Gregory Hughes McFadden. Screenplay by Daniel Bruno

Posted on Thursday, 2nd October 2014 @ 01:55 AM by Text Size A | A | A

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scene:  Ukraine

year:   2006

videos:  possible background music but not visuals



Chapter 1
Stanza I
Gregory Hughes McFadden
Was sitting in his office ‘till dusk
Papers piled plentifully
Blocking his view of a New York skyline
“I am 40 and where is my wanderlust?”
The wanting need to be unbound
Of this sarcophagus duty
I want to be the young poet Mayakovsky
With a muse like Brik, we would listen and love to Tchiakovsky
Stanza II
My mother spent her life trying to pin down my Dad
A Russian dandy with roving eyes
He was rootless
Upon my birth he settled in America for awhile,
But like the peripatetic precession of tides
His soul was called to travel
Before I was six, he had gone back to the USSR
Last I heard he lived with a Venus in Vogue and her husband
in the Chernyshevsky manner
While my mother and I struggled for bread
That Venus sat with a Swarovski flute full of red
Stanza III
I swore when I grew into a man I would be steadfast
Not like my Dad who ran so fast
Now here I am a rich businessman
All grown and proper
A Casanova only to my mother
Almost a mid-century lived
Toiling with business
Entrapped in a corporate net
A life of money sans love, is nothing I fret

Stanza IV
They say a man upon his demise
Does not bereave the job or money
His real fatality is in the lack of life and love
I think it is my time to break out of this dank basement of life I am living in
Punish my father for his sins and my sacrifice
Maybe it is time to trace
My father’s footsteps and take
The midnight train to Odessa
Goodbye treadmill of toil
I leave to Odessa, Ukraine- before I foil
Chapter 2
Stanza I
“Yes sir, I am leaving”
I say to a baffled boss
Leaves of absence are frowned upon among my set
But that is it, McFadden leaves on a jet
Stanza II
Goodbye Purgatory, hello heaven
Tracing an abhorrent adults footsteps
May not seem a celestial path to pursue
But with high hopes of finding
The life I am lacking
Possibly puerile
But pulling up roots and hunting
A shadow that had always haunted me
May help bury my pain
And propel me into a future I pine for
Is it fair to hope for more?
Stanza III
After travelling so far
The thought of hopping a midnight train from Keiv to Odessa
Seemed daunting
Of course kupe was not for a moneyed man
First-class was the only noble mode
Upon handing my ticket, I take a minute
Tiredness pulls at my eyes, but still a man am I
Look at these magazine covers walking by!
Goddesses dressed to impress
Gregory Hughes McFadden has landed
And I do not intend to leave empty-handed

Chapter 3
Stanza I
Blinking in and out of sleep
Dreams of business deals gone bitter,
Plunging stocks, and bank accounts abruptly emptied
The night-time train
Maneuvered along the countryside
While tiredly transitioning
To a new life
Good bye Western World weight
I plan to reach a more sovereign state
Stanza II
Punching in numbers
With fingers that slightly tremble
In rudimentary Russian
Asking the operator for taxi service
To central Primorsky bul’var
The lone thing my father left
Was a want to learn the Russian tongue
But the driver speaks English
“Hello” he said screeching the car to a stop
Upon the sidewalk
“My name is Kiril”
“Tell me American; are you ready for a thrill?”

Stanza III
Hands balled into fists
I held back a howl
As Kiril pulled up to the Potemkin stairs
Throwing him money with a deathly glare
It seemed walking would be the only way to keep face
From being scraped from the streets of the living race
Stanza IV
Standing 27 meters high
Feeling like I can touch the sky
Merely an illusion
Since a massacre never truly took place
But I can see blood dripping down
Rose-grey granite gone red
Bullet riddled broken bodies
Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin
Film may have been silent
And only a movie massacre
But I can hear cries of hardship
Perhaps it is palpable pain from a bona fide 1905 Battleship
Chapter 4
Stanza I
Climbing down the escalier monstre
Divulged a Black Sea bay-view
Walking west to Cathrene Square
Reveals a stony Catherine the Great
Reigning above me
Revering the coup of her fate
While walking Primorskaya Street
Aware it is Russia, but appears Mediterranean or Classicist
Stanza II
After all of this walking, I do think
It’s time for a drink
Along Deribasovskaya street
I see a Hausbrauerei
A beer should fix my aching feet
My thirst satisfied
I hunger for more than a swig can supply
It seems time to check in
And change into more notable clothes
Besides, darkness is falling
And a second wind I hear calling
Stanza III
Upon flagging a driver
Who should pull up, but Kiril!
The chauffeur that transports
As fast as a promiscuous Russian export
“Where are you going tonight, my American friend?”
Perivasovskaya street is where my journey ends

