“БXIVть с потолка”

Literal translation: take something from a ceiling

Meaning: to make up information, without any real data


Sebastian goes later uptown to visit his friend and longtime associate Nicholai Trickovitch to sp.eTk about the Russian woman he’s just re-encountered. On the Upper West Side of the Isle of Mann it’s quiet almost always. Intellectuals are mostly not party animals. The air smells like down river mist, like smoked fish, and bagels. Located about seven miles north west from the District Financial is the Upper West Side is an affluent gentrified ghetto of well-kept, mostly spacious and well furnished apartment homes with door men running from 79th street to around 96th street between Central Park and the Hudson River. The entire island of Manhattan, excluding some small clusters of housing projects in Harlem and lower East side, a smattering of Section 8 and rent controlled units too; the Isle of Mann is the domain of the country’s elite, 2 or 3%. The upper upper middle classes, a new rich financial class, athletes, celebrities and around 57,000 people with net worth above 37 million a piece and up. Sports players, movie actors and celebrities live there too. It’s a fortress of steel and glass. An Oblast requiring 4 peripheral boroughs and over 7 million serfs to service it. 

           For many many years the oligarchs of other nations laundered money in real estate, particularly along Billionaires Row on 57th street and Central Park South. As well as the ultra-rich gated community of the Hudson Yards Compound.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The wealthiest people; people who own property live in the Midtown, the .pTer West and the Upper East Sides of the Central Park. Looking out over it from above like a big public lawn. This ultra-gentrification of the city took its purest form in the mid 1990’s when the economy was still booming, the police forces were tripled, Wall Street hedge fund tycoons and robber barons consolidated wealth alongside globalization and the demise of the Soviet Union. And the lesser oligarchy of everywhere decided to turn the City center into their Eastern American sex playground.

By the time of the Great Recession in 2008, the only working class people living in Manhattan were clusters of Petit-Bourgeois professionals who bought things or secured rent controlled units in the 1980’s. The New York Times, the paper of record suggested that by 2012 there were over 57,000 individuals with net worth above 37 million apiece and greater living in the City! More concentrated wealth than London and only slightly behind Moscow. Hard to count billionaires in any of the leading metropolitans, as most of the wealthiest ones launder away the bulk of it.

Sebastian’s father is a teeth puller. He owns a small practice on Staten Island mostly treating Cops, Firemen and Sanitation worker families. The loft they own in the coop at the North end of the district financial is mostly paid off. Sebastian had never lived in it. He grew up in a rent controlled apartment in Waterside Plaza. He ran away from home at age 14, was locked up in a youth offender faculty by age 15, became a Democratic Confederalist by age 16 and was living abroad for most of 17 and 18; then he came home and lived with his best friend Nikolai Rosetree Trickovitch for a period before chasing rooms for rent in all boroughs besides Staten Island where the rent was less than $500 a room, or a couch or on a floor mat.

There is no person on earth who better understands Sebastian than his best friend, his loyal Droog, his comrade, partner and companion. They are so alike in both genes, upbringing and disposition they can anticipate each other.

The train ride on the 2 Red line from the Financial District historically preserved print shop Sebastian’s family lives in; to the 96th street and Broadway train station is about a twenty minute ride. Nikholai rarely goes downtown. Nikholai has a long memory, he remembers most of the thirteen years of continuous friendship. It has had a lot of ups, downs and misadventures. But Sebastian brings a world of drama and intrigue to Nicholai’s life, which could have otherwise been uneventful. And Nikholai brings Sebastian qualities he utterly lacks; self-analysis, dispassionate reasoning grounded in fact and most importantly; restraint.

Introverted Nikholai is happy in his solitude. Sebastian can never enjoy being alone. The two men have come to need each other, but it is mostly Sebastian who is always in trouble and Nikholai who devises the maneuvers to the next crisis.

They look out over privilege itself. Seventeen stories up, the rooftop deck of the Trickovitch Family Penthouse looks North and West over the Hudson River, the Upper East Side, and also the George Washington Bridge where people who jump always die. There are not one but two private garden terraces. So much light and so much air, all somehow under nine hundred American dollars. Much to the chagrin of the Satmars who own the building, the House Trickovitch is completely rent controlled.

Most other families in the building were bought or were forced out. The whole building worth tens of millions, the unit they occupy could be sold for 5 million outright.

Sebastian Adonaev is wearing his favorite brown beret scally cap and looking somewhere between manic and marmalade, caught somewhere in between possessed with some inner zeal, and at timed calm, cool and collected. His eyes are strange and happy as though he wishes to recite a poem. Or give a speech, which he frequently does at dinners, on trains and in public parks. He isn’t totally of this time, which is logical having immersed his thoughts in the past to make something better for the future. Although he does not ever smile except behind closed doors he is by all accounts charismatic. On an adjacent bench in the roof garden, shirtless with a Noblesse dangling out his lips is his best friend and long-time partner in conspiracy Nikholai Trickovitch. 

Penthouse J has been in the hands of the House Trickovitch since early 1981. That was not such a heyday for New York City as some newly arrived ‘hip’ individuals have come to believe. By the mid-1980’s looters and vagrants were scaling the walls to steal anything not tied down, there was trash everywhere you could get accosted at knife point in an alley. You could get stabbed to death in a public place with dozens of people watching. That was the old Newyorkgrad. 

Located on 95th and Riverside Park, it is now one of the most luxurious and safest of safe houses. Which is to say a lot of small talks happen here on sensitive things. It is rent controlled and guarded by Shqiptarëtis. They are highly warlike these Shqiptarëti s. Good at moving people and things, also safeguarding things for others. Nobody wants to fuck with the Russians, because they send Shqiptarëtis after you.

The place has wall to wall books and a rather large aquarium filled with amphibious turtles. The building has gone co-op, and they are the last remaining holdout sitting on a highly choice property paying $1,200 American a month for it, adjusting for utilities and service fees. A good number of Ivoryish lawyers have been paid to figure out how to extract them from this property, so far unsuccessfully. The Trickovitch family employs and are related to Ivoryish lawyers as well. It was once a little more of a zoo filled then filled again with animals and young girls with long legs. Now it is a sad, empty place for plotting with Nicholai’s fraternal twin brothers living in other cities and his parents more frequently at their upstate farm than here, often now for weeks at a time. The apartment has a functioning landline.

Sebastian rarely calls by mobile when he intends to visit. He calls from a subway payphone to the land line and then just shows up. Nikholai was the very first young person they knew with a bulky mobile phone as early as 1998. Nowadays both men don’t carry them very regularly. Both men use quarters, both men have thrown away $10 phones. They both have Sky Pagers, but neither are doctors.

