SCENE ELEVEN (XI)
“сколько душе угодно”
Pronunciation: SKOL’ka duSHEH uGODna Meaning: as much as you want
“AS MUCH AS THE SOUL WANTS”
In the Onderdonk Fields between the border of Brooklyn and Queens, Sebastian Adonaev awakes and Daria is still in his arms.
Amazing luck on his part! She is warm and breathing deeply and clutching his hand to her ample breasts and thus is pressing her body against and besides him. Very much engorged he presses his hardness into the plump of her buttocks as if waiting for her to Trinidad wine.
The sun has very much arisen. He finds it very tranquil and makes no effort to wrest her into the wake field yet. The drumming has begun again and the camp is awakening and she smells of perfume and also cigarettes.
Sprawled out on a fabricated Persian carpet, on a now deflated air mattress the thick of him pressed against her rear parts, tits in hand he smiles at small happy victories. Daria is very beautiful and for right now, his.
The Labor Day weekend is allowing the majority of eleven million multitude of Newyorkgrad’s working masses to take a three day weekend. This Bohemian Festival is well timed but is really just a tiny small Gypsy sideshow to a ‘Wiggle and Blatnoy production’ at the abandoned Pfizer Chemical Factory. Or certainly the wider 2.4 million strong West Indian Juveaurt festivities before the Labor Day Parade on Monday.
“Today is just Saturday which means there are three more to go!” declares Raphael Rafael , “hooray for our liberated labor! Labor Day is designed to fall not anywhere near international May Day, which is Democratic Confederalist international workers day to all other workers. Labor Day is designed to separate the bullets from the proverbial gun of the American proletariat,” Rafael Contreras explains as Dasha rolls her eyes and throws back some breakfast Vodka Oleg Megved has obtained to wash down late breakfast. Oleg, the Illubadori photographer of Ukrainian origins, ‘now from Boston’ exclaims: “This man looks just like a young Mayakovsky!”
“You’re right. It’s the hat and uniform and red arm band. A little junior Democratic Confederalist we have here,” agrees Dasha.
“Who was this man, Mayakovsky,” asks Kawa Zivistan.
“Mayakovsky was the greatest Russian Poet that ever lived in the Communist period,” says Oleg. Dasha cuts in sardonically, “the second or third greatest of his period at the very least.”
“You look just like him!” she says pointing to Kawa.
“He had lovers all over the cities and the towns! Marshal Stalin let him tour Europe, Cuba, Mexico and America knowing he’d bring those capitalist pigs to their knees: Just with mere Russian words,” puts in Oleg Medved.
“Let me put on this cap while you draw me more perfectly,” Dasha orders him.
He does as she orders. Daria looks like a partisan girl wearing it. A freedom fighter made so by the circumstances of her times.
“Spitting image of a Partizan,” says Oleg Medved.
He is every bit a burly Russian style gangster. Although really of Ukrainian origin with a puzzling stopover in the Promised Lands in Galilee. An Arab ghetto citadel called Nazareth. So he is certainly also an Illubadori and possibly also an Ivory. Only an Amerikanski might dub him “a Russian”. Or to use Zivistan’s favorite lexicon, “Former Soviet” or “Post Soviet.”
“Mayakovsky was something of a total romantic and free radical,” Dasha goes on, “he wrote no less than thirteen entire volumes of epic Soviet poetry. A full third just to his Tovarish, lover and greatest muse Lily Brik. One third socialist odes. One third marketing jangles for the G.U.M.”
“Tell him about Liana Brik,” says Oleg the Bear.
“Let him read about it!” laughs Dasha Andreavna, “it costs effort and money to move air in English.”
And Oleg laughs.
Kawa, who was earlier working on an epic caricature of Viktoria and Raphael; has turned his artistic abilities toward the capture of Dasha’s large eyes and breasts onto parchment paper.
“Woman! Tell him the goddamn story of Lilya Brik,” commands Rafael.
Dasha grabs Kawa Zivistan by his artistic medical coat tails and lays the sordid affair down in New Speak Jive;
“So here you have Russia’s greatest poet and writer. Stalin gave him a Carte Blanche to get away with almost anything at all. So here we have his madness and also his tumultuous love life. He meets Comrade Lily Brik and her publisher husband early in his career. They have a sick menage where husband and Mayakovsky have to share Lily while being partners themselves creatively.”
“They lived together right up until his ultimate suicide. He had to sometimes listen to her screw him from the kitchen even! That level of openness about the affair was absolute as her husband was a polyandrous man, a Futurist,” she declares.
“What is a Futurist?” Kawa asks.
“We believe in the future!” Dasha says calmly.
Oleg gives her a look, and grins a burly grin.
“A Futurist rejects all aspects of his past. The utility of the past having importance in general,” explains Oleg, “They simply refuse to be fettered by a long list of miscalculations, atrocities, strange tastes and barbaric dispositions of the world before. A futurist is actually only concerned with here right now in relation to the promises and revelations of the world to come.”
