Without saying much, we enter a Russian soiree. Well, it was more like a house party, and there were only two Russians to my knowledge. The first was the host, and the second the host´s body guard named V —-sk—r—d something or other; for our sake they´ll remain unnamed. So we´ll call it a soiree. We are the openers to no surprise. You and I, a couple of Canadians, another American, a friendly gal from Ecuador, an Englishman, and the two Russians. The night begins at a slow pace of about a liter and a half of beer per guest. We weren´t the only eager ones apparently, but our eagerness failed to fill the space enough to call it a gathering, much less a soiree. So we clump ourselves about the loft and make polite with everyone. Again, not saying much, I immediately make eye contact with the bigger Eastern European, who wears a nice enough smile and seems to hold a magical glasshalffull of vodka on ice in his hands. With my eyes, I inquire if he could lend his talents to us if things get messy, because I have a feeling that this night won´t be conquered without a push. And I´ve seen enough pictures to know how persuasive a Russian full of vodka and complicated words can be.
I´ve got my game face on, not knowing where the night will take us. And then that damn Canadian DJ makes his move. He seems to know how to encourage the unreasonably mixed Quilmes, red wine, and that which is not yet legal in Texas so we will make no mention of it, to move our feet. Those Canadians can be persuasive as well. And so we dominate the dance floor. Good news is, hardly anyone has arrived, so we are content with making an arse of ourselves alone, without judgment. Not the first time we´ve penetrated what was once a clean, useless wooden floor and turned it into hot lava from our liquored up movements we too often call dancing. That was our counter move, to show the Canadian our God given right to two-step however and whenever we damn well pleased, audience or no audience.
Just then, a flow of people enter the loft, and here begins the infectious foolery.
There is an oily mixture of people from all corners of the world, hiding in different corners of this huge space. A clan of Swedes wearing mostly black take over the balcony; a few more Northern Americans come and congregate about the makeshift bar like zombies at a high school reunion; loads of stone-faced Latin Americans integrate themselves into the clusters.
I immediately realize that with this carousel of small talk, and mixed idioms with broken English, that body language is key. As the flood of people continues to ascend from the narrow marble staircase into the Russian’s loft, a thickness fills the air, and all at once we all wear a face of intrigue and bewilderment. Why has the Russian invited us? And why on earth would he need a body guard? Eyes are roaming about and glasses are either full of cheap vodka, decent whiskey, or loads of cold beer. Someone whispers into their glass, “why wouldn´t he just bring Vodka from Russia?” Maybe they are saving it for a select few. I wonder. Another person asks the smaller Russian what he does for a living to be able to come to Argentina on a whim and throw a soiree full of strangers in this magnificent loft. “I´m in Internet Advertising,” he responds and gives no detail as to what the heck that means. Too many questions are being made. I keep my mouth shut, perhaps to avoid hearing a response that the concoction I recently swallowed wouldn´t be able to push down. Small talk buzzes around and around the room, making my head spin. Some offended, others annoyed, most too drunk to care. A fine rendition of the Russian roulette. And so as to not offend anyone, we pull the trigger. We dance. Too much talking and not enough dancing is how wars are made. And we didn´t come this far to start a war, at least not without a cold bottle of Wild Turkey 101, which has yet to be discovered down south. What a loss.
And so more time passes, vision blurs, messes are made and men are turned to mice. Not to give away too much – for the ending turned out to be a bit embarrassing –we sneak out the back door and make a zig-zagged path home before the sun rises so that our footprints and recent atrocities could fade away with the sunrise.
There were no casualties on this night. Talks of a second round are stirring. We can chance our luck and have at it again, or we can discover the next adventure to be conquered.