Nikholai, it is rumored is paralyzed with some dark inner depression, some sickness inside him which makes him overly analytical. For a time he was married and playing house in Midwood, Brooklyn deep in the shtetl. Midwood is a place about one hour by train from 42nd Street, Time Square city center. One of the earliest New York settlements in the 16th century, now firmly in one of the largest eleven Ivoryish Quarters of the greater New York area. Nikolai’s father grew up there, as did Sebastian’s as did the populist secretly centrist politician Bernard Sanders currently running for the Presidential Primaries. Midwood is New York City’s most staunchly propertied Modern Orthodox Ivoryish district. Along with Crown Heights, Borough Park and Williamsburg which are the more black hat ultra-orthodox neighborhoods dominated by particular Rabbinic sects that find the entire gentile world profane and unholy. These four neighborhoods are surrounded and slightly intermixed with a sprawling array of Afro-Caribbean and African American ghettos and slums. The districts toward the Southern Coast are Russian and Italian respectively, but most of the Italians left for New Jersey, Long Island and Staten Island in the 80’s. The Haan quarter of Brooklyn is based in Sunset Park, but the epicenter of the colonization is over in Flushing, Queens. The unofficial population of Brooklyn is around 3-4 million persons, over a million not officially or legally supposed to be there.

Nikholai and his then wife, Ms. Krissy Kristina, moved to District Midwood as it was close to Brooklyn College where they were then going to school. They both had grown up in Manhattan. They lived a happy, secluded and hyper sexual life for more than half a decade out of sight and out of mind.

Then some years later, Krissy completely vanished, and Nikholai returned to the security of parent’s Upper West Side penthouse barely leaving now except for jaunts, benders, mild malingering whoring and occasionally a revolutionary plot, when he must to keep up appearances of being a trusted inner circle man. His connection to so called political activism is not academic or experienced, mostly were he to admit it, he has been sucked into the revolutionary vortex by association; enabling increasingly bold incarnations of Sebastian Adonaev’s little Otriad; their “irregular detachment for agitation, propaganda and freedom fighting”.

“The most striking thing about her is the murder in her eyes. They beg a man closer with the promise of bliss then deny him everything,” mutters Sebastian. He’s always talking about and obsessing about, eyes.  Nikholai knows the code though.

Sebastian speaks of “her eyes” so he appears less crudely animalistic speaking of breasts and other luscious fleshy appendages. Behind this charade of romance, knowing Sebastian for so long, since teenage times; Nikholai knows the projected poet, from the lusty rake and barely tamed savage. The periodic excursions into serial monogamy are punctuated with inserting his penis artfully around town.

Nikholai isn’t himself tonight. He’s not even putting on a show of host and entertainer. He seems distracted. Perhaps vaguely annoyed that Sebastian is whore mongering on the eve of a revolution

Looking out towards the George Washington Bridge, Nikholai thinks of suicide, fleetingly but with conviction and plan. Sebastian observes the same Fort Washington district rising as the highest point on the island of Manhattan. There is no suicide in Sebastian, it is removed from his very way of being. He periodically began mentioning to his close confidants, “If you ever here I killed myself, it’s a lie, I don’t have it in me, they finally did it.” But, you don’t kill white people in America. It has to look like something else.

Sebastian ruminates in butterfly flaps of mental headspace. In his wandering mind he sees all the times he’s walked aimlessly around the Fort Tryon Park with a particular lost lover. Holding her little cold hands. One partner, in particular, comes to his mind for Fort Washington District. The Russian Ivoryish quarter perched up in the rafters of New York City. For after her, none of the other previous or subsequent ones had mattered. Her name was Yelizaveta Alexandrenova Kotlyarova. He had fought very hard to keep her love alive in some tantric, flickering form. She had left him for the fortieth time, this time breaking off both communication and sex, and ended all correspondence about six sad months prior. No other woman had even crossed his mind since then. But, then came Daria to kill him. Hardly an improvement really. 

But, some neurons fire faster than others, and then his mind quickly reverts to his newest fascination. All previous lessons were lost. Were Futurist Newyorkgrad anything like more medieval times, both Sebastian Adonaev and Nikolai Trickovitch; are the disgraced sons of Ivory Duke. In layman’s terms, the prodigal children of the Upper Middle Classes of New York Ivoryish gentry. Both blessed with privilege, education, several serfs and white skin coats, cursed with seeming mental illness and evolving, not revolving revolutionary thinking. A product of privilege and perhaps Wikipedia.

Nikholai was briefly in the N.Y.P.D. Under two years. He was purged for his political affiliations. Lately he’s taken work as a hacker and an unlicensed private detective moon lighting also as an accountant. Wiggling his way listlessly through college. Helping cheating wives get their proof of infidelity or parents find their dead kids in Newark Grad, in the New Jersey Oblast. He can get to a lot of things in the dark of the web. He sometimes can be found moonlighting as a driver for the Red Cross in their vast housing and logistics Ponzi schemes. Taking money raised from one catastrophe to band aid, blanket and water supply the next one. They hand out prepaid ATM cards to people who lose their homes to fire or disaster, that’s surely appreciated. He’s cut off a lot of people, he begrudgingly lets Sebastian get him out of the house once or twice a year.  

In this year, 2012 he can barely manage to leave this house, but he likes to make short walks into the dusk. He is a mostly functional alcoholic, notwithstanding his inability to hold a job, his failure to get over his disappeared wife, his utter failure to finish university and his paralysis. Haitian Rum Straight. Maker’s Mark Straight. And cartons of Newport cigarettes. Sebastian has never questioned what Nikholai does for work. He does something with the internet, living off his wealthy father and selling pills through Shqiptarëti s to Columbia University students. The children of the elite are addicted to something called Adderall to study and take their exams. The Ivy League is only nine blocks north. Sebastian stays out of his friends’ money. Almost all of his friends have either clean ambulance money or dirty criminal money, and not much in between. Colluding with angels and devils to make an uprising occur, things like that take allies and real dependable, actually won’t run allies take time.

“Go work from somewhere warm, droog,” Sebastian always encourages him, but Nikholai is cold and spiritually long dead. The blackness in him sees reality as it is, not how it should be or could be or filtered heavily through the ego. “Get yourself a new woman! A blonde with big inviting tits!”

But Nikholai never heeds Sebastian’s call to pack up for prettier places or faces and Sebastian never listens to Nicholai’s persistent advice to stay away from Russian women or be less of a committed ‘Democratic Confederalist’.

