Dragan's comfort is such that he arrives an hour early just as I pull up my driveway, sweaty and flushed from a run. I bounce out of the car with a "Hello, Bossy! Here already?" The question doesn't daunt him, and I'm wondering if this was his way of shifting himself from someone I'm "seeing" to "official boyfriend who can come round whenever". He eyes my hot pink towel shorts, the wispy steamed tendrils of hair and hugs me anyway, as if he wanted to try out the glistening gym version. Surprising, considering how stringent his post-coital hygienics had been. Maybe the comfort zone is a spectrum, dare I hope that this may later manifest itself in the bedroom? I notice him riveted by my bottom as I run up the stairs. Hmm, promising.
The festival is a slice of longed for summer. The day is so crisp and lush, we cannot help but attack it with relish. Revving the engine up, I give Dragan a conspiratorial smile and ask,"You up for discovering LA, Bossy?"
More muttering. "I say, poor horsies," he explains. Then turning back to stare gravely into the horse's drooping heavy lidded eyes he continues, "You poor horsey, those motherfuqers (!) tie you like this, I kick them if I were you. They make the money on you so you not free, poor, poor horsey. Bastard mother fuqers!" I choke back laughter at his disgruntled face and carefully say,"Yes, I agree. It isn't fair, is it?"
Dragan instantly explodes at this, "Da, is WRONG. The animal, he cannot be tied, it is not good for them. They need free from this Picku!," he practically puts me in his pocket as he suggests,"We go now is better, this making me very angry. U picku materinu!", plus a few more unintelligible phrases. I hear the last bit quite a few times more till I'm safely installed in the car and we go back to the festival grounds. I forget that Dragan hails from a small farming town outside of Novi Sad where he likely grew up surrounded by all sorts of happy beasts ambling contentedly along.
I don't have the heart to tell him the thing is as ugly as a genetic experiment gone wrong and would be bound for the basement if I had one. Besides, everyone knows it's simply impossible to win using fair-battered wood rifles with dodgy pellets. Dragan clumps over to the range attendant who gamely starts his spiel,"Come on up, sir, you have a try now, $3 gets you a load, you gotta shoot all the red outta the center logo to win a toy, any toy. You shoot it, you pick it, it's yours."
I am standing back, all feminine graciousness, patiently indulging what I felt was Dragan's manly willfulness when he starts shooting with such precision that he could've probably spelled my name out in bullet holes had I prettily asked him to. He turns to me, chest puffed out and smiling proudly, "Da! You like?"
Yes, I think, SO good I'm sure the FBI should either recruit him or have his name on a list somewhere. There's something primal about his warrior abilities that I can't help but melt a little at the unbecoming thought that pops up, why with Dragan neither I nor my children need ever go hungry. He could hunt anything down, beast, fish or fowl. Children? What children?? I shake myself awake at this unbidden fantasy, aware that my ovaries are flirtatiously throbbing even against my will.
The range attendant can barely speak as he pulls the flapping hole-decorated target sheet closer. He croaks as he shows Dragan a barely there spot of red, "Oh, oh...sorry, Sir, but you missed this one spot, it's tiny but you..uhm, you missed it." Uh-oh, not good.
Dragan bristles, "You want me try one more time? I try one more time I use it on you, picku!" He smiles yet seethes at the same time. While I'm gratefully relieved for having missed owning the mutant toy, I can't disagree with the retarded technicality. I start to stroke Dragan's arm to soothe him, "Come on, Dragan let's go, this is stupid," then more sweetly,"Come on, Bossy, let's relax at home, I'll make a home made pizza, we can forget about this. You were VERY good, he's probably afraid of losing his job." The compliment does the trick and he starts to move away. He gives the attendant a hard look the guy refuses to meet, I'm sure in fear for his life.
Dragan squares his shoulders and turns sweeping me with him, "You know, if this Serbia, that guy get beat up. He lying, piece shit. Picku!". We're crossing the street, and Dragan protectively holds my waist as if to make sure I don't go astray over the short distance.
"Ok," he shrugs,"It mean literal, 'in your mother's pussy' ". I grimace painfully like I just swallowed something awful and wrinkle my nose. Dragan throws his head back with a roar of laughter. I guess it takes a festival.