Wednesday, May 4, 2011


100. Waking up with lines of blue ink all over my left arm and forehead. Old married couples probably do not fight with markers while playing Wii Golf.

101. "Is Italian ice-cream actually better than normal ice-cream?" I ask him. With an sigh, Mario pats my shoulder, in the way that a father would pat a child and say, "When you grow up, you will know." Instead, Mario says, "When you are in Italy, you will know." 

The closest I have ever been to Italy, was last year's planned Venice trip, ceremoniously announced months ahead in a cheesy PowerPoint presentation that took me four hours to make. Between the advertisement of the vacation and its actual dates, my octogenarian then-landlord started to enjoy leaving handwritten notes on my table as surprises; I surprised her in return by impulsively moving out. This resulted in more handwritten notes during my last few days being there, and the exorbitant fine for breaking contract meant we never got to see Festa del Redentore. It also meant I have never tried Italian ice-cream.

This bothers me, because ice-cream is my religion, and now all of a sudden I am told that the God I know and love is not actually the ultimate God. "How is it different?" I want to know. "What is in an Ita-" then it dawns on me. The decade of overeating and overdrinking in Australia is finally useful for something. 
"Oh, is Italian ice-cream like gelato?" 
Mario stares at me, "Gazpacho, you just said, Is Italian ice-cream like ice-cream?" 
"But, in Australia, we have two types: ice-cream, and gelato." 
Shaking his head, Mario says, slowly, in the fatherly manner once again, "And now... you just said... we have two types: ice-cream, and ice-cream..."

102. The backhand wave. The one that says, "I guess you see me looking back into your office as I am passing by, so I should probably say hi, by waving my arm listlessly behind my body." 

Totally a step up from the initial wordless staring: "It's a natural reaction to look into people's open offices but I don't know who on earth you are, hence I'm not saying hi." 

Then came the almost imperceptive nod: "We've met off campus. I suppose you get to be nodded, but only ever so discreetly."

A week or so later, words were actually spoken, or should I write, a word was actually spoken: "Hello." Probably short for, "Hello. I can socialize and I can write but here at work "Hello" is all I have."

"Good morning." "Good bye."

The climax was when he waltzed into my office, delivered one full sentence, with pronoun, verb, adverb, the whole package, and then immediately left, as if scared that I might not like the sentence and ask to exchange with another one.

What comes after a climax, in most Hollywood movies, is an act of disappearance. He dutifully followed the script. After a few weeks, I finally saw him around, but it's been almost like we were complete strangers. 

Then, today, the backhand wave. It is strange how nice little gestures can be. It probably will be another four months until the next climax, but Rome wasn't built in a day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment