One fine day while staying with the ever hilarious Uncle V there were visitors. I was told that they were cousins of some sort. I think that when people get tired of explaining to me the lineage of the relationship, they tell me they are cousins. I was in no position to argue and they knew it. So, the “cousins” came by with their two kids, a boy and a girl. It was a nice enough time, but like most times on that trip I had no idea what was being said, and much of the time people forgot I didn’t speak the language and just carried on as if I did. No big deal. You tend to pick up on a lot more of the surroundings and whats happening when your mind isn’t jumbled up with conversation. During this visit the little boy got to try on Uncle V’s flight helmet. He was a pilot back in the day and he held on to it as a souvenir. I wish I didn’t have such a colossal melon or I would have tried it on too. It was pretty sweet, kind of like Top Gun.
Kids are very observant. While I was sitting there not talking the little boy, Veljko who was probably 6 or 7 years old, noticed I wasn’t talking. And I noticed he noticed. Every once in a while he would sneak a look in my direction, wondering, why I didn’t speak. As the day wore on he kept coming closer and closer to me, all the while looking at me, wondering. From what I can tell of the parts of Serbia I visited conversation is meant to be had, and had for extended periods of time, and had at high volume. So, for an adult to be sitting in a room and not speak for two hours, to this kid, had to be mesmerizing. How could this be??
When it came time for the family to leave we all got up and walked towards the door. There was the traditional good-byes, hugs and kisses, and smiles. While I was standing towards the outer rim of the goodbye circle, I saw the boy looking at me grinning. So, I looked at him in the eye, smiled and gave him a wink. He thought about what he seen in that instant and kept looking at me, smiling. I don’t know if he had never been winked at before, but I could tell he was thinking about what he saw, not sure what to make of it, but knowing it was fun. Him, standing there, looking at me, smiling, thinking, wondering what to do, his eyes looking up slightly, thinking about his next move…..
He winked back.