The Intelligent American


Q asked me to a drink.

“You can meet my American friends,” he told me.


“Yeah,” he said, excited, “they are from Portland.”


Q is already there when I arrive, a place not far from my apartment that serves only alcoholic cider.

His American friends turn out to be one guy and his absent girlfriend.

“She got sick off some vegan shawarma,” he tells us from under a mustache.

The ciders come; two Russian, one from the south of France.

“So, what are you doing in Russia?” The American asks.

I shrug. “A few things here and there.”

He nods. “Yeah, I am a teacher too. It’s really great, you know–rewarding.”


“So, why’d you pick Russia?”

“Dunno,” I say.

“Rad. Yeah–I love it here man. The culture is fascinating and so beautiful. Rich–you know, like, rich-rich. It’s so old and just–” he takes a breath, “just amazing place. People are so friendly! I mean and the language is so interesting! I was reading this article on Dostoevsky the other day–you know, to practice my Russian. It was talking about how Russian is an asophiocratical language–you know?”


“Well anyways–I was so fascinated. How is your Russian?”

“Bad,” I say in Russian.

The American laughs. “That’s a shame–reminds me, I’ve been reading this great book. It’s called The Satirist Sat on a Goose Egg, by Gordon Fenris. Ever hear of him?”

I shake my head.

“Oh–he’s fantastic. It’s a satire about a satirist living on some farm in North Dakota.”

I drink my cider, waiting. It doesn’t take long.

The American looks at the label on his cider, nodding. “I love French cider. I saw this one in this docudrama about this French hair-growth specialist. It’s fascinating. Really good stuff.”

“Hair growth specialist?” Q asks.

The American smiles knowingly, “she is in charge of consulting on movies and TV shows to tell directors and writers how long hair should have grown when they jump ahead in post-apocalyptic and survival films.”

“Huh,” Q says. I nod my agreement, chasing down the bottom of my glass. We sit there for another hour learning about the therapeutic value of gutting fish, a painter who paints with their own feces, a Swedish rock group that only plays music by hooking their brains up to CT-scan machines; and a Troll article about how playing fetch with dogs should now be called handicapped-pass.

Outside, I have a cigarette. Q stares across the street at a suspicious looking goat.

“He was nice.”

I laugh. “He was a douche.”

Q frowns, “You’re too judgmental. He was an intelligent guy at least.”

I nod. “I knew an intelligent guy who could recite Shakespeare’s Macbeth, all of it–word for word.”


“So, when we said goodbye, he said ‘peace fag,'” I toss away my cigarette, “so, there’s that.”

“What, that?”

“That, that.”



We start walking home,”Do you ever actually have a point?” Q asks.

I shrug. It starts to rain.




35 replies to “The Intelligent American

  1. Douche for sure! BTW what is the definition of ‘asophiocratical’ I couldn’t find it on Google…
    Your stories are a little bit like biscuits; they’re all nice, they’re always nice, but they’re different. Today’s was definitely a fig roll!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hahaha I am glad. I like that, a fig roll. As for ‘asophiocratical’ it’s just made up nonsense. I did that to kind of poke fun at people who use these big words they know you don’t mean while also not knowing the meaning themselves. Basically they might as well be made up bullshit words because they serve no actual purpose in a conversation except the appearance of intellect. haha It was kind of my own little joke with myself, didn’t know if anyone would look it up.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hahaha, I had to laugh a lot..not because of the story…meetings like this are sad, because it is so boring…but your expressions were very funny……(the passage with the ” playing fetch with dogs ” were hard to understand, because the translation was absolutely “bullshit”…but very funny bullshit! I had already lot of such meetings…hahaha…my best was in Brasil a dinner…it was an intelligent German, whom my son threw his toy car to the head, because he just pretented to play with him… would have loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. hahaha…yes about this scene he is still proud ( he was only 2 or 3 years old) but I told him often, because I had really to laugh out loud..the man talked very important! things with my husband, and casually he pushed the toy car always back to my son…until….baaaang it bounced on his skull!…and the translation of your text was a potential hit!!!


  3. I think I met that guy at a party in Melbourne just a couple of days ago. Or it was on a bus. Either way he certainly gets around. Didn’t say he was going to Russia. He should have told me. I could have warned you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. I am glad you liked it, it is based on a whole number of conversations I’ve had over the years with different people. Always wanted to try and capture that personality in a story.


  4. I’m a white guy from Portland. I talk like this sometimes. I guess I’m probably a douche.

    Doesn’t matter. About 10 years ago, I moved to a mountain town in Colorado, pursuing a job. This is how
    everyone here talks:

    Them: “Man, last weekend I ran the Colorado River on a paddle board. It was such a rush. You like to paddle board?”

    Me: “No. Never been on a paddle board. I’m not very coordinated.”

    Them: “Oh yeah… well, hey, next week, I’m going on this ten mile hike through Zion that all my buddies do every year. We hike the whole thing naked. It’s very spiritual. You could come if you want.”

    Me: “Hmm.. thanks, but no. I sunburn pretty easy.”

    Them: “No big deal. Hey I heard about this place up in the woods where people gather and play a big Indian drum all night and dance around in paint and stuff. It’s all very primal. But you can only get there by rapelling down a 500 foot cliff face. I don’t know exactly where it is, but I’d love to find it. You ever heard about that?”

    Me: “No. Sorry.”

    Them: “All right dude, great talking to you! Enjoy the party!”

    And then I never see them again. Maybe they fell off the cliff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha fair, everyone has their bit of douche. I am no saint. It seems you have to deal with your own particular brand. I too have met a few folks like that…maybe if everyone just thought a bit about what they were going to say before they say it, the world would be much less annoying.


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