The huge KGB men grab me and silently haul me by the collar through the blank door that leads away from the Customs stance and into a large room full of Russian soldiers and officials with stern, grave and disapproving faces.

The first soldier cuffs me across the face with the back of his hand, the second cuffing me across the other side of my face in a similar manner. They alternate at this for a minute or so. My nose is broken. Then one of the officials comes up close to me. He stares me in the face hard and really close. I see his eyes smile at me. He embraces me warmly and says the word 'brother' several times. Still smiling, he retreats to where he stood before. I smile back. I am relieved and joyous to find that the Russians aren't the animals we are told that they are.

The two soldiers hit my legs with their rifle butts. I hear the shinbone in my right leg fracture and split. I have a vivid image in my mind of the marrow running out the gaping hole in the bone. I still smile at the Russian official.

The soldiers back off once again and the officials comes up close to me once more. He smiles and embraces me tightly. - Friend, he says. I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

He backs off to allow the soldiers to shoot bullets through my legs. As I fall to the ground I feel no pain. Only fraternal joy. Pure, fraternal joy.

The KGB giants that pulled me in and laughing wildly. They are really enjoying themselves now. It is GOOD to hear Russian laughter again.

Through the window at the far end I can see CIA men with naked whores watching 1970s porn movies on a cable channel. I don't care very much.

I have fallen into despairing, worshipping love with the fat Russian official who is having my legs broken and crushed beyond recovery. I am glad of my self-sacrifice and glad of their laughter. It's alright.

These days, it is not unusual to have one's cake and eat it.


'The Great Bear...endlessly circling, looks ever towards Orion'