Hysteria 1988



Stranded on the Underground fumbling with my Russian phrase book; I was trying to find the right words, just then a young man carrying a cello helped me out with my hysteria. I wanted to see the Moscow Circus so the young man got on the train taking me all the way to the Circus entrance  . On our way I asked him what he thought about Gorbachov. It was then I realised the power of the word fear. A word that had been spoken about by Russian writers for centuries-  It is fear that grabs your throat and stops you in your tracks. It is fear that makes you frozen like a Russian winter. It is  fear wishing you were better off dead.  And everywhere I smelled the stench of fear. It was  like shit steaming in the noon-day sun . I felt it in Moscow, and  I felt it in St.Petersburg, and as I left at the border with a Russian soldier pointing a Kalisnikov at my worried stomach, I felt it there also….and then came Finland, and my heart jumped for joy, because until then, my idea of freedom was a word I had too often, misunderstood!

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