They were in town for a month, staying in a dorm at St. Scholastica.
Johnny Mack discovered their presence through a friend of his. John invited
some of them to come to Skyline on Monday night for their volleyball game.
They had a good little team, not very tall and not exceptionally talented
but fun to watch, scrappy and hardworking. Bodhi and Parker were hitters, John
passed and dug, Chris was the setter and Ricky, well, Ricky was the King of
Devin was the heart of the team, or at least liked to think so. “Play like
there’s girls watching!” he exhorted them with a passionate grin, and they
played hard, combined style with effort and almost always won. They played
with abandon and most of them played high, like surfers meditating on the
“Ra, sun god,” Bodhi would say, squinting up at the glorious sun.
“Jah,” agreed Parker, intoxicated by the beauty of his buzz, his life at
that moment, a thousand moments like it. The gods beat down sweetly on the
sizzling, silky sand.
But tonight, tonight there were Russian chicks, fine ones, watching from
the deck at the Skyline Bowling and Lounge. It was important to look good on
this night, imperative that they play well. The lights were on. Somehow an
audience turned the game into a performance. Performance, hell, this was an
They had Russian names that were forgettable because they were
unfamiliar. Olga, Inga, Svetlana, Igor, Jesus, he couldn’t keep them straight. He
thought maybe he and his friends should re-name them, possibly number them,
but that was a silly, fleeting, weed-induced notion. They were mostly innocent
and watched the game like they were watching TV. The strong looking
blonde had some stripper-like qualities and was deeply sexy in a high school,
back seat way. She looked at him with great indifference but that didn’t deter
him. Sex between nations, bringing countries closer together through sweat and
orgasms, well, he was all for that.
That night they played as well as they ever had. They pounded the other
team, whooped it up, drank it in. The Russian girls sat on the deck, sipping their
American Cokes and applauding from time to time. Collectively, they were shy, a
school of fish out of water. The lights and action, the commotion, was
intimidating. It was as if they were from another country.
Between games, Devin and his friends flirted shamelessly with these
imported cheerleaders. They were invincible under the lights and the stars,
intoxicated by adrenaline, pheromones and weed.
And later that night, there were festivities at Parker’s house, a loosely
organized fraternity off campus, high on the East Hillside. There were the
obligatory drinking games at the dining room table, bags of chips torn open and
spilling onto the kitchen floor. Dave Matthews exploded from giant speakers that
dripped wax and shook the windows like dinosaurs walking. American college
students and Russian women shared the communion of youth, summer, alcohol
Like a number of the guys at the party, he first focused his libido on
the pretty blonde with the tig old bitties. That was literally a no-brainer. But as
the night wore on, he didn’t receive any signals that she was interested. He re-
focused his goals on something more reasonable, more attainable, more pure.
Freedom from desire. Want what you have.
Devin went out and sat alone on the front porch. He blew five small
clouds up at the summer moon. He felt good inside. He thanked God for
everything. He was a believer. He hoped he’d recognize her when he saw her
smile. God was a girl, and someday she would be waiting right around the
corner. He stood up and began walking toward the convenience store three
blocks away, started writing a song in his head.
daybreak summer (coda)
an explosion remains
on the horizon.
the misty city
it’s always been this way.
love shines down,
surrounds my tiny groove.
Copyright Tim D.