Back in the year 2000 they both joined the youth wing of the newly formed ‘Communist Party of America’, but both got kicked out for throwing a huge underage drinking party in the national office. Also launching a short bombing campaign connected to slave labor and the garment industry.

Nikholai sees the bridge out there in the pretty lit up night and thinks about sweet surrender. Sebastian, though here to talk about Daria and his near death experience, remembers his Yelizaveta, a fond memory of challenging strokes.

Yelizaveta, who Sebastian met while attending Hunter College, lived in a cute two bedroom apartment on Fort Washington Ave in a six story building above Fort Tryon; the tallest point in Manhattan. Officially her mother was a maid at the Benjamin Hotel and her father allegedly unemployed on disability. But, that was all deception. Not in any way their real jobs or capabilities. For on the outside the family looked like a struggling working poor immigrant story with young Yelizaveta clawing for the Russian American dream via dreams of medical school at Stony Brook University. But Sebastian was privy to the truth inside the truth. Her last name was not really Kotlyarova. It was Perechenova. 

In Russia we were called Ivory. Outside of Russia, we are finally called Russians. We are treated about the same,” once explained Yelizaveta’s father, Alexander Dmitrievich Perecheveney, “like niggers.” 

Yelizaveta was Sebastian’s partner and paramour for the past two years. She met him in the student movement days before she left for Medical School in Long Island. They wrote many months of letters then for two years were partners and rigorous lovers. Then things fell apart. While Daria was igniting some new desires and unsung anthems, Nikholai had heard the songs all before. For years with Yelizaveta and a couple more with several women before her. Now Sebastian and Nikholai, born nine days apart, were both nearly 30, but once they were both wild at age 14. They had loved and lost many times, though Nikholai had loved and lost everything when his wife left him and disappeared into virtual thin air. They knew each other’s love and hateful songs.

They had all called in chips and put out feelers to find his ex-wife Krissy. No one likes to hopelessly cling to a failing marriage then have it break apart. People like even less when the person they love becomes a vapor. A ghost. When all the leads dried up there was still this terrible hope she was somewhere she could return from. When they almost had every ambulance and every gangster, every bad man, every snitch and every sound bite looking for Nicholai’s ex-wife. All the leads went cold. For many years they held radical meetings in a small Bulgarian Bar on Canal and Broadway. The owner, ‘Sasho’. Yelizaveta’s savage father.

They went together finally to Sasho, by 2004 the most dangerous man in New York City. The father of Sebastian’s favorite ex. A person who according to the IRS was collecting disability from a small rent stabilized flat in Washington Heights while his wife worked full time cleaning hotel rooms.

But, Alexander owned properties all over town. Alexander, born in Ukraine, raised in Bulgaria held a growing empire in disguise. His wife, Yelizaveta’s more Magda Marina; someone that looked exactly like her was indeed cleaning rooms. Someone that looked just like her had raised little Yelizaveta; but nothing was what it appeared to be.

Alexander is called Sasho by those that think they know him well. He is a fierce and indomitable man, but also a gregarious buffoon behind the doors of his famous tavern Social Club when no one was looking but those he mostly trusted dancing about with a cigar grinning. Sasho is also quite a mastermind. He found himself with a great deal of money at the end of the 90’s. Always plotting and constantly cashing on his plots. A Ukrainian Ivory when he felt like it. A Bulgarian Mobster when he felt like it. The IRS auditor registered him as receiving about $600 a month in disability. The very last man you’d ever want to owe. But Sebastian had owed him several times. But, even Sasho couldn’t find Ms. Krissy. Or that’s what he finally said after getting a lot of free work out of them.

The family safe houses were still ‘too hot’ to talk about anything heavy. There had been multiple police raids to Sebastian’s loft since 2000. The young men were always plotting too and that plotting got them investigated by multiple police and intelligence services. Sebastian had to flee the country for the year of 2000-2001, he moved between London, Paris, Madrid and eventually Tel Aviv evading allegations of terrorism in New York, largely unfounded. He came back in November of 2001 after the towers fell and moved in for a time with Nikholai’s family. Shortly after they got back to plots, plans, direct actions and trouble. As young men causing trouble should do, they both moved deep into Brooklyn in 2005. But while Brooklyn and the Bronx have many alcoves for sheltering rebels and criminals, they always needed a dangerous protector. So since then, their little Otriad has taken shelter under the roof of a loving lesser Post-Soviet Bulgarian Oligarch. And there were a lot of business relationships now facilitated by this. 

In 2010 amid a terrible blizzard Sebastian Adonaev had saved the life of his then girlfriend Yelizaveta. Perhaps a lot more had happened that night. But after the storm cleared the Otriad never owed Sasho a thing ever again, the story went. That was the part of the story Nikholai knows. There was some attempt by a rival crime boss to ruin Sasho and his family that night. Sebastian and Mickhi Dbrisk had stacked up some bodies and both cleared town shortly after.

Alexander’s daughter, maybe daughters, also his wife were taken and set to be snuffed. Some rival Voorhi named Kahn. Sebastian and a readily assembled flying column fought their way through a snowstorm to rescue Yelizaveta and most of the family from Kahn’s goons. The whole city was locked down by thick snow and no open roads from a Sanitation Strike. Sebastian and his crew went hard. Grabbed up, Yelizaveta was found with a broken tibia, lying bleeding and hijacked in JFK airport. That night was so pivotal for it was the first time Sasho owed anyone anything and found out about the secret little thing his daughter had going on with Sebastian. But then a lot of other things happened. Sasho was shot five times and nearly died. Another daughter no one knew about with another wife got her arms and legs cut off. The flying column set off a huge explosion at the Plaza Hotel.  It was real fucking messy, Sebastian and Co. killed a few people that night. Nikholai partook in the retribution and blood bath.  

After that night. Yelizaveta loved him even more, her father respected him and also owned him. But her mother Tanya Marian was simply horrified. Never the same woman again. She worked full time to end the entire relationship. All in just a seven day blizzard. When the Department of Sanitation finally plowed the roads they found the many bodies of decapitated gangsters littered in pink piles.

Sebastian was locked up for a month. Sasho bailed him out. Not for the men he killed, but from lack of sleep. Sometimes when the work he did took over and he wandered around town in big circles engaging the universe and a lot of other people. An ambulance picked him up near Coney Island.  He never was held very long before the American Civil Liberties Union or family lawyers got things negotiated. They never killed anyone or blew anything up, that’s what the lawyers always repeated over the years. 

