Arkady had a new neighbor across the hall, a young woman who was out all hours and sometimes needed help finding her latchkey in her voluminous bag. A journalist young enough to burn the candle at both ends. One night she showed up at his door with a black eye and a boyfriend in hot pursuit. The light on the landing was out, as usual, and Arkady did not get a good look at his face. However, the man could see Arkady in the open doorway, gun in hand, and vanished down the stairs in bounds.
"I'm fine. It was nothing," Anya said. "Really, thank you so much, you're the hero of the hour. I must look a mess."
"Who was it?"
"That was a friend?"
"Are you going to report this to the militia?"
"The militia? You must be kidding. Oh, you must be the investigator in the building. I heard about you," she said. "I take back any insinuation about the honesty and integrity of our brave men in their battle against the criminal element in our society."
He heard her whooping and laughing as soon as she was in her apartment.
The following night she knocked on Arkady's door and saw the bottle and plates of his birthday celebration scattered around the living room.
"It wasn't the Sack of Rome, just a few friends."
"Next time let me know." From her bag she gave him two tins of Osetra caviar, 125 grams each, together worth almost a thousand dollars.
"We're even. I get these all the time and I hate caviar. Where's the woman who lived here?"
"Are you sure you didn't chop her into small pieces and mail her around the country? Just joking. You scared the shit out of my friend. Served him right."
Her name was Anya Rudikova. Oddly enough, he saw her a week later on television, black eye and all, discussing violence in film with the objectivity of a sociologist.
—Three Stations, Martin Cruz Smith
But is racism just so sore a topic that not talking about it is the best thing to do on MetaFilter?
one thousand wild elks