Friday, September 30, 2005

Do I look like your mother?

Oh, good, you saved me!

I was just starting to panic about the 30 page Art History paper that I need to finish by tomorrow. We’ve had a month to work on it and everyone else is finishing up their bibliographies and footnotes, but naturally I’m still trying to work out the central thesis... something about design of Art Nouveau wallpapers around the turn of the last century, and the influences of Japanese woodblock prints on the same.

Let’s see, how can I turn this into something that I can write about for thirty pages? With none of my art books available for research. Where the heck are my books, anyway? Oh, they’re all packed, of course... and no computer printer... bloody hell, why don’t I have a computer printer? ....hey, wait a minute.... am I dreaming again? God, time to wake up! I peep open one eye, and see brilliant morning sunshine streaming in the window.

OF COURSE! Man-o-man! That was a close call! I can’t believe at this stage of my life I am still having nightmares about finishing college papers. Sheesh! It’s the altitude, again, making my sleeping life decidedly unrestful. But at least they aren’t violent dreams, for the most part. Although maybe the violent part was just about to happen, when I went to ask the professor for a late extension? Oooooo. Scary!

Sooo, what’s up today? Well, probably off to the internet cafe again, after Pilates and coffee with a new friend. Sounds not too tough, eh?

Ah yes... the internet cafe, my “home from home”, as the English like to say. That is, if your home has pounding “world music” blasting through it 24/7, dishes shattering every five minutes on the tile floors (major breakage issues here!), and Amstel on tap. The two brothers who run the place sit at a table in the bar area and just talk talk TALK all day long. They are SO LOUD! (OK, I’m starting to notice it myself -- I’ve got a lot of issues about noise, don’t I?)

One of the brothers (the louder one) uses “fokking, fokking, fokking” every other word. Talking with women, talking with men. (You do know that word, don’t you?) It’s incredible. I’m sitting there, reading my emails, he’s getting louder and louder, and I’m thinking, “I must be hearing this wrong. Nobody could use the ‘F’ word that many times in one conversation!” (Unless they’re from Staines or Bracknell, but then it’s “fookin’, fookin’, fookin’ bloody hell"....)

So I look up and over at him, eavesdropping a bit, idly wondering if maybe he’s actually speaking Afrikaans or something, or maybe he’s an aircraft enthusiast ... (No, no... that’s a Fokker something-or-other ....) And then he suddenly notices me gazing at him, and he stands up, looks embarrassed, and says, “Oh I’m sorry, Mem! Ah just git so virry ix-saaah-tid sometahhmes.....!

“Ma’am”! Oh great.

Here I am peering at him over my reading glasses, looking like his disapproving mother probably.... but, no, instead I’m actually thinking about a synonym for... “verdant”.... not about him anymore at all.

I should have said, “No f----in’ kidding, pal!” But naw, I’m not that kind of gal.

And then, the South African men have the funniest voices sometimes.... loud, louder, louder still, laughing more. Then their voices seem to crack with the sheer effort of talking (or is it shouting?) at least once every paragraph. Suddenly they sound like 17 year old boys for a second... then they’re collapsing in fits of girly giggles... and then they recover themselves and it’s all back to bass tones. Of course, part of this could be because I’m essentially hanging out in a bar. Hmmmm. What do you think?

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