Thursday, July 28, 2011


355. In the restroom at work. Having just washed her hands, Miss Santa Claus wipes them onto a paper towel, crumbles then throws it into the bin across the room. The ball goes inside beautifully. I am inspired. I want to throw a paper ball basketball-style too. Watching me adjusting my aim, Miss Santa Claus can hardly contain herself. "This is too hard!" she exclaims. "So many things to say, and I cannot say anything." I pause, right hand frozen mid-air, still holding the paper ball. I look at Miss Santa Claus, wondering what planet she is on. "I cannot make any jokes about your size or age! Two more hours to go!" I throw the ball, smiling.

As we leave the restroom, I turn to Miss Santa Claus, telling her one of my most random sentences ever. "You know, Gaston is kind of short*..." Miss Santa Claus is about to explode. "You are so mean!" Then, collecting herself, "he is taller than me," she calmly points out. "Really? Oh well," I shrug. "And, he's pretty young..." Miss Santa Claus does all she possibly can to breathe normally. "To me he seems very mature..." 

Two hours later, comes a message. "And: the 24 hours are over!" Miss Santa Claus, for the first time in living memory, has just gone the whole day without making a joke about my size or my age. My heartfelt, public, congratulations. 

Come next April, we need to find her a new mini-friend.

*Gaston, if you ever actually get around to reading my blog, you are perfect, just the way you are. Pint-sized people are cute, anyway. So my therapist keeps telling me. 

356. American Diary 1959 - 1960, Hermit in Paris, by Italo Calvino.

On a visit to IBM (New York).

...It was an amazing sight, all those mathematicians and physicists in their little cells with their green blackboards. The workers were certainly highly qualified, and there was a very smooth rhythm of work; many women, all of them fat and ugly (beautiful women here, too, as in Italian cities, are now only to be found in certain social strata).

357. Office, an afternoon.
Anna: So, how did it go?
Me: Good, but he was a little pretentious.
A: You were wearing a fancy dress to dinner!
M: [laughs] but still! It's different, you know. I mean, I think he's successful, and he wants to show me that. Like, a little bit in a way, look what my life has become, compared to yours...
A: Well, you have been traveling a lot...
M: I know, but he was like, "You haven't been to Barcelona? Oh you should see Barcelona. No? You haven't been to Italy either?? You definitely should go and see Florence, and Milan..."
A: You should tell him that he should go and see Louvain-La-Neuve...

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