After he came for another full minute, he slowly pulled both of us down to the seat so we were laying spoon fashion on our right sides. Both of us were quiet. Neither one spoke. All I could hear was the crashing of the ocean waves outside and our labored breathing.


“You smell good. My American pussy,” Evon mumbled sleepily.

“Thank you. So do you.” I answered just as sleepily.

“What do you do?” Evon asked.

“I am a researcher.”

“What are you researching?”

“Recombinant DNA.”

“That’s way over my head. Engineering is my field. I didn’t like biology much. Hated blood and guts,” Evon explained.

“What kind of engineering?” I inquired.

“Traffic engineering.”

“What is that? I’m sure you don’t direct traffic.”

“I design roads, study traffic patterns,” Evon answered.

“How long have you been doing that?”

“Not one fucking day! This country is at war. They are blowing up all the roads, not building,” he said disgustedly.

“Oh. Is that why you’re working as a waiter at the restaurant?”

“Yes, there are no jobs unless you want to join the military. I was lucky to keep this job.”

I was silent, not knowing what to say to comfort him. He sounded upset.

Evon spoke again. “The season is almost over. I don’t know what I’ll do for the winter.”

“When is the season over?”

“Another three or four weeks, at the latest end of October.”

“Do you make enough to last through the winter?”

“No, we get only one hundred and thirty kunas a day, which is about twenty US dollars. We rely heavily on tips.”

“That’s so little. Don’t you have a minimum wage?”

“What minimum wage?” Evon sounded furious. “You are lucky to even have any kind of job. If you don’t like it, there are ten other guys waiting in line to take it for even less.”

“I am so sorry,” I empathized.

“Don’t be. I am use to it. Our country is like this. It will never change. Now we are at war. It will only get worse,” Evon stated sadly.

My heart was bleeding for him. My sorries just seemed trite, so I kept my mouth shut.

Evon spoke again. “But I love my county. I can never leave it even for a chance at a better life. My sister lives in Germany. She is always trying to persuade me to move. But the thought of leaving my home, everything that I know, my neighborhood that I grew up in, my friends, even people I don’t really know but see regularly in the streets is unbearable. I would rather die here than live somewhere else that I hate.”

“Wow, you are so loyal.”

“I am. In all things,” he stated simply.


From Thousand-Year-Old Dream: The One

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