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Friday, November 7, 2008

The prettiest girls

Incroyable. I got stood up last night. By someone who casually invited herself to my house. Quelle audace.

I am not exactly…diurnal. This fact has of late been only aggravated by my over-enthusiasm for the election, which I stayed up very late to watch. Bref, I’ve been keeping weird hours, and as I was walking out of the school after my first (and last) class of the day at 9 am, I was all ready to take just the tiniest of naps before I properly started my day. (sidenote: this is a lie us night-people frequently tell ourselves, and no amount of waking up sweating and way behind on work at 5 in the evening after sleeping for 6 hours will make us see the truth. Sorry.) I got no further than the courtyard, when I was stopped by one of the surveillantes. How was my vacation? Did I have any other classes for the day? No? “Oh, well,” she said, “How about I come by around 6 tonight?” Excuse me? Did I hear that right? “Where do you live again?” she asked. Gesturing towards the apartment facing us across the playground, I marveled at her rapidity.

Of course, my tiniest of naps turned into, well, a larger nap and—compounded with the fact that I am an unapologetic procrastinator—it was soon only a few hours before 6 when I realized that my apartment was a dump, there was nothing to eat and I had no clean clothes. (Wow, somehow seeing this in print, I’m realizing what a wreck I am most of the time)

Anyway, after cramming all my piles of crap into cupboards and closets, I ran out to do laundry and buy apéritif supplies, as I figured this is what would be expected this evening. Or maybe it would be tea. Certainly not dinner, she had invited herself. Right? Okay, so, some fruit juice and those weird snacks the French have for apéro, and some tea things. Just in case.

I dashed home to finish whipping up l’apart into shape (bank statements, shoes, books into closet, stack dirty dishes in sink so as to look less bordelique, hang wet laundry discreetly in bathroom, etc). Miraculously, by 6, it looked like a normal person lived there. So I sat down to wait. At 6:05 I went outside to check if she was stranded downstairs outside the building, reminding myself that she did spend a lot of time in the South for a few years, and they have a wacky sense of “time.” Heck, when I went to hers the other week, I showed up right at 7 like she said and we sat staring at her new kitten running around for a full 20 minutes before the next guests even came. 6:07, hm, phone seems to be working, but no call or sign; maybe I misunderstood? Maybe I was supposed to be the guest at her house? Maybe she was still getting ready because tonight was supposed to include dinner as well? What could it be?!

Inexplicably, the later it became, the more momentous our rendezvous seemed to become, and by 6:13 when I had come back after searching for her again outside I panicked and had convinced myself that dinner certainly would be involved. Apéro, dinner, and then coffee. (Coffee! Press has 4 day old grounds in it!) A full evening.

I dashed to the kitchen and flung open the cupboard door, hoping there would be something more in there than what I suspected. A quick inventory revealed the following: cocoa powder, honey, and some Happy Halloween paper plates my mother recently sent me. I closed the door and opened it again. Still nothing. Happily, I realized that if I cut away at the lumpy, moldy ball on the table, there was tomato underneath. Ah, progress! Now, a tomato is nearly dinner! Found a few other things in the fridge and proceeded to rapidly and nervously make dinner for two. Still no sign of her.

Completely confused and convinced that this evening was supposed to be at her house and despite desperately not wanting to accidently commit some sort of horrible French faux pas and reveal myself to be a square, at 6:37, I texted to ask her if I had tromped myself, perhaps? I immediately got a call back from her and in a very sleepy voice she apologized but was just much too tired after her day at work, could we do it another time?

Oh, fine. Tomorrow it is then.


Nate said...

I can definitely say, with no hesitation or doubt, that this entry is far better than the entire novel of Michael Cunningham's The Hours, which you would most likely love.

wem said...

You made me laugh out loud. I highly disagree with you, but I enjoy the comparison you have made.

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