For those of you that have been in a coma for the last five weeks (you know who you are, I hope), please catch up on Nothing is Sacred Field Correspondent Fabio Sandrelli's "Operation Minsk" right here or none of the rest of this will make sense and you'll wind up calling the authorities on me and that just ain't cool. I'd much rather you just sat back, picked your teeth as you read a few stories, and delivered me a good steak, a case of wine, or something pretty for the wife. So, you know, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Independence Day in Minsk looks like fun
19.02.2011 - OPERATION MINSK - DISPATCH 0003
Okay, readers, I guess this is going to be more of an "every three weeks" kinda thing, just to keep it sounding regular and not scare you away with its actual, frightening randomness.
I am trying my best over here, but things move slowly when you're poor. Seriously. The other day I watched a wrinkle form on a ladybug's cheek. I had been staring at her (him?) for a while and I guess it was a longer while than it should have been, in polite company, because I actually saw that otherwise-inconsequential insect age before my very eyes.
I couldn't help but notice the precise onset of world-weariness in a breathe-eat-shit-procreate-die mindless insect and I'm still talking about it. That's how much time I have on my hands. I'm fucked.
Needless to say, the ladybug experience (and several others like it) made an indelible impression and I have all the evidence I would ever need to conclude that time is not to be wasted, that life is precious, that things that must be said must be said no matter the cost.
As soon as I can save up for a servant with younger legs than toothless old Mikhail to run these illicit missives across the border without the need for a nap every fifteen minutes, I assure you I will keep better pace with both your expectations and my desires (a weekly column rich with charming insight?).
It's depressing to think I not only had to hire Mikhail--a gnarled old coot I found muttering to a pet dead bird inside a garbage can in the park where he was "staying warm"--but also some strange enterprising young woman in Vilnius--Vita K.--with internet access, discretion, and a dangerous desire for the finer things in life.
I haven't made a penny in six weeks and I never even had one to start with yet here I sit master of two dedicated servants helping me upload these letters to the Nothing is Sacred servers indefinitely in exchange for a pair of Levis each.
That's all! How desperate are these poor Belarusians? What does it say about their station that they are willing to risk so much for so little? Do they hear the footsteps of Lukashenko's hounds chasing me through the Minskian sewers? Will they do any and everything to silence those hounds once and for good and live like normal people for a change?
If so, they may be gravely disappointed when I sneak away as the road to freedom becomes more arduous; I am way too selfish to actually risk my life for anything other than the perfect croissant. I came over here on an adventure and I was rewarded with way more than I bargained. As soon as I can get out I will be out and I will never come back. If I see an officer of the law I will run as fast as I can and I will never think killing somebody is a good idea, even when it is.
Regardless of all this depressing bunk, though, this recent spate of involuntary internet silence due to my being the target of a relentless government-funded manhunt has been as bad for my general health and happiness as it has been for my porn consumption--i.e, the worst.
While out from behind my desk these past few weeks, floating knock-kneed through a pock-marked landscape reeking of the dark side of human resilience, virtually alone, I've been robbed, beaten, intimidated, and completely cut-off from my family and friends. If I have two coins to rub together before exchanging them for a shoeful of porridge it is only due to the kindness of peasants.
Life is never easy, I guess. Like they say. Except, of course, for the people in underwear and fragrance advertisements, whose pure enjoyment of the simplest things the world has to offer is always effortless and delightful. I'd say they were lucky if I didn't know they earned it; they are beautiful beyond reproach.
By the way, I saw legendary gymnast Vitaly Scherbo outside a gelateria the other day. He had some swooning young model on his arm and drove a glistening Audi A8 coupe. I drooled on myself a little and then a wave of embarrassment washed over me as I realized how vital he is at 39. Will I even live that long? Am I doomed to end my days frozen to a park bench in Gorky Park, my pants around my ankles?
Well, since I can't predict the future and I'm not sure what else to do right now, I think it's high time I finish this can of paint thinner, strip down to my finest suit, and paint the town naked like I just don't give a damn. I'm worth it.
Over and out,
FABIO SANDRELLI - FIELD CORRESPONDENT - NOTHING IS SACRED