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Moscow Babylon October 17, 2002
Chemoterapy Chic
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

Alla was the best looking girl at the private model show performed in honor of Morris U. Snideman for his legendary 50th birthday party. Whenever Alla took the stage, all the invitees seated around the stage -- Americans and Russians alike -- hooted and hollered. And she ate it up, prancing down the ramp with her long gazelle legs, flipping back her shoulder-blade-length blond hair.

During the lingerie show, Alla won the shmurgen-meter hands-down. Her body was taut, totally devoid of the cellulite that was beginning to infect some of the other girls like a bad mold.

You might be wondering why I haven't written a column in several issues -- folks, I still haven't recovered from Snideman's 50th birthday party. It was epic. Snideman never does anything in half-measures. He does things in triple-measures. Most healthy people would not have survived his 50th birthday party, and in the end, there were a dozen near-death experiences and two arrests. Most of the Americans who flew in for the party will never be the same again. They have a "look" on their faces now, etched like that Vietnam War 1000 yard stare, only in this case, it's the Moscow 1000 dyev stare, a stare you get when you've seen way too much of a good thing you never thought was possible, and suddenly, you have to return to the West, to a life of cubicles, bills and spinning classes.

First, I'll explain how it was that I ended up with the hottest teenage provincial model at the playground of a mega-rich friend of Moe's. There's a simple explanation. We still owed the modeling pimp -- Alla's boss, Slava, the guy who brought her out from Belgorod along with about 25 other models from various depressed provincial towns -- a couple thousand more dollars. That was part of the deal. If any of the revelers succeeded in "seducing" the models, Alla's boss got a 100% bonus. Which meant, of course, that the models would be given a handy beating and blackballing back to their shitty provincial towns if they didn't allow one of Snideman's invitees to "seduce" them. Slava wanted his bonus. He kept all the money for himself -- he barely paid the models, shipping them in and out of Moscow on third class platzkart, feeding them little more than soup.

I was in the disco room corner with Alla, trying to coax her into leaving the party and taking a hotel room on the complex grounds with me. Alla told me to wait a moment so that she could speak to the "modeling agent." Slava lurked in the corner of the party room with his arms folded, wearing red tracksuit pants and a white button-down shirt, hair slicked back and tinted glasses. He didn't drink. He was all business. The girls didn't excite him. They were like carpets or pork bellies to him.

Ten minutes later, Alla returned. "Let's go," she said. On our way out the door, Slava stopped us and asked me for his 100% bonus. He claimed that several of his models had "left" with guests. I was in no state to verify his claim. As far as I knew, he was probably right. Snideman was no help to me -- he was busy headbannging to the Woodstock veteran guitarist he'd flown into Moscow on his personal expense, his comb-over coming wildly undone.

I was drunk and white-water-rafting on about four competing substances at the time. Was I going to turn Slava down? Not release him money that wasn't even mine?

I ordered the man who was in charge of holding the cash reserves to release the last of the funds; Slava released Alla into my hands. It was classic Checkpoint Charlie stuff, the trade-off at the end of the hardboiled movie: "Just release the girl, Slava, and you'll get your money." "First give me the money, then you get the girl."

What happened next was a triumph. So much so that I had to re-examine my previous declaration that sex and drugs weren't all they were cracked up to be. That night, I was wrong. It was so good that I nearly had a heart attack, I mean literally: among all the poisons in my body I'd also popped a massive Viagra bullet. For an hour I did my damnedest to impress a model in bed. My heart rate shot through the roof, my pores spigots shot open. I started wheezing, a hairy manatee, pouring sweat so profusely that she got scared. It looked like I was going to go Sobchak on her. There was a puddle of slime on the mattress, and it wasn't cum. I must have looked pretty terrifying in that state. I panted and wheezed, and wheezed some more. I wheezed even after we were done, wheezed for hours, all the way back to Moscow.

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