rlbourges

Flu, still the Main Antagonist

In Animals, Artists, Contes d'Exil, Food, Hautvoir, Local projects, Music, notes, Titles on January 14, 2016 at 9:40 am

I suppose yesterday’s title should have read Flu, the Unsung Antagonist. I was too out of it to register the irony. Besides, there’s not always a neat divide in terms of who owns the story – the good guy or the other one. In this case, Flu Ruled yesterday. I made it through my major weekly breadwinning day and haven’t stopped hacking since.

Yesterday’s moment of zen provided by the unlikely pairing of an English lesson and a young boy’s questions. The lesson – combined with exercises in the use of must and mustn’t featured a happy lad writing a letter to his grandparents in Australia, in which he detailed his life in his new college – a place called Eton.

My twelve year-old friend was curious and one of the computers at the Social Center showed signs of cooperation so we looked up the place. Under his guidance, I typed in: Fees at Eton. Glup, gasp, almost belly up on the floor he went. Who has that kind of money to spend on a school, he asked. From there, we moved on to the list of richest people in the world. His next question: was Barack Obama as rich as Queen Elizabeth. Next: who was the first French President? Who the first American one? (“That can’t be right,” he said, “Washington’s the name of a city“. – Named after George, I said. “Huh…they named a city after him.” – Wonders never cease.)

Final question: who was the best artist in the whole world. No, I said, you can’t rate artists the same way you rate billionaires. He found that disappointing because the boy craves clear guidelines. You would too if your dad were under a judiciary banishment and your mother, so overwhelmed by circumstances and sick children, she kept threatening to lock you inside your room if you didn’t behave.

So we repaired back to the classroom, just to see if he still remembered how to write I mustn’t talk in class and I must listen to the teacher. He did, and sallied forth until next week.

Yesterday’s moment of shivers down the spine + tears in the eyes: the mix done by my musician/composer neighbor, combining a bit of text of mine from a story in Contes d’Exil, and the voices he recorded on Tuesday night. He’d like to play the excerpt at Saturday night’s concert. Whether he does or not, I’m just happy with the way the text and the voices sound as if they were fated to meet. True, while I was out listening with shivers and tears, the dog ate something off the kitchen counter.  Just to keep the scales in some kind of balance, you understand.

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