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Notes

Тамбур of an OK-gurl

Elsie Lappoh11/01/24 20:26623

On a suburban train, someone is vomiting in the тамбур. My heart is pounding, my breathing is uneven, all because this vomiting train turned out to be the last one running on the schedule tonight. I managed to hop on it, racing headlong, making my soles and lungs and heart itchy. All the following trains were canceled. 

I pray to God for indulging my body in its capacity to move swiftly in -23 degrees Celsius and I push the earplugs too far into the external auditory meatus, so that my hearing presence is subtracted from the environment. Я становлюсь ангелом-хранителем моей среде пребывания, потому что мне не наплевать. My muddled martins are merging with the old linoleum floor; I lose my body-scheme to this train car. So I give, and I take. We play this agentive but not so adventurous zero-sum game.

Those inherently tired bodies of Russian street janitors, they love to sprinkle ice-crusted pavements with very thick sand, so that the whole everything under the horizon appears to the eyes of an inherently tired Moscow region dweller as the city of Rome after it rained. What is playing in my earplugs is Cigarettes After Sex. I never had sex in the Moscow region because people are too tiring, and they only have a boner for those salads with mayonnaise at New Year’s, which I, too, love. 

Meanwhile, the street janitors sprinkle the pavements three times a day and in between they call their children and inquire whether their meals have been consumed and digested timely. They really do so daily, it’s their job — to sprinkle, with their swollen fingers enveloped in thin work gloves. They call via cellphones, optionally. People still fall on the ground and hit their coccyges and swear at those janitors that coloured their day and spine blue by not sprinkling enough. The bottom of those gloves that the janitors are wearing are also blue, sometimes green or pink.

Now I carefully listen to a subliminal and repeat to myself 4 times:


”Я не пещерная девочка.”
”Я не пещерная девочка.”
”Я не пещерная девочка.”
”Я не пещерная девочка.”


So, 16 in total. “Копчик” has been my favourite word since forever, and so is now “coccyx”. This latter one consists of 4 Latin letters that all formally co-exist in the Cyrillic alphabet, yet when I read this out loud, I utter “sosuh” and I immediately imagine a dick in my mouth. You will not get it. Or maybe you will.

You probably do not know those gloves that the janitors are wearing, but I do, and I smell them even if my subconscious is too busy internalising the ASMR messages hidden under a thick layer of Lana Del Ray’s minor scale melodies. And I do not think about that dick in my mouth anymore because I internalised Marcus Aurelius’ spells earlier this morning on my way to work in another suburban train, just like the one I am in now but full of cold morning breaths instead of puke. I was pretty good at Latin, even though my language proficiency level was A1, I just felt it with my IBS-guts. My microbiome was dancing a waltz with this fellow Roman’s mind and simultaneously synchronising my mouth smell schemata with thousands of other sleep-deprived bodies’ algorithms in that train. The train that was rushing from the reeking outskirts of urban agglomeration into the eonian glory of the capital. 

So those gloves, blue — pink or green sometimes — but mostly blue, are allegedly made out of cotton; with an addition of, maybe, some synthetic material which results in a thin and porous layer of fabric. Basically, being the archangel of gloves it protects their laborious fingers from merging with the milieu that is affected by piss and sand. But it does not protect them from the cold.

Tomorrow, I will greet the janitor by waiving my bare palm at them. I always forget to put on my woollen mittens that instead coil comfortably in the pockets of my Unknown Brand pair of jeans, as if I would not want to disturb them in a caring manner, and the skin on my hands becomes sturdy, and red, and blue, like my coccyx but different.

One book said, that копчик has the duty of becoming the mercy stroke to the ongoing abolition of the world. Like it or lump it, janitors are big these days, with their thin gloves in the New Moscow, yk.

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