Most of the work Sebastian and his outfit did was propaganda. Historical lectures, street theater, speeches and lots of diner salons on topics of subversive relevance. Sebastian’s father was the dentist for a lot of detectives and high ranked cops, which helped some. Sebastian and Nikolai picked up with Sasho, which helped a lot. A lot of the time some standoff happened and Sebastian took himself hostage. The police hospitalized him a lot more than they put him in the tombs. It was easier to get rid of him that way, since they recognized those that knew or heard that he was a city EMT and an affiliated person who never put boys in blue in harm’s way for the most part.  

Yelizaveta’s mother ordered her to break the whole affair off immediately in the Winter of 2010. So after a year of hiding and sneaking around, breaking up, fucking hard and making up, then breaking up again in circles; the day after his 28th birthday, giving him a good hard last ride, Yeli decisively ended everything. Sasho was never consulted with or weighed in on the romance between Sebastian and his daughter. He was of course by then aware it was happening, and did nothing. Sebastian never asked permission or asked him to do anything after the final break up. The man being paid to be her disabled father, the double who knew Yelizaveta more than her biological father; well he was the only other person sad about the whole thing.

To the brutal and brilliant ‘Bulgarian’ gangster slash businessman, Sebastian Adonaev amused him. Reminds him of himself as a young man before he lost his Communist style, or Democratic Confederalist type thinking and found over a million ways to make money breaking the law.  

Not that any of these things have anything to do with two fucks of an anything. Except to paint the portrait of Sebastian as more hopeless romantic puppy than a stone cold political killer, which he eventually became after losing enough friends in the years of the underground. Sebastian still loves young Yelizaveta, the prim Jappy medical student as ferociously as he ever had. He served her needs and courted her involvement in political projects, and she certainly did quite a lot to assist him. But, her mother wanted her to have nothing to do with a young man so alike to her father, both her real father and the man hired to play her father.

Well actually the best way to get over a woman is to get under another woman,” said Nikholai. A famous Old Russian saying. Yelizaveta eventually got her mind voluntarily wiped and went to medical school in Havana. Sebastian fucked as many hipster sluts, lap dance whores and floozies he could. But Yelizaveta has a pussy made of gold, a sharp analytical mind and a thick butt.  

The two partisans stand on the Penthouse roof deck drinking Vodka and smoking stoags. Cheers to the maddest plots! The great revolutionary struggle! To the Martyrs! To Krissy! To Yelizaveta! The smoke and drink washes them into places before and places to come.

Nikholai traverses a daily memory road with his vanished ex-wife. Wonders did she leave him or was she taken away, and by who? Sebastian is regularly and often existentially dying from his beliefs. Women just distract that he is a committed zealot, let him pretend he wants a ‘normal life’. When his partners reject him and his unstable, if not probably impossible pursuits, he goes harder at them. Which thus magnifies the danger to himself and others. Before this recent anguish over Yelizaveta, there was the big breasted anarchist Hali Viktoria. An artistic Swedish radical to whom Sebastian was for some time engaged to marry. There was also the prim debutante Ukrainian Ms. Maria Parsheva. Less passionate, less muse worthy but certainly highly influential were Polish Democratic Confederalist Yovanna Koracab and his long lost Syrian Sephardic Israeli partner Emma Solomon. Although the sad memory of Emma was always a specter. 

Not that the list of other unlisted, less contemplated lovers and girlfriends were of less importance to his human development, but the women who evolved him were their own league, they all attempted to love Sebastian ‘as he was’ and better the quality of his life game.

Maria and Yelizaveta were the two other former Soviet lovers Sebastian had taken as his closest partners in the past four years. It would be incorrect to say he dated “Russian Women exclusively”; as later inferred by the Russian photographer and gangster Oleg Medved. He had merely intimately engaged only just two, one right after the other. And that was enough for him to suspect there was something remarkable about the character of a “Russian woman.” The first, Maria brought such stability and calm to his mind. She made a good home with him in Midwood Canton, she pumped him full of sex. But Sebastian did not love her completely for she did not excite at all intellectually. She would suck on his cock for hours, or take in in uncomfortable places sooner than talk about the ‘emancipation of the negro’ as she called his work dismissively. She never seemed angry or critical. She removed Sebastian from the stresses of Paramedicine and also radical organizing. 

That’s all she seemed good for,” Nikholai once suggested, but he later impressed her on one very particular occasion. She could barely converse on the political-theoretical level, much less cook. 

Nikholai remembered the little redhead Maria as something of a “submissive Soviet Jessica Rabbit,” complete with a cute little mole, slightly husky voice and marked non-fascination with much that wasn’t Soviet in origin, besides Sebastian of course. She sure did hold her own on the “train job” though, that bloody staged mess in 2007. That was the time when Nikholai, Sebastian, Maria and a foxy little Chechen named Angelica had to hold off a murderous mob of sixteen working poor white hooligans from Gerritsen Beach with a briefcase, a few prayers, and good Bangladeshi Samaritan. Which got them all over the papers and Sebastian into the ranks of the F.D.N.Y. Though he was purged for his politics after 4 years.

Sebastian Adonaev would forever view Maria as his “Betty Shabazz” as their black nationalist associate Justinian Tomas had once described her. This was a real gesture of flattery on Justin’s part by calling Maria his“Betty Shabazz ” he” he was calling Sebastian an Ivory Malcolm X. Or something to that effect of flattery. Betty, like was a strong woman who stood behind her larger than life man without involving herself in the political melee. Sebastian and Maria lived together for over a year, they broke up on Block Island after one of the clandestine Z.O.B. Congresses. Sebastian had allegedly left her on the beach and swam out into the night.

Nicholai just thought of Maria a Russian Geisha, until he watched her do the train job. At that moment under fire, her realness did in fact come out. Nikh still had no trouble though after the break up confiding “She was just a Geisha, a gold digging off the boat. A stay at home fuck.”

The second significant Russian girlfriend, Yelizavetaveta was headstrong and wild and Sebastian could never forget her. No matter how many women he got under. Yelizaveta, a spoiled daughter of a very dangerous mobster in a subjective reality, a working poor dreamer in another. Hustling to become a doctor to get her parents out of poverty. Pretty much in her mind alone, since two actors were playing the two people raising her while here biological parents lived like the underworld kingpins they are. No one approved of her at all. Though no one really said so while it seemed to make him happy; everyone later told him ‘Yeli’ was walking all over him.  

Nikholai remembers young Yelizaveta emerging into the picture. Sebastian’s bedroom as well as club house gossip sometime in early 2009. He remembers her at meetings and social functions. As “a mouthy Americanized Russian Ivory blonde. A know it all little bitch who walked all over you privately and publicly. And privately yet again. She emptied out your pockets, put wild eyed ideas in your head, and reduced you to bawling tears when she eventually left you over her mother’s total lack of approval.”

