We arrive at Denver’s place shortly after six. There’s already a crowd in the living room. The pregame show is projected onto an entire wall. The commentators look massive and shiny. I scan the room and see a few people I know. Everyone is looking at Katya and I hear the whisper campaign kick off.
Katya and I make our way to the kitchen, where I put my store-bought guacamole on the island. I go outside to the back deck and put my beer down. Katya follows me outside and sparks a cigarette. It’s too cold to be a gentleman so I leave her outside on her own. When I get back to the kitchen Denver corners me. He looks concerned. The creases in his forehead suggest a serious conversation.
Dude, I don’t know how to tell you this, but, like, you know she convinced her ex-boyfriend to kill himself? Right?
Denver stares at me. He looks like a slack-jawed idiot.
If a girl can convince you to kill yourself, then you kinda deserve to die.
I want to tell him to mind his own fucking business.
Thanks for hosting this year. Go Pats!
Katya comes back and I escort her to the living room. The clique of a dozen or so people all stop talking . It’s awkward. Well, it’s awkward for them. I don’t give a shit. Slowly, individual conversations pick up and everyone eases into their drinks. I start talking with Tim about his band, The Kill Sheets. A post-punk emo band. They would be good if they weren’t embarrassingly old to be playing emo shows for teenagers. I suggest they change their name to Convoluted Suicide and become a full-blown punk band. He hates me for suggesting this, but again, I don’t care. I ask him about his legal problems. He’s been accused of sexual assault by a handful of his teenage fans. I can tell he hates me for bringing this up. I don’t blame him, considering he’s here with his new girlfriend, who, based on her reaction, didn’t know about his troubles. The sad part is that Tim is too much of a pussy to have done anything with those girls. He wouldn’t know how to assault someone if his life depended on it.
While this is going on Katya sips her beer. The other girls have made a silent pact to not engage with the Russian she-devil. It’s not just that they think Katya is responsible for her ex-boyfriend’s suicide. More than that, it’s that Katya is stunningly beautiful, and that they’re average at best. In fact, next to Katya they look like the stepsisters from Cinderella, meat in all the wrong places. Faces that need hours of surgery for any level of aesthetic beauty. It could also be that I’ve had sex with most of the girls in this room, and left most of them in worse shape than I found them in. But that’s just me. And if they didn’t share that information with each other, out of shame or whatever, then that’s on them. They never shut up, but they never say anything useful.
There’s a guy here who I don’t recognize. One of Denver’s loser stoner friends. He’s completely engaged with the football game. It’s the start of the second quarter and he’s the only person in the room who cares what happens in the game. He’s muttering to himself. Nervously emptying beers. I feel like I’ve met him before but I can’t place him. Then it hits me, Luke used to buy Xanax from him.
I go to the kitchen and make myself a plate. Pulled pork on buns, guac, salsa and chips, sausages, veggies cut to the size of fingers. I add extra veggies, for Katya.
I’m back in the living room and the game is going to halftime. I see one of the girls approach Katya. I think Jessie. I know that I fucked her a few times and convinced her to do some pretty unsavoury shit. Jessie’s had a few drinks and she’s moving with a false confidence. The moment I’ve been waiting for. The fuse has been lit and it’s a matter of time before it blows. Katya’s spotted her as well, and she doesn’t sit back passively, she takes the offensive. Katya stands up just as Jessie gets to her. Katya’s quick movements throw Jessie off and you can tell she doesn’t know what to do next. Didn’t expect Katya to have a spine, she expected her to be like herself. Jessie backs down without saying anything. An armistice has been reached. The scene turns me on. My dick hardens against my jeans and thigh. I signal Katya with a nod of the head and she follows me into the bathroom.
We don’t bother locking the door. I pull her jeans down halfway and bend her over the sink. I’m fucking her hard. Denver is banging on the door. They can hear Katya over the halftime show. Good. That should piss them off. I’m fucking hard. My thighs smashing off her glutes as I lay into her. I pull out and cum on the wall beside us. Katya makes herself decent and we leave the bathroom. I go out back with her so she can smoke. When we get back to the living room no one says anything. The second half is underway. I buddy up next to the stoner and leave Katya to fend for herself.
So, you’re one of Denver’s buddies, ya?
Yeah. We play indoor soccer. And watch football. And hockey. Sometimes basketball.
Right, cool. So how’s the game?
Honestly, it’s been really exciting for me. Not so much for everyone else. It’s been a defensive game. The type of game that…
I tune out the stoner. There’s trouble brewing across the room. Jessie swallows her fourth gin and tonic and corners Katya. She’s sharing a piece of her mind, getting in her face and wagging a finger. And then it happens. It’s beautiful. It’s a work of art. It’s the reason I put in an effort when I fuck her. It’s the thing that makes her unique and not one of these copypaste sluts. Katya’s fist rotates as she turns her hips and steps into the punch. The sound of it landing sounds like a fist meeting a brick wall. Jessie crumples to the floor. KO’d. Her left cheek sunken. It’s clear there will be structural damage. I excuse myself from the stoner’s ideas about football and grab Katya before she can start shit kicking Jessie.
Well, this is as good a time as any to get on our way.
Jesus Christ. Why’d you even bring that fucking monster here! You know she killed her ex-boyfriend. She’s a piece of fucking shit.
I’m practically pulling Katya down the stairs. The mob wants justice, and they’re only now realizing the severity of the damage that Katya inflicted upon Jessie. As we’re heading out the door, someone shouts for an ambulance.
We leave Outremont for the Mile End. It’s snowing again. It feels like it’s been snowing since December. Like this winter took place in a sealed environment. Katya doesn’t care. She tells me that the snow in Moscow starts in November and doesn’t finish till April. She says that no one acknowledges the snow. Like if they ignore it, it will go away. Katya tells me that Saint Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world. That you can go for caviar and champagne, go to the opera, and finish the night doing quality blow in a club on a decommissioned warship. She’s so jazzed up tonight. I can see the blood pumping through her at high speed. She’s wound up.
We go to a blues bar and eat stale candy. We do shots with the bartender. Katya tells me that in the mountains to the south there is a clan who became obsessed with American blues during the cold war. She says that to this day their village is the Eurasian center of blues music. It’s also a town that’s seen its fair share of cleansing. Katya seems preoccupied tonight. Almost homesick. I’ve never heard her speak this much about Russia, or herself. I pay our tab and take Katya to a Russian tearoom a few blocks south. We order caviar. We drink Moscow Mules and eat oysters. The oysters are thick and creamy, West Coast oysters. We dip into the club attached to the tearoom and dance with some kids. I find a dude and trade money for drugs.
We’re back at my apartment. Katya is standing at the window, watching the snow fall. She’s counting steeples. Identifying the churches based on denomination and nationality. I’m in the kitchen making martinis. I bring the martinis to the living room on a black serving tray. Katya joins me on the sofa. She sips her martini and lights a cigarette. I’m cutting up lines. Making a nice pile, dividing it, dividing it again, scooping it back into a mound. I do this several times before I chalk up two big lines.