Monday, November 25, 2013


We're in the same building as some United Nation commission, or maybe two; I get on the elevator and there are elegantly dressed people from all the corners of the globe, speaking their prim English as a second language, some wearing vaguely tribal clothes, carrying briefcases, badges hanging from their belts or necks.

This morning a slender black man with a mustache stepped on after me, then a dark-haired white man just as the doors began to close.

"Good weekend?" the first man asked. Obligatorially. Tediously.


"Good weekend?"

"Oh! Oh yeah. Yeah. Better than today."


"Yeah," he went on, sighing. "Russians."


"You know how they—"

"Yeah. Yeah."

"They want things, you know."


"Everything has to be just—" Here he made a little gesture with his finger, drawing an imaginary line. He rolled his eyes.

"I know! I know." A knowing shake of the head.

"Yeah, so. Russians."

Just then the doors opened for me on the 16th floor.