Chapter 5
Stanza I
I peril my life by hiring Kiril
As a permanent driver
While the car idles
I run up to my palatial room
High ceilings and windows
Doors more than ten feet
Upon dressing the part of a plentiful man
I am ready for action
Russian women being the main attraction
Stanza II
“For a man of your stature
Fanconi’s is the place to gather”
Pulling up to Fanconi’s
I can see it’s my style
Black beauties line the parking spaces
BMW’s and Mercedes, black Cadillac Escalades
Ready for escapades
These are the cars that ambition drives
Fanconi’s is a well-appointed
Asian restaurant
I can see that Pushkin would have enjoyed such a place
Dim lighting, and passementerie laden damask drapes

Stanza III
Sitting down
I take in my surround
Screens parading emaciated women
Wearing the season’s latest clothes
Fashion TV is the premiere in vogue
“Good evening sir, what can I get you?”
The waiter asks in Russian
Spying a femme fatale across the room
I daringly think
I would like one of her to go with my drink
Stanza IV
She fearlessly floats
Over to my table
“My name is Olga”
She says, reaching out a manicured hand
Red nails and a wrist decorated in diamonds
With a valiant obeisance
I kiss her hand, and invite her for drinks
“What is your pleasure?” I ask with a wink
Chapter 6
Stanza I
Sipping on absinthe
I learn she is merely 19 years young
But the way she carries herself reveals
A woman well past her age
I can imagine her dressing for dinner
Her fine clothes tailor her body in a manner only money can buy
Yet she gives an air of effortlessness
“What do you do to provide such a lavish lifestyle?”
“My father provides me with most of my needs.”
She says as her cell phone rings
She starts to text
I’ll forgive her this one uncouth transgression
Her beauty trumps
Afterall, she is truly the first woman to give me goosebumps
Stanza II
Too many drinks this courtesan and I share
I can almost smell the wormwood of absinthe in the air
Besides her beauty, I learn she is smart
She flirts with me endlessly
Smiling, she touches my hand
I feel my axis shift
Her focus on me is extreme flattery
I cannot help but ask, “Would you like to see the nighttime view from by balcony?”
Stanza III
It is a petite balcony
With standing room only
We huddle and stare at the October sunset
Gathering her hair from around her neck
I reach down and give her a peck
Such an innocent kiss turned
Into a night of celestial passion
Her confidence and poise extends
To the bedroom
Her sophistication goes beyond her years
And our boudoir experience brings me to tears
Stanza IV
Awakening with an absinthe headache
The sun shines brightly
To reveal rumpled sheets
Absent of her heat
She has left a simple note on her pillow
Thank you for such a grand evening. Looking forward
To doing it again soon
Oh, she had no idea! My plans for her before the next moon

