S T R A S T
“THE PASSION OF DARIA MACCLUSKEY”
At a hanging garden in Isle of Man
In Newyorkgrad it gets so evil hot in the late of Summer. The citadel of shrill billionaires and unwashed foreign masses longing to wear designer sneakers becomes a swelter box. Most people of any means flee to their dachas in Strong Island to avoid it. Dawn is now rising on a roof garden. Five friends up and out all night sit atop a seventeen story print house converted to a housing cooperative. One of lowest lying structures left in the Financial District. Sebastian Vasilivich Adonaev, over a bottle of Basque wine, tells old danger tales to those who will and can still listen. It is the second to last weekend of Thermidor and soon summer will end. A fake gold watch dangles off his left wrist as he enunciates his wild tale with his hands. Covering his dark brown hair is a brown leather skally cap.
On the roof garden of the old converted print house on Nassau Street, slim and enthusiastic Europeans Amelia Monteleone and Viktoria Christiana Lynch Contreras snap off photos and clink glasses bantering on while intoxicated. Raphael Ernesto Lynch Contreras, a wild man, is baby faced with flowing black hair. Salt and pepper streaks show he’s aging. Slightly poorly thanks to war and alcoholism. He is at least on green card the husband of Viktoria. Raphael sits with his dear friend Sebastian and a beautiful Russian dvotchka named Daria Andreavna. Raphael attempts a boozy mediation. Sebastian and Daria evil eye each other viciously across a low wooden table. She has big blue crazy person eyes. An affectionate rendering in Russian of Daria is ‘Dasha’, and this is what Sebastian has been calling her all night. They had been introduced several months before, but both had been way too drunk to remember. They both are regulars at the ‘Mehanata Social Club’, but he more on Thursdays and she more on Saturdays. Sebastian is telling a dangerously insensitive story. Daria is appalled. Sebastian removes his skally cap and says, “The job, and operation; call it as you want, involves calling on high end prostitutes whose numbers one acquires in the association of banker men and or your those of Post or former Soviet back ground, mostly at the Banya. Sebastian loves the way everything sounds in Russian. Fucking, fighting, and partisan songs. Though he knows under three dozen small phrases and can barely read Cyrillic, he’s an enthusiast of wanting things he cannot possibly have.
“So shortly after the girls arrive and give you some fictitious cover. You take a coat and as they walk in and settle on a price that will involve no bit of touching at all. Then, you tell them that they’re being filmed and recorded, but that you’re not a cop. Not some rich pervert or a Mossadnik. Or who-ever else weird and dangerous. You’re not there to entrap them for absolutely anything. You can tell them you’re an abolitionist, or keep it real apolitical.”
Puff, puff passes along this ill-conceived venture.
“You tell them to call down to the driver and say your John is layered out like Charlie Sheen.”
“Tiger-blooded,” notes Raphael Ernesto.
“Then you make tea. You tell them a little storah. A personal tale about why you are not a dog or a pig. Intermixed with questions you plan to answer. How you came to hate this line of work. Because maybe you had loved someone forced into it. You convince them to take and perhaps disseminate to other persons a number to arrest traffickers and pimps. Also, how to get such trafficked and victimized people the resources they need to escape such work. They get the job cash for nothing. We’re in an era of creating digital money and printing convincing hundos. What’s fucking money? We can print it easily these days faster than they can secure it. A number, a simple number which is a real way out of the night life. They get that number on a card. You ask them to put it in their phone. Eventually, the poor unfortunate soul either will pass the number along or report it directly to the pimps. But, inevitably you force a violent hand and spread the knowledge that there is in fact a networked way to escape such slavery, were they so inclined. It’s cheaper and more effective than lobbying or useless political routes. All the cops are on the take anyway. We must go directly to the slaves and assure them there is safe way out. The next stage then is to get our various operatives into brothels to feign cardiac arrest and call in ambulances and firemen in as reinforcements. Then burn them down.”
Her jaw basically drops.
“They would kill you just for that nonsense,” she spits out.
“For such bullshit man! For a lot less than bull shit. A number! I spit on your American number. For insulting low grade bullshit that changes nothing. You would die. They would kill those dear to you too. Nothing at all will be fixed about anything, not one woman will walk free. It is bourgeois liberal thinking,” retorts Daria.
All the regality of being born all Slavic, but outside the great dividing highway that loops the Moscow capital separating the have everything’s from the have nothings or have only little somethings. Being born so radiantly beautiful and tough and Russian after the alleged triumph of Capitalist Modernity has left her charming and capable of fight. She is quite far ‘from Russia with love’, rootless and floating in glittery fairy tales that don’t expel the daily hardships of her newly adopted country. Though her card was not green yet.
“I am not afraid to die for a thing I believe in sweetness. At the cost of all my American privileges. They say anyway that I’m hard man to make disappear,” Sebastian flatly retorts.
“He has such dumb American beliefs blat!” she mocks, “I guess you’ve never had to work for anything. Or work to keep something you fought hard for blat. So you would give away most easily. Your life seems so easily offered. To take, if you ask me,” she snaps at his bait.
“Hey, lady, you are insulting to my dear friend and our gracious host,” sternly interjects Raphael, “This man, you have no idea what he’s been through to back up these words. This man is a people’s hero!”
Daria could care less about the Peruvian definition of so-called ‘heroism’. She is appalled by Sebastian’s cynical little story about call girls passing, itself off as incompetent activism. So she offers to kill him. He obliges her. Thinks she’s bluffing, but doesn’t care if she’s not not.
‘I’ll kill this over privileged American hypocrite,’ she thinks. A civic duty to my new mother land and the old country too blat! ‘This shit head knows not with whom he plays,’ she thinks. Mostly, she maintains a mighty level of the not giving of a single shit. Not one fuck of a fuck, of a shit. She’s an off day. She’s totally blacked out. She won’t remember anything. She only remembers every other night out when she drinks. The rest of them form an intractable blur. A black haze punctuated with irregular black and blue marks. “From falling down stairs.” If she really kills him, the tragedy, as far as a memory, will really belong to no one.
Rafael implores her to be more, “Suave, Suave!” To be more calm and “Tranquillo.” The once infamous Peruvian revolutionist, now moonlighting as a Newyorkgrad low key digital disk jockey and designer jeans mender. He cannot even barely modulate Sebastian’s posturing ego and Dasha’s swaggerous, murderous taunting. Now they’re waving invisible pistols at each others’ faces like wild Middle Easterners.
“You think like a nigger!” she yells at him.
The job of any and all men as far as she is concerned is please her by makings sure her drink is never empty and that life is a series of taken care of attractions, to make her life easier. He has failed at both in his utter self-serving arrogance.
“So you’re gonna kill me? Or just fucking threaten on about it?” says Sebastian in her face.“Absofuckinglutely,” she replies, “your life is bullshit, thus your death is certain blat.”
Before Rafael can talk them down they’re going up a ladder. Up to the 18th level deck. It’s more of an easterly platform atop the roof garden with the massive blue glass Geary Building towering just an alley ways distance away. Thousands of expensive little cubicles for the lower upper class. Sports players, fancy pied a terres to stuff a mistress and city homes for the lower ranks of the financial class. But all the lights are out. A great setting for a hastily arranged assisted suicide.
Now, they’re bare knuckled boxing! Daria is in a boxing school in Brighton. She strikes at him hard. But it isn’t his first rodeo.
“Die you shit! You fucking Amerikansky! You wasted one blat,” she spits at him.
Rafael is actually too drunk to get up the ladder to intervene. Amelia and Victoria have stopped their camera phone art making over white wine and look up with moderate concern, moderate care. Actually, only Rafael knows Daria and Sebastian intimately enough to really care. As he is in love with both of them. Rafael knows a lot about Sebastian’s other life aboard as ‘Kawa Zivistan’, a wanted rebel throughout the peripheral colonies. A partisan leader in the American guerrilla. Not spooks nor the police forces had taken him so far, or gotten very close to making him die. A beautiful woman might now get close enough. They are boxing pretty close to the ledge. But to be honest, Amelia fucked him twice and it was mediocre. Viktoria only uses him for hints about Rafael’s infidelity. Rafael, has drank too much. His brain is just too wet to get him up that ladder.
“You don’t want to live here forever?!” Daria taunts him.
Their boxing and taunting has them perilously near the edge of the roof. She is striking hits and he is just taking her hits and then, then it comes. Thwack. She cracks his jaw hard. He grins at her with a little blood on the lip.
“Hit me to kill me! Just knock me into that fucking pit! Make a good inglorious end to it. It’s all bullshit you know. I’ll just come back,” Sebastian declares in Russian.
The most beautiful woman he has ever seen is just a side story in his own mind. His own much larger tragedy propels him to make questionable life choices, such as this one. “Kill me blat!” he beckons. Then, she tries to really kill him. She’s moves so fucking fast, like she’s basically trained in the ‘School of Alcoholism’. Daria cocks back and doesn’t even blink. She hits him in the throat with the right and then with the left, crack! He topples backwards off the roof. As Sebastian plummets back, he grabs out instinctively. Yanks her with him. They tumble together off the ledge. They plummet to the alley way below. The flesh snaps apart. Two souls leave their bodies from a pile of bloody pointless death.
At a Funeral in the Bronks
“BURYING ONES FRIENDS”
Somewhere in that vast and hideous sprawling red brick barrio called ‘the Boogie Down’, anxiety is high and some are truly miserable. The story continues. A sea of low rise six story tenements and failed experiments in brutalist brick affordable housing run alongside highway beds. Then eventually that barrio sprawl, that cramped dead place of Spanish speaking poverty becomes a green and hilly oasis. Populated by the Albanians actually. This juxtaposition is striking. South of the Cross Bronks Expressway, the place is a fourth or fifth world country. To the north, something manageable takes shape. An Albanian suburb that mostly sat out the class war.
The friends of Sebastian Adonaev, known by many here as ‘Kawa Zivistan’ came from all five boroughs. They find their way north along those endless highway systems. Some too on trains. Some on buses or motor cycles or Guyanese modified muscle cars. The friends of the dead end up eventually in a place called the Wakefield Commune. Like most places in the Bronks, it has way too many people living there and no elevators. The vast labor reserve ghetto south of the expressway for the mostly Spanish speaking working class, it ends abruptly. The Albanians keep everything in their districts clean of the dirt they do everywhere else. The bleak and miserable looking South Bronks with it’s third world mentality and fourth world life span becomes almost a physical reminder of the culture and differences of the races religions. Or, more specifically perhaps how they are treated by the ruling order and secret police.
Viktoria Christiana Contreras is dressed in all black, a lace vale covering a pretty albeit heavily make upped face and contacts which turn her eyes feline brown blue. Her husband, Rafael Contreras is in denim jeans and black shirt as he owns no funeral appropriate suit. He has only sobered himself up long enough to attend the two funerals. Raffa is unshaven. His baby face is markedly hard for the first time in many years. The weather is poorly, really it seems in the Bronx hot or cold, the weather is always poorly. It is nearly the end of summer, but it had refused to snow this year. The weather machines were in real anarchy or Newyokgrad’s oligarchy is slipping. They are in a crowd of several hundred mourners.
The first Funeral is for Kawa Zivistan, the infamous partisan known by those who really know him as Sebastian Vasilivich Adonaev. It is very well attended considering all the bridges he has burned this year. Very few people believe he is really dead. Everyone is speaking of “not seeing it coming.” Also of his ‘incredible potential’ now buried just as many had suspected before his 30th year. It is rather like a sad circus actually. There are way too many people speechifying, justifying and explaining, and there is an overabundance of booze flask flowing. Who will lead the tribe? Many of the mourners are Negs. Many are wearing blue ambulance Class A dress event uniforms. His parents are kind and bourgeoisie. They don’t break down or cry. They just quietly hold court and whisper on the sidelines. His mother in particular conspiring with select old friends paying their respects.
