Friday, January 3, 2014

Hey There

ICU – UCI

I always hated sports season. Still do. And it's worse than that, because it's always sports season these days.

And what happens during sports season? "Hey! How about them L.A. Lizards! Did ya see that play? Whudja think about that then?"

All too often this sort of thing happened when I was in the barber chair, wrapped, laced in, tied down, locked up, and the barber was only about to begin. Which meant that I'd be there for fifteen minutes if I was lucky, but probably longer – up to half an hour of imprisonment. With nothing to say, because I had no idea what the guy was talking about.

So I'd turn red and close my eyes and hope to die.

I'm not good on small talk. Of any kind.

I'll have to learn.

Because here you don't nod, or smile, or smile and nod – you engage. It's required.

Sit down for a meal and you're expected to greet those who came in before you, or those coming in after you. You are expected to greet them with the equivalent of "Good day. How are you?" or "Good afternoon. How are things?" And so on.

I know – easy for you, but with my sincerely inadequate knowledge of Spanish, my one deaf ear, and my other, failing ear, it's hard to follow just what's happening, and it is even, because the words fly so fast, hard to understand even these ritual phrases. Even though I've read them, and have heard them often, and have practiced them.

Mumble-mumble-mumble. (What?) Mumble-mumble-mumble. (What?)

I'm always caught by surprise, and am incapable of acting appropriately human.

No.

I still haven't caught on. But I'll have to, to get by. To avoid offense. To be considered human. Which is a good thing if you want to get along, and I'm only a guest here. I'm always aware of that.

At least here no one is likely to ask what I think of the Houston Hubers, the Boston Blugos, or the Denver Dorks.

I can be grateful for that, and I am. I am.

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