“Look at Yaro over there,” Kola said. He pointed at Yaroslav, who was shouldering a quadruple-sized tube of construction adhesive. “Nobody does demolition like a Cossack. Nobody in the world!”
The apartment was sliding out of the tower like a popped-loose Lego block.
“Russians, Georgians, Chechens? They think demolition is all C-4 and iron balls. Fuck them! We Ukrainians destroy with finesse!”
Yaro’s crew was swarming over the apartment, attaching a canopy of fat steel cables.
“Yulia,” he said. “What a goddess! There are no men in Kharkiv, you know that? Yulia went there to do some shopping, and all the men died of erections. Even some of the women!”
The crane was lowering the apartment toward the flatbed.
“When she gets home and finds her apartment missing—I’m telling you—Ivaniak’s head is going to explode! Explode! Even before she tells him!”
I checked my watch.
Kola punched me in the shoulder so hard I staggered. “You’re not the one who has to worry, my friend,” he said. “You’ll be safe at home, masturbating over your new treasure. Never mind that we will still be here tending to our angry friend.”
The apartment reached the truck, which sagged under the weight.
“I hope for your sake that you live in a mountain fortress with several large dragons keeping an eye out for Ivaniak! If you’re really unfortunate he’ll send you pictures of Yulia!” Serhiy pulled up in a sedan. “Time to go!”
We climbed in.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “but Chinese cars are shit.” He patted the headrest in front of him. “Korean cars are shit. Russian cars are not even shit.”
Serhiy’s head sank deeper into his shoulders as we accelerated.
“I have all my cars built for me in Latvia. In Latvia, they know cars!”
“I hear in Los Angeles they know cars. But compared to Riga…”
We turned a corner at speed and our tires skipped across the road.
“I’d like to tell you that the best cars come from Ukraine. I’d like to tell you Kiev is car capital of the world. Even Sumy!”
“But compared to Riga, Kiev is shit. Los Angeles also, compared to Riga. You think they can build cars like this in Los Angeles?”
We were now speeding along a country road.
“But now?” he said, flipping down a screen, “Now, we watch pornography!”