like an aroused puppy he follows her blindly out into the blue moon lit night. But they only make it as far as a tavern down the road called the Cobra Club, a few drinks later they change course back to camp and never make it to Brighton at all.