But Sebastian never saw it like that. He’d held the relationship long past when it should have ended. He left her with a box of letters and she had held on to a diamond engagement ring he’d bought from some Rabbi in a bathhouse.

“Your women are never far from the very center of your goriest war stories,” Nikh notes.

The two comrades Sebastian and Nikholai had been active in the student movement. Later in the underground when the student movement was suppressed. And later in the Party, active in the insurgency and its defense committees since 2000 when Sebastian got out of the behavior modification camps he’d spent a year in. Escaping on Valentine’s Day back to New York from Upstate. The year they did their first job. They both opposed their government’s imperialism as well as the capitalist system generally. Sebastian always put amalgamated Communist type ideology to it, but Nikholai just always felt the government was repressive. The Noires and Mestizos were totally oppressed and the population brainwashed into fat apathy.  There have been a lot of great and also “highly mediocre women” and a lot of jobs since then. Jobs, being their little word for resistance operations. But not for nothing, since Sebastian Adonaev entered his “Post-Soviet amorous period,” as Nikholai liked to call it, well the jobs had gotten quite a lot more ambitious. The man needed an iron clad muse all assumed. In reality, he simply needed to be loved so that the love he put in the world could find a singular dedication, another soul to whom he could do all his work for.

“How do you think that bodes for longevity? More importantly; for the fuck or the love making? The full blown Russian-ness of her” asks Nikholai. As Sebastian had informed him that Daria was fully Slavic and all his other so-called Russian lovers were variations on Ruus Ukrainian or Russ Ivory.

“Referring back to this new lady being a full blown Slav?”

“Certainly. Slav is only one letter from you being a slave after all. And you and I know full fucking well that it isn’t the female who’s the slave in these Cold War flings. Those women walk all over men with their parapsychology and high heels.”

Sebastian had come to believe that Nikholai harbored some rather base prejudices against ‘the Russians’ but had never determined why. Nikholai had come to believe that Sebastian, unable to love himself at all, found himself enslaved by a series of at least partly damaged, somewhat dangerous, quasi gold digging immigrant women. Russian and non-Russian alike. Both men had father’s three or four generations removed from Pre-Soviet Russia with Ivory blood. Both had mothers eight or nine generations American by some distant way of Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and famine. Both men share a political conviction perhaps reflective best of being born Petite Bourgeoisie in the leading city in the last violent flutters of an Empire.  

Sebastian had not previously thought of how Dasha performed in bed. It was as if he had known that already, being a man. From first sight as she sized him up like a slave on an auction block being told to find a cocktail.

“She can clearly fuck a man into pieces,” he replies.

That wasn’t up for any speculation on his part. But this was not the immediate attraction, the shapely form and the physical curves, the eyes he keeps talking about and the crazy in her. There was some great familiarity she bore to someone he used to know. There are poems and songs about that. And it most certainly wasn’t either of his previous Post Soviet partners. He felt a sexual pull, animalistic in nature. But this was a different thing. A Deja-vu about loss and longing.

“I bet she is pretty damn ferocious,” remarks Nicholai.

An apt word for her, all things considering what transpired on that rooftop but four weeks ago.

“I can’t stop thinking about her, actually. She’s made more remarkable not by her sheer dangerousness, but by some feeling I have of having seen her before in another time. I speak not about a blackout in that Tavern. I must confide in low volume about other lives and other worlds. A pure predator not even posing as a house pet! And the things she confessed to under torture.”

“Tortured her, did you?”

“I did. With my choice of words.”

“This is your primary instrument of torture Tovarish Adonaev.”

Tovarish is a former Soviet for Comrade. Nikholai is a Russian-Ivoryish-Fenian-German mutt just like Sebastian. Their New-Yorkerness, supersedes all that imagined identity. Neither of their mothers is Halachically Ivoryish, though Sebastian’s mother Barbara had gone through some motions to convert to the watered down Reform version.  So the black hats would, of course, disavow them both as sad losses to the Gentiles. Neither Sebastian nor Nikholai could marry lawfully in Israel either, but that didn’t bother Nikholai as he had no intention of ever going to that particular colony after hearing many of Sebastian’s accounts. Sebastian and Nick both look enough like “the Russians,” but they speak, and they think like children of the American Upper Middle-class intelligentsia. Both of their fathers are medical professionals. Nikholai’s father is a neurologist, and Sebastian’s a dentist. Both fathers are committed, Ivoryish Atheists. Both gentile mothers being American ‘hippie’, openly minded sorceresses perhaps predisposed the young two men to their lower ‘case communism’ as they’d be denounced as being national traitors over and over. But, they were not ever doctrinaire Communists affiliated to any of the mostly irrelevant, highly decimated American party factions. orthodox Democratic Confederalists, or working in the local Party organs. The nine of which in New York were marginal anachronisms at best composed of the awkward and the elderly. They simply were two young men of privilege aligning their lives with the plight of the much-trampled masses out of empathy not necessity. They were only about as Ivoryish as their value for education, but sometimes Sebastian was known to make a rude display of it in the form of Holiday parties.

They typically since 1999 did Rosh Hashanah, the Ivoryish New Year’s, Hanukkah the eight-day gambling potato pancake party, Passover the Exodus Fest; and Sukkot the eight-day tent party feast. And the rest, perhaps about  were all causally omitted. As well as poorly understood.

They had met in their freshman year of High School. Sebastian’s home had been robbed, and Nikh had shown up with some weapons and an offer to help him get his honor back, his Rep. They rarely agreed on anything besides opposition to the government, and the greatness of big firm breasts augmenting rough sex, but they were very similar men in disposition. They both enjoyed the drink and could work each other into nights of sheer ethanol rampage. In the City, culture, genes, and habits their cloth was of similar cut. Until the year 2010 though, Sebastian has been married to his varying interpretations of what would come to called the ideological and tactical school of ‘Democratic Confederalism’ via a latent Zionist Universalism while Nikholai had been married to Krissy, not needing angry politics at all. But things fall apart. Sebastian returned from his ‘second homeland’ Illubador in cuffs and Krissy ran out. Then as stated completely vanished. It was perhaps Nikholai’s inner misery over the fate of his marriage and Sebastian’s inner misery over being denied what he had imagined was his occupied homeland or imagined was his destiny that put them back together, leaving them open to suggestion. This led to the expeditions into Ayiti and the beginning of their participation in the armed struggle. Via a machine of networked factions and sympathizers the two had built in tandem over a decade; called initially the Youth United For Equality Movement in the student days, The Organization during the long dark years and after many alphabet soups of shells, splinter and reformations; the Banshee Association, later the Banshee Group and after a merger with the Irish and the Negs; the Z.O.B. Their political club, their own Party.  

