If you're reading the print version of the eXile, then you're soaking in it - the 31-day void that is Moscow in August. It's hard to explain fully, this sense of void. There's the obvious stuff - the hot and heavy air; the feeling that the city is half-empty; the ritual disappointment of sensual summer expectations unmet; the whiff of symbolic death that comes with the creeping of autumn; the lack of good shows (See "The Fortnight Spin"); and Sinead O'Conner at B1. Above all, there's the brutalizing fact that you're physically here at all, and not frolicking amongst the naked at Kazantip, making swirly nipple patterns against a Full-Body Dental-Dam (see "Face Control") or splashing in the sea with eight new special friends who haven't seen a tan line since April.
It all adds up to the feeling of being in The Dead Zone, a warping rupture in space-time from which no fun escapes. It can cause panic attacks, depression, impotence and, in rare cases, Menieres Syndrome. Most big cities experience some kind of Dead Zone in August, but Moscow's is especially crushing. Below are a few tips, developed over almost two decades of Dead Zone experience, to help you get through the next few weeks.
You've been doing it for years. But lately you may have started to wonder: Is there more to it? Something I'm missing? Well, yes. Masturbation can be enjoyed as a healthy form of self-empowerment, enhanced awareness, and even a profound spiritual experience. To get started, order a book on Tantra masturbation from Amazon. While you wait for it to arrive, find an online masturbation community dedicated to onanism on a higher level. Then, locate a peaceful, green space near your apartment. You may not be able to find a waterfall with nearby boulders to recline on, but public fountains are the next best thing, providing a soothing, all-natural communion with the Mother Earth, without whom no masturbation is possible. Find an empty bench, drop your pants, shut your eyes, and see how much more masturbation can be.
What's cuter than a sweet 'n' frisky li'l kitten? Seriously - what? Baby seals? Maybe; but you can't buy or keep them in Moscow without about a dozen permits. Sweet little kittens, however, are easily available everywhere - in the metro, on the street, at shelters. Kittens aren't just cute - they love to play! Once you've acquired your kitten and gotten over the initial cuteness-shock, break out that old shoelace and let the heartwarming hilarity begin. Before you know it, September will be here and the city back in swing. Since nothing lives forever, and since the litter is starting to stink, just drown the little guy in the bathtub and haul that box down to the dumpster. The memories will last a lifetime.
Hit the Apteka
While your dealer is selfishly out of town cooking sashlik at his dacha, the time is right to explore Moscow's rich over-the-counter apteka culture. Your friendly neighborhood druggist likely has just what you need. Start your journey with a few packets of Terpincod. If Terpincod is unavailable, try Kodelak. Consult your primary health physician for the proper dosage, then multiply it by six. Before you know it, the kids are back in school. And so is your dealer.
Hands down, the World Wide Web's most enjoyable and best kept secret. With thousands of free videos at your fingertips, you don't have to kick around the sweltering apartment baking batches of frownies. There's something for everyone at YouTube, from your favorite Shakespeare in Love scene to hilarious clips of house pets playing musical instruments. (Ever seen a Siamese cat play the accordion? It's there!). Whether it's a zany home video or a Weird Al clip you haven't seen in years, you can find it - and a whole lot more - on YouTube.