“This is what I just said,” Dasha snaps at him.
“You didn’t say it gracefully enough in English for my liking,” Rafael sneers playfully.
She gives him dagger eyes and continues.
“In the end of many trials and many years Mayakovsky couldn’t wrest her away from her husband of course. His closest friend and lifelong literary editor, he never interfered. It was Lili herself. She simply wouldn’t let him have all of her. He tried to lose himself to the passion of other women, such as young White Russian exile Tatiana, but it was an all or nothing love. Then at age 36 Mayakovsky put a gun to his very head and ended his foolish, albeit brilliant life. Over this Liliana Brik woman, his muse who could never properly reciprocate the enormity of his love.”
“The goal of every single artist! The art he longs for ecstatically is to fuck his muse into utter submission,” adds Oleg, “and when he can’t. He cuts off his ear or puts two in the head.”
“There was also the Tatiana affair in Paris to complicate the matter just a little further,” breaks in Daria Andreavna, “two perfect archetypes of unobtainable Russian women one red and one white. You see, while Lily Brik would not leave her husband, young Tatiana refused to return to Red Russia.”
“Impossible to subdue these kinds of women except with the most ultra-luxury carrots,” jokes Raphael.
“Don’t kill all his limited American hope in one shot of the story!” retorts Oleg in Russian, “Kawa will go acquire the books if he wants to hear the whole series of unfortunate events we have laid to his face.”
Shortly after Kawa and Dasha leave the encampment to wander the urban wastelands looking for a bodega and a place to buy more smokes and red wine. They make a curious spectacle walking together through the desolate warehouse district. There was not a Bodega in miles it seemed. The surrounding warehouse district is quite bleak. They are alone on a lonely highway except for an occasional passing mac or semi-truck. Salvage yards and trucker yards. Dasha’s yellow dress blows in the wind. The sun still beats down and Kawa offers her a water canteen and she drinks and hands him a cigarette. They’re looking for a Bodega in the industrial wilderness, but they can’t find anything besides industrial blight.
The grim warehouses are all one or two stories. All fortified and locked down with tall walls and barbed wire. The place is mostly without any life and smells of asphalt melting in the hottest heat of summer. Eventually after a great deal of pointless wandering and small talk they find some foods and make their way back to gypsy camp in the Onderdonk fields.
The hard dancing and drinking continues. Kawa finds Oleg at the makeshift gypsy tent bar.
“Could I be plain with you brother,” Kawa asks Oleg the bear as they watch the girls fool around in the huge rubber inflatable pool, “what is the Russian mentality really?”
“Oh, that’s just an Amerikansky code word. For building up an elaborate prejudice to former and Post Soviets, as you like to say. Or maybe, it is also the bunker mentality of thieves in law locked together under iron curtain quarantine.”
“Quite so. That’s what this government did to our glorious but highly flawed revolution. Then what our fallen Soviet government did to us to attempt to preserve it. Locked us down in our Soviet Union. Put up the Berlin wall and iron curtain.”
“There are other variables?” Kawa asks Oleg.
“Tak, I am no apologist. Or a revisionist either. I won’t twist the past to meet the needs of the future. The Great and Terrible Stalin my parents grew up with or should I say, I read about growing up, for he was dead. He was a very different Stalin than the one you maybe, or maybe not encountered in your high school or college political science classes. To your people, all growing up after the fall; the Soviet Union was an authoritarian gulag state of bread lines and bleak material deprivation. To us, to those growing up at the very end of the U.S.S.R. growing up before the final fall in 1989. It was our country. Our revolution to protect. You grew up with Washington and Jefferson, the founding fathers. Lenin and Stalin. The material conditions of the common person, objectively measuring life; the U.S.S.R. was not spectacularly better or worse than your country. You had a better selection of fruits and jeans, we sent more people to college and lived longer. The U.S.A. systematically siding with Axis powers Germany and Japan exported dictatorship, torture and repression. The U.S.S.R. backed every single post-colonial revolt. Every single push for real change. We all could read and we all had jobs and no one was starving and since perhaps a full 1/3 of the world was within our socialistic sphere the quarantine was less shall we say, ‘impactful’. Our zone ran from Yugoslavia to Beijing. From Havana to Ho Chi Minh City. South ways as far as Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania! All I am saying is that we and our parents lived actually in different formative realities. On opposite sides of a great wall of ideas. ”
“Fair enough. But actually that isn’t what I asked you droog.”
“Tak, your government and your media spent nearly one hundred years teaching you red terror. The school house desk is hiding fallout shelter raids. The grade school formative notions of some inherent justice in free markets and so-called democracy. The numerous military interventions and C.I.A. adventures with torture abroad and regime change abroad. The fucking missile crisis. The Reagan years. It all built up a viral fear and hate. And by 1989 the Cold War was over. The Soviet Union collapsed. And anyway you know what you do with your enemy’s women! Ha. The men are supposed to be barbarians and the women all whores. This is a picture your country painted of Ivan”, well it’s my country too now,” Oleg laughs.