It is a closed casket affair. Kawa had allegedly shot himself twice in the head with small caliber pistol and then toppled seventeen stories off a roof. Or he was executed. With two bullets to the head. Then thrown off the roof. Either one could have been true if you really knew him. Which to be fair a lot of these people did. Some had served with him in the emergency medical services. Some were from ‘the organization’. A few had fucked him. Others had made love with him for his poems or his hyper-colorful, somewhat naughty little drawings. Most are family. Most are comrades. There is very little left of his face. Seemed possibly the work of the secret police. Or his own work, hard to really say. Similar to how Rahula Today the famous martyr from Detroit had died in 2068. A little too similar. How do you shoot yourself twice?
Theoretically, it is an Ivory funeral. But the only thing Yiddish about it was that it is done on the tasteful but cheap, and scheduled to go on for seven days. There was liquor and also warm fresh bagels and various kinds of smoked fish. He was to go in the ground less than 24 hours after his alleged suicide. There not being a note was the most unnerving aspect of the whole thing. Kawa was amongst other things a very prolific writer. Not leaving a suicide note was highly suspect, completely anticlimactic. Out of character. The inner circle knew exactly why he’d gone and done what he did, kept it to themselves. What he thought he had to do. Whether he died by his own hand, or got snuffed; well it all had to do with that Maccluskey broad.
“Over a woman that didn’t even love him!” explains his oldest friend Nikholai Trickovitch. Then he spits on the floor and does a shot, “That dumb little Suka set him up! Blat.”
“I want to see the fucking body,” demands a woman named Anya Drovtich with thick black dreads and the blue F.D.N.Y. Emergency Medical Service uniform that many are wearing out of respect for the fact that Kawa had once been an E.M.T. with that prestigious organization. For four years until the Bureau of Trials and Interrogations had forced him out after various plots and labor agitations centered around the island nation of Ayiti. As well as a controversial subversive newspaper. Many core members of the resistance are of course E.M.T.s, Paramedics and also some Fire Fighters with the organization Kawa built during the long dark lost years. Anya just says what many are thinking, but few other than the parents, Trickovitch or Mickhi Dbrisk had the familiarity with the dead to outright declare.
Plain Viktoria and wild Rafael stand quietly drinking vodka in the background. They recognize many of Kawa’s associates. From dinner parties. From late night salons on revolution. Comrades and former lovers. Also the fair weather comrades who mostly drank his wine and ate his food. Who do so even in his time of death. Many, if not all are from the from the Z.O.B. His gang, clique, club, party and ‘cult’, which many have and did still call it. Whatever it had been, or still secretly was it wasn’t over with the death of Kawa Zivistan. After decades of clandestine organizing, theirs was a durable Otriad, the realization of an American guerrilla movement.
Viktoria knows the female faces slightly better than the male ones. Dinner parties and long nights at Mehanata, where Kawa would hold court up on the Mezzanine. Making deals and handing out homework assignments. She’s mostly stayed out of the Z.O.B. club affairs, despite his many attempts to rope her in. Rafael however is absolutely more involved. Inside the internal club politics, he knows almost everyone here. Since despite the blur of the drink, he’s a Kadro.
“The casket stays closed, sister,” declares Mickhi Dbrisk, a tall Jamaican gangster in a black pea coat. His gray armband and the small silver lion pin on his left lapel indicating him as a person of authority here. Openly marked as member of the ‘People’s Defense Forces’. The bulge of a pistol can be seen if you known where to look.
“I won’t believe he’s dead until I see the body,” Anya repeats.
The mob of comrades and family mills about in the brick-house cold. The mother of the dead man nods to Mickhi Dbrisk. Kawa’s mother has strange circular, red wizard spectacles. His father is portly and normally jovial, albeit not really such as his first son’s latest funeral. Dbrisk opens the casket. There lies a body. A body with no head. In theory it is the body of a prolific poet. A dedicated paramedic, partisan and hooligan named Kawa Zivistan. His head is severed, completely missing. His gray multiform is still very crisp. The Ayitian flag of Palmares is tucked in his left breast pocket. Red and blue with the tree of life. Cannons and spears defending hard won and bloody liberty.
“Where’s his fucking head?” mutters Anya in Arabic.
Rafael Ernesto and his wife Viktoria take a black town car hired out from the Mexican Express. Kawa’s funeral was in the North Bronx but Dasha’s is in Little Odessa, Southern Breuklyn.
Four hours in traffic, three shots of vicious Rakia, two Baltika 9s and a steady flow of Stolichnaya Premium and a pretty long car service ride later, they make it to Breuklyn a bit after sun down. Through way too many different factional check points. Inter-borough transit is getting prohibitively expensive. On the southern coast of Breuklyn they arrive at a pretty bleak gathering. This second funeral is quite small, but rather fancy. ‘The bitch didn’t die on the cheap’, thinks Viktoria. It’s on the very other side of of the grad.
There are fewer than two dozen people there. No speaks anything but Russian and no one cries except the mom. Dasha looks as beautiful dead as she ever did alive. Like a gently sleeping doll. The funeral is nominally ‘Russian Orthodox’, as that was her patron’s religion is. Although Daria was allegedly some part Ivoryish. Probably a deception. The patron has spared no expense. Her mother had been flown in from Penza. Based on the patron’s insistence she was to be buried here and not sent back to Russia.
There are a couple lady friends of the night that Viktoria recognizes from the tavern. Dumb foreign gold digging whores, she thinks. There is an assortment of men. All looking suspiciously at each other. Daria had a fan club and none of them are amateur. Rafael’s Russian is much stronger than Viktoria’s. Being American native, she speaks middle English and low English. Though it is his fourth language, he can follow the mood. He makes out vaguely hushed interactions. Scene size ups and accusations.
Viktoria knows actually very little about the nightlife of Daria, outside of the Bulgarian Tavern ‘Mehanata’. She can fill some blanks though. Even though virtually anything the girl said was a total lie. There was a paper work husband named Maccluskey. There was a ‘boyfriend’ named Serge paying for an apartment in Brighton. There was a corporate lawyer named Dmitry, who was her patron and was paying for her school and credit cards. She had a best friend named Tanya, a funny looking little emaciated tramp. Viktoria can basically only guess at who everyone else is besides the patron. Holding court on his failed investment. Allegedly, Daria’s black heart had stopped roughly 48 hours ago. The medical examiner inconclusively blamed a hazardous midnight cocktail of Red bulls, Vodka shots, Cocaine, and something else they couldn’t really identify. Daria was known to play with all that stuff, pretty often.
Some homies found her body at the Stillwell elevated rail station. She was pronounced dead shortly after a work up at Coney Island Hospital. She had in her purse a small book of poems written to her by one ‘Kawa Zivistan’. Who, allegedly killed himself just one day after confirming she was gone.
“Allegedly, blat” was the only word in Americano being bandied about this funeral.
“Who to blame for the death of my daughter?” her mother asks Viktoria in real broken English when no one seems to be paying attention, “which one of these men?”
“I’m sorry I just don’t know.”
“My Dasha told us there was a crazy poet in love with her. Want rescue her from, this kept life. Life of shit in non-glamours Amerika. She say-tell me, this poet man. Trying steal her away. For about one year. Who kill my daughter really?”
“I just don’t know, I’m so sorry” repeats Viktoria.
“Is man here now? This fucking shit, this Kawa Zivistan Suka?”
“No. Kawa is dead too. He shot himself. Twice. After identifying your daughter’s corpse. We just came from his funeral,” says Rafael quietly knowing there are lots of bad man killers here. Rafael, drunk again, looks like he might cry looking down at Daria’s body. Buried in hyper-expensive completely out of season Peony flowers in fancy white casket with gold trim. He had loved her. While still partly loving his paper work wife Viktoria in sad way too of course. Everyone had loved Daria Andreavna. She had dark magic and ‘tits galore’. She had style, cunning and class. Without knowing very much about her, many men had tried to have her. Because she was young and free and exotic and beautiful and impossible to tame. She was a true collectors item.
Many men here had tried to own her in one way or another. Her husband, her boyfriends and her sponsor patron included. Many of which are now here.
“Who to blame for this total catastrophe?” asks the mother again.
Nobody really knew. Allegedly, a lot of fucking things had happened over the course of the year, in the wilderness of Newyorkgrad, the third most powerful city on earth. The ziggurat of many, many lights and towers.
“A senseless tragedy blat. A senseless goddamn waste of…,” the very well-dressed man in the custom cut black silver blue suit whose name is Dmitry Khulushin, had almost said ‘talent’ aloud, but instead, says “…of perfection.”
Daria’s mother begins to sob hysterically which is permissible for a woman and mother to do at a Russian funeral. Skinny little Tanya tries to comfort her but starts crying too. Her daughter had come a very long way to die obscurely, for absolutely nothing. Viktoria grabs Rafael by the arm, “It’s time to leave. Now. Her browns eyes say she means it. Rafael looks like shit. Real poorly. The sometimes hard defenses of his machismo crumpled on the ride over, any minute now he could get in a bad fight. They Fenian exit.
They wait in the terrible cold outside. The funeral was held at ‘The National’ on Neptune Avenue. Another Mexican Express cab is coming to take them home to District Greenpoint. Rafael begins to weep heavily. Sobbing for Dasha, whom he very much loves, loved, no, loves. And for Sebastian too who was one of his closest real friends in this bleak city. He had introduced them and thus feels now, more than any other moment in the year prior, responsible for what has happened. Since in truth only he knows the full story of it. In both Peruvian as well as Russian culture, ‘real men’ do not by any stretch of fucking imagination cry. Specially in front of women. Paper work wives included. But, cry now he does. Wiping away the tears as they form. Hitting a brick wall until his hand bleeds, then breaks. Viktoria tries to stop him from boxing the wall. He slaps her. She is an American. The child of Fenian Catholics. They work hard and blue collar.They drink pretty heavily. They have lots of kids and cry in front of whomever they want. The ice cold wind blows deathly freeze upon them. The Mexican Express is nowhere in sight. Viktoria can’t believe he even hit her.
Brighton Beach is a bleak eastern oblivion. The endless ugly crumbling boardwalk goes past dilapidated public housing towers out a no where place, to drop out of time or sight. Drown yourself on the end of the Steeple Chase pier. The sun has finally set on this once plump and happy empire, a short lived Pax-American. But will it end in a pathetic whimper, or a vile gang bang? The vultures are circling the ‘grad. Have at it! The Haan hordes and the Russian spy machine are very ready.
A Tavern on the Lower East Side
The dry run was on December 21st, 2012 and main main event took place two months later on February 19th, 2013. It was actually the world’s most impressive recorded bank heist to that date, but the culprits never even used guns or masks, never threatened anyone or even ever set foot inside a single bank vault. In two massive precision operations that mobilized hundreds of cells in more than two dozen countries acting in close coordination and with near surgical precision, thieves in law stole $45 million from thousands of A.T.M.’s in a matter of hours. In Newyorkgrad alone, the Dominikany clean out crews responsible for A.T.M. withdrawals struck 2,904 machines over 10 hours starting on Feb. 19, withdrawing $2.4 million. But, $45 million dollars really isn’t that much money, so for something that big to have happened with such widespread international collaboration, well something else must have been going on.
The world and the social media didn’t see it because they were not paying attention to any of the right things. All the money stolen was not even real money, it was all insured. But the unlimited operation job did have an objective much larger than the heist of course.
In Gregorian calendar year 1999, because of technical glitch in computerized monetary systems sensationally depicted on proletarian media as Y2K, many system analysts were worried then about a system wide failure of the internet. Electronic military defense complex systems more specifically were to experience temporary shut down on New Year’s Eve’ December 31st, 1999 leaving anyone and everyone wide open. In order to protect critical defense and money changing infrastructure, major digitized commerce, and all sorts of civilian surveillance databases; governments and major corporations had begun scrambling to back up data on fixed servers. Secure from the effects of this Y2K glitch which many big brained computer engineers believed would wipe out digital control of commerce via internet and for a brief movement allow any country with nuclear missiles first strike capability on the New Year. Enter the ‘Perchevney Bratva’.