Chapter 7
Stanza I
Now, I am not usually a weak man
I consider myself quite a shark
Who never falls for anyone’s lark
But this goddess has me eating out of her hand
At Fanconi’s we arrange to meet for dinner
I can barely restrain myself when I think of last night’s affair
She walks in fashionably late
Dressed in excess for our fabulous date
Stanza II
To my disappointment
Her phone ceases to silence
She handles two phones, and jots in a little black book
She is very secretive when I attempt to take a look
I may be wrapped up in her courtesan beauty
But a fool I am not
No matter how hot
Stanza III
Despite our dinner disaster
We stroll through the cobblestone streets
When her phone is turned off
And attention turned on
I cannot help but invite her back to my bed
After hours aspiring to meet all our needs
I lay back in leisure while she soaks in the bath
Spying her black book
I begin to creep, I must sneak a look
Stanza IV
Upon first glance
It seems this black book is designed
To keep log of her lovers
This gifted and gracious woman
Is nothing more than an Anastasian whore!
In this book she has clocked our time
I am just one man in her very long line
Throwing her clothes out the door
I toss a towel for her onto the bathroom floor
“Leave now, you whore!”
Chapter 8
Stanza I
That night at Fanconi’s
is very different
Olga is absent from the upscale spot
And no longer consumes the whole of my heart
A sauve waiter
With glossy black hair
takes my order for lobster tails
and more bourgeois fare
but this is no fun to just sit and stare
Stanza II
“Kiril, please take me somewhere
different. I need a night on the town to turn my back
from Olga’s counterfeit love.”
“I know just the place.”
Kiril says with a sneer
Pulling up to Palladium
I can hear the deafening Dead Souls music
It bangs through my head with a dulling thud
Like the beating of a robust wooden club
Stanza III
Inside it’s no better
This techno Palladium is not my style
In a land where nobleman, and ladies with lapdogs
Danced to Chopin and attended the Opera
Founding fathers from the grave would speak
If they saw this land of techno freak
Stanza IV
Still, I do spy a reason to sit
And sip for a minute
The women are goddesses
I guess I can tolerate this techno trash
With earplugs I could ogle for eons
Sitting in style in Armani
It does not take long for a woman to spy me
Up saunters a modern day
Catherine the Great
As cavalier as it is
I don’t care what her real name is
I carelessly bring her to bed
To quickly get Olga out of my head
Chapter 9
Stanza I
A night of self-seeking love
Is just what I needed to rise my spirits
Of course, in the morning I feign work to do
Bidding adieu without ever learning her label
Famished I walk to Kompot
This French bistro meets my needs to a tee
With crusty baguettes
And the most upper crust coquettes
Stanza II
After fueling my body with a French breakfast
I decide to emulate the leisurely class
And soak in an Italian marble bath
Formula seems the Roman bath house for me
Pools, saunas, robust smells burning my senses
This Versace paradise has something to dote
On all the pleasures of flesh
After a seventh heaven massage
I float on cloud nine to their health bar for a beverage
“What can I get you?”
Asks a man who behind the scenes is a kindly
Ukranian Jewish man, exerting each day to make ends meet
“What do you recommend for an American man
Who is travelling to discover a new fate?”
“Oh, to deal with our Ukranian women, requires a protein shake”
Stanza III
Invigorated, I decide to jog
Along the streets of Shevchenko park
It seems I am leaving the high life behind
While I begin to wander these broken streets
This is a place where hope seems abandoned
One minute I’m in the nucleus of opulence
Only to enter this dilapidated district
Passing a man on the street
With no shoes on his feet
Stanza IV
So this is the balance of bureaucracy
On one stage there are the filthy rich
Willing to risk
They dance and drink till their hearts content
While bribing to the most illegal extent
These are the ones to rise to the top
As if the cream of the crop
But here is this beggar
A hobo at best
A testament to all the rest
Chapter 10
Stanza I
I don’t comprehend how this happened?
On one side I am surrounded by dead souls dancing
To techno tunes
Uncouth about money, lapping in luxury
While merely minutes away
This world seems fractured
A fissure that leaves this poor man floating
On cracked concrete
He seems a dispirited soul
This sight leaves me dazed and confused
How can these two worlds go together, I muse
Stanza II
With a heavy heart
I wander back into the prized part of town
To stand in front Catherine the Great
This is my second visit to this stone statue
But her face divulges something different this time
