friday i went to the southern edge of moscow, place i haven’t been for ages. desolate wasteland littered with 22 storey monolithic buildings where thousands upon thousands of shells of people live like chickens in boxes piled high upon each other. i took daria for sushi. i’d met her a week before at a sluttish bar where she attacked me with her tongue at 4 o clock in the morning. i asked her how she could live in such a place. she didn’t understand what i was talking about.
daria had half covered her face in sparkly blue eye shadow and crimped her hair for the occasion of our first date. i was suitably impressed
She smokes menthol cigarettes and swears every fifth word. she orders a bailey’s coffee as a starter. it comes with half a tonne of squirty cream balancing on top. the coffee starts to bubble through the cream in a most obscene manner. that’s the sort of thing that she attracts. obscene manners. she talks. her eyes glint with frustration and madness. there is something sexy about her. i guess that’s why i’m there. she is a lawyer working for the government’s mass media watchdog. she is 23 and can’t use chop sticks. she is still wearing the wrist band from the all inclusive egyptian hotel that she recently went to with her sister. she is the closest thing to a chav that i have ever seen in russia, and she wants me. i am a little apprehensive of the situation.
she kisses me in the lada on the way home, i put my arms around her- she’s all tits and bum. podgy fingers being restrained by thin gold rings. she’s trying to diet. couple of years and she won’t be able to control it. it’s a shame. she rubs my thigh aggressively. she’s half pinned me. but i’m wise to the hormonal rush. i’m not going to let it ruin my life. i have already agreed with the driver to drop her at home, then take me straight to the metro.
on the way back i try to imagine what sort of relationship could develop from this. the picture isn’t forming. i take it as a sign.
invigorated, i get on the metro and head back to moscow proper to have a beer with marcello- it’s about 12. marcello’s knackered after the wedding yesterday. says he’s staying in. the metro has, by this time, evolved into an underground network of degredation. i try to avoid the vomit and violence on the way.
nika, a 21 yr old teacher is my next stop. she’s been calling me, sending me sms. second day. demanding that i entertain her.i invite her to meet at marcello’s flat. we sit and drink beer. we’re going to go to solyanka, dance to techno. rob calls me from solyanka, says angelina is at solyanka.
no way i’m going to solyanka.
marcello falls asleep. it’s 3 am. i take nika to the bar round the corner, klava. on the way she says she wants to go to macdonalds. not a good sign. klava used to be the coolest bar in moscow. now there are three gay russians, on ecstasy, dancing to britney spears.
monkeys on a hotplate.
this is turning into a nightmare. I turn to leave. nika says ‘i love this track…’. we stay. madonna. wham. britney. jackson. kylie. gay. she dances. i drink. vodka tonic, whisky, rum coke, vodka redbull, a shot of vodka. and another.- i tell nika it’s definitely time to leave. she says she’ll come home with me. i say i’ll play her ‘pulp’. on the way home we pick up a couple of beers. we get home. i’ve got some chronic skunk. we smoke it and dance in the living room to ‘the knife’. nika is up for it.then suddenly she is not. she fucks off home. it’s 7.30.
saturday 5pm. i call katya- a posh chick i met on the flight back from uk. she’s coming over with her friend natasha. i buy a couple of bottles of wine and enough food, and plan a dinner. i have a beer.
katya and natasha arrive. they got lost and are late. troy is over too. troy’s a fucking legend. the beer helped, but i’m still fucked from the night before, smiling like an idiot. occasionally dribbling. troy just gabbers on for ages about everything with infective transatlantic enthusiasm. this is the most civilised evening i’ve had in ages. it’s bordering on bourgoise. they even turned up with blue cheese and a bottle of burgendy. i decide not to crack the skunk out.
after a couple of bottles of wine, i’m just wishing everyone would go home. katya gets up and her dress rides up her woolen tights, she walks past me, sullen eyes, shows me the barrage of her hind and a half. she’s a big girl, but she’s sexy. i walk them to the car, she squeezes my hand. i kiss them goodbye. its past 2..
sunday. my head is cunted. lena from the weekend before sends me an sms, she’ll be back in moscow at 9.30 pm, wants to meet. so do i. i’m intrigued if her thumbs were really as weird as i remember, or if it was just the acid.
i go home, get ready.pavlova calls.my heart misses a beat. i think not to answer, then i do. we haven’t spoken for a week. i should have called but never did, predictably she asks if she can come over. i ask her what condition she’s in. ‘normal’. she sounds it. ‘ok’. she says she wants to get up early in the morning. i understand her code. i tell her i’ll call her later.
lena is fifteen minutes late. she’s as beautiful as i remember, and a pleasant mix of inquisitive and intelligent, slightly aloof from the rest of the world. her thumbs are absolutely mutated. super thumbs. i’ve been trying to work her out, i can’t. i don’t think i’m any more transparent. she’s done a lot, lived alot. worked in london, travelled a bit, seen a bit- that’s good for a russian chick. but she seems so young. about 22. then she does that horrible thing where she can’t decide what to order at all and then orders something she absolutely does not want. her coat is horrible. i lie and say i’ve only got half an hour, order a whisky. without a hint of irony the barman offers me a quadruple. i like a barman with a good memory. always best to order exactly what you want with no guilt, but i take a double on account of it being sunday, and tomorrow being monday. lena has a salmon sandwich with her strawberry and raspberry smoothie.
it’s 11pm. i frog march lena to the metro, bit of an odd farewell. i guess she knows the score. i say i want to get up early. pavlova’s code. i go up to street level, check my phone. 4 missed calls.i call pavlova. she can barely speak. she’s at danil the dealer’s place. i say i can pick her up on the way home. i ask her where she is. she mumbles. i don’t know the street. i ask her to write an sms. she says she can’t. i stop a car and give the phone to the driver. by the way of a miracle he understands her. We turn up at the place. i call. no answer. 20 minutes later, still no answer. i know she’s passed out or throwing up. start to wonder when i signed up to a&e.r&r- fair enough. a&e? taking the piss.i decide to keep calling until the battery on the phone is dead, and then fuck off home. there’s not much juice left.
pavlova finally picks up, asks me where i am. i say ‘here’. takes her a moment to remember where she is. 5 minutes. she stutters out onto the street, can barely walk. she’s wearing an enormous silver parker. she asks me how i’ve been. i shrug. she’s cluching a big bit of weed she manged to nick off the dealer. slips it into my hand. steadies herself on my arm. we get in the car. she tells me to stop for beer, and whispers, condoms. i look at her and wonder how i loved her. i remember her, and i feel so sad. i want her to come back, to come back to herself. i fool myself that if i love her then she will- that it’s the only thing that can help her. love. i kiss her and for a minute it’s like she is, like i can feel her, like she’s back, then i look at her. she’s smiling through herself, eyes half rolling. fuck knows where she is.
later she asks me why i never call. i don’t answer. it’s so fucking obvious. she pretends not to get it, says goodnight, collapses on the sofa. i go to the kitchen, roll a spliff. stare out the window. 5 minutes pass. i hear a noise, turn, she comes at me full speed. mouth first. tights off. nearly knocks me off the chair.
i put her to bed.
should probably be in the ‘journal’ department, but shamelessly entered here not just on account of its length, but also its girth.