‘The Big Job’ took ten years to orchestrate. Planned in its grandiose entirety in a Bulgarian tavern on Lower East Side of the Isle of Man, the central most affluent borough of Newyorkgrad. A little tucked away place the called the ‘Mehanata Social Club’. The man who planned the greatest theft in history was a Bulgarian dentist named Alexander Dmitrievich Perchevney, called “Sasho” by his closest confederates. In Slavic countries ‘Sasha’ is a nickname for ‘Alex’. Sasho and his wife Tanya were enthusiastic co-equal villains. At time of the plot, their human resources really just consisted of newly immigrated Alexander Perchevney and his scheming, but quiet brother strong man Slavi, a Krepki Mushik and serious tough guy. Along with his wife Tanya Magda and also three shady grinning characters named “James White”, “James Brown”, and “Justin Toomey O’Azzello” who all worked part time at “Bulgarian Cultural Center” on Canal and Broadway established in 1998. At first it was a cultural front for a “cash for marriage agency”, an extralegal dental coverage program, and also planning center for a highly lucrative racket called “no-fault-insurance”. Also a highly premium place to drink underage and dance naked, do cocaine; no questions asked.
You had to have at least two teeth, a sign said. On the same wall was another sign, “Get naked get a shot, fuck on the bar, get a bottle.”
Sasho and Slavi, alongside several hundred thousand of the newly admitted “Soviet Ivory” began immigration to Breuklyn immediately after the Berlin wall came down in 1989 and United States of America “defensively” began the total pillage of former Soviet Union in a Post-Cold War victory orgy of expropriation , naked theft and non-stop ultra-violence. They arrived on the coast of ‘Fun City Breuklyn’ with advanced degrees, speaking multiple languages, and instilled with a profound skill in extralegal entrepreneurship; cultivated in a Communist society where graft and bribes were way of life. When informed by Amerikansky immigration officers that these degrees not worth the paper they were printed on, well perhaps this is how it all began. In former Soviet Union, Alexander Perchevney was a dentist, which there was really more like doctor specializing in dentistry. His wife, Tanya was ‘an engineer’. That really could mean almost anything in former Soviet Union where almost everyone was some kind of ‘engineer’. But specifically, Tanya was computer engineer. Designing early algorithms for demographic counting, for deportations and for fuel prices, for self automated missile systems. Slavi, well Slavi was good with various machines and breaking man’s faces also with fists. This was a now non-existent empire where 53% of the population had a bachelors degree of higher education level. Alexander, Tanya, Slavi and infant progeny of Tanya and Alex, their four year old daughter Yelizaveta all moved from Brighton coastal ghetto to the higher ground of Williamsburg shortly after their arrival in the cold dark winter of 1991.
It did not take Alex and Tanya long to realize that not only would they be treated like fourth class citizens of vanquished enemy nation, but that as immigrants their own people would arrive not just with advanced degrees and “dubious moral code”, but accompanied by violent thieves and Voorhees with links to privatization under way transforming the K.G.B., into a large and ruthless transcontinental mafia, or in Russian parlance’ a Bratva’.
It was shortly after his first brutal run in with a New Russian Voorhi seeking an overtly grand percentage slice for protection of black market dentistry clinic run out of Alex’s basement in Brighton, that Alex realized that one; his daughter would be raised outside the clutches of the new Russian ghetto, so called Little Odessa of Brighton. Second, to operate anything lucrative in this new soft country he’d need the help of the natives at least a few.
Alex embraced a latent never practiced Orthodox Ivoryism and made friends with some ambitious Fenian tough guys, he got some cops on his payroll. This was how Alex met first met young Misha Kishbivalli. A young Bulgarian pretend Ivory like himself though much wealthier having gotten to America three years earlier and begun actively trafficking in uncut conflict diamonds traffic out of the failed state called Liberia. Over a round of Astika beers Misha and Alexander envisioned an establishment “where criminality and philanthropy, stealing and borrowing, culture and crime could all intertwine, voluptuously and thus ‘the Mehanata Social Club’ was born. By Winter of 1998 Alex and Slavi had rented out second floor loft space on the corner of Canal and Broadway and registered it as “Bulgarian Cultural Center”. Despite having no liquor license or paying any taxes to internal revenue service Alex hired a large menagerie of former Soviet women to work as “cultural hostesses”, and bartenders and “cultural attaches”. Also to dance the mother fucking go-go. Underground lap dance parties, the girl friend experience, whip its before they all went mainstream. Easy to make coke. Easy to import cigarettes in contain ships from their Albanian suppliers.
In the entire sixteen year run of Mehanata at its Canal Street location much was exchanged, culturally and financially. The enterprise itself was a careful gamble that under guise of “multiculturalism and diversity”, just about anything could follow. Keep everyone dancing in big fucking circle! Keep everyone entertained.
Alexander used the Russian language internet to recruit a wide range of medical professionals of former Soviet extraction to offer black market health care to other new arrivals, and long stayed arrivals without paper work. Next, Misha and Alex worked out a technicality called “no fault” where by accidents could be staged arranged all over Breuklyn and insurance companies could be divested of millions upon millions. They reached out directly to the Jamaican mob to help them. Later and alongside all of that they began importing cigarettes in container ships through the Albanians. They were recruiting a veritable Gypsy underground army all fueled by self interest, the music of Balkans, New York’s sanctuary city status, as well as home brewed Vodka-apple cider and Astika beer. They would forge an awkward ethnic alliance under the initial auspices of drinking, dining and dancing. They would rely on heavily the Post Soviet talent pool, particularly the warlike Albanians. They would set up the necessary conditions to achieve oligarch status in the Americas. The greatest expropriation was yet to come.
The $45 million job take was just the starting ante. A smallish bullshit score really. A sort of right of passage operationally, but Sasho Perecheveney wasn’t after “petty cash”. He was after premium antiquities! He was was after really old scrolls covered in logarithmic math codes and anyone he could hire from that very ancient tribe that survived just about everything world history had thrown at them. The Egypt Job, the First Temple destruction and the Babylonian exile, the Esther Job, the Maccabean Revolt, the Second Temple destruction, and the Roman Wars, the Crusades 1 through 9, “the Spanish Inquisition” and “the purge in Germany”, the Arab Wars, the recent destruction of the Third Commonwealth. And of course they also then knew exactly where the latest New Jerusalem was really hidden. Deep under the sands of some desert? In a submarine under the sea? Thinly hidden in some mountain fort or on some island protected by natives with spears?
Sasho was in the end, after the key codes. After the activation rites to entire Systema Ziggurat. An ancient method of of human organization and tribute linked to deliberately forgotten Gods and perpetual masters. As far as he was aware only the Ivory had been there when the first one was built way back when in Ur. The very first Earth Man City, where the very first Ziggurat had been built up. Sasho needed to borrow trade craft to get in. To get up into the highest towers of the control room. Pull levers and press the buttons. Read the silver wrapped scrolls in the very first language. Thus, with the right circles, one could interpret the Gamatria codes, grok the protocols and drink the very recipes needed to live for ever and ever. But really, after the second great holocaust, the hidden Shoah of the Cold War Times, not that many of the real Ivory were even left to bribe, barter, interrogate, intermarry with or mobilize with the pussy. So he would have to find them. Find the very last hiding ones. His daughters could be compelled to help. There were not very many real Ivory left anymore, actually. You can’t appeal to their pockets. Their ego is also generally intact. If you can’t appeal to their big Jew puzzle loving brains, you can generally appeal to their circumcised dicks. As with virtually all men. “So don’t send a man to do a woman’s job,” claims Sasho, “an Old Bulgarian saying.”
In Crown Heights, Brooklyn
“FIVE MINUTES TO NATION TIME”
At the ugly six story brick row house on 256 Schenectady a very well attended meeting is happening in the basement fall out shelter. The room is jam-packed. Church goers as well as Yardies. People are sitting on the floor, on the tables, people are out in the hall craning their necks. Many of the apartment blocks on Schenectady Ave have concrete inner court yards, have multiple means to get in and out without keys, lot of places to run and evade the police. The followers of the Reb Menachem Mendel Schneerson and the Chabad Movement congregate near Kingston Avenue and the large Afro-Caribbean community stays more toward Uttica Avenue. But, for the most part the Noires and Ivory live right on top of each other. They for the most part ignore each other. With the exception of a bloody three day riot in 1991 this is virtually the only neighborhood where two completely different people share a ghetto. But in the bunker basement here, not a white face in sight. They are all pressing closer to hear the words of the man that so many people had been talking about. The basement of the apartment block fallout shelter has a maximum occupancy of a hundred and fifty people. Nearly three hundred had filtered in, a hundred more are waiting upstairs. Most people had just gotten off work, some neighborhood kids, boys off the block, had dropped by to see what all the commotion was about. They heard this man was “gonna tell it like it is and how it could be”. Lay it down for them in words they could understand. The harsh white neon lighting grid in the basement flickered its blinding light. Suddenly there was a real hush. Three men dressed in baggy black fatigues pushed forward through the masses. One of the men put his hand up in the hair, a call for silence. For some people in the ghetto there was religion, for others some little hustle, for a tiny talented tent make music or athletics for the whites. But lately for the struggling Jamaican, Ayitian and West Indian diaspora lower classes there were the motivational words of the movement man. The sometimes a killer, sometimes a healer, always a Shattah; Mickhi Dbrisk.
“Sisters and Brothers! If you saw the enormity of the blessings en-stowed upon our people, then you would comprehend the magnitude of the struggle we are about to fight, to win,” declares Dbrisk to those assembled, “I do not need to tell you how much our kind has willed. I can only assure you, that the time of our liberation has arrived.”
“You know what the trouble is these days?” he begins, “we work ourselves to death at the door step of incredible plenty. As we starve spiritually, we are paid scraps for thankless toil divested of meaning. We fight amongst ourselves constantly. We embrace another civilization’s G-ds and we sing to hymns to white man on a cross. We work more, we hustle more, and we get sucked into criminality, negativity and vice. They lock up one in eight of our young men, they break up our families and they use as their slaves. We always lose, and the white man never relinquishes his hold on the thinly veiled apartheid, white racist power structure. My name is Mickhi Dbrisk and I am here to tell you brothers and sisters not just how it is, but also how it could be.”
Every voice dies down to hear what he would go on to describe.
“The Blan says we need schooling. That we are descendants from savages. But not a single one of our ghetto schools is well funded or functionally intact. So we try go to strive our way to college, but the majority of the colleges where actual opportunity is found are not even open to us.”
“The Blan says get jobs! So we go try to get one. But most of the jobs we have to take are the jobs they don’t want, the only jobs open for us. Menial slave jobs”
“The Blan says you ain’t a slave anymore! That you can get some, equal opportunity, but as we all know. They on some real bullshit. Equality is propaganda. We are willingly participating in a bondage system that get more work out of us than chattel slavery ever did!”
“Now, I ain’t some redundant brother. Here me now. Do not. Do not I repeat blame the Blan for all your problems. The white man doesn’t want to hear it, can’t hear it, so it won’t do no good for the community. Ya see, lots of brothers out there will tell you that blame needs to be cast everywhere but here. They say “Buy Noire!”. They say “Go Muslim”. They tell you “Neg Lives Matter.” Hell, I say it to, our lives definitively do matter. But it is the language behind the diction that’s important.” The cops can kill us in the streets. They can humiliate us and strip our rights in the court rooms. They can lock up entire generations and take away our votes systematically. The time for resistance was before they took us out of Afrika actually, but the solution now is not needles confrontation and protests we never stand to win. We must focus ourselves on control of our own development and intuitions! Like out Ivoryish brothers and sisters right upstairs do.”
Some of the youth began to leave.
“Hold the hell up,” said Mickhi Dbrisk.
“You wanna go play gangsta, you’ll end up in a damn coffin. You wanna be a man. Hold the fuck up. Let’s drop this glorified criminal shit today and we’ll teach you how to fight with mathematics, with science with economics and with some strategy.”
A few people, mostly young hoods walk out, but the people there are mostly becoming enthralled, this man Dbrisk can hold court. The Noire know a prophet when they see one. They know how fast they are cut down.
