In Another Country
I was staring out the window, thinking about the girl, and all the while the green, lush countryside blended together and passed me by because I was thinking about the girl again.
But that’s all right. I can always find a way to see the countryside. The girl is another story.
My lips were tight and my head on the glass and I felt a bit silly.
“Seriously, man,” my friend said to me when I told him, “Take it a little slower.”
But I cannot help the way my mind makes me feel and last night she asked me, “Do you drink much?”
And I said to her with a voice full of sarcasm, “I’m sorry, I thought I told you. I’m a writer,” and I sipped the vodka and ate one of the green olives.
“Yeah, you did.”
I looked at the girl but she did not say anything. She went off to help someone else. She spoke English well but when she returned I began speaking Spanish anyway.
“Si, me gusto beber porque yo quiero mata diablo.”
The girl had a very nice sense of humor and a loud Latin laugh, the sounds pleasant rather than obnoxious. When she laughed, I smiled. Nothing was more appropriate, I told her.
“Eres hermosa cuando sonríes.”
With a wide, playful smile she asked, “¿Algo mas?”
“Tus dientes son como las perlas del mar.”
I could not remember the Spanish for it so I said in English, “Too corny?”
“¿Pero por qué? ¿Es verdad, no?”
And we went on with that for a while. Honestly, I did not care what we spoke about so long as we kept on speaking.
A bit after I said, “Quiero comprar tu cena. ¿Qué piensas?”
The girl took a few seconds before answering but she was looking at me the entire time, reading me.
“Si,” she said, “Usted se queda cerca.”
And then she went off but I saw her later. And now I’m here in the shuttle and looking at the countryside – the man next to me concerned about the weight of his bag – but still thinking about the girl and desperately seeking a piece of gum.