Posts I guess

As the foreign exchange student, it was my job to be properly baffled by the swaggering patriotism Americans display toward Fourth of July. I joined my host family on their trip to the lake and the subsequent BBQ but I couldn’t help but feel it was too over-the-top. The blaring country music from the stereo, the giant racks of ribs and slabs of meat going onto the grill and smoker, speedboats zooming around the lake with big flags waving on the back, the casual haphazard use of firecrackers…it was sensory overload. I stepped away from the party and went for a walk down by the dock.

That’s where I found him, all 6 foot 3 of him, upside down on his hands with his flag-clad ass in the air. My eyes were glued his taut, contracted muscles in his arms and shoulders holding up his torso. He was so pale, his hair was so blond and fine. I was captivated.

“Goddamn,” I murmured.
He came down and grinned. His face was all red. “Sorry, didn’t realize I was putting on a show for someone. I was just stretching.”
“No um. Continue. Please. I’m not really getting all this 4th of July stuff, but I think that was helping…”
His eyes flickered to the rainbow bracelet on my wrist. My host sister made it for me; it was made out of embroidery string and impossible to get off without cutting so I had left it on.  “You have a cute accent. Where are you from?”
“Indonesia. I’m a college exchange student.”
“Indonesia?” He looked impressed. “Wow, that’s far.”
I shrugged, a bit shy.
“Wanna see me do it again?”
“Yes please.”

I watched him go up on his hands again, my eyes roving over his body. I was beginning to see the allure of an American boy…if he didn’t stop this, I was going to be sporting a flagpole soon.

When he uprighted himself again he said, “My name’s James.”
“Mine’s Rukma, but everyone calls me Rick.” We shook hands.
He scrunched up his face. “Rukma is better.”
“I agree,” I said quickly.
“Hey Rukma, are you doing anything now? I was gonna go do some fishing, pick berries for a bit. Fishing’s better with two.”
“Fish?” I perked up. “I would love fish…I come from a fishing village, so it’s seafood all the time, but here it’s just meat meat meat and more meat.”
He laughs, a deep mirthful sound. “Well find you a rainbow trout to match your bracelet.”
I glance over my shoulder. “Let me just go tell my host family I’m going to go explore for a bit.”
“Sure,” he grins, a cocky smile. “Be right here.”

We kept busy; he took me out on a small boat, we fished, and we cooked them. We drank American beer, swam, and played horseshoes. His parents asked me so many questions about Indonesia. The thing I remember most about that day though was the firework show after dusk. James and I had gone off together to a little secret spot by the lake. We put down a towel. I had a beautiful view of every single explosion, as I was on my back, losing my virginity to a man I’d met that morning. I had a feeling it was the most American thing I’d done all day.

Text is fictional.


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