About the night I hung out with the Russian Mob — and nothing eventful happened

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Mobstering has lost all it’s flair for me. Last night I spent over an hour feeling really uncomfortable with moments of sheer “I-Should-Get-The-Fuck-Out-Of-Here” terror, and in the end no one got murdered.

So, what happened was…

I had been eating dinner in the city with a friend who was in town and had generously offered to buy a poor, struggling writer dinner (3 months ago, but I never forget the possibility of free food). I, outshining him with my crazy generosity, had offered to buy him a drink in return, but it turns out he had to meet some colleagues.

Any other night I would have gone home, high-fiving myself whilst counting this insane profit I made, but my friend was arriving in town and I was all set to pick her up from the train station since she is ever so slightly “special” when it comes to public transport. By special I mean that she is a complete fucking idiot who will manage to get lost on her own, even with all those handy amenities such as iPhones and WiFi and Google Maps.

But it meant I had 2.5 hours to kill on my own. These are the moments I’m really glad I am pretty good at writing (if you beg to differ, get the fuck out of here. We all know I’m pretty much the best ever writer except for maybe that woman who wrote Twilight (Imagine that last sentence was written in a bold sarcasm font and if you must.. the one before that as well. Thank you)) and I can just keep myself entertained in a mildy constructive way.

In fact, it had been 1.5 month since I last wrote on my own project because I am at the moment putting the finishing touches on a commercial project. So my fingers were itching, as it were. So I picked up a notebook and some pens from the store (got myself some swanky Pilot G2-07’s (Best Pens Ever)) and set out for the nearest bar that served fancy coffee and had some proper lighting. I ended up somewhere that looked quiet, well-lit and it smelled like coffee even on the outside. The windows were huge, reminiscent of the scene in ‘Nighthawks’. All in all, it seemed like an excellent spot to get down to some serious writing.

So, I got myself a coffee and because they were training the barista I got it for free: “for my patience.” The boy said with a heavy accent I couldn’t quite place at the moment. I thanked him and rushed to the one comfortable sofa right in the corner of the giant windows. I couldn’t quite believe my luck it was still open when it looked like the best place in the whole joint… But it must have been my lucky night, I figured. A free meal, free coffee and the best seat in the house.

With this luck I was sure bound to crack some character problems I had been trying to figure out, so in good spirits I set out to get down to some writing. I got out my notebook and started jotting down a story. And I’ll be damned if the words didn’t start flowing out of my pen as by magic (or a superior brain, skill, talent and not to mention, good looks).

I had been at it for a good 30 minutes when I looked up and noticed this huge man suspiciously staring at me. It was rather uncomfortable. He was just standing next to some guy, shameless surveying me.

While at first I thought he was a security guard trying to signal he did not like me lounging with my feet on the sofa, but quickly it dawned upon me that this probably wasn’t the case. Now, when I’m saying quickly, I mean that I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to figure out why this guy was staring at me and wondering if he was ever gonna come over and tell me off for getting dirty street grime on his leather sofa. I only figured out he wasn’t guarding the place but the old men when one of them got up, and he walked out with him still throwing me and every other passer by dirty looks. Quickly another muscular guy came up and took his spot.

Now I don’t know much about the life of old Russian guys… But I’m fairly sure they don’t all walk around London town protected by bulky body guards. And I also have the sneaky suspicion they don’t all have people come up to them, shake their hand and make a quick chat before getting their coffee and rushing out again. The only word to describe it is Godfather-esque.

I am not a huge fan of the mafia movie genre, but I’ve seen my fair share of them. I did my do diligence with the Sopranos, Coppola’s masterpieces not to mention some light Scorsese on the side. I know how these guys roll. And I know that in general things don’t end all that well for them. And those guys were Italian, with some honour codes, traditions and stuff like that… But these guys are Russian… I doubt they give a fuck about collateral damage (i.e. me).

And all of the sudden you’re thinking: “Gosh, so they need bodyguards. Well, am I glad I’m sitting directly in front of not one but two giant windows which so happen to be directly in the line of fire if anyone attempts to take them out. Also, should a car bomb go off, I sure as hell am all set to be pierced by a billion shards of glass until there will be nothing left of me but disintegrated flesh lying in a puddle of my own blood and some fair blonde hairs.”

All of the sudden the writing didn’t go as well as it had been. The various grim ways in which I could meet my demise that night were sort of fighting for attention. But I still managed to jot down some words on paper… But I wasn’t totally in the zone anymore. I was checking passerby’s for hidden guns and wondering where the surveillance car from INTERPOL was stationed. At some point a loud Italian guy came in, and I knew I was gonna die.

Turns out he just wanted some coffee.

But in the end I stuck it out, wrote 7 pages (by hand, so basically 3) and walked out feeling relieved and slightly shaky. I had worked myself up into quite a frenzy. I doubt my heart rate was as chilled as it usually is. I spent quite a few moments wondering how to escape my sofa in the corner that I had renamed “Sitting Duck Corner” because I was convinced a guy with a machine gun would come rushing in at any second. Also, those cars were cruising past the place slightly too slowly. A driveby didn’t seem all that farfetched anymore either. And everyone knows it’s terribly difficult to take some good aim from a moving vehicle.

Sitting Duck Corner.

I was glad when it was time to head for the train station and I could breathe in the fresh air with my body still intact, ever so glad the newspapers would not have to report on the waste of a young woman’s life for the sake of criminal prosperity. Because it sure as hell came close that night…

Oh… Wait…

At that point it dawned upon me that nothing had happened….
At all.

I just sat on a sofa writing while these two old men drank some coffee and read a news paper, but I still had managed to get myself all worked up about it to the point where I had once again accepted dead as a real, though rather uncomfortable and wasteful, option.

But you know… That’s a silly story. So the way I see it is that I spent my night with some old mobsters.

I was still alive.

They were still alive.

And I’m pretty bad ass.

Gangsta almost.

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