Issue #11/92, June 8- 22, 2000   smlogo.gif

Moscow babylon
Book Review
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Nation’s Birthdays

By Edward Limonov

I can call myself a veteran, as I went through two bicentennials in my life. One was an American bicentennial of Independence Day. On July 4th, 1976, as ÈmigrÈ in New York, I got drunk at a loft apartment of woman-professor of Russian Literature. Her name was Rosanna, her apartment’s location, a roof of formerly industrial building, overlooking a Hudson River. I got drunk, then, in the evening I wake up and have fucked Rosanna-my first American lover. I have to confess that it was a purely symbolical gesture: to fuck an American woman, the very first one, on bicentennial day. It was a mean attempt to steal that day from the United States’ possession. I remember with lucidity, that as waking up I immediately with horror have looked at my watch: to be sure it is not yet July 5. No, it was July 4, evening, about 10 p.m., but still July 4! Then I fucked her in a hurry. Because of that chronological, sybmolical awareness of mine I can now to boast about it. Later I wrote about fucking Rosanna on bicentennial day in my first novel, “It’s Me, Eddie”. Overall that book been sold in twenty languages all over the globe in more than 1.5 million copies. But, dear readers of my novel, you should know that fucking of Rosanna did happen in reality exactly on that very day. I believe I stole part of American Independence.

French Revolution bicentennial I faced in my place in Paris: 76, Rue de Turenne. On July 14, 1989, I and Natasha we woke up because of a noise of unusually heavy aircrafts. Old building was vibrating with its entire body. On July 14 - parades every year French bombers were always placed in the spearhead of sky parade. We always heard their flight over Parisian rooftops. July 14 happens to be a birthday of my ex-wife Natasha Medvedeva.

In 1989 she was still a wife of mine. Or rather better to call her “girlfriend”, as she was as beautiful, lazy, treacherous, loud-mouthed and impossible as only girlfriends can be. The wives are totally different broads. The wives are victims, those girlfriends are fascists-sadists. Anyway, on that day we woke up because of airborn forces of French Republic, production of monsieur Dassault (I hope I spelled his illustrious name correctly) been swarming the sky, making heavy noises. Every birthday Natasha naked, would run to windows, would open them and would say the very same phrase: “Samolyoti, Limonov, parade!” I would also got up, I always slept in T-shirt, I will go to our windows and look at them. The very French, fine, elegant aircrafts would cross our windows, starting from one at very right, looking at Rue Pont-a-Choux, to the very left one - looking at Rue de Turenne. The first wave of aircrafts will disappear somewhere over our apartment’s roof. Then second wave will come from Place de la Bastille - direction of less heavy aircrafts, then third wave will come. French would close their sky parade with helicopters.

Meanwhile, I would grab her tits from behind and I will tell her: happy birthday, dear Natasha. Then I will give her a present. Afterward she will accuse me of lack of originality.

Then I will switch on a television in order to see as “Legion Etrangere” will march. Because Foreign Legion is marching always first, and because I always loved their terrible fighting unit. So we will sit up in our floor bed, one of us will run to make a coffee in the kitchen, but the doors will be left open. So, first sound of Chinese musical notes of marching Legion will force us to run to television set, and we will not spend a time to open doors. When I arrived to Paris in 1980 I have dreamed to become legionnaire. Specially when I wanted to obtain a passport, I believed that legionnaire has a right to be naturalized as a French citizen immediately, automatically. But anyway, I loved to watch those muscular beasts walking those 80 steps per minute, slower than usual army walks. I had a pleasure to look at those boys. I also loved Independence days, those birthdays of nations, because I could stop working. I could get drunk with a light heart, not suffering from sense of committing a crime. Normally, I never drink before 6 p.m., but on those days I would start after 12 at noon. Then it was always a fuck on those days. Sooner or later.

On November 7th (at least for a last six years it is a cause) I would go to Oktyabrskaya metro station very early. At 8 a.m. my bodyguard will come to my place to pick me up, then we will walk to Oktyabrskaya through Krimskii Bridge. Near metro, next to Lenin’s sculpture we will arrive at about 8:45. From very far away we would see a flags of National-Bolshevik’s Party, our beautiful sharp red-white-black banners. During the next hour party members will flow under the banners. Then our neighbors comrades Anpilov and Terekhov will come to say “Hello!” to congratulate us with a day of October Revolution. Then I will round up a column, to appoint those who will supervise a column security, then we will try our loudspeakers and try our throats. I will scream aloud some slogans and column will repeat it. “The Capitalism is Shit!” “The Capitalism is Shit!” “Eat the Rich!” Our boys like this one specially. “E-a-t the R-Rich!”, they would almost choke with pleasure.

Then column will march. It is cold on November 7 in Russia, so in order to get warmer we will scream energetically, we will stamp our feet with a force to the ground. When it is snowing or raining that is the best weather for the procession. In another words the best weather is a worst one, as we are then forced to overcome a difficulties. When a wind and snow storms are snatching out of hands the flags and slogans, when storm is lashing in the faces it is a supreme joy. People around us - militiamen, servers of government - are macabre and silent, but we are happy, screaming. The road, that hour or so, of procession is most exalted part of November 7 celebration. Final meeting is less interesting. Usually it is mutual, all radical parties meeting, with many demagogues. Usually National-Bolsheviks Party would skip the meeting. I would give an order to break up.

After three or four hours under the snow one feels absolutely happy and healthy. One feels mighty because during those hours one was a part of mutual body. It is special feeling. Then all of us we will leave a meeting and will get drunk. And of course, fuck, if one has who to fuck for that moment. That is also October Revolution tradition. I would go home and fuck my skeen-headed girlfriend.

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