In About an Hour

I’ll be attending a pajama party at some club south of Center Street with a few Frenchie freshies. After lunch at Cafe Rio, a few of us headed back to my apartment to speak a little more French. I don’t spend a lot of time in my living room, but I got to looking around and saw some poker chips tucked away on a bookshelf. So after we talked a bit, I asked the group if they wanted to play poker, so I got out the chips and some cards and we played a few hands. Of course it’s totally different than playing online poker in the middle of a computer lab. Um. Then one of the girls had to leave (it was me and two other girls and a guy), so we kept talking a little bit more, just in English, and I asked what else they wanted to do. The vote was for Wii Mario Kart. So we raced a few rounds of that, and it was a lot of fun. Then the other classmates received a text from a girl who couldn’t make lunch, so we talked just a little while longer before they left to go hang out with her. This girl, the one who couldn’t make it to lunch, just texted me about the party, and I just happened to come out of the shower and am in very modest pajamas: a t-shirt and warm pajama pants. So I said I’d come. They’ll be picking me up.

A lot is being left out of this entry: dialogue, banter. I’m still on a boy break, by the way. The other blog is clear on that.

Earlier in the day I did tell my classmates if they ever needed a chaperone, they can give me a call. Looks like they’re taking me up on the offer.

Sleep well, mes amis.

//

In A Few Minutes

I’m going to meet with a few of my classmates from French for lunch. We’re going to try speaking to each other in French. Every week we’re supposed to converse outside of class for 20 minutes and submit a recap of conversation as part of our grade. Four of the seven of us are freshmen, and they’re terrific. The freshmen are especially tight, and I like watching them interact. We’re all in the same boat of trying to survive French, and when we’re not butchering the language, we enjoy each other’s company. We were going to do Olive Garden, but we decided on Cafe Rio instead. Should be fun. And delicious.

À bientôt.

Bon Effing Le St-Valentin

I don’t really have strong feelings either way about Valentine’s Day.  My stomach, however, starts churning vomit whenever I hear horrible pickup lines. We got a sheet of these in French class, so I decided to share them. They sound prettier in French, but are just as corny-cheeseball as they are in English. In parentheses are possible replies. In English. Of course.

-Est-ce que ton père a été un voleur? Parce qu’il a volé les étoiles du ciel pour les mettre dans tes yeux.
(If bad come-ons were a crime, they’d sentence you to an execution. That’s so much worse than my dad.)

-Tu n’as pas eu mal quand tu es tombé du ciel?
(Yes, and I declined first aid from you last time, too.)

-Tu dois être fatiguée parce que tu as trotté dans ma tête toute la journée.
(I am really tired, but it has to do with the sheer guff coming from your mouth right now.)

-Excuse-moi. On dirait que j’ai perdu mon numéro de téléphone… Est-ce que je pourrais emprunter le tien?
(I’ve lost my patience. Go. Now.)

-Est-ce que tu crois au coup de foudre au premier regard ou est-ce que je dois repasser?
(Dude, don’t walk by again. Just keep walking.)

-Excuse-moi. Est-ce que embrasses les inconnus? Non? Donc, je me présente.
(I have kissed strangers, but I don’t kiss friends. So yeah,  I’d love your name, thanks.)

-Tes pied doivent sûrement te faire mal, parce que tu t’es promenée dans mes rêves toute la nuit.
(Funny, my feet do hurt, though I dreamed I was stomping on someone’s heart.)

-Je viens d’arriver dans ta ville. Est-ce que tu pourrais m’indiquer le chemin jusqu’à ton appartement?
(I’d be more than happy to tell you how to get out of my life.)

-Est-ce que tu as un plan? Je me suis perdu dans tes yeux.
(No wonder my glasses are smudged.)

-La seule chose que tes yeux ne me disent pas, c’est ton nom.
(So, you can also see how they’re telling you to go away.  Now.)

Instead of Sleep

Bryce stood in front of a full-length mirror in Ava’s bedroom, admiring his figure.

Ava could see her own reflection, watching Bryce watch himself.

He had pulled the boxers up over his trousers and let his thumbs stretch and then release the elastic against the reinforced strip of khaki beneath it with a muffled snap. The layered waistbands hung about two inches below where Ava imagined his navel would be. That is, if he had one. The doubled fabric, in addition to the bunching of the elastic, created an outward, lateral curve in silhouette from his abdomen: he looked like he had hips. Blue polka dots scattered deliberately about on the mid-thigh shorts, a series of plots – mapping an ever-elusive, unknown target – confounding her eyes.

His head and arms had then found corresponding holes in an old t-shirt. The threadbare, translucent, dark blue material and the pale skin of his torso beneath it produced a sheer effect. The cracked, yellow, iron-on block letters across the front read, FREAK U 2 above a cracked, iron-on cartoon chicken. The shirt that once fit now hung loosely from his lanky body, except that the untucked fabric at the bottom clung to his pants and outer-underpants. The frayed sleeves came just above his elbows, and the ends of stray strings brushed a few faded but distinct freckles.

Bryce kicked off a pair of steel-toed boots and slipped on some running shoes. These were only a couple of months old, and Bryce used them for his early-morning jogs before work. He pulled the laces tight, tied an overhand knot, looped the bow, then tied the bow into another overhand knot. He wiggled his toes, rotated his ankles to stretch, then sprang back to standing. A few distant sirens passed. Fire department. Police. Every night for the past three weeks. No other sounds broke the night’s silence with this much frequency or terror.

Ava handed Bryce his glasses. He raised the unfolded frames to his face and slid the arms back to rest on his ears and settled the center piece on the bridge of his nose.  She gave him one last glanceover. Something looked skiwumpus. Smirking, she stepped close and tapped the left top corner of the glasses up, restoring symmetry to his incredible, perfect face. He’d had the glasses anyway – he’d need sonar without them – but this was the finishing touch.

“This? This is it? This is your costume?” Ava wore a fitted black t-shirt and black skinny jeans with black, narrow slippers. Her shiny, jet black hair was pulled back into a tight pony tail, revealing strong cheekbones that softened into her natural, closed smile. The black further slimmed her already slender body. It was a flattering outfit, and Bryce pretended not to notice. They’d be stealthing around in the dark where he couldn’t see her anyway.

Ava raised an eyebrow and nodded once at the mirror, trying to stifle laughter.

“Hey, at least the blues match.”

“I guess you have a point, there.”

She exited the room before him, then he stepped out and closed the door. They crept down the carpeted stairs that led right to the front door of the house. Bryce unlocked the deadbolt and wrapped his hand around the doorknob. He turned it.  He placed his other hand firmly on Ava’s shoulder, and she looked at him. She held her breath.  She knew what he was going to say. Her eyes followed as he opened the door and switched off the porchlight. She stepped into the thick darkness and sensed the soft thud of the door pressing into the jamb. She felt him right behind her and exhaled. Ava heard it: a faint whisper, but it was enough.

“Let’s go fight some crime.”