For ages now I have wanted to learn Serbian. Strike that, I have wanted to speak Serbian. The 'learning' part has been the obstacle. I intend to visit the country but first I want to learn the lingo. I had hoped something easy would present itself, perhaps I might meet a Serb who could teach me. But instead I was moving, packing up and relocating. One of the last things I did before departing the East End was to download a Serbian tutorial. I have looked at it exactly zero times. For one thing, I need to be settled, I need a home.
I have been in Key West six weeks and I've switched hotels six times, because, well, because I am a fussy bitch. One room too tiny, next too hot, and onward following the Princess and the Pea legacy. Daily I searched the newspapers and Craigslist and plodded around searching for 'for rent' signs on houses. One morning, shunting from one rat-bag hotel to the next I saw a 'for rent' sign hanging outside what had once been a Victorian gingerbread, now reduced to a paint-flaking sagging disaster, encircled with a chain link fence. I really didn't want to stop but I didn't like to risk kicking opportunity in the teeth and incurring seven years of bad luck or whatever the penalty. So I parked in front of a distracted rooster plucking at the dust in the road. I phoned the number on the sign and spoke
with a man named Andy. “I own the house but I live in Massachusetts.” Andy said. “But there's like a hundred kids in there. Just go knock at the door.”
I wanted to hang up on Andy and flee but then a fetching young man was padlocking a bicycle to the chain link fence. He was tall, dark and handsome and I watched his cute ass enter the building.
“It's a bunch of Serbians I've got renting that place,” Andy said.
“Did you say Serbs?” I asked, suddenly paying attention.
“Yup! Serbians!” And he snorted.
Phone still pressed against my head in a couple of strides I was knocking at the front door where a panel was missing. The door wobbled open and another, younger, man stood in the hallway. He was in shorts and his hair was tousled and dirty blonde and he was luscious. He wore no shirt and his smooth tanned torso softened my mood. I hung up the telephone on Andy.
Marko gave me the tour of the gutted wreckage and I pretended to be interested. When I got to the living room, where a dozen wilting bodies sprawled, I had to ask, “You're all Serbian?”
Listlessly they nodded.
“My mother is Princess of Serbia.” I declared.
They eyed me, skeptically.
Before leaving I had enlisted the services of beautiful young Marko. He
definitely looks like he could take the sting out of studying, especially if I can convince him to keep his shirt off.