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I was fingerprinted by the KGB We were sweating - old sweat. Reminded me of the school bus on the way home in June

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Introduction

I was fingerprinted by the KGB We were sweating - old sweat. Reminded me of the school bus on the way home in June when we had gym last period, and Mr. Hanley had sent us grunting around the track for an hour. The stench crawled through my hair, down my dirty scalp, through the 70% Rayon 30% Polyester blend dress that clung to my clammy back, and met with the locker room sneaker stink that lay in the grease between the dirt-caked and bloated pink-painted toenails stuffed into my plastic sandals. I was dirty. Tired. Seventeen. Homesick. And, considering the possibility that I could be stuck in this stinky, scary country for a long, long time. It had been about seven hours since my Russian hosts and I returned to their apartment to find the door jam splintered and my luggage gone. This was the first time I'd been put up in a home and not a hotel. I'd spent the previous night on the floor of an 8x8 living/dining room, counting the hours until the tour was over. ...read more.

Middle

I'd toss the Oxy-10 skin-colored lotion, the Clearasil Foaming Face Wash and Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask. I'd lose the loofahs and cotton balls and Q-tips that were my chisels, the sprays and potions that set my work. Because, when push came to shove, I would sweat and secrete and slime all over my carefully crafted creation the moment I climbed into an elevator with two KGB agents and one terrified and tipsy translator. Oxana and her hair had held up well. Before we left her in-laws and the police at their shared apartment in the tenement house outside Irkutsk, she'd taken time to re-spray AquaNet. While we waited on the bench between two glass offices, watching the men call each other and smoke Turkish cigarettes, Oxana preened. She touched up the baby blue eye shadow she carried in the impossibly large macram� bag she had slung over her shoulder, and reapplied her flamingo pink lipstick. As the elevator bounced and grinded its way to the basement lab, I saw the powder had since started to thicken and collect in the crease of her eyelids, and the gloss had turned to cake on the corners of her mouth. ...read more.

Conclusion

He took out an ink pad and asked me to write my name and address on a piece of paper that was roughly the same size, color and quality of the math paper we used at school. He pressed my fingers on the sticky pad and then rolled them onto the math paper. It was done. "For exclusionary purposes," he said through Oxana. I am sure that my clothes, camera, deodorant and passport were hitting the black market before the cops ever showed up, and I had no hope of ever seeing them again. For the rest of the tour, I wore the same flowered dress to every concert and sightseeing trip. A month later, the KGB had been dissolved as an official entity after assisting in the overthrow of Gorbachev. I guess I'm among the last of the people who can state truly, "I was fingerprinted by the KGB." Six months later, a thick envelope full of reports showed up at 39 Main Street, Hanover, MA. Insurance information, I guess, if I should try to recoup my losses, the details of the failed investigation hidden clearly in Cyrillic and cop-speak. ?? ?? ?? ?? Galea Page 3 ...read more.

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