Wall Street Banya Spa 88, 2009ce
FLASH BACK! In the wood ceilinged restaurant of a Russian Bathhouse that stinks of sweat and also vaguely of fornication, buried below the streets of the Financial District a long conversation is coming to a close. An emergency medical technician named Sebastian Adon is finishing up a good yarn to a young Ukrainian medical student named Yelizaveta Alexendreavna Perechenova who has recently become his platonic confident. The aim of such storytelling is that she might let him pour cold water upon her, let him gaze at her young tight and voluptuous, near naked body, captivate him with her eyes and take in his all his ambulance war stories. Of which he has plenty. He’s been writing her for months.
And this has been a great success for the last four hours.
Everything is fully dilated.
They know each other through an old associate of Adon’s named Dmitry Khulusin, a man of exceedingly low moral character. Sebastian Adon is an avid fan of former and post Soviets. They remind him of something that is tough and also fearless; loyal to a red line and of course exceedingly beautiful and open minded in the bed room to just about anything. Adon has been writing Yelizaveta letters for over seven months. He’s not sure why. Attention? It isn’t simply to sleep with her. Although as a man of course he would not turn that prospect down. He’s a man always highly in need of a confidant, for he’s nearly always in some form of emergency mode.
It has been a rocky road of activism, arrest, trial and tribulation since he first came back from the State of Ivory nearly ten years ago in 2001 shortly after the 9-11 martyr operation.
To her he’s a fiery train wreck of comedy and tragic idealism. She observed him at Hunter University and on the Book Face for some time. He cannot possibly be cut of normal Amerikanski cloth. He is a curiosity to which she can devote sporadic time. A minor deviation from her studies at Stonybrook.
The story this time has been about his moral descent post deportation from the State of Pal-Israel, called by some (the Canaanites) Palestine and called by others (the Ivory); Israel. He had recently attempted to return there to visit a long lost associate by the name of Maya Solomon.
He was immediately arrested at the airport.
His two days in Lod Prison were recounted and about Ivories not taking kindly to him working on a Canaanite ambulance for a week; four years prior was much of today’s yarn. The Israelis kind of hold a “whose suicide are you on” type grudge. About them beating him, water boarding him, hitting him with lights, electricity and kicking him repeatedly in the groin bellowing in Russian.
Sebastian Adon ethnically speaking is one quarter Fenian; one quarter Russian; one quarter Prussian; and some part Polish Iv; therefore he makes a good little Brooklyn mutt. Or perhaps at best an exceedingly good liberal New Yorker. He drives ambulances for FDNY going on two years in the South Bronx; he sometimes drinks too much liquor and brutalizes a girlfriend sexually; but nothing rapey or violent. Cuffs, anal, threesomes with whores, foursomes with couples, loads on tits and faces. The product of a generation raised on porn. He’s got loose and transient morals that he justifies with his ambiguous vocation. He likes the idea of human rights, but isn’t sure if humans know they have any, or sometimes if they deserve them. He likes the idea of communism, but isn’t clear why the communist revolutions were mostly violent autocracies. He has basic values that are in essence good, Yelizaveta agrees, though she is vaguely appalled to hear him speak of his escapades’ and depravities.
She heard that Maria left him because he got drunk and swam into the Atlantic last September after a fight. The Russian rumor mill was faster medium than Book Face.
Sebastian has led a small revolutionist club since his return from Palestine in 2001 that has caused him considerable trouble; but alas capitalism still rules in the USA, despite his and others best efforts to defeat it.
“There’s a half black president promising to end the wars, forgive student debt and provide universal free healthcare,” Yelizaveta says, “you weren’t all totally defeated.”
Occupy was two years away and the general uprising called the Great Revolt about three.
“Why are you an ambulance man?” she asks him.
While completing a degree in Political Science at City University Sebastian took a job as an emergency medical technician and this seems to have tempered some of his previous radical fervor, but not by much.
“I like helping people,” comes his scripted response.
Sebastian is just under six feet tall. After they get dressed and meet in the banya lobby where she tries to pay and makes sure not to let her. He’s wearing a blue FDNY job shirt he’s gotten personally emblazoned with the Israeli flag, an irony under the circumstances of recent events. The Irish had been putting on such patches for years, however the window for other ethnicities was about to be cut short once the West Indians began wearing their flags into battle so to speak. He has bags under his eyes because he works life’s night shift. He wants her in every way a man can desire a woman but has never told her thus so far in the two years he’s known her. After Maria left he intensified the courtship. That is largely because he at first was fooled into loving another, lesser woman, second because he’s a coward when it comes to his actual emotions and did little to pursue the more likely reaction to his affections; which was surely bewilderment and rejection. So he just kept the letters about big ideas not passions.
“I like some of your collectively written documents. But you go on and on sometimes and need to get to the point,” she says.
Yelizaveta likes things with references. She likes looking up anything that seems suspect, which when it comes to Adon, is a lot. She knows he keeps things from her to preserve a somewhat sanctimonious appearance of some kind of bohemian revolutionary ambulance hero.
Just fifteen minutes before they’d both been lying near naked in a Russian Banya called Spa 88. He was putting the story on her about something crazy that had just gone down on what was supposed to be his first vacation in three years. After some other story about a threesome with Maria.
But it isn’t a vacation if you spend the whole time in a prison. And it isn’t a real threesome if she runs out of the room crying while you fuck her best friend.
Which didn’t happen, it was just something that turned him on to say in front of her. In reality, he had gotten into a fight with her in September on Block Island and followed Jeremey McGaffey’s ghost out to sea for several hours.
The local police found him several hours later walking naked down the road with and carrying an enormous rock.
“I think you need to go back to school and get more medical training,” she says, “you’re a glorified cab driver with an oxygen tank. You’re not living up to your expectations of yourself.”
“I’ll forgive your lack of appreciation; we’re god’s avenging angels with sirens I’ll have you know.”
When Adon feels cornered he typically drops into grandiose rhetoric.
“Sebastian. You, are a terrific story teller, but let’s not forget where we stand in life’s chain of command shall we. I am a student and you are a truck driver with a stethoscope, if we wish to be more than that there is such a long road ahead. ”
He wishes she was less coy; less belittling of his profession and what was left of his idealism. He guesses it isn’t true love, not when sentiments of rough degrading sex run across the conscience. But if it was simply do her in the back of an ambulance type love, she’d have seen right through it, likely been appalled. He believes in impossible, undoable things. Kids himself into thinking he’s the man for the job.
But she’s not impressed by all that.
Sebastian Adon, is of course in the twilight of his young adult life. He has been driving an ambulance for three years thinking someone would call him a hero at some point, hoping, believing that there was gonna be a chance to save some lives.
“I’ve saved eight lives,” he informs her as he sometimes has before. It’s a justification for why he hasn’t quit the job yet.
“Well don’t let anybody take that from you,” she retorts.
“I want to reiterate that the reason we civil servants feel so entitled is that the rest of you are unwilling to work the conditions we are and face the raw un-adulterated bullshit the people of this city are quite willing to put us through. We guard you while you sleep and you pay us like pizza men. I think this job has taken more from us than we were able to give to our city. And when the city is gone I assure you it is because we have abandoned hope in it.”
“You’re so preachy and poetic, I kind of love it sometimes,” she utters as she rubs her fingers together, “that’s the world’s smallest violin playing just for you.”
Adon is the kind of man who at this juncture can still be motivated by even the world’s smallest violin.
At least to him life then has a theme song.
Shortly after banya she leaves him to take the A train back to Washington Heights to get back to her studies, leave s him alone with his black thoughts.