“LIVE YOUR LIFE”
An American Mayakovsky Production
Walter Sebastian Adler
Adoneav, a Fugitive
Sasho, a Voorhi
Medvinsky, a Gangster
Dmitry, a Lawyer
Entwisle, a Patriot
Maria Silverstova, a Prostitute
Appleovich, a Subversive
Anya, a Martyr
Newey, A Prisoner
Reed, a Marine
Rhubarb, a Mystic
Abu Hamsa, a Fixer
Mountain, a Professional soldier
Spirit of War, a Guerrilla
Goldy, a Courtesan
A MIDDLE EASTERN WESTERN
Synopsis: A volunteer returns from a foreign war to “Newyorkgrad”. He is re-united with old friends at a Tavern he is hiding out in, many of which he believed had died in the war. The secret police pursue him. Someone wants him dead. He is haunted by a woman that wrote to him every day on the front, Goldy, a singer who is about to marry her wealthy patron. Adonaev is soon joined by a shot girl, police spy, a gangster, an anarchist and a person who plans to kill him.
Framing mechanism: A man hides out in a Tavern. He is joined over the course of Act 1 by many of his “dead friends”. They inquire about varying matters and engage him in drinks, poetry and song. It is not ultimately clear if he is himself dead, in some purgatory, or living out an unhinged non-reality confined in a mental hospital. It is revealed that at midnight tomorrow the love of his life will marry a wealthy man for citizenship.
In Act 2 varying charterers previously introduced take hostages at the Millennium Theatre, in an effort to stop the marriage, which the media declares an “act of terror”, related to the unknown foreign war. Sebastian and his group are ultimately killed with bullets and poisonous gas.
Conflict: In Act 1, tension builds as 1 or more of the “Old and New Friends” are planning to kill fugitive Sebastian. Ends with a shoot out. In Act 2, the friends take hostages at a theatre, they all are ultimately killed when the police pump in poison gas and then raid the building.
Adonaev, a fugitive is being hidden in a Tavern. A soldier returning from a foreign war, losing his mind. A shot girl, Maria Silverstova with forty bullet shots, sells Vodka based drinks. Ever present smoking a cigar is Sasho, the owner. Also, the Gangster Medvinsky, an old friend of Sebastian and Peter, a marine and decorated war veteran. They are later joined by Dmitry, a lawyer bringing bad news of a wedding. Watson Entwisle, newly returned from the colonies with news of an uprising there. Alexander an anarchist, and a professional Solider “Mountain Rock” are all veterans from the war. And Siegfried Sassoon, a Cuban Actor shows up to warn Sebastian the police are looking for him.
Improbably in walks Anya Campbell, who died in the war. Dan Newey, who was last known to be in Prison; a young sultry Lebanese debutante Anya Rhubarb, the Fixer Ayar Rassool and the burly Guerrilla commander Jansher the Georgian.)
One or more of these old and newly dead friends plans to murder Adonaev. He is told that around midnight the next day Goldy his confidant will soon marry her patron after curtain call at the Millennium Theatre.
Well I guess I didn’t die in the war!
But my friends are dead.
I survived to say the most and do the least.
We are the ones who held the barricades
I just returned,
On a shuttle from the fires of the Middle East,
I survived, I survived by happenstance,
This I know!
When dozens that I slept beside are now in coffins,
In the ground below.
This revolution is a first, and perhaps also a last chance.
Their fearless faces,
Are now martyr posters on a wall,
Reports are now coming in, the Turkish Army is fast advancing;
Rojava will likely fall!
Well I guess I didn’t die in the war!
But my friends are dead.
I walk in concentric circles, I try to tell our story,
A story etched upon my brain.
I tell the tale to many scared civilians, they look at me like a mad man,
A foreign person person gone insane!
Thanks to the fallen, the Islamic State is now defeated.
Thanks to to the YPG and YPJ these bandits have retreated.
Now raise the glass or the flag!
For what we’ve done!
American thanks, still it remains unsaid.
There was a clear and present danger,
A vile Jihadist menance,
Lives lost, flags flown high, the dead cannot mourn the dead.
Thanks to my training:
I can stay awake for days,
Here I am!
Here I am.
I’m alive, I’m alive but my friends are dead,
Find me the means, count me in all the ways!
Back in this fortress of a city,
In the heart of the Empire,
Make a stand;
You know the way!
This is your land.
What we gave and what we lost is a nightmare, that forever will replay!
On the very soil of my homeland,
the total safety of this place,
I beg my God, I beg my family and my lovers,
Give me bullet.
Let me not die in disgrace!
In my adopted not-a-country Kurdistan,
The enemy advances
The Turkish Army kills my people, burns our cities,
Aims to defeat our revolution,
What are the odds,
What are the chances?
