With Her


It felt as if I’d been in Bogotol for
weeks, kicking it with my new friend Kublai Kahn,

who may or may not have been my father. It
was an odd circumstance, us walking through town

together like Vader and Luke might have if
Luke had only listened to him at Bespin,

aka Cloud City – the place Lando ran.
Anyway, there we were, Kahn and I, doing

things like entering talent shows and disco
competitions. We even tried to tip the

town cow, Victor, but he was way too heavy,
so we flipped a Volkswagen Beetle instead

while singing Back in the USSR like
cool, customary Russians … drunk on Vodka

and life … an old man and his only son just
hanging out. Eventually Kublai frowned

and said, “Say fella, weren’t you talking to
a nice lady down by the river before

you stumbled upon my tired old remains?”
I nodded. So did he. “So why then,” he asked,

“are you here with me when you could be there with
her?” I shrugged and glanced in the direction of

the water, about three kilometers back
that a way, if you know what I mean. “I don’t

know,” I told him. “She has a big bottom lip
and I really dig the way she speaks … how she

pronounces words, you know? Each time she talked I
was excited to hear what she’d say and what

it would sound like when she said it. She almost
sings when she speaks, but her voice is low, like the

Russian lady from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Quite frankly, Kublai, she’s intimidating.

I didn’t know what to say to her. I just
stood there, mostly, staring at the blue water

while she smoked wretched brown weed and cigarettes
she rolled with what I can only assume was

the skin of some animal she’d slaughtered for
meat. She’s almost like that chick from Game of Thrones,

you know … the Wildling? She makes my heart sing.
She makes everything groovy. She makes me

feel like Jon Snow meaning she makes me want to
die, because there’s no way I’m cool enough to

be anything more than one of her many
boy toys. She mentioned a Yuri and a dude

named Sergei. I bet he plays hockey. I bet
he’s a left wing and he wants to play for the

Detroit Redwings, like his namesake.” “Federov?”
Kahn asked, and I nodded absently. “I don’t

know what to say to her,” I mumbled, kicking
a rock into the side of a house, causing

it to come crashing to the ground. “Oops,” I said.
“Have you considered switching your style up?”

I shot him a look. “Go back to her,” he said.
“Tell her about all the things you’d like to do…”


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