“I come before you with a simple message. We as a community have suffered the injustice of being begotten by slaves into a new modified slavery. We can’t hold onto that, but we must not ever forget it. We, the descendants of black Afrikan people are no better or worse than these white people in our hearts. But bear in mind, when I say Blan, I’m not talking about the color of the skin. I mean the establishment here of a white supremacist oligarchy does not mean that all oligarchs are white, or that whiteness is anything besides a skin privilege. The men at the top, they are mostly white, but they are as diverse as the oppressed in their colors. There are many types of people and situations and circumstances dictate the state of current affairs. But learn to think about beyond class and race. So many out there will fight and die for their race or their religion. What I say is don’t get blinded by your race. White people are slaves too. Yellow people, brown people, Muslims and even the surviving Ivory tribe are all bound as slaves on in this world system. The majority of the human race 5 in 7 billions are wretched and miserable below $5 a day. We need allies for our liberation, but do not hear my words and think we plan to start a plantation razing race war. We are here to defeat the oligarchy, not just some plain devilish white man.”
There is a great pause. Every eye is on him now.
“Never forget what our system does to maintain itself,” he began again.
“Never forget that as an American, black, white, and yellow you all on that slave ship and our goal is our own ship not to burn the ship and all drown together. What oppresses one man oppresses every man, here and abroad. Our chains are not of lead but of the illusion of gold we are promised every day. It’s said in America that history has been a progression towards ever-greater freedom for humanity. “Name a better society than this one” is a common statement made to anyone who criticizes the system of modernity. But if no better system than this one has ever existed does that automatically recommend the status quo? What if, on a scale of 1 to 10, with most countries in the world currently scoring a 4, modern America is a 6 for its whites and a 3 for everyone else? What if humanity started out as driven slaves with a whip-master behind them; progressed to a stage in which they were only driven but not whipped, then to a stage in which they could stand enchained on their own? What if modern society is only one in which we all wear really shiny chains? Should we be satisfied with this state of existence? Is This Just The Way It Is? I cry incredible bull shit!” He pauses. “I am here to say, let us get free together.”
If anyone had the audacity to speak up now it was young ‘Tina Shabazz’. The latest code name for T-Bird Tall Flame Luv. A highly skilled agitation propaganda officer for the Cooperation Jackson faction of Uhuru Movement.
“So you talk a big game Mickhi, but what do we do?”
She was standing now, her trim and beautiful Nubian frame sliding out of her seat and pushing to the front of the crowd.
“We stand up and we dig deep inside ourselves and community, we marshal our resources and we prepare for autonomy, ghetto by ghetto,” he quickly retorts, “We prepare for a Breuklyn Canton based on communal self governance.”
“Like my grandpa died for?”
Tina would often claim that heavy hitter, Muslim preacher Malcolm X was her grandpa, but that was total invented bullshit. Anyone who knew her knew she didn’t even know her father’s name let alone her grandpas’. In the hood she was treated like a crazy artistic teenager. But a lot of her connections to Cooperation Jackson. A major Black Internationalist network in Mississippi making big things happen down deep South.
“Tina. Tina. Tina. Always rabble rousing, but never achieving nothing for the community.”
“What fucking community Mickhi? Harlem’s way more than half white now, in five to ten years district Bed-Stuy will be too. They completely displacing us.”
“Not if we unite and resist now,” he replies.
“You would burn down a brothers’ home before you let the white folks get it, is that it? That we must fight? You is on some shit. The only thing Brothas wanna fight fo’ is loosies and the next little big score. How you gonna rally um them? How you gonna wake up all the good striving Christ followers and Separatist Muslims? What does Uhuru and your Ivory allies have to offer that don’t get more young people killed like that last time we got up?”
“It’s this very attitude sister that keeps us all oppressed. Disunity and prejudices. Artificial divisions.”
“Way to be optimistic brother. It isn’t the man that keeps us oppressed, we do a good enough job oppressing ourselves. You used to be Crip, you know the cycle.”
“Have you missed every word I just said?”
“I heard you loud and fuckin’ clear Dbrisk. “RARARA. Uhuru Movement! All power to the people!” the same horseshit grandpa shouted.”
“As you will be Tina. As you will be.”
She knew he wouldn’t argue with her long. After all, it was all a front. Dbrisk and Tina Shabazz were in the same squad; the community just didn’t know it yet.
“We have room for good Christians, we even have room for Bloods and Crips, and we certainly have room for the strivers, the newly bourgeoisie Niggas and room for Muslims. We have a ten point program that will be familiar to everyone. We have clinics, schools and training camps. I am here tonight to invite everyone to enlist fully in the Future. In liberation! In Uhuru Movement! As you may have heard on the wire there’s gonna be a show of force at the parade. We will keep everyone updated on the Fire Station, the underground press and via liaison officers.
“They are killing us man by man and isolating us in these ghettos to exploit us. If you can fight you fight, if you gotta run you run. This uprising is not black against white, we have allies among the Blan, the Muslims, the Ivory and even the Fenians,” he tells them.
“You go back to your churches and school and places of work, the snitches in the room can pass this on to the cops. We are fighting for Democratic Confederalism, for autonomy and also for our base line promised human rights. If you ain’t running’ wit it run from it.”
“Well nigga, how do me an’ my squad get in,” asks a tough young thug on the wall?” Who on his government papers was written down as Joshua Hunter.
“Well, you’ve got your gangster slouch down, now it’s time to master the revolutionary swagger.”
“We read ‘dem U.S.B. pamphlets. You write ‘tem or ‘dem Yids behind you?”
“Debuterliers, is blacker than me, blacker than you.”
“Who dat? ”
“No life without a leader, that is what they say now in both Africa and in Kurdistan.”
“Who you really working for my niggle?” Joshua Hunter asks.
“I’m working for the cause of the Prophet Emma Solomon, as explained to Avinadav Debuteliers leader of the resistance.”
“What’s all that that mean to me and the Set?”
“Every single time we tried to resist alone, we were obliterated and look today at the vanquished state of all of mother Africa. So I say, you have local needs and local grievances. You have a local rep. If you rock with us, when we fight this time and we will be fighting very soon! We’re gonna be hitting the local oligarchy with the combined forces of the Ivory; with the Fenians; with the Muslim alongside the Mestizos, the Queers, the hipsters, the occupiers, the commies, the brothers, the sisters. Absolutely everybody. Fully united. When the Labor Day Rising begins, we ain’t gonna be alone. When liberation comes we are all going to get our human rights together.”
“What kind of guns you got comrade Nigga?”
“Shouldn’t use that word brother. Makes you sound stupid. Like a slave,” Dbrisk replies.
In Bila Tserkva, U.S.S.R.
“AN AUSPICIOUS VIRGIN BIRTH”
Little blonde and gigging, wide eyed Yelizaveta Aleksandrovna Perechenova was born at the end of the U.S.S.R in the Ukrainian City of Bila Tserkva Oblast on Messidor 2nd,1987. The rest is all misinformation. Gypsy legends and mere ignorant speculation. The seemingly miraculous particulars surrounding her allegedly virgin birth were many fold and are to this day recounted. Her mother Tanya Ivanova seemed to have reversed in age by ten years over the course of the pregnancy. When she finally gave birth to her first child she bore the resemblance to a girl in her late teens. Not a woman approaching nearly thirty four. Sasho’s closest men patted him on the shoulder and told him, ‘very, very well played.’ But honestly, at that stage he not not even gotten his dick wet.
The second highly strange miracle occurred shortly after little infant Yelizaveta’s birth. All the animals in all of the forests surrounding Bila Tserkva Oblast began to show up at the city hospital. So congested with various fauna wandering about the city that a whole task force of Red Army men from Kiev were needed to attempt removal of this glut of birds and bears and deer as well as animals that the authorities in the Ministry of Social Ecology had long thought were rendered extinct. These animals seemed drawn to the hospital and for a whole lunar month after little Yelizaveta’s birth they were drawn to family dacha of the Perchevney family to the south a day’s journey from the city.
The third strange miracle was that infant Yelizaveta was not only able to speak Russian within the third month of her infancy, but by her third year Americano English, Castile Spanish, Old High Ivory and a bizarre dialect of French called Ayitian Creole spoken exclusively on the Caribbean island ‘Republic of Palmares’ also called Hispaniola. So marvelous was this behavior an infant which spoke multiple complex foreign languages that Alexander and Tania Ivanova agreed to conceal this from the world and hide the girl on a dascha as long as possible so no knowledge of this genius might alert the proper authorities to auspicious comings and goings which might result in the borrowing of their prodigious infant. Although the phenomenon of animals and birds flooding the forests and airspace of the dascha made a clandestine upbringing quite hard to arrange.
The fourth miracle occurred at Yelizaveta’s fourth birthday when she turned to her mother and said that as long as the family stayed happily in Bila Tserkva, no one in that city would ever die. So it was for a time of around two years.
In 1989 the Soviet Union began to completely unravel. The despotic red dream crumbled country by country and the quality of living markedly dropped off. Life as they understood it in relation to the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ came to an inglorious end. There was not one instance of a reported death in an hundred mile radius of Bila Tserkva Oblast though for the two years leading up the fall of the Berlin Wall. During this time Alexander was away from the family for extended periods of time. As the only Ivory left in Bila Tserkva his admittance to the inner Party was highly unorthodox. Also, his admittance to Medical College and his marriage to Tanya Ivanova who came from a prosperous Ruus family of Slavic Russian intellectuals close to the local seats of Communist power in Kiev. To court, win and impregnate Tanya had been a complicated and also costly venture. Men lined up longer than the ration lines of the 19080’s for the chance to date the daughter of this local Party boss. Alexander was not only a half Ivory by paperwork but from a family that had devolved slowly from yeshiva benchers to raw smuggler high way people and then back into lazy migrant Rabbis.
By forging a passport and bribing several dozen people Alexander was able to change his ethnic designation from “Ivory” to “Bulgarian” and then later with more bribes to “Russian”. And thus was able to arrive in Kiev at age 18 to begin his medical training. It was there in university that he encountered the affluent and ravishing daughter of a party boss. Ms. Tanya Ivanova who was studying engineering in the same college.
After a lengthy and tumultuous courtship he gave her a tiny watch encased in a gold heart. He said that if she ran away with him to the Sakhalin Soviet upon completion of their studies, an island to Russia’s far east past Siberia, north of Japan then they would one day escape to Illubador and eventually to America as soon as the Cold War ended in seemingly inevitable capitalist victory. This was the end of the eighties and the writing was written clearly on the Berlin wall. One night she secretly packed her bags and joined him in a waiting car and they finally eloped in 1984.
He told her that by the time the watch stopped running they would be in Amerika and by the time it started up again they’d never want for anything again. They barely made it as far as the city limits. Goons in black caps in the employ of her father Ivan Ivanovitch’s stopped them at a check point. They beat Alexander rather badly. They returned a crying distraught Tanya to her father and threw the covert Ivoryish doctor Alexander Perchevney into a jail for special prisoners who committed crimes that were handled in the cold and quiet.
The night of this attempted elopement and calamity the father of Tanya, Ivan Ivanovitch had a terrible dream. He dreamed an army of many of thousands of four-foot Mayans were parachuting out of the sky and attacking Bila Tserkva in an effort to rescue the young Alexander. He dreamed of the strange days of nightmare and plague about to wreak havoc on all of Kiev and the whole Soviet Socialist world if necessary should the detention of his daughters lover go on. In the dream his daughter Tanya fell into some inexplicable coma and for each day of Alexander’s captivity ten men disappeared without a trace. Then twenty men. And so on. Until by the end of the dream month of Alexander’s imprisonment, there were virtually no Russian or Ukrainian men left alive in Kiev. The strange wave of disappearances swept through the local Party apparatus and military and leaders of state owned business cooperatives and even the secret police and soon like a strange and miraculous and ghostly purge had been carried out. Finally, finally Alexander was not just the only secret Ivory in Kiev, but conspicuously the only person left alive with a passport that said “Russian”. Finally, after the third lunar dream month, it began to snow. To snow with such determination that obstruction and paralysis took hold. Throughout the eerie disappearances, the drop in temperature, the sky falling out, Ivan Ivanovitch’s daughter Tanya hovered in a mesmerized trance. Alexander languished in prison although there was no one left to guard him besides Ivan though he did not even three months into the nightmare connect his interference with the love of his daughter for this Ivoryish medical student to anything so, other worldly. Yes, people did disappear from time to time, but not often the entire Inner Party Cadre of a major Soviet capital city. Yes it did snow but not with the endless and unceasing siege of white deluge they were experiencing, or in month of Prairial!
