I didn't really write that much about The Goose in my memoir VODKABERG, but she was a fairly constant fixture at our parties -- and the clubs we hung around at -- for a few years there, and there are a lot of pictures of her on this blog, (as in this classic post) as she was always happy to shake it for the camera:
This happened last year, about a year ago exactly, in fact. (In contract, those pictures are from 2006.) Her nickname the Goose came from her loud honking voice.
MIAMI WITH THE GOOSE
In July a few weeks before I left, I went to Miami.
I had told my girlfriend I was going to visit my father but his internet didn’t work so I'd be out of touch for a few days.
A few hours after I checked into my big but rundown resort hotel in Hallandale Beach, the Goose pulled up in a taxi.
As I climbed in, she squealed in delight and engulfed me against her huge pillowy breasts. She smelled, and looked, like what she was – a Russian stripper.
She was even more huge and voluptuous and blonde than she’d been the last time I’d seen her, in 2008. The Goose was an acquaintance of the wife of one of my colleagues, Slappy. Like Slappy’s wife, the Goose also had a daughter at 19 by a man who had abandoned her, although he hadn’t blown the country. He’d just stopped sending money or returning calls.
Slappy’s Wife and the Goose had met while walking their daughters in the park one morning. They had formed an unholy twosome in the mid 2000s, prowling Vodkaberg’s trendy clubs trolling for rich men to fuck them for money, or better yet, just to give them money. They were both enormous, blonde, and amoral. The Goose was probably 6’1 in her bare feet, and must have weighed 170 pounds, nothing but tits and hair and thighs and ass.
After Almond Eyes had returned from a summer of working in Atlantic City as a stripper, Slappy’s Wife and the Goose had both gotten student visas and crossed the pond to set Atlantic City and New York on fire.
(That's right -- they'd both gotten the same visas my girlfriend had been turned down for, apparently because the consulate stupidly decided they probably wouldn't abandon their children back in Russia.)
They were having moderate success as strippers and general party girls. Slappy’s Wife had remained based in New Jersey while the Goose had migrated South to Miami.
The last time I’d seen her, she hadn’t been able to speak English – now she spoke English fluently and enthusiastically, a jumbled mix of grammar mistakes, mispronounced words, and slang she’d picked up from all the rappers she hung around with.
|... and the Goose today. Or last year, anyway.|
We went to an entertainment area nearby, went to a restaurant / bar and guzzled beer and chicken wings and caught up on old times.
“Are you legal yet?” I asked her.
“No. I’m in the process.”
“It’s always about time and money, huh?”
“I paid a guy $10,000 to marry me so far, now the motherfucker wants more.”
“My room-mate’s boyfriend is a cop, he’s gonna threaten him.”
“And I guess you had to pay a lawyer.”
“Yeah of course. I paid him like $5000 already. It’s worth it, though. I wanna bring my daughter here.” Her daughter was 8 now, still living with her parents back in Vodkaberg. “ My father came here to visit me a couple times, he bought some cars to take back, he even got a one year visa.”
“You’re going to bring your daughter here while you work as a stripper? That’s not the best kind of life for a kid, is it?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know, probably not.”
“You ever think about getting another job?”
“What the fuck am I gonna do, be a waitress? Make $200 a week working in a shop? I can make that much in a night as a stripper.”
“But it’s an expensive lifestyle,” I said sagely. I’d known plenty of strippers when I was in college and though they made tons of money they were always broke.
“Yeah, that’s true.” She squealed and engulfed me again. “I’m so glad to see you!”
She’d always liked me, as many of my Russian girlfriends had, mistaking my friendly, practiced, casual indifference as being equivalent to unconditional affection.
“Remember the time we had sex?” she giggled.
“I wondered if you remembered that.” She’d realized she was late for work and had gotten up in the middle of it and ran out of the house. We’d never quite managed to have sex after that, although there had been plenty of making out and groping; to the point where, whenever she saw me, she always ran up to me tit first squealing, expecting me to grab them.
It became our little greeting.
She asked me about my girlfriend and she said she wasn’t surprised; deciding where to live was a very important issue and a lot of Russian girls were afraid to go abroad.
“Not you though.”
“Shit no!” she said. “I had nothing in Vodkaberg. Here at least I don’t have to live with my mom.”
We talked about stripping and her life as a party club girl; she showed me some pictures on her phone of some of the rap stars and black porn stars she’d had sex with. She had pictures of Dennis Rodman and Busta Rhymes in her phone, but most of the rap stars I’d never heard of.
She tried to explain why they were well-known, but it was all far beyond my middlle-aged white comprehension.
I used the bar’s Wi-Fi to connect to the internet on my phone, and looked up the black porn star; he was a newer one and I found him on RedTube.
It was much like you probably imagine.
“Impressive," I said, and she squealed and let loose a sorority girl “WHOOO!” that I’d never heard a Russian girl do before.
I watched part of an interview with him. “He actually doesn't seem too obnoxious.”
“No, he’s actually a very nice guy. Slappy’s Wife and I got in a big fight over him.”
“You didn’t fuck him both at the same time?” I smiled.
She laughed and then said, “Russian girls in America have to be very competitive, boo. We can’t be doin that kind of shit here.”
After that she took me to a lounge / martini / cigar bar where a lot of Russians hung out; the Russians there seemed to be very much playing up their Russian-ness, with the men in tracksuits with gold chains and the women in leopard-skin, something I hadn’t actually seen much of in Russia the last time I’d been there. There was a karaoke machine that played Russian pop songs.
Nothing makes you feel like a member of your own country like fleeing to another one.
She came back to my hotel room; she stripped down to her underwear and I stripped down to mine.
“You look good, baby,” she slurred as she tumbled into bed.
“You too,” I said, although in fact she looked like far too much woman for me to deal with. She was grotesque according to the dictionary definition of "absurdly incongruous" or "fantastically distorted." And of course, whatever half-hearted seeing-to I gave her, I'm sure it would be considerably less interesting than whatever that porn star guy had done to her.
I was feeling sick from all the vodka we’d drunk at the Russian bar, and probably the cigar fumes, and I went into the bathroom to pee and wash my face, and when I came out she was snoring soundly. Her face looked oddly innocent on her big debauched body.
I lay next to her and she snored most of the night. I shook her and turned her over a few times and eventually she stopped and I got some sleep.
* * *
To be continued in REQUIEM FOR A VAGABOND hopefully available soon. Because you know, some people criticized VODKABERG as just being about me hooking up with a bunch of chicks. So this book will be about me NOT hooking up with a bunch of girls. The world is ready, don't you think?
Read more about the Goose (and lots of other Russian girls) in VODKABERG: NINE YEARS IN RUSSIA.
And for your listening pleasure, enjoy this clip that showed up in my "RECOMMENDED FOR YOU" sidebar on YouTube while I was writing this: A teenage girl doing a cover of a Portishead song. It's like YouTube can read my mind!