Now I see Hitler’s stone face
Standing there among the human race
Stanza III
When Hitler invaded
Germans took Odessa by storm
His statue was erected in Cathrene Square
Satirical that Hitler stood as sentinel
As if Odessa people were his possessions
Why do I think of the blood shed
Over this city
After viewing that penniless man sitting in pity?
Chapter 11
Stanza I
It almost seems sad that I have all these funds
To sit and ponder this present condition
Midway through this life of mine
I feel as if a ray of lost sunshine
Sun because of a brilliant career
But lost because I do not know where to go from here
Stanza II
“Hi my dear old comrade, it is ? calling
? is a precious American friend from my corporate world
“I was sitting at my desk and ludicrously decided
that it is time to break out of this business
routine, and pay a short visit to you in Russia
In fact, I am already in Kiev!
Meet me at the Odessa train station tomorrow?”
Stanza III
A comrade and colleague
Is just what I need!
Walking these streets by myself
Is like a swimmer against an oncoming tide
I feel as if I am that double-headed eagle
Glancing East, then West
Going from It girl’s in their latest attire
To beggars on the streets that no one admires
Stanza IV
A train station so grandiose
This is not waiting for some weary traveler
Rather a museum heaping of history
Marble walls, vaulted ceilings
Built in a time when construction was art
She arrives at the terminus with an embrace
And a look I so dearly missed upon her face
Chapter 12
Stanza I
Lovers we were not
A testament that opposite sexes
Can remain rudimentary friends
I wanted to show her Odessa’s sanguine side
No sense depressing her with that dubious divide
We walked for hours along the beach
A slight chill in the air
Bare feet in the sand
Off season beachcombers walking hand in hand
Stanza II
A Black Sea giving birth
To a baby of land
While growing, this baby was handled with care
However, a port is a place that sees many people
This infant matured
And bloody hardships it was forced to endure
Stanza III
Au Revoir my dear friend
So sad that our short visit has come to an end
With a kiss on each cheek and quick embrace
? walks away with such grace
Chapter 13
Stanza I
There is no better salve to soothe my soul
Opera is medicine for my mind
No techo version of rock and roll
A building twice burnt by fire
Fellner and Helmer
Designers with a dream
They drafted a singing citadel
Opera echoes in the hearts and the halls
Even the softest song rebounds off these gold walls
Stanza II
They say this theatre sits on shifting grounds
Concrete cracks endanger collapse
My theory is that vocals vault off these walls
Reverberate through our souls and the seats
Causing the ground to shift at our feet
Stanza III
Standing room only, the seats are filled
With a fortified fashion
I sit in the theatre
Confidently thanking the heaven’s above that
I have a theatre troupe of companions
Who join me in my repulsion of Techno refuse
Yes, this is a crowd of intellects
Who grasp Gershwin
This wax lyrical audience
Luxuriates in my leisure pursuit
Of fine arts and opera
A symphony orchestra of celesta and saxophone
Sweet salvation, I have found home
Stanza IV
My reality right now in this Opera House
Is analogous to Gershwin’s American in Paris
The bustle of this beautiful city
Women and wine
Walls of gold so fine
I have reached my summit, my ultimate peak
Wait is that German I hear them speak?
Chapter 14
Stanza I
This occupied audience that is consumed
In the culture of classical composition
Are mere German tourists!
There are no rich Russian connoisseurs
Of Soviet culture
Filling these seats
Instead busloads of traveling tourists
Become apparent aficionados of opera?
This cohesion of culture is all just a con
Alone, I am the sole harmony
Amongst this community of cacophony
Stanza II
Loathsome, I leave this ersatz ethos
Even my awe of Opera has been
Blemished by a false sense of society
But alas here pulls up my crazy driver Kiril
With his sick sense of my need for a thrill
“Kiril, I am unsure of any locale in Odessa
That could lift my spirits tonight”
“Ah my friend there is one place where tourists never trek
Forsage is the place to view bona fide
Ukranian culture, at least of the female side”
Stanza III
Kiril is correct
Upon first glance, Forsage seems faithful
To my pitiful portrayal that Techno
Has taken over an ancient civilization
And is now considered high society
However, Kiril’s explanation is also exact
Forsage is full of femme fatales!
One woman in particular
Seems noteworthy of my attention
In a room full of ‘It’ girls
I see one who exceeds the limit of this clubs capacity
Every man in the room seems spelled by her magic