Finally, in the dream the sun itself ceased to rise. And without party leaders, bureaucrats, draped in over forty feet of snow, Kiev underwent forty days of night. During this time Ivan never left the dream police garrison where he and Alexander Perchevney would bond intermittently over Chess, Go and Vodka. Bonding begrudgingly, for Ivan spoke no Ukrainian and by the fourth month of these phenomena no one was willing to speak any Russian anymore under the superstitious belief that it would bring death. So Alexander the Ivory and Ivan, party boss of Bila Tserkva spoke for the first time. First, on the subject of haShem, then on the subject of the devil. And then also a bit on women which both agreed were stronger in will than either HaShem’s or the craft works of some lesser spooky devils.
“You love my daughter, but what do I care, fundamentally speaking? Love, is after all, just bullshit and chemicals. You offer her and as importantly me nothing, really, at all,” Ivan informed young Alexander.
“As I have never loved or even thought to love another woman so do I love your Tanya!”
“You will never be accepted here or anywhere as a damn Ivory! Even a party Ivory is suspect. Even with a new name and a medical certificate. Your Ivoryish horns and tail cannot hide.”
“You could sponsor me. You can sponsor me to the Inner Party and allow me to marry her.”
“I’m not frightened by the evil weird Ivory magic outside. I know these are only cruel vodka lullabies, whispers in the ear of a man made hard and hateful by life. I will awake in my bed tomorrow! There will be no Mexican invaders, no disappearing apparatchiks, no endless snow or black endless night. You will be sent to deep Siberia for some infraction. Tanya will wake up and marry a Russian Calvary officer. Or someone from the foreign bureau.”
“How can you be sure?” asked Alexander Perchevney, “How can you know if your dreams are real or if some dark power has unleashed itself against your house for obstructing our basic and sincere love?”
“Because there is no love or magic allowed here. Those are of course bourgeoisie inventions. I will wake up soon, I feel it. And then order you shot.”
For nearly two fortnights General Winter took full hold of Bila Tserkva. It did not stop snowing. It did not become day again. By third fortnight of his imprisonment and Tanya’s mysterious coma there were no Russian anything left in the darkness. Ivan in his solitude became like a prisoner too. The heavy snows then cut Bila Tserkva off from all of the rest of the Soviet world and the wake field Ivan hoped would come; nearly a year later still had not transpired, nor had he ever slept.
“You damn cursed Ivory! What kind of dark magic have you unleashed?”
“This is not my doing,” muttered Alexander defensively.
“When will I wake from this perverse nightmare of ‘upsidedownhood’, of idiotic dragfootery?! You cannot ever marry my daughter. You are not a whole man. You will never give my daughter a good secure life.”
“This is not my doing man! Not by any means! You’ve brought this damn nightmare upon yourself. I have no such powers like these.”
“A typical Ivoryish response.”
Lost and asleep an endless nightmare Ivan Ivanovitch turned to mankind’s oldest imaginary friend. He implored the Russian Orthodox HaShem to end this plague of darkness, deprivation and Ivoryish parasitic blight!
But as we all know, if there is a haShem, it is a long game if not vaguely soviet haShem, a go without understandable morals or temporal reward for the seemingly righteous. Whatever lesson it wishes us to learn is like algebra to an ant farm. It has been lost on us completely in it magnitude and scale.
The sun never rose and Ivan Ivanovitch never yielded. At the beginning of the spring of his imprisonment there dropped from the sky blue and red parachutists of four foot stature, one a day. Grinning bandoliered Latin American Pararescuemen each gliding down into the outskirts of town and taking up position in the woods. One a day. With all the Russians gone, the Ukrainians began hiring these men as day laborers and yard workers. Ivan Ivanovitch began to suspect that there was a growing secret army of these Latino Pararescuemen waiting in the shadows awaiting the right moment to break young Alexander out of prison and spirit him into the wilderness of North America.
While Alexander ‘Sasho’ Perchevney sat long miserable ten years in confinement punished for his love and his allegedly race. The young aspiring dentist, future founder of the fearsome Bratva that would bear his family name and that would so loot the banks of the world. He sat in his own thoughts and laid a most elaborate plan. Awaiting rescue and reunion with his beloved Tanya. A most auspicious woman to be sure. While languishing in solitary confinement he dreamed up a way to steal the very most secret secrets of the ancient tribe called Ivory. Thus when and if, a big if, ‘the world to come’, eventually came, it would be a world completely under his control. Subservient to his whims and ambitions.
“Once someone or something has successfully attacked you, mauled your face. Has violated your family. Fucked up your pocket. Fucked up your reputation or your life. You make sure. You fucking make sure! You will never be in that position. Not ever again. You will never ever be a Suka, not ever,” sums up Sasho, “I just took that idea one step further. I sought to make the whole world my little bitch.”
A Tavern on Ludlow Street, Isle of Mann
“A SCHOOL FOR ALCOHOLISM”
The Tavern is open for business officially only on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Though typically and unofficially there are underground lap dancing parties happening late Wednesday night in the basement. The lights are kept dim no matter what happens. You need that to hide subtle stains from fluids. You can dance all night if you have to, but eventually someone has to herd the cats out the door and hide the bodies on the floor. The Mehanata Social Club is tucked away discreetly on 113 Ludlow Street on the lower east side of Manhattan. This is their second location. Numerous police raids and finally a raid which transformed into a brawling melee succeeded in burning to the ground the original location on Canal and Broadway. In an ugly incident that took place in 2005 the lights of the “Bulgarian Bar and Cultural Society” briefly went out. The new location is about six times the size over three levels. Surely it will not be the final location, given the tumultuous nature of the existing times. Sasho the owner has already begun planning an even larger Breuklyn location, a whore house in Kiev with the same name and a ‘School for Alcoholism’ in upstate New York.
At an infamous establishment such as this you ought to always know the names of the men standing watch or the women pouring your drinks. Or the people holding down of your bags and coats. Most importantly you ought to be cautious of the seductive forces marshaled via awkwardly inexpensive liquor and the black magic to lead you to things you ought not to be playing around with. Such as foreign persons in needs of papers. Or creatures that drink blood.
There might was well be signs on the wall telling you anything not tied down will be carried away into the night, your bags, your souls, and virginities of nearly every kind. Come to think of it, there are such overt signs hanging everywhere! Literal not figurative signs. One claims three teeth are needed for entry. One says anything not checked will be stolen. One says “get naked get a shot, get fucked on the bar win a bottle”. That is hardly a bluff, but the bottle is never top shelf stuff.
It’s a ‘Gypsy Bar’, they claim to the public which sometimes romanticizes Gypsies, but often does not. But Gypsy’s all steal. Gypsy’s will trick you with music and some dance, lure you for tarot cards and then steal you internal organs and you will wake up in an ice bath in Bratislava missing some elements internally, then die of blood loss. The name of this place literally means ‘the Tavern’ in Bulgarian. And it lives up to that designation splendidly.
You wouldn’t find it unless you were looking for it. The entrance isn’t loud and the clamor inside is well insulated by its system of layers. The Lower East Side area is a drinking dancing seven day a week shit show anyway for university students and the children of the upper middle classes. Mehanata is the club of choice for New York’s newly arrived undocumented immigrants from South America, Central America and the former Soviet Union. You’d only be looking for it if someone told you about it. Perhaps you’d hate them for it later, but very few people are not amused the very first time. There never is just a first time. But, in the New York wilderness a tavern of eclectic wilding foreigners and untamed domestic people dancing to the tunes of South America, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and the Roma can draw to it both angels and demons by word of mouth. Since 2000 it has been surviving pogroms, police raids and venue changes via fire. The police department is doing everything in their human power from keeping the Breuklyn location from obtaining a liquor license. Sasho has been trying to open it for three of four years it seems.Who is Sasho? He’s of course the boss.
There are three floors to the Tavern. The website extols patrons to “meet their future green card holding spouse.” There is live Mestizo music. Live fire juggling. Bulgarian contortionists on Thursday alongside with Bordel Dali. Rafael and his business comrade Georgie who is from Bucharest, Romania. Or maybe he just says that knowing no Americans know any other cities there.
“But I’m not freaking Gypsy!” he declares. He’s getting a PhD in Computer science. His specialization, the tracking of petrol futures purchasing and predicting in relation to major airlines. The cast of characters around here boggles the mind.
The club has the look of a vast lawless pirate ship or a wilderness brothel. It is sometimes dim red and under the cloth tarps of the upper galley level which looks down with little tables in the dance floor. The main floor has a dance floor, a bar and a kitchen. The downstairs has stripper poles, blue light, a bar and an Ice Cage.
The Ice Cage has bottles of wall to wall Vodka, which is all the same Vodka, but when people pay $40 to enter the cage and slam that wall to wall Vodka orgy in Soviet officer uniforms; they don’t notice. Vodka drinkers of repute, do not go in the Ice Cage, which also sits above a hatch to the abandoned railways under lower Manhattan. So one can walk or take a private train to Breuklyn or New Jersey. That is also why the place is only officially open Thursday through Saturday, to facilitate that traffic.
The waitresses and bar tenders are skinny or shapely, all Post-Soviet Bucharest or Sophia girls just arrived recently though generally well educated and for now, un-indentured. Some claim they are ‘from Moscow’. But they are not from Moscow at all. They are from shitty little Eastern European towns no one has ever heard of. They mostly don’t stay long and the reason for that is partly because of the mental and physical demands of the work and because their boss is the devil himself. The club is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Things that go on during the week here are private and mostly didn’t even ever happen. There are private parties in the basement you’d do well not to crash unexpected or uninvited. Like the one on Wednesdays which is sort of high stakes a gang bang contest. There have been cock fights, dog fights and also bear fights. There are a lot of meetings happening upstairs right before the place fills up in Eastern European languages that you’d do well not to hear. The musical talent is highly various. Normally three or four live acts a night on Friday and Saturday. A lot of live horns. There’s a rather Pall Mall esthetic of transcontinental bacchanalia.
The booking agent for Music is petite and elegant Viktoria Lynch often wearing the hat of a Soviet officer the shoulder length locks of her hair falling over well fashioned skirts or flowing dresses. She was born in the Catskills, but has recently gotten her New Yorker residency card much to her delight; eight years later. The primary live acts are Gypsy Jazz, Spanish Ska and Balkan mostly. Roma meets Latin American for the most part. You get dance hall and reggae tone periodically from the Selectors, but for the most part ‘the brothers’ stay out of the place. The doughty wine happens, but as international as everything remains, there are almost never black people at Mehanata. Which no one has a problem with except maybe Kawa Zivistan who keeps bringing them there? But, they have one drink and politely leave after meetings. For some reason the charms of the venue are lost on the brothers.
Since 2001 the Z.O.B. has made Mehanata its unofficial office and also its social club. It’s meeting spot and its drinking spot. Sasho allows all kinds of people to meet under his roof and being there has connected the movement to darker things. There is a power the club has to draw in the very worst and best of people. Mehanata is thus a fitting place for the Z.O.B. leaders to draw towards since many of the group are hardly saints. Its members are generally able to lumped into the categories of ambulance workers, criminals, sex workers and also some leftist radicals. Sometimes a cadre is two or more of those things.
The Balsa, the Wango, Rumbia, sometimes even a little Zouk are played by the various selectors, but ‘the brothers’ always immediately depart when the meetings are over. No one can say exactly why they don’t like the place, but they really don’t. But as it is a central location for all five boroughs, it’s remained an unchallenged haunt.
