Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov II

The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov II

“no older than fifteen
or sixteen, the epitome
of manhood, dashingly
handsome” —Paul Russell,
The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

My first memory was the young hotel elevator operator of the Hotel Oranien in Wiesbaden where Father sent us because of the the war with Japan and Moscow political unrest.

The elevator boy was so tall and exquisitely handsome, pushing the buttons & opening the doors. So tall and manly, looking down at me with his crimson blazer and big bulge. My gawking head was right there at the same level—staring at the young man’s tight ink-black basket, bulging out of his much too tight shiny black trousers.

Once taking the elevator alone with him, I just happened to let my tongue crawl up the thin gray stripe creasing the side of his leg. He stopped the elevator between floors, looked at me clinging down there to his pant leg and smiled. That fateful day I became an accomplished organ grinder, the whole hotel staff was incessantly gossiping about it.

It was in the middle of my innocent infatuation with the elevator boy that Vlad, my dearest older brother, showed up as usual. He simply couldn’t stand me having a better time than him, even though my affair was simply forbidden. Going down, my dear, so nonchalantly on a mere lowly bourgeois German youth. How utterly uncouth of me, but still…

I think Vlad was jealous, because back in Moscow he’d take me covertly into Father’s library den and show me volumes of scandalous homosexual medical books describing in minute detail what a horrible affliction I was supposedly suffering from.

Every time I’d take the elevator alone there in the Hotel Oranien in the middle of the night, Vlad would give me the most disparaging look, worse than even the Nazi guards years later at the concentration camp. He’d rather stay a male virgin and see me go straight to hell, rather than do the dirty thing I did to Hans Splugemann in the elevator cage.

Young cute built Splugemann had his eyes out for Vlad too, whispering his nickname “Volodya” in Vlad’s ear, after getting the elevator stuck between floors with the three of us there.

“Suck my schwanz, kid,” Hans would say. But Vlad simply got mortified and pouted like a prig, so Hans made him wait in the cage dangling there in the dark shaft while I sucked him off instead. Those young blond German guyz were nice.

Things like that don’t come up in “Speak, Memory”—poor Vlad was hopelessly straight. But that’s why Uncle Ruka fell for him—Volodya was such a cute butchy chicken. Uncle Ruka hated me, I reminded him of himself. His father had beaten him up all the time—before dying and Ruka getting the whole estate. He was my mother’s wealthy brother. He had estates in France and Italy—quite the gay bon vivant.

It was a strange kind of sibling rivalry—between Vlad’s str8t and my gay sensibilities. I entered the Parisian scene with its opera, ballet, choreography, poetry, painting so seamlessly and effortlessly.

While Vlad simply couldn’t overcome his rather dated and stupid Russian homophobia. The Revolution had stolen his inheritance and nobility, he hated the Paris I found entrancing and liberating.

The only thing decadent and perhaps perverted about Vlad was the usual hetero perversion—the luxury of being a soothing Lolita queen, just as bad as Uncle Ruka’s performance as a chicken queen.

It was a literary lifestyle that comported nicely with Vlad’s style as exiled aristocrat and jaded gigolo that his ogling sex-starved coed undergraduate students simply loved and adored. He simply turned his life into a book & a movie—and called it “Lolita.”

In between semesters, Vlad hauled his wife & whoever across the vast American landscape, from one dumpy kitschy motel to the next, sitting in his stationwagon on the road, writing porno notes to himself on index cards, collecting butterflies and pondering his future pulp fiction poshlust novels.

Vlad’s obsession was butterfly collecting—he’d been bitten by the bug back in his boyhood with Uncle Ruka’s assistance. Once I heard them behind locked bedroom doors, discussing butterflies intensely.

“Oh my!” Uncle Ruka swooned. “Oh my, oh my.” I could hear him say. They were sliding around on the floor & in the bed, surely it was Die Gross-Schmetterlinge Europas they were thumbing thru, examining intensely.

“Look at this one,” Volodya said.

There was a hushed silence and then Uncle Ruka exclaimed “Oh, how exquisite! It’s a rare, most beautiful Nova Zembla one. Here, let me peal it back!”

It embarrassed me what happened next. I could see thru the keyhole what I didn’t want to see, but I couldn’t help but ogle my eyeball thru the hole. Poor Uncle Ruka down on the floor on his hands and knees.

Poor desperate Uncle Ruka, obscenely lip-smacking away and clicking his high heels together. Volodya sitting aloofly in bed, thumbing thru the pretty picture book. Letting Uncle Ruka admire his delicate boyish butterfly. Fluttering & fluttering, trying to fly away…

No comments:

Post a Comment