Thursday, March 04, 2004

A little envelope on the bottom part of my computer screen means an email. Work emails are usually utilitarian. They don't waste words. Even the sentences sometimes suspend the laws of grammar, leaping directly to the verb. There is no self in work emails.

Finished the Twinky-Dink Project.

Am printing out the Mortimer Mouse Files now.

Faxed the squirrels to the Manager and shaved the Vice President's chinchilla.

Once in a while you get emails that you know are not work-related.

Raspberry sent me the lyrics to a song. We shared a few words in the coffee room. The lyrics were a footnote to her side of the conversation.

Today Raspberry was not in. It could have been anything. A meeting. Too much drinking. Fun. Instead her absence was a result of something terrible.

The lyrics. Something about an attention-seeker. After our conversation I still didn't think so. Maybe on one level, but different from contestants on reality TV.

No more visits from Miss Behind Anonymity. Her page turned white.* Karen says I am too far to do anything.

This plus everything made me rather down this morning. I was thrice told I am stupid.** A few hours after the second time, I became curiously happy. Ignorance does have its charms. By the third time I was practically whistling. I may have even bristled back.

Then another little envelope popped onto the bottom part of that grey thingie on the screen, very close to the clock part. An email from an Ion. No, not one of those atom bits. The Romanian version of the name John.

He came to visit after work.

The unison of the North and South offices into one building between a river and a woman's prison has brought me into the sphere of another Romanian.

Zs followed Bs (like raspberry but more like Zbor) or followed by Gs (Zgircit) and Ds (Zdrobit). S-and-F words like sfirsit. Ss with dangling tails and Ts with roots. As with roofs over their heads and horny As.

Speaking Romanian is like squirming your toes in clean warm mud.

The same words, if I said them in English, would be pancakes drying without syrup. Day after day of eating bland pancakes, a pioneer bachelor in the 1920s told his companions, "I've had enough." He walked out of the cabin, never to be seen again. It's been nearly a year of pancakes. Then - suddenly! - an infusion of aromatic honey!

Speaking Romanian, after a year in the desert of pancakes, is like squirming your toes in a mixture of warm mud and honey. Pick up a fistful of that mud-honey mixture and squeeze it. The stuff pouring through the cracks of your fingers is more Romanian.

Every English word afterward was a pancake hardened into a cement biscuit.

*In Chinese culture, the colour of death.

**Ok, I exaggerate. It was insinuated.

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