I know forever I will carry, the faces of my dead friends, dagger etched inside me the on the inner most compartment of my mind,
There so much hurry up and waiting, there were bodies on the road,
40,000 died for Kurdistan!
Everything around you could explode!
There was fire on the mountains there, there was bloody murder in the streets,
There was marching, there was dying,
There was attacking,
There was terror,
There going forward then retreating.
Thank to my training,
I can take apart a rifle. I can put it back together.
Thanks to my training,
I can engage in democracy, I can believe we can do better.
Well I guess I didn’t die in the war!
I’m alive! I’m alive!
But my friends are dead.
I was hiding in that Tavern, then Adonaev said:
I had spent my 33rd birthday in a Chinese bathhouse, if your could call it a bath house in Sulymaniya. During our border re-entry run from Rojava back into Iraq, most of our column was blown apart in missile strikes, we hid in a P.K.K. dug out for two days. I was covered in piss, shit blood, mostly other people’s blood, mostly my own piss.
Jansher, my commander, I think he died. Died getting us out of Rojava before the Turkish invasion began. I turned 33. An Armenian volunteer bought me an oriental woman, but all I wanted to do was take a long hot shower. Wash the filth and death off of me. Get out of that fucking uniform forever, get on the next evacuation shuttle. Get back to Daria Andreavna alive.
Now!I am back in Newyorkgrad, far from the war in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. But! The war and the ghosts never leave me. I ride the train with plump and ignorant civilians. Some Chornay put on an obnoxious show time.
By way of Baghdad then Cairo, now I am back. My mind isn’t where I had thought I’d left it and nether are any of my friends and family. Is it March? It’s March or it’s April. I have just done a forty day bid in the hospital. Might have been eighty with a two day run for the mountains in between. I might be facing an assault charge. I might be tailed. I hide in the only place I think I can fit in. A Tavern on Ludlow street. I call Sasho from a pay phone. He says to lay low and head to the Tavern riht before night fall.
I don’t know what the hospitals did to me, actually. I just want to kill myself.
I show up to the Tavern very early. The place is empty. The owner Sasho isn’t around nor is my friend and associate, the Gangster Medvinsky.
On the wire, I heard Ms. Daria Andreavna will get married tomorrow on her 29th birthday, right after the curtain call on a play she sings in, in Midtown. She wrote me every day during the war. I think I’m just too late.
I think I’m being followed. I threw my phone in the river. Now I don’t have a phone. I’m either chasing myself in a circle around the Isle of Man, or the follow follow men are trailing me. Seeing who I meet with, before the pick me up again.
Well anyway, there’s only one way in, but four ways out of this Bulgarian tavern.
Other than a pity coffee here and there, everyone is nervous about me and giving me tons of space. Avoiding me that is to say. Not Medvinsky, he’s buying me drink. Out in the wide open. Like he doesn’t give a fuck!
In walks a Shot girl Maria Silverstova.
Why Hello my very strange one, my wayward and my leeward Amerikanski. You can say to me Privet, my old new friend. I know you naked.
I had met Maria at the Bulgarian Bar the very night I got off the evacuation plane. I had met her again on international working woman’s day.
She gave me a good price. There are 70 Rubles in Dollar. Her shots, they cost 280. Her body much more.
I tell people I’m from Moscow, though of course I am not.
My waist is tight and breasts are quite ample. It is all contained under a little black cock tail dress. Holding around forty plastic bullets of Vodka; I sell them in the Tavern for 70 Rubles apiece. Ethnically speaking I am clearly one of Russia’s 157 sub-ethnicities, perhaps a Chechen, perhaps part Tajik or Uzbek. I think I am a very good listener.
Sasho said you were coming to hide out with us.
I’m looking for Medvinsky.
And Medvinsky, he looks for you.
Sasho said “try and make him happy”.
Sasho has a long history with him. Aiding and abetting a terrorist. The Bulgarians have never really expelled him from that ugly little tavern. In an on scene kind of way, maybe they encourage him. Giving him a refuge.
Adonaev doesn’t remember meeting me 80 days ago. He came here right from the airport. Had Sasho the Voorhi sort him out some work and some papers.
He looked and still looks like a terrifying person, a real mad man.
He had just gotten that very same night in a stupid fist fight, beat a Chornay half to death yelling racial epitaphs. And almost been asked to exit, relinquish his tavern card last Saturday.
I draw him over to a small table, though on duty as shot girl I remain an inquisitive journalist.
Maria, Tovarish Maria how goes the life of night?
I’m alive. It’s a start. Would you like a drink?
Not on your ruble.
There’s other Rubles to pour from. Let’s sit.
Tell me about the Civil War. A little bit, enough to have a sense of what anyone is supposed to do about you or your friends who came back to us.
More good was done than any evil, by my otriad anyway. I’m sure the others killed more Jihadists and I did more medical care, but it was all a group effort. But really, few of my friends survived the war.