Mesmerized with her
These sorry lads all hope to be victor
To take her as their trophy
Too bad for all these timid men
I am bringing this one home to my den
Stanza IV
This luminary girl goes by another label
Alisa Vlasichenko
As I deduced, we are already sharing drinks
And discussing our dreams
It seems the tables have turned
Alisa is spellbound with my American tales
I believe she would bound in bed with any man from Harvard or Yale
Chapter 15
Stanza I
“Please tell me my new-found New York man
About the big apple life”
Alisa asked, her sultry touch searing my hand
This towering, tall and thin Ukranian treasure
Was interested, above all things, in American politics
Preferably, Bill Clinton!
As I explained what I knew of political matters
She seemed so receptive, yet slightly distracted
Her dancing friends diverted her alert attention
“I am sorry. I truly am interested in discovering more
About political parties
But I must get back to my social gathering”
With a quick flick of her hair
Alisa tossed me her card
More a social status
Then her business apparatus
Stanza II
Alisa leaves me with her bogus business card and the bill
It’s 2am, I’ll let some other Casanova commit to Alisa
At least for tonight
“Kiril, don’t worry about a drive
With my cigar lit
I’ll walk for a bit”
Stanza III
Walking in darkness does me some good
Concealing what secretes from these streets
If my eyes cannot see the beggar facing me
Then perhaps I can deny
This cities dichotomy
The click of a caulked pistol rings out in the night
Standing stock-still
I brace for a bullet
But this gun slinging commando
Is some Ukranian drunk who has no clue of the life I led long ago
Stanza IV
This stranger unaware
I have SAMBO in my soul
Back in New York I skirmished
With the deadliest of ex-Soviet army comrades
Ha! I guffaw at the slaughter I am going to inflict
On this inebriated unlucky one
Mentally donning my combat boots
I turn ready for a melee
He draws a dirty finger across his neck
Do I walk away? Accept his death-threat?
Or put him down like a lame horse
With my deadly force?
Chapter 16
Stanza I
Disregard the police
These streets
Are a closed cage match
With no authorized arbitrator to mediate
I think I will overlook this menace
My pride can allow
For me to take a bow
Stanza II
A short restless night’s sleep
Allows me to greet
The sweet treat of Formula’s
Simmering saunas
Perhaps plunging from this hot steamy bath
Into the cool pool will ease
The tease of last night’s potential match
But sitting alone amongst the steam
A woman walks in who is but a dream
Stanza III
She seems to know I am American
Intrinsically she knows my nature
Sliding beside me on the wooden bench
My jaw begins to clench
A new source of heat in this sauna
Seems to be this Goddess sitting beside me
As though it were a nuscance
She drops her terry towel
Revealing a luscious, lithe body
Before I can blink
Our bodies are tangled
Only steam could seep between our bare skin
Using her body to block the door
We had an escapade that brought my knees to the floor
Chapter 17
Stanza I
Upon leaving the sauna
I wiped the sweat from my brow
And the smile from the surface of my face
With a grin still beaming from my body
I dove into the coolness of the pool
My body drenched
My soul quenched
Stanza II
With only the weight of water on my shoulders
I freely float the length of the pool
Bumping into a man swimming beside me:
“Oh sorry sir, I was in a reverie”
“That is OK,” he says “From the sound of your accent,
you must be American too”
“Yes, my name is Gregory. I am visiting Odessa
As an attempt to flee the confines of a former life”
“Ah, I see. Well let me tell you Gregory
a Ukranian woman
can make any previous life look like a forgery”
Stanza III
I talked to this additional American man in length
While we soaked in the baths, renewing my strength
He tried to conceal a career of a government agent
But this man reeked of American intelligence
His stiff, controlled manner
Began to slacken as he spoke of the women
At a certain high society club he had discovered
This club had a pool and eye candy to impress
An opulent open air setting
Where the vodka flowed
And the women glowed
Never one to be trumped
Especially when it comes to my masculinity
And a women’s divinity
I went to see for myself that this club he spoke of
Had female sights indeed
Divine beings that made me discover a whole new need
Chapter 18
Stanza I
Snow began falling that autumn
I stood on my balcony
Breathing in frosty air
Pondering my presence here
One month had gone by
This leisurely life of drink and sex
Had certainly swallowed me into a happy hex
Stanza II
Content that I left my past life behind
But this current paradox of moneyed and meager
Haunts my mind