“And let us all be frank that women can give men any number of tremendous suggestions and wield a power that shapes a man’s deeds. Perhaps you could say women, with more love for the world and more investment in its future can direct the violent ego driven nature of men.”

“She didn’t tell me everything, but enough to conclude she is a victim, a prisoner of sorts. With a dark Post-Soviet past to unravel all of her callous behaviors and the smile she hides behind.”

They had toppled backward together toward the precipice, and in the free fall, he had pulled her with him to collective death only averted because of certain laws of physics. Well, it was impossible to know truly, Yelizaveta the young scientist could have explained it, but she was long gone these days.

Rather than tumble into a pit of death, Sebastian grabbing onto Daria altered the trajectory of the plummet. She had made every effort to follow his deadly, beckoning commands and rather than go through with it honorably he had tried to take her with him.

“How Russian American.”

“So what the fuck really happened on that roof?” Trickovitch asks.

“Well we fought and we toppled and we landed on top of each other half off the edge. Then we just lay there quietly panting. I realized that she had almost just killed me and I had almost just taken her with me toward death.”

“That’s really hot. And by hot, I mean real fucking stupid.”

“Well, anyway. So hearts were racing and looking down into seventeen stories of death she then grabs my hand and bites down into my right shooter.”

Sebastian shows the little bite shaped wound. There was a literal ring of red bite marks around his right index finger.

I think I know her from before,” Sebastian finally admits overtly in hushed Ivory.

“Before, eh. Tovarish. You need to take more of your salt medicine.”

“No, I mean maybe. But this was different. I am not making chemical, electrical mythologies droog; I remember Dasha Andreavna Skorobogatova Maccluskey from before-before.”

“You’ve always been a sick fuck. A brutalist. It gets worse when you low dose or drop dose, or of course go full Wakefield and don’t go to sleep. And you need not let fourth-dimensional things interfere heavily with the gathering war effort,” Nikholai replies and lights another mentholated smoke.

“Well then she calms down. And we do this kind of half swoon, half cuddle, half makes a reevaluation of an enemy. As she did just tried to push me off a roof and kill me. Daria tells me that she paid 25,000 dollars to come to America and have an arranged marriage setup to a man named ‘Maccluskey’. She said she had to work the debt off and the work was highly unpleasant. She asked me if I wanted to take her on a date. She told me she knew the Financial District very well and could tell me who and what to hit.”      

Sometimes Nikholai Trickovitch believes his best friend is a mad Hebrew prophet and a highly inspiring leader over the years, to some. And sometimes Sebastian is pure draining.

“Don’t project and don’t believe any of her Russian lies. You always seem to tell a tale always darker than it is. The world is evil enough on its comrade story teller. As for her offer to help? Why? What’s in it for her? I think you should ask where this woman came from, question why she ended up meeting you at this very stage. You know, right before the biggest job to date. Don’t think with your dick. You’re not her type. What are you holding? What do you have in the bank? The whole thing looks fucked at every angle of evaluation. She tried to kill you man.”

“She told and made most illicit references to what she did to come here. Perhaps she wants out of who holds her paperwork. Or maybe something else,” Sebastian suggests.

“I’m not sure she did anything but prove you’re easier to kill than the rumors suggest, you’d both been drinking and we all know just about anything can come out of a Russian woman’s mouth drunk or sober. We both know all women lie,” Nikholai replies.

“Just about anything can become true or untrue, dangerous or stunning. A top or a bottom. But given the entirety of the encounter, it seemed Daria was alluding to her imprisonments and debts. Whatever their current state might be.”

“But are they even true? All women lie, and these Soviet women lie highly convincingly as if it were storytelling as art or advanced parapsychology. You magnify and exaggerate all suffering to fit in the contexts of your often convoluted radical politics. You make every single woman around you’re your damsel in distress from Capitalism! You’ve done so time and again. I’ve been here for it all. Remember your truest, most equal partner Hali Viktoria, the one you quite nearly married? Before you dated and slept with former Soviets in this endless succession, you did date and slumber erotically with Americans for a time.”

“Nicholai, you’re making something out of prejudice. I had just two serious partners after Hali. I know what you’re getting at. But really man, there was only Maria, and then there was Yelizaveta. And there were a couple of short stands in the Stans in between, but they meant so little and felt like so nothing that I all but stopped my fucking for fun. My hand gave me greater pleasure,” smirks Sebastian.

“Comrade Hali Viktoria was the kind of woman you need to find again, or just steal her back from that Italian hipster musician she dates or something. You’ve done such things frequently. Not these cold, possibly morally vacant Russians. They will never understand you, and they’ll never seriously join this cause,” says Nikholai, “Just like Maria and Yeli, Daria will completely reject your ideology, reject your some-what hooligan Bohemian lifestyle and leave you the very minute you become hard to deal with. Which inevitably you are! Incredibly hard to deal with,” says Nikholai.

Nikolai Trickovitch is referring to the only woman that anyone ever thought had made a realistic and well-suited partner for Sebastian Adonaev. All of his friends, comrades, and co-officers never went so far as to say “Maria Parsheva is a Russian Geisha,” or “Yelizaveta Perechenova is a condescending, high maintenance Ivoryish American princess,” but they all said it when the two women broke off the relationships. Sebastian’s mother was vaguely prejudiced by now of anyone who even spoke Russian.

Hali Viktoria the Fenians-Swedish-American wild rebel. Hali Vik was not a natural fit either though. Her big tits and flirtatious demeanor caused a lot of fights with overly forward strangers. Sebastian remembers momentarily the time Hali cut her risks, and he had to get up to Massachusetts and find her doped up in a roadside motel. He also remembers ‘the Lowell Job’. When they burned down half the Meth Labs in the city and engaged in a running gun fight with the Cambodian street gangs. Which had been a messy overexertion of well-intentioned violence because Hali the Vik, had gotten herself in a lot of trouble, but Sebastian may well have made up stories in his head too?

Part of Sebastian’s condition was that everything was always happening at once in total recall. If he did not take a medicinal salt to lock into the present, he gets overwhelmed by the intensity of everything.

Well anyway, Hali was ‘safe in Italy’ or maybe Texas now, and while there may have been a little bit of torture, murder, barbarism, and war utilized to get her there, well nobody was dead and buried in Lowell that didn’t deserve somewhat to be dead, burned and buried in Lowell.

