June 06, 2009
Years ago, I took a latin class as part of my grad studies. I don't remember much grammar now, but it was a daily class, which means I do remember the following: that for 6 months, every morning at 10, I met with 10 other people. We saw each other get sick, come to class excited about work or personal lives, stressed about other classes, hung over. We saw the teacher, also a grad student, wear the same purple sweatshirt every day -- I'm not kidding -- for the whole semester. We witnessed each other's haircuts and changing facial hair. And one student's monstrous pimple swell and disappear.
Sounds like work? A MTWThF job? But it's not. Because if in most jobs, you more or less try to keep up appearances (or so my employed friends tell me), at college, and especially at grad school, you don't give a shit.
So latin class was intimate. It was raw. It was reality with no quotation marks. It simply was.
As I write this blog I feel a little like I'm back in latin class, only the info is going one way. Amid all the asking, you see me get sick, plan career moves, try to finish my blessed dissertation, drink coffee after coffee, get haircuts, and fight mouse invasions. Sometimes, I get to read your emails or comments, and I love it!! And getting your contest entries is another reminder that people are out there, reading. It makes me so happy to get an occasional answer. But I know what blogging is: a one-way dispatch, a shout into the abyss. Any answer is sugar on the rim.
As for those intimate daily dispatches: I'm stuck sickville. I asked a girl I met tonight to help me out in the pharmacy. She was the friend of a friend, and when I was coughing up a storm, and should probably have been in bed, I turned to her in the middle of the party we were at and asked her if she could rescue me. She was having fun, and maybe it wasn't the most thoughtful thing to do, but I felt like we'd been talking all night and she was really cool, so hopefully she wouldn't mind.
There was a 24-hour pharmacy a block away, and I wasn't sure what medicine to buy or how to describe my symptoms. Could she possibly come?
"I'd be happy to come!"
In a minute we were at the pharmacy. I rang the bell, and out came the pharmacist, who looked about our age and like he'd been woken up from a nap. He gave me two things: a tasty cough syrup sweetened with honey and a magic pill that's supposed to make colds go bye bye.
We'll see. For now, just looking forward to sleeeeep.
Gained: an Italian interpreter at my hour of darkness. And, actually, a potential new friend. This girl has an interesting job (Latin and ancient Greek private tutor - incidentally!), she is pursuing interesting studies (cognitive psychology) and she's nice enough to walk a sick foreigner to the nearest pharmacy. In fact, we ended the night with tentative plans to hang out Monday!
Your hint today points to a different hour of darkness. See below. This image too, was snapped locally and it's a good metaphor for this city, these days. Not to mention the rest of the financial world. Ahem.