Sasho and Kawa allegedly go all the way back to 2001, but they don’t always remember or talk about all the events in between. The most popular disk jockeys are Raphael Rafael Contreras Lynch also called Selector Rafflex and Georgie from Bucharest also called ‘Selector Mishto’. As stated Romanian but “not a fucking Gypsy”. Recently booked is the bearded, crazy eyed Serb Adrian Jankovitch. The most famous of the current bartenders is moxy Martina Hella Dubreskaya. She has been here a good deal longer than the others. A black haired Bulgarian journalist, music blogger and BDSM enthusiast. She has the special constitution that a bartender needs to work the shit show around here longer than a month. Though many suspect she will quit soon. Perhaps go into Real Estate. Martina smiles at everyone in hate. She is technically speaking the first person to publish the work of Kawa Zivistan by putting his sad poems on her website. She regrets that she encourages him, but secretly likes some of his work.
Outside and inside is James Burns the feisty retired Fenian cop on ¾’s pension. They call him James White, because he’s white. After his ACL was torn chasing down a perp he retired to bouncer work. His partner is James Behemoth Brown Pererez a smart talking, burly Mestizo from the Bronx. They call him James Brown, because he’s Mestizo. Always outside is Slavi the stone faced brother of Sasho, but no one trusts they’re actually brothers. Until sneaking a sly grin the Bulgarian strong man collects people’s papers, cans their IDs and directs them to be retina scanned via this Illubadori device at the door which biometrixes all the guests. He collects the cash or the directs drunk patrons to use the external ATM which charges an extortionist ten dollar service fee, the highest almost in New York actually. The irregular admission charge never gets a smile, because Slavi doesn’t charge people he knows in money. Then he sneaks a sly happy grin, has a quick smoke and sometimes, only sometimes asks people for money to come inside wearing a black Soviet wolf fur ushanka hat except during the summer.
You should pay cash up front for everything. Unless you’re a card carrying regular. Giving them your credit card is simply a horrible idea. It means you’ll just keep drinking and very often, leave without your card. James White and James Brown are sometimes easy going on admission for just about anyone not over weight and female. The regulars never pay. The various mob tough guys never pay. The Z.O.B. members never ever pay. Sexy young girls never ever pay. The endless Korean bachelorette parties never pay except to ride the Gypsy Bus. The guests of regulars, mobsters, musicians, D.J.s, rebels and girlfriends of friends never pay. It’s between 15-35 dollars though if you’re just sort of showing up. Except on Thursday when everyone is in for free.
James White, James Brown and Slavi sometimes have to get fierce quick to squash the brawls which happen, generally around 2 AM, generally instigated by the Albanians, but often before and after. They can’t seem to keep the Albanians from breaking people’s faces over stupid things. But that’s part of their cultural charm some say.
Justin Toomey O’Azzello is ‘the General Manager’. He is full blood Fenian and has ‘wandering hands’ people say. He is quite jovial and likes to tell elaborate stories about his days in the Air Force flying bombing missions over former Yugoslavia. He blames his flirtations with alcoholism over the years on bombing runs he inflicted over Bosnia. But Justin was never in the air force or ever in Bosnia. His hands do wander though. Recently he has taken up painting. Some say he’s Sasho’s top Capo.
The owner of this place is a fearsome Bulgarian half Ukrainian Ivory named Sasho, but is real name is Alexander Dmitrievich Perchevney. He was born in Kiev, lived in Belaya Tserkov, Ukraine and moved to Sophia, Bulgaria before arriving here in 1992. He used to be a dentist. He used to be a person of importance in the now defunct U.S.S.R., in the Inner Party. He thus has something of soft spot for revolutionists. The debaucheries of fallen men too. As well as a hard spot for undocumented woman of theatre. Misha Kishbivalli, the long haired millionaire playboy from Georgia also is his silent partner. No one ever knows of asks what Misha does for a living. But the answer is blood diamonds. The Mehanata “cooks” are all from the tropic of Capricorn but nothing is ever very good eat except the beet soup or the Bulgarian salad; cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and pepper and white cheese. The feta cheese over fries is pretty safe too. Some type of Borscht which is rumored to sometimes contain menstrual blood. The pork dishes are outright made of people.
Sasho’s wife Tanya isn’t the cook anymore. It’s always undocumented Mexicans Sasho brings on over the years through the under tunnels. They say the Breuklyn venue, when it opens, will have ‘traditional Bulgarian food’, but no one knows what that means exactly. Tanya is not a vindictive person, but she cannot stand this ‘so-called Kawa Zivistan’. There is very valid reason for that contempt, beyond him being something of a trouble maker. They have history in other lives.
“Stop cooking people and more people would eat here,” Kawa once suggested.
“Stop being a fucking Democratic Confederalist, Blat and Daria will perhaps date you, yet again,” was Tanya’s response.
It is rumored, also that there is vast tunnel system running from under the Tavern to multiple places unknown. Some nights, Misha Kishbivalli has pontificated outside of the club with clearly manic eyes that an ‘American engineered mega tunnel system runs under the entire country in case of insurgency, general emergency or nuclear winter.’ The traffic around here is always hard to predict. ‘Of course I’ve been to camps’ Misha exclaims, ‘let me tell you, one time I followed the tunnels all the way back to Bulgaria!’
There are tall glass pitchers of apple cider ginger vodka that sit atop the bar, sitting there for haShem only knows how long. There is a sign informing people that “get naked get a shot, get fucked win a bottle” and people seem to win all the time. Also the rule that patrons ‘must have at least three teeth to enter the establishment’, that is untrue. You just need to have cash money. Preferably American type. Or be vouched for by a regular. But, things are always pretty fucking negotiable.
The music is playing loud at the Mehanata Social Club where Daria Andreavna makes eyes then orders a Vodka based energy drink confection. She then slides up to Kawa at the bar. He is wearing a black suit this time. A week since his death, no one acknowledges or recognizes them.
“I thought you were dead,” Kawa says.
“Martyrs never die,” Daria replies and she winks.
“It seems that we have found each other again,” she whispers.
“You completely misbehaved I dare tell you,” he says, “you got us both killed yet again. This time for true bullshit.”
“I was bad. Bored? Rude should I say? I am told, the other night, I insulted your hospitality, greatly.”
“That you certainly did.”
“What are you drinking,” she asks.
“Astika,” he replies. The Bulgarian beer that is never in stock, hasn’t been in stock since 2001, but he always asks for it. Knowing they one squirreled away.
She catches Martina’s attention, and get him his drink. Martina winks at her. One man’s hot commodity, still is the cheapest drink in the house.
“So,” she whispers again, “Cheers. I have no memory of anything last weekend. Forgive me for that. I don’t even know what I did. Or didn’t do, might have done.”
“You remember nothing?”
She just gives him a coy but devilish smirk. And she shakes her head.
“I drink a lot for fun. I don’t always remember my Friday or my Saturday nights. Outside work, where I also drink the week gets interrupted by school, and then I party hard on the days off. I was told I was really bad to you. So, I’m saying the sorry. For the being of bad. What are you really drinking? This is our custom. Astika is shit,” she says.
“Nothing? No recollection?”
“No nothing at all. Oh, okay,” she smiles at him, “you were wearing a suit that’s a different color from the suit you’re wearing now, this I remember.”
Kawa is now in a black suit. The night she almost killed them last it was white linen. It’s almost always a cheap suit or a blue uniform with him.
“You never acted all that drunkenly. You were calm and in control throughout, your, shall I say, outbursts. My friends have told me that it’s too late to stop your vodka calamities from unfolding sometimes. But, you nearly killed us. And you bit me,” he says showing her the red ring around his index left finger.
“Well we all have our demons in there, don’t we? I’m good at drinking. Until I sometimes fall down. I fell down those steps one night,” she says pointing to a long downstairs plummet into the downstairs floor where the Ice Cage is hidden.
The Ice Cage is a freezer box in the basement where people pay forty a head to slam wall to wall cheap vodka over a period of two minutes. It never ends well for those who get in that cage. There is perilous flight of stairs down to the basement where they keep the stripper poles and the blue lit fuck cage by a second bar and dance floor.
“That looks like if would hurt,” he replies, “if you remembered it”.
“I don’t remember it,” she smiles wide and seductively.
But that’s a silly thing to say. Seductively. Dasha is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Her proclivity for homicide aside, she is fascinating. Describing just how beautiful she is almost doesn’t fit in a later play he could end up writing. Her golden locks are like a lioness. Her eyes are capable of quick swing between fierce, curious and loving. She loves to hear men say it, how beautiful she is, but beauty isn’t where a man falls from when he falls from the heart not the groin. Beauty is a thing of lust. It has no bearing on love when that love is real love and not lust with imagined feelings. Love is energy, a wave crashing over you. Kawa has drowned several times before. He’d be very careful to use the word again. In that regard he is reckless to no end. He feels an attraction and can’t comprehend it, must be love. Previous formula for the same emotion dictated that whatever woman resisted his affections the most adamantly and then let down her guard to an elegant seduction of deeds and art, must be love. There were loves at first sight, or interaction as well as friendships that became romances and he was unafraid to say the words again. The words often came out without his permission.
Overtime several women had accused him of bastardizing the loaded phrase via serial usage. There were over a dozen women he’d uttered it to over the course of his 28 years. Generally after the conquest of kisses, but to a couple stupidly even before.
They were all very different women of course and they all brought out very different rolls to his emotional dice. Sides to his coin being a limited idiom. Supposedly in popular fictions man or woman is supposed to have only one true love in a lifetime, to marry them or be parted from them tragically. So Kawa was working hard by that standard, which truly in real life it can never be that simple, that limited.
“You’re really something to write about,” he says.
“Absolutely I am. And I never say sorry to men, but Rafael said he would cancel his friendship with me if I didn’t say sorry to you. Apparently I underestimated that you are the favorite host. The dashing revolutionary saint. The darling also of the owner. The grandeismo! Wait, I’m not sure what that word means blat! You’re great. Also as the confidant of Rafael Rafael and Viktoria, you should become my confidant too.”
“I’m just Kawa on my good nights.”
“And on the bad nights? Tell me some of your other names,” she whispers.
“Zachariah, Valera or Vasyli Pveada, or, wait, wait, my memory is growing back, perhaps your papers really say: Sebastian Adonaev! Ha! A royal victory? Where did you concoct these strange and slightly atrocious monikers? Moniker, is that the right word?”
He nods slightly.
“I’m Kawa when the drinks flow and the desire to dance returns to my hard hips. All other times I’m at war. With myself and my nature, with a world of sheep and a den of wolves. In such circumstances I require a hard Russian name, and the luck of a royal victory.”
“Hmm. Well it sounds ridiculous the way you say it. I’ll call you Valera, highly sparingly, it’s an insult you know! Some girl insulted you and you made it your Russian name. We can get you a new on. But, Kawa is okay too. I’ll see what rolls better off tongue. All that other stuff, well I have no idea what you’re talking about.
“Martina, two shots, Russian Standard please,” Daria proclaims dropping another twenty on the bar. Martina the bartender comes over and gives Dasha a little wink again. She pours them out.
“This is sorry alright,” she smiles “I have said the words sorry! Now I again reserve the right to be rude to you and forget about it later. Fair game, yes? You got two drinks.”
He looks deep into her blue eyes and gives a half smile wondering how much she really remembers. In her eyes he sees someone looking out at him below the swagger of her posture, behind her beauty is a much older beauty.
“Well aren’t you impressed with my new manners?” she asks
I find you quite a bit stunning, he thinks and almost says.
“Of course I am.”
“What are you drinking next?” she asks.
They clink the shots and she proclaims, “Nazdrovia!”
She drinks like a fish, but really she just drinks like a Russian.
“Astika,” she orders for him.
She has years of recent training in anticipating the needs of men. By realizing those needs controlling them. And she thinks, what terrible piss but of course she orders him another one from Martina. The raven black haired Bulgarian bartender who knows exactly what she’s doing. Since Daria never buys men drinks. Because Russian apologies are based on acts not words.