Nikolai and Sebastian being best friends talked a lot about their women. But there was one woman that Nikholai knew precious little about and that was Emma Solomon, but he was correct that Hali Vik the only American was, in fact, the only person he might well have married in a normative sense of what that word means. For in the State of Illubabor, Sebastian was in paperwork at least still quite married to Emma Solomon. But bigamy of paperwork is not the same as bigamy taken to the firing mechanisms of the inner heart. Was it these four women that had made Sebastian believe in the struggle as if it were love? No, only Emma did, and Emma was dead. Or didn’t exist in the same space that everyone else had. 

Yelizaveta in a completely separate way was real in his head, heart and phallus. Because she had worked on his body very thoroughly. And he had been employed heavy on hers. They were together for only three months when the storm hit; someone broke her leg, someone tried to kill her dangerous father and Sebastian fixed it all. Then he was imprisoned. There were many lovers, not an inappropriate amount but a good amount still. Sebastian had well ripped the heart out of their young Polish comrade Joanna who loved him as no other woman had or perhaps could but to whom he felt youthful nothing. But that was a decade ago. Sometimes, he felt like all his pain with loving women that couldn’t love him, in the same way, was due to what he did to Joanna.

Sometimes it was too many women to believe any of it was really love at all.

Nikolai had been married to a Syrian Italian Puerto Rican model for seven years named Krissy Kristina Safra. Or just ‘Ms. Krissy’ for cute. She had wanted very little besides children, and she was an agoraphobe. She didn’t leave their Midwood, Brooklyn apartment very many times in the seven years they lived together. The product of near ceaseless sexual harassment and advances on the street, she preferred the life of a managed housewife. Her father was a rather wealthy lesser Oligarch. A Syrian Ivory, who had converted to Christ faith early in life and married a Puerto Rican-Italian mixy; but he remained ethnocentric. Also allegedly connected to something big in the Central Intelligence Agency. The parents completely disowned her for co-cohabitation with a Ivory Ashkenazi. Though Nikh wasn’t even very Ivoryish at all and didn’t even have a Ivoryish mother, or even a Bar Mitzvah. They had gotten married early at age 18 and lived together in District Midwood until their late twenties. Adonaev rarely saw his best man then, but Nikolai was happy playing house, he was domestic in his soul.

Eventually it ended, he wouldn’t bear her kids. She didn’t want one, she wanted 3 or 4. And he didn’t know if his life wanted to look like that. The money wasn’t great at his job, and she was even a little more home bound than he was which seemed extreme. They bargained and fucked, bargained and cried. Then, they divorced and then she completely disappeared, into smoke. As if her father had managed that; which maybe he had. The very last time they saw each other to sign the divorce papers she gave him a parting fuck. He poured olive oil on his cock and put it deep in her ass for as long as he could think to. It was the kind of rough goodbye sex from movies, which passionate, angry people have in real life. It was the kind of sex Yelizaveta and Sebastian had for a year since they broke up about once a week for a year. Nikholai doesn’t like to equate his last encounter with Krissy as sodomy with Italian olive oil. It was a lot more than that. Deeper than rough anal sex. She had completely rejected him and then cut him off.

Nikholai has been fucking and drank his way towards oblivion lately. He felt nothing anymore now that Krissy was gone to god only knows where. Self-destruction or the arms of a wealthy man, who only knew? In all likelihood, her father probably just gave her a trust fund and sent her abroad somewhere. But dark minds make up the worst possible scenarios about everything. After Krissy, every single woman Nikh was with looked like a lumpy mommy. Nothing to write home about any single one of them. Women that emasculated him even further.

Then Nikh puts out the past with his latest cigarette.

“I am only suggesting slowness and loads of needed caution is required are you to obsess, I repeat the word obsess! Further about another woman you meet by the brink of your crazy pursuit of wild partly damaged women. Joanna was great to you, but you never felt anything and that destroyed her and perhaps forever cursed you if you believe in the dealings of love. Hali Vik was the closest thing I’ve ever seen to you to being unadulterated happy for a brief fuck of time. But let’s not forget just how much we had to burn down and knock around over that little lady, and that you may have saved her life, but she nearly killed you. Maria Parsheva was a loyal little Russian geisha, but between various factors that we need not rehash, that too was doomed. Though, on the train, what a little gangster she was! Perhaps you did faster more far reaching organizing so moved as you were by Ms. Yelizaveta Perechenova, but you have such a way of making women into these wild muses and then yourself into tragic fucking art. And to be frank, Yelizaveta completely emptied your bank account. She also humiliated you on a weekly basis by refusing to give the relationship any stability after you got out of prison. All the women you take as your serious partners, well none of them have fathers and all of them of dark pasts. Except for Yovanna who you sort of just destroyed. Poor noble woman. Which was rather sad because none of them loved you as fearlessly as she. She was the only one who followed you into the camps, remember, into the Palestinian territories. She was a very quality woman. But, you were bored and cheated on her left and right!”

Yelizaveta has the most brilliant and scary father. Bulgarian by nationality. Ukrainian Ivory by blood. But he was highly amoral and probably also bipolar. About as high functioning Bipolar as a major criminal/ business man can get. When he arrived in America in the 1990’s the ambulance men carried him off all the time, like every other year. Until Sasho had every single paramedic working north of 168th street killed. Had Newyorkgrad Presbyterian Hospital burned down? Made Washington Heights once again since the 1980’s an entirely unsafe place to live. So, it went to reason “that the daughter of a bipolar man carried away by ambulance men should perhaps not marry a bipolar ambulance man.”

That’s what Sebastian’s condition was also called, Bipolar 1, invented medicine for deviant minds. That thing did not really exist. It was simply one more way the Western governments colluded to chemically neuter powerful people.

Firm and logical now, but not always so, certainly not in 2009. After Sebastian secured Yelizaveta and the Perecheveney Bratva during the great blizzard and brought her to a hospital for treatment. After Sebastian, Nikholai and some of their men thwarted a major Euro Mob attack on Alexander with their reign of bombs and knives and terror in the snow. After Sebastian was taken by the secret police for a month and disappeared into torture land. Well, despite the conflicting recent record of heroism, Yelizaveta’s mother Tanya Marina forbade Yeli and Sebastian to see each other, and a woman with only one functional parent will follow the will of her mother in the end. But, Yelizaveta was a little crazy too and loved Sebastian. So for a year, it was on again and off again, rough and deep, hard and passionate, presents, secret rendezvous and lots of art, poems, dinners, flowers and a lot of time in the sheets as well as in showers, tubs and the floor.

“Dasha is an entire continent to herself. I ask you not to compare and contrast my various past uses of love and longing. I can’t even truly say that I know her well enough to speak anything like love to her. I only felt like I was in the presence of a long lost friend.”

