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Friday, July 4, 2008

Goni's children

Goni’s oldest is 17, but he looks barely barmitzwa-eligible. He makes up for it in smarts though. The first thing he did when I came into the living room is put down his Torah-sized Sudoku anthology and quiz me on Balkan history: wasn’t montenegro part of greater serbia, why is kosovo not a legitimate nation-state and so on and so forth. Salomon, leave Lui alone, Goni said like to a four year old. I said, bring it on Sal and we did some more Balkan-back-and-forth until he was satisfied, NOT that I'm an ok guy, NOT that I'm unlikely to pull a Burt Reynolds on his mom and start slapping her around for fun, but until he was satisfied that I am indeed a Croat, a real Croat and not a crank. That was Sal. Then came Geraldine. A 19 year old doorslammer, a beautiful, mouthwatering doorslammer: black curls, black eyes, teeth like the inside of a coconut and her feisty tongue, a raspberry popsicle. I fell for her like a lead balloon.

Geraldine: Who are YOU?

Me: Lui, my name is Lui,

Geraldine to mother: Mom, he’s like three!!

Me: TWENTY three, I’m twenty three years old.

And that was that. She slammed the door on her way out. Sal looked up from his numbers and told me not to mind his sister, that she was just flirting. Goni’s bosom heaved. This was more than she could bear I could tell. So I left it at this. In the hall I kissed her and touched her gold pendant that spelled the four letters of her name, Goni, oh Goni, and I became intensely warm and excited. Then I heard a door slam upstairs and I left.