Add the affront that the affluent ones defer
To a life of fake refinement
When in reality this nouveau society
Is more obsessed with Hello Kitty
It truly is a pity
Stanza III
Despite my detest of Hello Kitty
I ask Kiril
To take me back to feline wonderland
Forsage seems to sway me
Straight to its sweet girls
Ambling into this discotheque
I possess the power to attract many women
But I am seeking only one girl – Alisa
Yes, she is my vista
Stanza IV
At the bar I discover
Many expats undercover
Standing around sipping their beer
They look at the women and sneer
Most of these “men” are Brits
They sit with pallid hands
Wrapped around the contents of their cups
As if British maidens sipping on tea
These socially inept
Are so out of step
With the Ukrainian lifestyle of the young jet set
Chapter 19
Stanza I
These meager men
Are bores at best
Statues positioned at the bar
They may bribe one or two
To their bed for a minute
The wily woman pondering her payment
Walking on him like a bear rug, piercing the spine of boot
heels upon him, laying claim to her loot
Stanza II
Like Sisyphus
These mice of men
Buy their way up to the peak for one night
Only to drop down into the valley below
The minute morrow’s sun begins to glow
Stanza III
Finally spying Alisa entranced in her Dionysian dancing friends
I decide to break up her cult
And bring her into a more secluded state
“Well, hello my New York man”
She says in broken English
“Come sit and meet my comrades”
A round table reveals
A mix of proud people
One in particular is also an American expat
With one look I see why Alisa would go to me
For intelligent political banter
This guy is a chimney
Sitting and chain smoking
Breathing and blabbering innocuous fumes
For eons he raves about brash
Adventures and business deals with Ukrainian jet set
By the time I propose a private rendezvous
With Alisa, he pulls me aside saying
“Before you leave, can you pay the bill; I find myself rather broke”
Ha! This guy is a joke!
Chapter 20
Stanza I
Leaving the loudness behind
I stroll with Alisa beside me
And talk of Trotsky
Now that I am her sole focus
This desultory diva
Makes me her methodic motive
Away from the façade of her infantile friends
I discover it was all just a pretense
Alisa in actuality is a true intellectual
Her sharp clever wit
Has made Cupids bow hit
Stanza II
Despite the chill in the night air
We bundle up and walk to Arcadia beach
Sitting and sifting through the sand
I hold her hand
We talk till early light
Begins to end our night
“Alisa you are much more than a vista”
I say as I tenderly touch her cheek
“It is ludicrous for you to dumb-down
Just to amble with the unintelligent around town.
Will you stay with me in my apartment for a bit
And please share all of your wit?”
In response, she wraps her arms around me
And envelops me in a kiss
Dropping down into the sand
I give her, her first experience with a real man
Stanza III
Sand has creeped into every crevice
But we are oblivious
To surf, sand, and the rising sun
Our bodies Velcro together
As only matched puzzle pieces could mesh
I am entranced in the pleasure of her supreme flesh
Chapter 21
Stanza I
The following days blew by
Alisa and I
Ascended into an austere
Love affair
We settled into my apartment
Surrounding ourselves alone within four walls
We spent days drizzled in siestas and sex
She only left
To attend her classes
But rapidly ran back to my bed
We didn’t understand the serious path to which our love affair had led
Stanza II
At one point among these passionate weeks
I realized that Alisa was the real one I seeked
Olga had been nothing
Put the two women side by side
On opposing ends of the judges scale
Alisa weighs in the winning one
Despite her young years, Alisa has such a vast soul at her core
Olga had been nothing more than a formal whore
Stanza III
One evening we managed to pull our bodies from bed
And head out onto the town
A few drinks at Forsage to refuel
And satiate the thirst
Our clenched bodies had drenched
I quickly realized the oversight
When I discovered we were back at the boring
Round table
Surrounded by Alisa’s teenage friends and trends
Techno beating out any thoughts of the boudoir
Watching this woman I loved
Flocking with these kids
Like a little fledgling
Made me realize the gravity
Of getting her away before these people lead her astray
Taking her back with me to America would be the only way
Chapter 22
Stanza I
I lay awake that night
While Alisa dreamt beside me
Leaving her in Ukraine
And going back to the bureaucratic life alone
Was not an option I was willing to entertain
Never before had a women brought me to a place that felt like home
But Alisa, despite all odds
Had succeeded to tether me
Our bodies together had set me free