“Agreed. Whores and criminals are the stereotype, but I’m talking about the so-called mentality. The effects of this iron quarantine.”
“We like new things, this is true, but more importantly we like true security without being in anyone’s debt. Those that even remember the former Soviet Union remember only its hardships mostly via stories told to them. Deprivations and bread lines they really at this stage were too young to remember. I was born in Ukraine. Odessa Oblast. But I really grew up in Illubabor so I’m not even so shaped by all this political past. And of course, I’m something of an Ivory. At least below the belt.”
“Were you there towards the end?” asks Kawa, referring to Illubadore. Although everyone knows that actually you never ask anyone directly about Illubabor. He’s had a few many drinks.
“I left in 2000. A year before,” he pauses, “the events.”
“To the dead and events,” he says and raises his glass.
Kawa clinks a glass. Oleg continues, “Those that grew up after the fall of State Communism likely tasted western things and culture and simply grew up knowing they could be better off here. So some like my family used their Ivoryish heritage to go through Illubador then get here. Some got stuck in Illubabor. Enough for the fourth national language to be Russian. Well until, you know…”
Everyone of course knew what had happened in the place once called Illubabor. It was impolite talk.
“Yeah I remember that was about to happen when last I was there,” Zivistan exclaims, as if he doesn’t remember the whole place is dust and radioactive fire.
“Mentality? I don’t know, people are people. We all like a good laugh, some happiness, a toast and a good fuck!” says Oleg the Bear changing the subject.
“Well I believe that, but I think people can and do process data differently.
“No comrade, not so different at all. That Dasha you’re consorting with has just gotten off the boat, actually. Whatever barriers between you both seem to have been easily dispelled with vodka, wine and dancing did they not?”
“I’ve always had something for Russian women.”
“That’s because there’s nothing better than Russian women. Everyone knows that of course.”
“Why is it though?! What is it about them,” muses Zivistan.
“Well I bet you have many mostly misguided theories.”
“Surely I do. I aim to write them all down.”
“They make incredibly pliant whores. Once you figure out the sustainability of paying them” states Oleg to see a reaction.
But, there is none, perhaps the man still has romance in him.
Oleg, who got off the boat quite literally three days ago, wonders if he has the right mark. This Kawa Zivistan is a caricature of the potentially fearsome guerrilla leader his file claimed him to be. This man was, well he is just kind of a nostalgic hipster poet. A hipster living in another age, perhaps uncomfortable in his very own skin. Not a leader of men. Could this really be the most fearsome operative the American Resistance had?
“Russian mentality? This sounds like an American device to reduce us all to whores and vicious gangsters. Your media likes this kind of objectification to enable you to kill and rape us with less moral indignation” says Oleg the Bear.
“Perhaps that’s the truth though. That many of you do seem to have some whore and gangster tendencies.”
“If you claim it,” Oleg.
Dasha storms up to them appearing quite distraught as well as intoxicated.
“Drink man,” she says, foisting a bottle upon them. She shoves a cold bottle of red Georgian wine into Oleg’s hands. And he thanks her in Russian.
Then she suddenly exclaims In Russian; “I must leave! There is someone who will ask serious questions if I don’t.”
“Please instead, just stay,” Kawa lets alcohol speak for him, “nothing will happen if you do,” pleads Zivistan ignorantly.
“You don’t know anything about what will or will not happen to me anyhow!”
“Please stay, it’s already night and if you leave I’ll have to follow my code and escort you all the way home and then I’ll be waking up drunk on the beach in Brighton certainly.”
“I don’t need you to get home safe.”
“Well the code says real men don’t let women take the trains’ home by themselves after dark.”
“What stupid code is this?”
“The Code of the Haitian gentleman,” he replies.
“Well I am bound by no such niggle code and now I take my leave, man.”
“I’ll bring you home,” says Zivistan, abandoning his responsibilities to protect the camp completely, notes Oleg the Bear. She storms off and he follows after her and this in itself seems like a thing that has happened and will happen again as if a cosmic comedy.
“I live in district Brighton,” she declares, “which is a very long way off as you might know from as a real New Yorker.”
“Well let’s get you to this home half way then,” and it is like he was following a script. Or at least the partial memory of a dream.
Like an easily aroused, puppy dog blinded by the lights of lusting, he follows her out into the blue moon lit night.
But they only make it as far as a little tavern down the road called the Cobra Club, where hipsters allegedly drink and do yoga! A few drinks later they change course back to camp and never make it to Brighton at all. They end up back on the encampment floor in each other’s arms, holding tight to a memory neither can remember yet.
“Shame that it always has to end,” she scribbles in Russian on a note in the corner of the drawing he made for her. She writes in again and folds it in parts, tapes it. Above them still, two huge full blue moons rise on a red hot city. A powder keg just about ready to blow. They make eyes. They take a train. They bifurcate and take leave of each other.