The Arabs and Kurds are just going to grind away until Turkey rolls in to squash the entire revolution.
What Otriad did you serve in? I’m a little familiar with actors.
I served in the Shahid Firat Tabor of the People’s Protection Units, the Y.P.G.
The Kurdish Militia recieving American support to defeat the Islamic State.
Freedom fighting or U.S. Imperialism, maybe both?
We were defending the only Democracy in the Middle East besides Israel. Turkey was bombing us from the North, Al Qaeda attacking from Idlib in the West, the Hashid Ashabi Popular Mobilization forces from the east and ISIS from the south.
You take guns from who offers them in that situation.
So, on the news tonight. Turkey has begun a new Operation against Rojava. You are aware Afrin Canton is almost completely over run and Mambij is next and the Turkish army will probably undo all if any progress you all had made out there, against who ever it was the Americans had you fighting? And have now abandoned.
I don’t sleep well anymore. I use combinations of masturbation, drinking and drugs to put the lights out, I guess some emphasis on the drinking too. I get it. We all died or almost died or didn’t die and it was all for nothing. I get it. And Daria Andreavna and will never see each other again, and I writhe in pain avoiding my face in the mirror.
I need from you, or Medvinsky. A different kind of bullet.
Prosto! You need a new whore! Someone to pay to love you ever better. Not me, I’m too much for you too. I too want luxury carrots remember, not paintings or any poems. The couple times we eye to eyed, we french kissed, it just makes me pity you a lot.
You’re basically not a man to me or Daria Andreavna. You have no car, no good job, no property and for right now no ability to move beyond your own paralysis. I and she and others like us have to think about papers.
Ne-yet Prosto. Not simple. I need a revolver so I can restively and decisively shoot myself in the head like a man! Or turn it on her fat ugly Patron. That will be enough. I should have died with my friends in Afrin.
Do you even possess the understanding to know what is on the table there? Do you even have the care? They were liberating the women, they were instituting a democracy and they were planting trees. I feel like I briefly defended a utopia, only to be cast out.
Sent back here where I am less than a man. Less than criminal!
Prosto! (Simple) Go back to the begging of the narrative and explain me your motivation!
Tell me how your valiant and slightly suicidal mission began and the connection between your ideas on free life verses a meaningful life in motion. Be, fucking linear! Tell the tale from beginning to end instead of dancing around like a crazy person.
Tovarish Maria, I would like a dance from you first. I will pay the full amount in dollars.
Your money Tovarish, they say is no good here. You can’t pay for a bullet or dance. You can’t pay in Rubles, Dollars or faceless Dinars.
You can buy time with or with out sympathy.
Sympathies with the resistance?
Sympathy with an American Mayakovsky, and those who enjoy his performances. Shamelessly flailing, shamelessly throwing himself in front of armies and trains, over what?
You do in fact know what!
You know I don’t partake in the lap land for free. Don’t you have a forest wife in Nizhny Novgorod as well as a son somewhere? It will cost you nine hundred dollars to degrade yourself and me tonight.
That actually 64,800 Rubles an hour. Supply and demand.
I don’t think you even have enough for a bullet. Certainly not enough to buy the only thing you really want.
I don’t have 100 Rubles to my name.
Then you get what you pay for, which is nothingly nothings.
What is my story worth?
It’s worth less than a lap dance.
I need her you know.
Oh that we all know.
“It doesn’t take a weather man or woman, to know which way the winds blow.” Old American saying?
I don’t follow pretty your little allegory.
Old Russian saying, “I want to dance on your face until your mask falls off.”
That one I understood, perfectly.
As if I was making reports in Russian, or Turkish.
“He has just returned from Syria. The duration of the self deployment was around nine months were we to include Cuba and Russia and also Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. He is haunted. And despondent, a veteran of the People’s Protection Units; called the Y.P.G, you pronounce the G as ‘gay’. He has been with out any doubt ideologically indoctrinated by the Kurdistan Workers Party and given some basic military training. Brain washing. He is to be watched, if necessary eliminated.”
Well I guess you didn’t die in the war.
Well I guess I didn’t die in the war.
There was a lot of shame in that. I was mysteriously back in New York, trapped and totally useless. All my best efforts forgotten and amounting to less than one nothing.
Stop talking and thinking only about yourself for a minute blat. Tell me about your murdered Comrade Anya Campbell. Tell me about your soon to be dead Kurdish friends.
Enter the Gangster Medvinsky
But Sebastian Adonaev, being the Sebastian Adonaev, who I invest too much time and energy in; he hopes to fully con-volute the narrative.
Blur apart the story war and Islamic militancy and revolutionary fervor with busty sex-escapades, pornographic poems and perhaps some borrowed prophesy and Haitians. Chornay dancing about the room waving their flags in the air.
Maria, call up some of your friends this man needs a serious distraction.
