The denouement of my birthday party the other day may have changed the cruel fate of two nice black guys.
The final chapter of the party took place in Soho House and consisted of 3 Russian girls and one nice Jewish guy at different stages of highness and drunkenness. I wasn’t as elevated as the rest, unfortunately, because I was anticipating, for several weeks now, the dreaded “peeing in the cup” procedure. Nonetheless our festive mood was hard to spoil and we made ourselves comfortable on the couch in the lounge area and ordered drinks. It was well past midnight and the place was getting empty. As such, the remaining parties, especially on neighboring couches were joining each other in the chit-chat. Two artsy-type black guys were sitting next to us, paying interest to our loud drunken chatter about things that should be best kept private. Natasha was explaining to Nathan what types of men she likes, heavy on detail. At this point all of us were speaking in mixed languages, waving arms, giggling at self-made crude jokes that seemed witty at the time and thinking that we were being discreet. The two black guys decided to make a move. “Are you Russian?” – one of them asked. I must say that that day we all looked like prime PETA targets, including all 3 of us wearing giant fur hats, which, given the setting, made us look not just Russian but cartoonish. “We’re going to Russia in a few weeks”. “We’re taking a train through Siberia” – added the other proudly. Natasha, high as a kite, and spotting the new audience turned around and began chatting with the guys. They looked happy and content.
A few minutes later I turned around to check on the situation on the neighboring couch and I must tell you, I saw the real life interpretation of Munch’s “Scream”. The two black guys looked as white as a sheet. Their jaws were agape, their eyes frozen in horror. At this point Natasha was standing and, using heavy gesticulation to drive the point home, in vivid details, in heavy accented English was describing to them how they are going to be raped on the Moskva – Vladivostok train. She wasn’t joking, she looked very concerned. “Two black guys, on a train for a week, in the middle of nowhere, are you out of your fucking mind? You will be sitting in the compartment with some smelly drunken hicks eating fried chicken in a foil drinking vodka for breakfast and smoking 24/7 with no way out. For weeks! And that’s if you’re lucky. That is if the bandits don’t rob you and kick you out from the train in some deep Siberian forest and where they’ll find your thawed corpses in the spring, if at all. Sovsem ohueli? And, you know, black guys like yourself – you can become popular there, and not just with girls! And then they’ll never find you.” The more she talked the more she got into a groove and the more morbid her audience’s faces became.
Although the picture was a feast for the eyes, we had to stop the torture. The two guys just came here to have a drink, relax after a hard day’s work, chat, have a good time but inadvertently got themselves into some reality check. We said quick “Nice to meet you, have fun in Russia” to the guys, paid the bill and dragged Natasha to the elevator, where we bursted with laughter.
Somewhere the next day two black guys were cancelling their plane tickets to Moscow.