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the girl from baku by russell bittner


t h e   g i r l   f r o m   b a k u   :  3

:  r u s s e l l   b i t t n e r


New tactic?

Following the deluge of delights, it's silence once again – two days of it. Not a word; not even a ring. In the meantime, my testosterone is bouncing. Add random, chaotic ricocheting off the wall to the forward, circular and elliptical motions of the planet, and I'm ready to fuck or kill anything that moves.

Then she calls. Wants to come over. Wants to talk. At last, I think, dialogue!

She's here within minutes and seated in my garden room. In glass rooms like this one, people don't get stoned I think. I offer tea, instead, which she consents to take.

I wait, hover really, while she sips. "So," I finally say. "What's doing?" English idioms are not her forte – I realize as she gazes back at me in stunned silence. And so I re-phrase. "Perhaps you could tell me what you have in mind. Perhaps you could make some sense of this, uh, relationship."

I can see from her gaze now turning inward that some of my words are not striking up the band. Or maybe they are – but in the wrong key. In any case, I stand up; walk to my library; take out the English to Russian dictionary; blow off the dust of years' neglect; walk back to my little glass house; plummet to my seat. When in doubt – I think – consult.

I have a hunch this particular book is about to become my new best friend. It will save us from pitfalls, avalanches, earthquakes, maybe even asteroids and meteors of misunderstanding.

I translate – clumsily, though adequately and sufficiently – and she smiles in understanding. Then, she lets me have it with both barrels.

"I think relationship good for sex and language," she says with the "r" in relationship sounding like the rumble of a real volcano. I don't mind admitting, I also like her particular susurration of the letter "s" in sex – not to speak of the schwa (for cadence, I s'pose) where none exists. Who wouldn't? But "good for language?" What can she mean? I ask for clarification.

"I think you good for my language. For to improve my English."

So that's it. I'm to be her TESL boy-toy! Are there fates worse than death? Is this one of them?

"Let me think about this for a while," I say. "'K?"

I mean – just between you and me – the concept is a fresh one. And while I don't want to appear mean-spirited, keeping the emotional and the libidinal in separate cages in my current traveling mental circus is no longer quite so easy as it once was.

She smiles again, lips pursed. I already know what wonders those lips can perform and am eager for another demo. I could eat leftovers a life long from that woman's lips and never get tired of the regimen.

"Well, what are we waiting for?" I ask as she slams back the last of her tea.

"Nichevo," she answers as she stands up, kicks off her sandals and slips out of her slinky.

It's going to be another pleasant sunset, I conclude as I return the dictionary to its place on the shelf. So I don't think we'll be needing that for a while.


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