if the foreign man exercises the few words in his bank to confront the native,
said native will respond with deeper words, and faster. my, my. much faster.
it is at this point the foreigner must decide which he prefers: the hot, or the cold.
participating in the native's game, the man learns quickly, but is forced into a whirlpool of conjugations and improper slippings of the tongue.
but oh, the rush.
there was something good about him.
something that i wanted to be about me, too.
he lifted the thin, wooden piece to his nose.
"pine sol," he concluded, "that's what it is."
"pardon?" i begged.
"these chopsticks. they remind me of pine sol," he laughed at the thought, "i don't know why i said that out loud." i raised a chopstick to my nose, prepared to save him by nodding in tacit compliance, confirm that they were, in fact, pine sol chopsticks. one inhale, two even, and i could smell nothing but cheap, wholesale wood... which made sense in my head, under the circumstances.
his eyes were intense on mine, waiting for the rescue.
i thought about the foreign man, how he could say something so interesting, while the native could understand it at a more advanced level. was i the native, fast moving and impatient? i thought of how he might scare easily, scamper away if i threw my complete understanding of the way i spoke at him, along with the kitchen sink,
though i did it anyway.
"yeah, me either, " i spurted, "next time, could you keep those thoughts to yourself?"
a timid smile spread across his face. one that came only with sarcasm at his expense.
the foreigner likes it hot.