It all started last August. I found out that there was a Federal Warrant out for my arrest while drinking beer with my buddy Alexander. Some woman called me on my cell phone and told me to come down to the police station in the Tverskaya (central) district for questioning. I was intrigued but decided against turning my ass in till I found out what it was all about. Then I thought of St. Petersburg, and things I'd done there, and I felt a strong flash of paranoia for a few seconds. Federal fucking Warrant. Jesus!
"That's serious shit, man," my friend said. "Maybe you wanna tell me a little more about yourself? Something I don't know?"
I laughed although I didn't find it funny. Russian coppers are catching on pretty fast. They found my American friend's wallet in no time and I've to admit that was very impressive. If they were able to find that wallet: Shit! What did they find out about me?!
I couldn't sleep that night trying to recollect all the shit I could get locked up for. It was quite a long list which made me even more nervous. The next day I asked my girlfriend to call the contact number they gave me to find out what was going down. She pretended to be my lawyer and she did it well (she's a natural born actress and an even better liar) but the guy on the phone was a real pro and refused to give her any information.
"He has to sign some papers," he said. Yeah, right. "You could come too," he told her. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do I really need a lawyer?
My first reaction was to run and hide. A year ago I'd do just that. It was absolutely normal for me to change places of residence, cities, sometimes even countries every time when things would start to get too hot, but at some point I just got tired of changes and running, and started dreaming about some kind of stability. In other words I got soft. Then I met this girl with whom I've been living happily till that fucking phone call. I had to tell her a few things about myself. And to my surprise she wasn't at all shocked.
"I've heard `bout you," she said. "Ia navela spravki,"(gathered some info on me) she said.
"And what did they say?" I asked her. "No, don't tell me. I don't wanna know it:"
It was a nice summer day and I had to stay indoors so they wouldn't get me before I found out what was going on. That's pretty fucking tiresome I've got to say. And then my mobile rang again. My ex-wife wanted me to sign some papers.
"No problem," I said. But then I added, "Guess what, the cops have a Federal Warrant out for my arrest and I have no clue what this is all about. They want me to come to their office and to sign some papers. Tell me you're not the one behind it."
There was a long pause. Then my ex-wife said, "Well, I just couldn't find you and I thought:"
"You what?!" I screamed feeling relieved and angry at the same time.
"Yeah, you were in London or Cyprus or another rehab or: I don't know. I just need those papers signed."
"And when did you report me missing?"
"Three years ago." Jesus!
I'd been walking the streets, buying train and plane tickets, crossing borders for three fucking years and nobody gave a fuck in any Russian bureau, border, anywhere! I even made myself a new foreign passport during that time, and no one said peep.
The next day I came to the detective's office and signed all the damn papers he wanted me to. I told the guy I was planning to leave Russia for a month or two. I was going to Batumi, Georgia, on a vacation with my girlfriend. He said that's ok and promised me to close the case and to send this information to the main database or whatever it's called, as soon as he could. Being an experienced native Russian, I asked him to give me some document confirming that I'm not on the Russia's Wanted List anymore. I knew what I was doing. More official papers make one's ass cleaner, as we say. He smiled and printed three copies of the spravka for me. When I left the building I decided I deserved a good fix to wash all the emotional dirt away, since now I was sure that that this was the end of this scary story.
A couple of months later I was back from my holiday in sunny Georgia. I completely forgot about all this FW shit like it never happened. I called my friend Alexander and he invited me to his place in the Textilshiki area for a drink. When I arrived I found him and his friend Pat both on a cruel speed comedown, drinking vodka like it was water. A couple of bottles disappeared in an hour.
I was pretty pissed drunk when I decided to play game of chess with Pat. That was a mistake. The guy hates losing in anything and as far as I remember he hit me first, right after I declared "check-mate." We started fighting, you know, blood on the walls, swearing, broken furniture and the works. Neighbors called the police. We left the place but they caught us on the street. That fuck Pat ran away and me and Alex were stuffed into a meatwagon and taken to the Vitrezvitel (a place where you stay till you sober). Three hours later they let Alex go.
"What about me?" I screamed, but this copper just smiled and slammed the iron door on my face. I didn't like his smile. I had already had cracked ribs, a swollen right arm and a split forehead, and if they were going to beat me:
Then the door opened again. "You! Out!" ordered the copper. "Name?" their lieutenant asked me. I told them my real name being absolutely positive that they had nothing on me. They handcuffed me and threw me into another police van. After about half an hour of a rough ride they finally stopped and took me out. I had no clue of where I was. I've heard a lot of stories about guys doing time just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The cops led me to the room where I was cuffed to the chair and left alone for a while. "Who's this fucker?" asked a sergeant, who sat behind a desk.
"Thought he was your client," replied one of the pigs who brought me there.
And then they left. I looked around. There was a half empty bottle of good vodka on the table, a pack of smokes and a glass. I still have no idea of what it was. Maybe some kinda psychological experiment or something. And of course I failed it. I stood up with my hands cuffed to the chair, maneuvered it so that I got the vodka bottle, filled the glass up with vodka, and drank it. In a couple of minutes I was drunk again.
About twenty minutes later I heard voices. "Who's there? "one of the voices asked.
"Seems like your client," the other voice answered.
Jesus! Who's client and for what? Two young guys dressed like a couple of clubber-types walked into the room where I was sitting. One of them uncuffed me from the chair and cuffed my hands behind my back. They escorted me to another room and sat me on a chair.
"Ok. Now tell us everything," said one of them.
"What the fuck's all this?" I asked him.
He smiled, lit a cigarette then stood behind my back. The next second I was on the floor with his Nike pressed into my Adam's apple.
"We ask questions here, you scumbag," hissed the other "clubber" and stepped on my swollen arm: I passed out:
When I got conscious again, I saw one of them searching through my bag. The other one was holding a copy of Ames' book "Going Postal."
"O, you can read?" I commented, expecting another round of beatings. These boys were pretty good at it I've gotta admit.
"Don't be smart," he just said. "Or I'll put this baton in your ass and we'll take a few polaroids. Do you know you're on a Federal Wanted List? `Cos if you don't I'm informing you now."
Fuck! "That just can't be!" I started laughing. But it was. He showed me a copy of my warrant. I explained everything to them. They looked at each other, confused.
"Well, that kinda thing does happen," said one of them.
"Slow communication between departments," explained other.
They drove me to the nearest subway station. On the way there we shot the shit. He told me it was the book that saved me. "I've never met anyone who reads English books in this area," said one of the coppers. He gave me his phone number: "Just in case our guys will stop you again" - and 50 rubles to get home.
I plan to get back at that cop some day for putting his Nike into my throat. But first, I've got to take care of my ex-wife. The stable life is going to have to wait a little while.