A simple patriotic task.
One night at the tavern, about one year after Sebastian arrived home. I was sure he was being followed. His quest which began in Cuba, then Russia, then Iraq, Turkey, Iraq, Turkey, Iraq and then finally Syria), or also about eighty days since he returned a version of his former self. He tries to tell me about his time in Kurdistan.
In the end, the sad conversation always goes back to Daria Andreavna.
What news do you have about Daria Andreavna?
Listen man, not again.
She’s all cleaned up. Singing on Broad Street.
She wrote me..
…every single day of the war?
They have apps that can do that now. Robots can also write you every single day too. You don’t even need to pay them, or sponsor their citizenship.
She loves me. And I love her. And the rest of the details can get figured out. For nine months she urged me to come stay alive and come home. I need to find her.
You can’t even consider supporting Daria, look at the state you’re in.
Even if you were rolling in it, why would you support a woman and her son, who isn’t your son, to stay here? Out of made up imagined duty to act? A perverse Russian American love sickness?
The kind that sent you to Syria in the first place. You can’t even be your own damn Patron. She’s taken anyway man. Someone else has been paying her rent, credit cards and keeping her papers in order.
Sergei? Dmitry? The Chubby Brahman? Corporate Bruce?
What does it matter? Other people’s property now.
I need to see her tonight.
Impossible. She’s a kept woman. Kept a lot closer now.
Well I have her tower address. Maybe leaning towards possible.
No. Certainly. What do you care or know about children, much less someone else’s children. The boy will need Russian language school. He has ADD so maybe a specialized school. Where will you live? Where are you living now? How will you even get that bitch a visa? Leave her alone anyway.
These are all unanswered questions. I love her though, I feel like I need to do this. She wrote me every day during the war.
Nope. You do not. In a month you’ll have another woman, or girl if you want. In the meantime is Daria even talking to you?
No, she is not. She cut the letters off a couple weeks ago.
Prosto, that’s it. You too were an okay team once. You supported each other, in a very strange way.
But really, that Suka is curse.
She’s only with, who ever she is with for some money and the green card.
And you actually want a paper work marriage and world of work?! You’re not stupid Sebastian, but your head is not on the right way again. Go slap yourself in a bath room. Go jump on the shot girl for a ride.
You have less than 100 Rubles. Two whole fucking American dollars.
You cannot afford a woman like Daria Andreavna, I will just come out and say that. You do not have enough shiny gold things.
Next thing we know a Martyr and a dead Guerrilla enter our Tavern.
In video recording a deceased Ana Campbell tells us, “Yes, forgive me loved ones, I died immediately in an airstrike in Afrin. My body was in, smithereens.
Afrin was shortly overrun by Jihadists and the Turkish State. It was the Western most canton of Rojava; the besieged revolutionary movement called Democratic Confederalism that defeated ISIS and took over 45% of Syria, until the Turks began to bring a genocide upon us in April 2018.
I died pretty. I was a true believer. Sebastian blames himself for my death, but really I was a true believer in the cause. I could have died much worse if the Turkish Army or its proxies took my alive. I would have been gang raped. And had my head cut off eventually. Like all the others.
Sebastian lives with his guilt but Dan Newey another guerrilla I almost once kissed, he does not.
Dan Newey is in a British prison accused of terrorism. As are his brother and father. He mourns me loudly. Honestly, we all lost a lot and much defending the Revolution, but we internationalists that the papers now call “the new Chechens”, we were actors on a stage of world events, but we didn’t do that much.
Now I’m dead, which I’ll tell you seems like being on the mountain without being shot at. It’s peaceful, I’ll have him tell you that. I died with my A.K. in hand. I believed in this, I wasn’t mentally ill. I wasn’t a bandit girlfriend. This was, this is, big and important, but sadly as far as self-defense; a mirage.
Without American airstrikes to back us up we melted under Turkish air power.
At the time of writing this my corpse is still behind Turkish lines and it looks like Mambij is next and then all of Rojava will fall to the Turkish Army, a U.S. ally and second biggest in N.A.T.O.
I was happy alive and happy also dead. But vicariously, I grieve for my Arab and Kurdish comrades who prepare to make Shahid Namorey, immortal martyrdom.”
Alcohol is Prohibited in the Party.
I’ll order a water or a Tonic. Drink it in a pint glass like a man. When I was young, I worked seedy places like this.
Actually, I tried to prepare them for a lifestyle of revolutionary militancy. Kill the enemy. Kill the enemy before the enemy can airstrike, execute, torture or disappear you and your friends. I don’t think they all got it. The training was just too short. They retained much of their Western bourgeoisie privileges. They thought it would maybe be like a movie. It’s a shame the woman died, she was the one with possibly the very most potential, excluding the Germans. That’s all I can say about that, Heval.”
Heval is the Kurdish Kurmanji word for friend.