“Are you coming to our little festival?” Daria asks him almost casually.
There will be a four day Bohemian Festival happening Labor Day Weekend where all manner of fuckery will take place in a park in Queens called the Onderdonk Public Historic Fields. Sasho the owner had let Victoria allow Kawa do a benefit concert for their Haiti efforts at Mehanata a month ago. So a week from now Kawa and his E.M.T., Paramedic in training comrade Jared Forgetter from Kalifornia will be freelance E.M.T.s covering the first two days of festival.
“Wait,” she pauses.
“You are working the festival as our paramedic,” she says as she presses her palm to his side burn and face side.
“Sharp as a dagger you are dorogaia,” he smirks.
She smiles with big bright eyes. Who the fuck taught you that word, she thinks.
“Don’t call me dear ever again, I’m not so old! I’ll alert you that I may well come to some of that festival and if I fall down, drunk, I will ask for very intimate and professional service.”
“Hand pressed ice,” he promises reaching for her waist then thinking again.
“Hand pressed everything,” she demands.
“It’s at the service of all attending,” he declares.
“You are a true servant of the people,” she mocks with a wink.
“Dasha, you’re a tough act to follow.”
“You’re gonna keep calling me that are you?”
“That a problem?”
“It’s rather intimate, I don’t know if we know each other like this or that.”
“Well I suppose we can work on that over festival.”
She smiles a lovely, practiced smile.
Kawa, or whatever stupid name you’re calling yourself tonight. Press me best you can. The risk is completely yours not mine.”
A song about the great and noble Commandant Che Guevara by the Buena Vista Social Club comes on and she thrusts herself into his arms for a last dance. They take the floor to themselves.
“I knew you back in Cuba,” she whispers in his ear.
“I’ve never been to Cuba,” he replies with a stone face.
She Latin sashays with him across the dance floor muscling out the other couples with her buxom way. She’s part crass and part wonderful. She lets him lead and he does a fairly good job under pressure to keep up. It’s been over a year since he’s danced with a woman of any substance.
“You dance like you’re actually from the Caribbean,” she says to him.
“But I’ve never been to Cuba,” he repeats.
He dips her slightly. She’s a gorgeous powerful woman who will always get what she wants in the end so it seems. Except perhaps happiness which no power or money can so far buy.
“You’ve gotten much better at playing an Amerikansky radical,” she tells him in Ivory language. “You are even at better at playing a Russian courtesan,” he replies and they dance the rest of the night.
It is past 4 am now and efforts begin to clear the worst kind of rabble out the tavern have begun. Only card carrying regulars and lovers of staff can remain and light things up or pound things down. It’s now with the storm shudders sealed just over two dozen left lingering around the bar. Smoke them if you got them. They count out the cash on the bar. For some reason, with almost no music, drunk as hell, Kawa and Daria are still dancing. Slumped into each other.
“Right never on schedule,” says Justin Toomey O’Azzello to Sasho, the burly owner smoking a cigar at the end of the ground floor bar passage way, packed up with intoxicated core circle patrons, tight except around his circumference.
“Hasn’t changed his cap or tune much in ten years,” Justin notes.
“I know him of course,” Sasho says without looking up, “with or without the ridiculous peasant cap. He’s been the same good man for over a decade. Dependable killer. Knocked the fuck around in Ayiti, that is for sure.”
“He’s dancing with Daria Andreavna, good for him! She’s got great big ones for him.”
“He’s always dancing with Daria,” replies Martina, “or at least trying to dance with her anyway.”
“You’re thinking of…” notes Justin.
“No my O’Azzello. I’m thinking exactly what I mean to be thinking. He’s always dancing with my Dasha right before things get interesting around here. And it sure will get interesting fast.”
“They just met boss,” says Martina.
Sasho almost yells,“You’re thinking of things three dimensionally and I am thinking of things fifth dimensionally, even sixthly or seventhly and I know that when those two dance. Fucking trouble. Niggers with fire and arms in the streets. Illubadori mind games. Decapitations on camera and lynchings to boot. Lynchings I say! Gays being flung of roof tops! And lots of piles of burning bodies. Walking dead and fucking flying robots. It’s time to call up all our troops, every single man to the front.”
Justin sometimes suspected the boss was fucking insane, but the old man had a gift for utilizing that insanity. The lights come on and the remaining guests not vouched for are herded like drunk cats out the secondary exit on to Ludlow street until no one is left inside but the staff, a handful of regulars and of course Sasho with his cigar.
Daria and Kawa wander out into what’s left of the night on the Lower East Side.
Out of the corner of his eye Sasho notices the mini Mexican weight staff are carrying the body of a man out of the tiny room upstairs where people go to fuck whores, or their drunk lady girlfriends, or college students. Or, he supposed less frequently, but evidently in case tonight; kill a man, drain his blood and empty his pockets. A little room to the very back of the second floor mezzanine. You can fuck or even murder at the top of your lungs and no one would know. Of the four little Mexicans none are taller than four feet a piece and they must carry drag the body down the stairs. The corpse is pale from exsanguination, being bled totally dry.
“Into the soup or the soap?” asks little Enrique from Monterrey in Spanish.
Sasho nods. “Let the dead keep eating the dead, like they do out in the colonies.” James White and James Brown sit with their drinks in near silence. Tanya just counts money. Martina counts more money with a smoke in her mouth for some reason naked as they day she was born. Justin Toomey the General Manager sits on the bar next to Sasho wondering how many days the Tavern in its current incarnation has left above ground.
At the Tea Room above the Tavern
“A MOBILIZATION FOR PEOPLES’ POWER”
The infamous Bulgarian Tavern has roughly four doors in and three tunnels out. Also a roof hatch. You could completely miss the whole place if you weren’t looking for it. For the nine to thirteen million rats in their various stages of the great race to make it here, this city never fucking sleeps. Its go, go, go, go, zoom, zoom, rush rush! Slaves and Serfs to the trains for wage service. It’s all an illusion its fun here. With no currency, with endless wage work the place is bleak urban hell. It’s a filthy place except at the very center. The Isle of Man. Getting in early with red eyes and leaving late. Back on the cattle cars. The masters dangling enough to cover the rising rent and some groceries if you’re lucky. You’re so lucky to here in this cage! The hope dies out. You whore yourself somehow. You have to! You drink more than you should. It feels worse if you’re not from here. Even the yellow cab driver have more education than most of the rest of the country. The black sports utility vehicles, with tinted windows and important people that don’t want to look at you. The constant sirens. Everyone running somewhere not making eye contact. Always a fucking siren going off for some emergency that isn’t probably real. The city itself was built on the very top of the mountain. Its highest towers hold more rich and powerful people than anywhere on earth. Except maybe Moscow and London. This apple is all poison and rotten. The high octane hyper diversity is just a sex circus. Plus a racial death trap. Plus an ugly over crowed sprawl more regularly breaking then making those who arrive from the interior or abroad.
Nikholai Trickovitch is bleary eyed. He stinks of cigarettes, some cheap men’s fragrance and also of raw smoked Rum. The climate here is repressive towards the end of summer. Rum Barbancourt Nine Star on the rocks isn’t served in this part of town. So he brought his own bottle to the tavern. For their troubles were about to mount exponentially. Their bravest battle was about to arrive. ‘Heroes will be separated from hooligans. The cowards from the brave. The sacred from the profane.’ Well anyway so said the voice of their leader Emma Solomon on the Fire Switch Radio.
Nikholai by very early association with the even more militant Kawa in the early days of the Resistance is part of the inner most core of the leadership of the Z.O.B. The clandestine network of insurgent cells and for a time the editor of its underground newspaper, ‘the Banshee News Service.’ He highly prefers conducting his revolutionary duties from the computer of his uptown Penthouse. Moving things about the internet, correcting pamphlets and public movement speeches Kawa and their comrades give in soap box parks and on the trains. Nikh was persuaded to manage the logistics for the very First Haiti Operation. He did pretty well. Only two had gotten killed. He was then later persuaded to manage ground logistics in Port-Au-Prince for the expeditionary forces. Still later, he joined the medical guerrillas in their ill-fated expedition into Gran Colombia. Where most of the partisans were wiped out and he barely survived the long walk home. But, he has only so much will power to back up such walk and warfare.
‘I might need yet another drink!’, thinks Trickovitch. He knows it will be a long meeting and the A/C won’t work well in the private upper club house. The night is really just getting started work wise even though it’s past 4am. They’re erring toward minimal street traffic, but even the rats and pigeons here work in shifts. Well that same night Nicholai Trickovitch put together a little squad to do, “another messy little big job.” There were big jobs and little jobs. There were protracted campaigns that took many years. Some jobs where social engineering was needed. Others where brute force was the best approach. A job that has a lot of force commitment is called ‘an Operation’. Several coordinated large scale operations are dubbed a ‘Campaign’.
Nikh has to get buy in. No one is ever fully in charge of the structure. Now, outside New York the Resistance gets very eclectic with who is involved. It would be inaccurate to say anyone could possibly ever lead it. It is bad in New York where well over 70% of the population wasn’t even born here. A lot of players. They all “Relied heavily on Neg, Blan and Gray magic to keep this whole thing together,” as Nicholai was fond of saying, “But in New York Fucking City, we still do things the old fashioned way. By having a real tight crew.”
Based on the Kurdish origin of their military doctrine, their “crew” was typically organized into a “Kol” or ‘section’ of 7 to 10 gender mixed fighters. Two or three ‘Kols’ were organized into a “Takim” or ‘squad’ of up to 30 people. 2 Takims make up a “Tabor” fighting group or “Platoon” of 40 women and men. It had been some time since the Z.O.B. deployed a defense structure of any larger size inside the country.
For many, many years Newyorkgrad was not “the old Newyorkgrad” that so many who had never visited imagined it to be based on movies and television. In the dead of something, where night creeps toward dusk, around a table on the fourth floor of 113 Ludlow Street, they met. That is to say the restaurant immediately above the Mehanata Tavern. A little talk is underway, a briefing. Maybe also something of a sale pitch.
“There are thirteen elected leaders of the Z.O.B,” Trickovitch explains, “Two have disappeared. We don’t fill their seats, but we consider them probably, most likely dead. One is living in a submarine somewhere hidden. Two are sleeping. That’s a polite way of staying they were thrown in a filtration camp and badly tortured. Most of them kill themselves sometime after. That means at any given period nine are left. Left in charge of all the cells in the division. Greater Newyorkgrad.”
The table is wooden and plates of tapas have all been cleared. Nobody got in from the street. They got in from the various tunnels. It’s time for black tea.
“Let me tell you how this is gonna go down,” says Nikh to his fellow partisans which include the tall well-polished Jamaican Gangster Mickhi Dbrisk. He is wearing a black suit with no tie after coming from work at previous engagement. Where girls were still jiggling.
Mara Fitzduff is a half pint Fenian. Barely ever smiles. A dirty blonde rebel famous for her firebrand speeches on the Fire Switch Radio. Also present is Rafael Ernesto Contreras, the Peruvian disk jockey. A photographer too. Retired child soldier and lesser officer of a defunct guerrilla band in the Arequipa Province. The fifth member of this add-hock unit is Mr. Siegfried Sassoon. He speaks very well with great emotion in his face. He should be expected to as he is an actor classically trained in Moscow. He too is just getting off work as a bar tender at a flashy supper club up the street called the ‘Red Fox Box’. A dashing swaggerous man of Cuban descent. The sixth man in this last minute, late night call up was the light skinned Haitian smooth criminal Watson Entwissle. The seventh at the table wasn’t made yet. A smooth young blood from East New York. Says his name is Joshua Hunter. Has okay references and they are going to test him out. Could be a plant.
Watson is pretty pissed. You can tell when he’s pissed, he doesn’t pay attention at all. It’s based anyway on the past midnight hour. He left his favorite ‘sexy chocolate’ in bed in Yonkers for this “very tedious bullshit.” He doesn’t get to see his old lady enough. She lives in Boston. Ms. Charlotte from Uganda.