Stanza II
At this point I have spent 60 days in Ukraine
Legally bound
I can only languish here for another 30 days
Somehow I would need to conceive a plan
To get Alisa to take my hand
While Alisa studied
I wandered the streets
I needed time to prepare for my proposal
This woman had no idea the extent
To which she had affected me
Here I was readying for bended knee!
Stanza III
A man pondering perpetuity
With one female for infinity
Needs a stiff drink
To help him think
Captain Morgan’s is a dive
But will do for a sip
Doormen draped in black
Dare to stop me from entering this dump
Prying the dead doorman’s burly hand off my chest I ask,
“Who do you think you are? Let me pass
Before I kick your ass”
Stanza IV
He responds in Russian
That foreigners’ from afar
Are not welcome in this bar
I am tempted to tussle
And arrange for this lugs mug
To meet concrete
To avoid police apprehension
I cursorily become Vasili Oshchepkov
Striking the thugs thick neck
I have him in a choke hold
He dumps to the ground
Down for the count
I laugh, leaving him there
With no ego to spare
Chapter 23
Stanza I
My mood is enhanced but I still need to imbibe
Some absinthe or beer
Back at Fanconi’s I find myself
The place is packed
Perching at the bar
I spy a table surrounded by men
In the middle amongst them
Roosts Olga, fluffing her feathers
I pay no heed
To her presence
Afterall, Alisa fills my every wanton need
Stanza II
Olga cannot stand that I don’t address her
A sphinx who strangles any man
Who disavows her spell
She saunters up to me as if Greek Gods
Should stumble at her feet
“Hello, my long ago lover.
I have missed our times together.”
She says this, denying our last encounter
Was seeped in distaste
“Olga. I have no use for a harlot,
In fact my love for another woman burns scarlet.”
Stanza III
“A man such as you cannot commit
To only one woman
The female race would sorely miss
A man of your taste.”
She leans in for a kiss
To which I quickly dismiss
Chapter 24
Stanza I
Arriving back to Alisa
I sigh with content
Without a single syllable
Our eyes meet and off to our bedroom we retreat
It must be love I have for this Goddess
Kneeling above her beautiful body
This woman has become my Odessa
Satiating my soul
I began this trip to Ukraine
To free myself from inflicted father’s pain
Only to discover a lifetime lover was the reason I hopped that train
Stanza II
Despite her age
Her soul is as ancient as the oeuvre
That resounds off the gilt Opera House walls
She is within the bricks, marble, and mortar
That built the Potemkim steps
And Catherine’s stone statue
Taking her home with me to America
Is like stealing the most opulent piece of Ukraine
For my sole satisfaction
Reaching my zenith within this splendor of riches
I cannot restrain
To yell out her name
We lay entangled
I kiss sweet sweat from her brow
It is time to make her my solemn vow
Stanza III
“I know you are young
And have studies to pursue
But the truth is I am in love with you.
Selfishly, this is not what I planned
I came to Ukraine to be a free philandering man
I cannot go back to my bureaucratic business
The deals, stocks, and bonds will cause me to lose my head
Without your promise to wed.”
Stanza IV
“Gregory, you make my
Heart so happy, but what am I to do in America?
Be a wife? A mother? As Americans say, be a June Cleaver?
I have my studies and friends
I cannot leave everything at an open end
Chapter 25
Stanza I
With Alisa’s riposte
Weighing heavily in my head
I went wandering
So little time left
I could not leave her here
What was I to do?
I roam back into no-man’s land
Where the concrete is cracked
And homeless sit in their solitary club
No dancing techno freaks
Just food is what their soul seeks
Stanza II
Seeing these beggars ration
Reminds me of the superfluous quota
I had been living in
My executive power and wealth
Would be more useful in their homeless hands
Alisa is the only sustenance my spirit requires
It is time to align my desires
Stanza III
Energized, I am ready to run back to Alisa
Tell her I will find some way to stay
At least ‘till University graduation day
So long as she promises to wear a radically
Huge rhombus ring
To secure her pledge to me
Amongst my excitement
I trip on a vagrant
Looking down I see
A man who looks like me
Chapter 26
Stanza I
“Excuse me,” I stutter
“I did not see you sitting there.
Strangely, you resemble a face
That I am quite familiar with
What is your name?”
The drifter draws up a dirty hand
He speaks two words, as if I wished on Aladdin
“Jacob McFadden”
Stanza II
I jump from bed
Screaming his name
Jacob McFadden is not facing me
Nor did I get down on one knee
It was all but a dream and nightmare in one
I made love to Alisa
And fell asleep
A dream is where all these crazy thoughts came from
Looking over at Alisa
All curled up beside me
I do love this woman but would NEVER get down on one knee!
Obviously, the pain my father left is still quite present
This dream
Half nightmare
Truly leaves me aware
Stanza III
“Alisa, I think I need to take a break from our severe love affair.
The love I feel for you
Has truly left me unglued
A man of my nature does not contemplate
A life ever after with one lone woman
And yet here I am dreaming of rings and stanchness.
I must get away by myself for awhile
A trip to Cairo to set my soul free
Let me alone to get back to me.”
Chapter 27
Stanza I
If you require a respite
Don’t worry I will not be contrite
A break will do us some good
I agree
Our relationship is much too solemn
The fervent fire I feel for you
Requires a smothering blanket
To leave go of the air
Of our torrid love affair
Stanza II
Looking for the Petrie’s cement of my life
The solid ground for which my feet need to rest
I venture away from Odessa and my dear Alissa
Onto Aerosvit airlines to travel to Cairo
Ironically, I leave one form of hearts duress
To fly to a land where Mubarak forces fully suppress
Stanza III
Landing in Cairo
to be continued…






more creative writing from Daniel Bruno

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