I am not sure if it was switching from my laptop analog keyboard to the tablet screen touch keyboard, with its offering of words that I find distracting, or various private matters, that have dwindled my internet communications for the last year or so. But today while swimming, both to clear my mind, zennify it, and to appease my shoulder pain.
Thanks to the communism heating quotas my bones often ache. I remember once visiting a prominent writer who had a hazardous garland of electric heaters dangling above our heads, saying he would not succumb to communist terrorism, he being a writer had to think and one stops thinking if shivers with cold. He shall not grovel, when they catch him.
There even was a joke about a fellow paying a visit to a girl he was wooing. Suddenly her father got up from the dinner table and started to put his coat on. The young man mortified he overstayed his welcome, got up and apologized he didn't know his host had to go. But the father patted him on his shoulder, 'Relax, and continue your youthful chatter, darlings. I'm just readying myself to go to bed.' In other versions he gets into his skiing suit.
Anyway finally today while swimming I peeked out of my silence, like a snail with its feelers, eager to share this with you:
I went on Sunday afternoon to Brighton Beach, both to soak my aching bones in the ocean salty water, my mom swears by salty water baths, and poultices with cabbage leaves, and bask in the sun. And eat the fried dough filled with meat or cheese they sell on the street. This is how my Eastern European nostalgia manifests itself. I eat fried dough to induce a bile duct attack.
Anyway, on the beach it was lovely, never mind the trash filthing the sand and the Geico ads the skies. I commiserated with the water bottle and nuts and beer and cotton candy mule people. Two fine-figured guys, perhaps honeymooners from out of town, took selfies hoisting the cotton candy pole they borrowed from the smiling stubby vendor, butching it under the pastel rainbow cloud of bags. She made a pretty penny, in three minutes she sold about 15 bags.
On my way back I shopped around on the Brighton Beach Avenue. I don't know much about Russian people, I'm sure there are all kinds, but I grew up with horrible stories about the Russian soldiers raping and pilfering, taking all the watches they could in the village. How brutish they were compared with Nazi soldiers. How almighty Lenin or Stalin died of immoral syphilis, the hypocrisy of it!
So when I find myself dealing with unsmiling sales women in Little Odessa, who cheat unfazed punching in $1.50 for a pound of vine tomatoes when the price is 99 cents, and reluctantly make the correction when I call their attention, my feathers ruffle a bit. I buy from the next stand two chocolates for a dollar, and I'd like to see the cheese that is under the shopping bag of a chatty beer belly Boris. I ask for the privilege to have a peek at the merchandise, but Boris decides I'm a fellow Russian and says something something then 'Gyevochka'! (This is an approximation of how it is written phonetically, I can't speak Russian. Maybe I should call 311. Google translation didn't work. Help appreciated.) For those who have not gleaned from Russian war movies that 'Gyevochka' means little girl, now you know. I calmly inform potbelly Boris, in English, 'To you, Sir, I'm 'Madam', not 'Gyevochka'.' And I removed myself leaving him behind agape. In the name of all Eastern Bloc I strolled away victoriously. He bullishly followed me! But I quickly ran up the subway station stairs.
My mom laughed when I told her. 'Gyevochka'! My mom was an A student at the university. Her Russian language professor, upon entering the classroom, addressed her always, never the rest of the students.'Wilhelmina, translate the lesson to the class!' He loved my mom, because she was always prepared. Father, they were in the same class, can't speak a word in Russian. Didn't even bother to copy the homework from mom. I guess it was his idea of a passive aggressive fight against Russian occupation. I tell mom I love Russian movies, auteurs, literature. Mother chuckles, 'What literature?! All we read were inane little textbook stories. About a Chinese woman who fell off the train.' I guess Chekhov and the rest were considered bourgeois.
Anyway on the train I claim a seat. It's a 50-minute ride home. The burly guy 'Jesus Christ's me. I actually addressed the unwilling chick sitting thigh to thigh with him. She was full of bags, I was full of bags too. I stood my ground, 'This is a bench that seats three passengers, not two. You don't like it, hike a taxi.' He shushed me menacingly. So I proceeded to read, book propped on top of my bags. After a few minutes the woman starts talking to burly guy about their great buys, taking boxes out of the shopping bags. He was in total agreement that the sweet and sexy edible bras and G-strings were a steal. I asked the chick if she wanted to switch places, but she was nah.
In a few minutes they were both asleep. The edible sweet and sexies were spilling on the train floor, the brunette head leaning on the shoulder of another woman, very put together, coiffed blond hair, red nail polish, enduring the situation while texting on her smartphone. The rest of the neighboring seats passengers were watching riveted how the head fell off the shoulder then found its way back and this stylish smiling Samaritan let the Goth sleep on her immaculate white dress. Everybody contained their laughter.
I would have elbowed her. Sharply.
To my disbelief she woke up right at Union square! Scrambled for her boxes and they got off with no thanks or I'm sorries.
I have so much to learn.