He almost said, ‘murdered wife’ but he decided that Nikholai would then actually mock him. As everyone had and would that he suggested something like that too.

“A damn construct man! Do not mistake your fucking black Israelite training for reality or it will consume you, again,” that’s what Nick would yell at him in simulations.

“You love dangerously and often inappropriately. You don’t let go at all. Just remember that Hali Vik was also the closest time, in my memory, to you being killed by another man, a group of men really over a woman. I suspect that is something you are secretly craving in some reminiscence of an older life.”

“Well, maybe she hasn’t got a man, per say. Maybe she hasn’t got a dark past at all; maybe it’s just a mind game. I’m very hard to kill as you know. Dasha has already tried.”

“You might have easily both stupidly died. And truly this time for absolutely nothingly nothing!”

“She claimed to Rafael Ernesto she remembers nothing about that night at all.” 

“A back out as a reconciliation for your improvised murder? Prosto, so if she had killed you she wouldn’t even have remembered it! And you get off on this dangerous trash?”

“A blackout woman thinly hides a dark past in my experience.”

“How now! What of it! I fail to see what, at all, is attractive about her willingness to murder you!”

“This isn’t base lust. Or a strange love. This is something deeply surreal brother. Something I haven’t felt before in the same way. They say she has been coming to the Mehanata Social Club for a little under three years, but I’ve never seen her before. She never pays, always leaves alone. Drinks like she needs to part the Red Sea via her consumption. I’ve never seen her at the social club before, I’m there all the time as you know. I have no idea how I could have missed a busty, wild, sexy thing like her.”

“That my friend is only called a big fat trap. Who’s trap, I’m not sure but a trap certainly none the less. You have many enemies.  She is not what you or we need right now. Not at all. She is nothing but big tits coming with some real bad trouble.”

Sebastian would perhaps not have noticed her because for the past year and a half he had weaned himself off that particular den of Bulgarian sin and former Soviet misery by convincing himself no woman on earth could be as angelic and pure as his lost Yelizaveta, his last and most highly imperfect love.

“The trouble is you’re not a hopeless romantic,” continues Nikholai getting yet another cigarette fired up, up off the last one, “It’s far worse that you’re a perfectly real romantic. You usher in the entirety of the 18th century for the coldest of former Soviet hearts. Some of these poor girls, they have to learn how to protect themselves from whether you’re sure you’re serious or not. More precisely you need to protect yourself from your projections of love and the cowboy like the way you shoot cupid’s arrows off in your artistic yet unpredictable shifting of moods.”

“I’m deadly serious with this one though. And I will not weigh its risks against the others. You are lecturing me about my love life as if I were proclaiming a new love. I am speaking about something else now. Not romance or fucking. I am remembering things that were, shall we say, got deleted. Got mediated away in their hospital camps. Washed down with salt! I am telling you not that I plan to try and bed Daria Maccluskey. Of course, I will try, that is what men do. I’m trying to tell you that with all the sleep, salt and training in the world; I know that woman from before.”

The before. Whenever he spoke of the ‘before’ it made Nikh nervous. Nikh has grounded himself fully here right now.

“All of them! You say things like this madness about all of them. It’s either a blessing or a terrible curse you love so early and so often. You love as you do but I am your stalwart Droog. I know what happens when you speak like this. I suspect a curse upon your entire well-being was laid in this trap. You seem to enjoy these unstable, untenable trysts as if pursuing the romantic ideal of poorly constructed epics might necessitate your energies to live a more basic life. Not that anything you do is basic, but I suspect you’d always be happier as a wandering bard than as a loosely grounded resistance fighter. ”

“I have no idea anymore. I just feel something in the molecules, my friend. I am telling you that what we have been planning for so many years might well hinge on this person. I haven’t written a magnificent poem in many years. If quite a little good art was made under Yelizaveta, it was because she asked for it and returned it and sucked it out of me on her knees. They are all entirely different loves. One loves the struggle because one always thinks it noble, or heroic and the cause just and the suffering of our people, all people immense. One loves a woman because she emboldens him. Makes him a real man by showing love as something justifying our human condition.”

“Different Sebastian’s have said different things on the matter over this decade mind you. You must look at yourself in the mirror more often or more deeply. For one thing, you’re too lean for my liking and your hair is too short it means you aren’t eating. That is always a giveaway that you are about to do something reckless. Police, tortures and imprisonment tend to follow an old friend.”

“You’re being a real Ivoryish mother now. More praying is perhaps in order?”

“I certainly don’t care what you pray to this week, but you do need to eat more, drink less and certainly not be chasing around a woman you hardly know, who happens to show up, now. Three weeks from the biggest job you’ve ever been a part of. The biggest job ever as far as this country is concerned. And for the love of god: You just got over Ms. Yelizaveta and were beginning to sleep around more casually, so please just don’t get drunk on any more rooftops. Just be cautious of what a wild woman you are dealing with. And please, whatever you do, just don’t tell her you love her until you can pronounce her last name. And have done the homework on the skeletons in her closet. This is a Russian fucking woman after all. They play no games, not with one damn thing. We could sort of vouch for Maria and Yeli, but who is this bitch? Seriously, who the fuck really is this Daria Maccluskey?”

Nikolai then asks Sebastian quite specifically, “What really happened up on that roof then?”

Sebastian blows out his smoke.

“I died and was immediately reborn, like the last few thousand times,” quietly responds Adonaev puffing his cigarette, “we toppled to our very deaths. We died in a very inglorious real way. Stupidly and drunk. But, miraculously we then awoke panting in the alley way, holding each others’ near death hand. This all happened in the blink of an eye. Then we got up, and I dusted her off, and we walked out as if nothing happened. She gave me her number on a note, and I put her in a cab.”

“And you think you see the soul of your dead wife Emma in her, is that the story?”

“Nikholai, please do not judge me. If I’m so fucking crazy why is anyone following me into this war?” little

“Because we’re all a little crazy too. You’re just a highly persistent man,” Nikholai replies, “perhaps also simply obsessed, even crazed. People need that in a leader.”

But Nikholai Trickovitch does not judge him for too long because he too knows what it is like to bear forced eternal separation from the one you love. He too is gifted with a long memory and knows what Sebastian first lost that brought him to the revolutionary road. He simply is aware of something that Sebastian Adonaev is not because Sebastian is at least partly sleeping, still taking the last load of salt drugs they put him on, putting everyone on in lesser doses in the water supplies of the city while Nikholai is completely awake. Drinking bottled water.

They’ve been friends for a very long time. Since when they were young. Just before Sebastian did his first bid in the camps. The drums of war begin to beat in the wilds of Brooklyn.

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