I don’t remember how I got invited to this little soirée in Serebryanni Bor, historically, the dacha enclave for the Soviet elite, and most recently, a community of people with means, on an island of wilderness. The house we were in was rented, I was told, by Vadik’s dad who was a medical administrator in the Kremlin hospital. But, as many times as I have partied there, I have never seen him there, not even a logistical trace of him. The place was a sand-box for his son. The house, surrounded by sequoia-ish looking pines was a crash pad. People came and people left.
Call girls and low-level drug dealers. The ones that stayed had some kind of implicit invite. And Vadik, when sober, would be the one to enforce it. In the day, this mini-collective of hipsters, punks and otherwise well-connected youngsters would play cards, eat, and go to the beach. At night, they’d keep on playing cards, eating, and going to the beach – high and/or drunk. And, of course, through it all ran two other thin red lines, music and sex, through the days and through the nights.
I must’ve driven someone there and was invited to stay, gotten that vague invite to stick around.
And I would. For a couple of weeks, I jitneyed all day to drum up pocket money and then I’d drive out there, hopefully with a passenger going in that direction, to pay for my own trip. I’d stick around till morning. I liked the conversations, the Dionysian energy of the place. And I was on home ground. I had spent several years in Serebryanni Bor on the nearby rowing base as part of my athletic training. The location had a special significance for me. I knew the island from the outside out, I had rowed circles around it. Now, too, I was still in its orbit, but somehow from within. I was more of an observer than a participant, or maybe an observer-participant. I think this relational buffer, this distance had its own charm. Vadik and company thought themselves to be special, an elite, of sorts. And they were. We all are, in a sense. And they wanted to be studied. So I studied them.
I had been now baby-sitting Vadik, sorry, Mr. Goff, for about an hour. High as he was, he was down on the ground, crawling around like a well-dressed worm, sometimes pausing to arch his mid-section as if to send a peristaltic, propagating wave through his body, like a break dancer. It never worked out, but, I got the point. First, we all laughed, then it got tiring and people spread out around the house to do their own thing. I stayed with Mr. Goff, baiting him with questions about what he was experiencing. I was intrigued.
Mr. Goff was finally onto something, I thought, when he said: “We will, all of us, one day be gods.”
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