In the confusing and albeit vaguely disjointed chain of command Mara, Watson, Mickhi and Nicholai are all title holding inner leadership. Only one is from the inner nine. Siegfried Sassoon, Hunter and Raphael were called in as ‘hevals’. Though technically Hunter was not even a ‘provisional member’. Hasn’t made rank or been sworn in. Not written in the book of life. But they were told he can do good work by Dbrisk.
“The Labor Day weekend begins in 72 hours and you all know what’s coming,” explains Mickhi, “The West Indian Day Parade ain’t heading south at the Grand Army Plaza. Oh no, they’re gonna head north right over the bridges and attempt to occupy the mostly empty City on Isle of Mann.”
Everybody except young Joshua Hunter knows that already. They are gonna stick Hunter with Watson and Watson will keep him working this weekend until he is trust-able, or dead. They are all aware of the score.
“As most of us know this revolt is a three stage campaign in Newyorkgrad is being coordinated mostly by the Pan-Africanists, the Garveyites, the N.L.M.M., some of the liberal and radical medical trade unions, the I.W.W. of course, the Shi’a Muslims, the Occupiers, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, the various affiliated radical student movements in C.U.N.Y., the 1199 Trade Union, as well as the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and of course, our faction Uhuru and greater we,” explains Mickhi, “Namely the Brotherhood and the Banshee Group.”
“The dry runs were the messy occupations on Wall Street and around the country last year to assess the state defenses. Phase Two is Labor Day where we liberate Breuklyn, the Bronks and Queens. Phase three will be to hold ground and liberate ‘the City’ just before New Year’s Eve,” he continues, “The goal is to declare a whole series of confederated cantons up and down the east coast. Hunker down and defend them from federal counter assault.”
“Hectic shit,” mutters Raphael.
“Our role then is quite basic in phase two,” explains Nikholai Trickovitch, who knew indeed that the General Rising was close in coming, but not actually a mere five days away.
“We all know what was revealed about the h1n1 and Ebola. We’ve all seen the reports. The documentation has been widely circulated and now our people are ready. Enough outrages have occurred to spark something bigger than riots. The ‘Stop and Frisk’, the weekly shootings, the Iran war conscription and the new walking drones of course. This time almost everyone expects death camps and prolonged urban warfare, not Capoeira,” Mickhi explains.
“The Z.O.B. has called up eight hundred light infantry organized into 20 Tabors. Snipers, Combat medics, anti-drone rocketeers and agitation propaganda officers will all support the needs of the parade redirection. Our convoy of marauders. They will be attached to each major island band truck. 40 to 80 fighters per band. Each truck has been outfitted with bullet proof siding and once we pop off we’re going to mount PKM machine guns to the tops.”
Trickovitch unfolds a diagram.
“Flying columns are on the ready in all five boroughs. Though we do not expect much action on Monday in Staten Isle, Queens or the Bronks,” says Nikh, “An additional three hundred and forty women and men will support A.B.C./ Occupier actions in the Financial District as well as set up casualty collection points in Brooklyn and Isle of Mann.”
“Listen!”, declares Watson, “Watson knows all of this shit. Done known the plan for weeks. So brother please come to conclusion so I can get Bronks bound with this new jack,” says Watson, “he can wash my car before we die in the coming melee.”
“Watson, we just need this young blood briefed. You can get out the door in fifty minutes,” Mickhi tells him. Used to his friend’s way.
“Watson needs this to happen in way less minutes,” he replies with a grin.
“As usual,” continues Mickhi, “The two Haitian Convoys will bring up the middle and the rear. Unknown to the City parade organizers. And also unknown hopefully to the police intelligence forces that there are actually three Haitian bands this year of 10,000 masqueraders a piece. About ¾ up the route the Middle Convoy which is gonna be twice as big will initiate the raid across the Grand Army Plaza and then fight their way up Flatbush hope fully with the people behind us. That is when the uprising will begin.”
“What’s our precise goal tonight,” asks Siegfried Sassoon. Siggy, never goes to that many meetings. He never votes in Otriad elections except with his feet for Kawa. When Kawa is leading he steps back and when Kawa is sleeping her steps up. He did however vote for keeping Kawa asleep after the last Ayiti job, when the Hospitaliers took him very hard. Kawa is a serious knock around guy; best estimates think he’s been taken to the camps over 21 times. About three years’ worth of his life. Siggy, like Watson does jobs not meetings. Neither ever-ever tries to be at these meetings. Rarely even the candle light salons in Breuklyn. Which are sometimes cute.
“We’re gonna install Fire Station Transmitters on four very, very tall structures,” says Mara Fitzduff. She has over the years been the club’s ‘Chief of Staff’, worked in the propaganda bureau, in academy on the ‘Science of Women’ and done much of the fund raising for the past ten years. She’s not always officially even in the Z.O.B., but she is always very dependable. She has no salty broag. She’s got one kid with a soldier who ran off somewhere. Another kid with the Russian-Ivory loan shark Donny Gold who Kawa and Nikholai went to high school with ‘way back in the day’. So in that regard she’s double tied down.
“Then Monday we’re gonna deploy some troops and blow up some infrastructure,” says Dbrisk.
“Where we doing all that on Labor Day weekend?” asks Joshua.
“Alot of what ifs,” Dbrisk replies, “But, focused on likely scenarios. We expect the initial uprising to punch through police lines and make it as far as down town Brooklyn before its..liquidated, pacified by drones and E.S.U. machine gun nests.”
“So you don’t even expect us to make it into the City,” Hunter asks them.
“In short. No. It’s probably gonna turn into a blood bath,” says Nicholai, “But getting into the city on Monday is not really the goal. While the Labor Day Parade gets routed toward to Bridges up Flatbush Ave the Anarchists and students are going to try and storm the trading floors on Wall Street itself. To facilitate operation we’re gonna again have embedded fighters and medics, less but still 4 tabors. We’re gonna blow some things up to confuse the N.Y.P.D. efforts to guess what we’re really doing. Such as four Con Ed stations and the two big N.S.A. biometrics and data warehouses.”
“What about the E.M.P.?”
“That’s just to terrorize them,” states Mara.
“Hitting the Consolidated Edison building puts most of Manhattan in the dark anyway” says Mickhi Dbrisk, who has been the club’s Operation’s Chief since nearly the very beginning. Nikholai holds the official position of Logistics Coordinator, but he’s more hands on than many before or after him as a good logistic fixer should be. He’s the one who arranges a lot of the supply raids and bombing targets. Now that Kawa lives in a dream or a nightmare.
“The fire switch transmitters will override both the police and commercial radio system and turn whatever frequencies we feel like into dancehall tunes or rebel broadcast stations. We need them well hidden and we need them high as possible,” explains Mara, “so we can keep broadcasting when they shut the internet down again.”
“We’ve gotten the four spots picked out well enough,” Nicholai explains, “each transmitter is about the size of a football. Pretty much get it high up, turn it on. We can transmit the Fire Switch Station over Wi-Fi from the West Indies. There are Silenced Macro-Uzi blasters, transmitters and flicker masks in the bags at the downstairs at coat check. One for each team,” Mara says.
She continues, “When we conclude here you buddy up and head to the staging points on thee hand notes here. Get in doors before dawn. In about two hours. You wake up again when it’s dark again. One team per location. Before you surface again, your masks go on to obscure your faces, before you head to staging. At staging and leaving staging. Those masks don’t come off in elevators, in lobbies, on streets anywhere near that building. The cameras are everywhere, as you know. You’ll live die or get tortured by that mask. Each team has a high rise structure. How you get on top of it, well each of your team leads known that route. You will get up the roof and turn on the transmitters.”
“Try to hide them somewhere,” Nicholai mentions. Don’t just leave them lying around, they’re booby trapped anyway. Whoever tries to turn them off will is gonna lose their arms and face,” says Mara.
“Watson you’ll take Hunter with you to Manhattan North staging,” explains Nikh, “Siggy and your crew you’re setting up the downtown. Jon Denby and I will set up in Manhattan Central. Raphael and crew in Queens will be setting up the Long Island City installation which is quite tricky because there’s nothing residential in the CITI Corp building so we’ll have to social engineer it. Dbrisk and your crew will go after the High tower on Atlantic Junction Downtown Brooklyn also with the same predicament.”
Mara continues “Once you get to the safe houses you’re staying at feel free to relax and take a long nap. You’ve all been up all week. Some of you all month. This doesn’t have to happen at once or tomorrow. It just has to happen before we blow up the power stations on Monday morning. So enjoy, thank god it’s just Tuesday” grins Mara.
“We’re working out of the apartment brothels yet again?” asks Raphael. The joy in his voice is real for he so loves the Manhattan apartment brothels. You can’t properly afford them as an internationalist Disk Jockey.
“We need these devices set up real high,” says Mara, “If we can knock out their power grid and maintain alternative systems of communications we’re keeping to our end of the mutual aid agreement with the Garveyite Movement, Uhuru and the ABC; the tip our spear. Without blowing our arsenal and fighters prematurely,” she says, “as you all know this is phase two of three. We’re only fully mobilizing forces and taking this national if we manage to take the City or if we can hold Breuklyn longer than a month. Otherwise it’s 1st Nivôse.”
“Joshua, you gonna ride with us on this?” Watson asks him.
“Yeah one hundred,” the kid replies.
Mickhi Dbrisk chuckles.
“The Four transmitters set us up to broadcast the good word from Ayiti. They allow us to speak to the people. We expect the masqueraders and Uhuru light infantry tabors to reach Grand Army Plaza around 11am and begin the redirection maneuver toward the bridges by noon. As soon as we get confirmation from our people on the ground, then we are going to blow the Consolidated Edison power stations, the N.S.A. Data aggregation depots and finally, we will E.M.P. Police Plaza One and all of the the district financial at noon thirty. Put the whole fucking city in the dark. In coordination with the Anarchist Black Cross who will be simultaneously lead the assault on Wall Street. If they mange to breech an hold. Which is a big if. Well we push the spear deep in the beast as we can.”
“If the Garveyites and Uhuru are not all gunned down before they even reach the bridges,” says Watson.
Mara says, “Another real big if.”
Watson just watches the size of the pupils on young Joshua Hunter, watches him breathe and counts the breathes. Because all of this is one big act of science fiction. One big feigning maneuver. Joshua Hunter from East New York is an informant. A police spy. None of the locations and targets being talked about are real. The Department of Homeland Security knows about the Labor Day Uprising and so so do the police. They know about the ABC Wall Street take over march. They know just about everything because they have informants in all of the groups and factions except the Z.O.B. Mara and Anya have been feeding loads of misinformation for months about what will happen on Monday and where. There will be an uprising in Brooklyn. There will be a coordinated attempt to re-occupy Wall Street. There will be a non-stop Fire Switch Pirate broadcast of the New Social Gospel. There will be bombs going off in power plants, data aggregation depots and a black out down town with or without use of the Electromagnetic Pulse Ordinance build by sympathizers in Stony Brook. But this is still all one big, bloody feigning operation because the revolution will actually begin until 1st Nivose. New Years Eve. This is all still a drill.
“ Real Big Monday,” says Michkai Dbrisk, “I’ll be on the Parkway early with Watson and the rest of the squad.”
Mara says, “All of you are in the trenches and I’m running the dispatch with Anya out of a secure location in the Bronks. Things are going to pop the hell off. We’ll do the best we can to keep up with impossible expectations, any questions?”
No one has any. Except Joshua.
“Where did ya’ll get them E.M.P. from?”
“Joshua. That’s not a very adult question,” says Mara.
“So we just gonna done black out down town and hit from two sides?” he asks them.
“Yessir,” says Watson, who honestly just wants to get back to Yonkers.
“I love centralized democracy,” exclaims Mara, “All of you please grab your gear at coat check and get out via the tunnels you came in on,” Mara tells them, “Good luck. Don’t get needlessly killed this weekend. Shahid Namaran!”
Things were about to go smash bang! Then fully explode. In flame and death in the night. To the sweet blaring tunes of the Wild West Indies.