Monday, September 13, 2010

15. Talking

It was hot and I wasn’t in the best of moods. I sat in a shady spot at the park waiting for my lunch “to settle.” A teenage girl with in-line skates whizzed by, missing my feet by few inches. She was wearing naught but the scantiest of shorts, what appeared to be an old man’s armless undershirt and, of course, her skates. She was tall and slim and I couldn’t help but stare.

“Bitch,” I muttered and drifted off into reverie, not noticing that she had stopped a block away, turned, and was speeding toward me again. This time I had to move my feet to avoid being hit.

“Hey,” I yelled just as she executed a u-turn and stopped a few feet away.

“Hey yourself,” she yelled back. She looked at her skates and then at me. “These things are—like—great.”

Yep, it was C.W.

He smooth-skated to my bench and flopped down beside me.

“I’m—like—having loads of fun.”

“I can tell. What’s up?”

“I’ve been skating with my friends.” He pronounced it “frands.”

“You don’t have any friends except me.”

“You’re—like—such a drag. Now, tell me something. I’m—like—curious. What is the deal with teenagers not communicating? I’m—like—wanting my ‘frands’ to go have a soda and they’re—like—wanting to talk into hand phones or computers and I’m like—‘no, let’s sit and talk, and they’re—like—‘eeew.’”

“Well, best I can tell, that’s how they communicate.”


“By talking into phones or computers. That’s their means of communicating.”



“But I mean truly communicating. Like sharing thoughts or ideas. You—like—can’t do that over a phone. It’s gross. It’s …,” he thought “It’s Lashewenga.”

That, I learned later, was a Faloovian term literally translated as the act of eating with your toes, which I understand they can do if they wish. It refers to an act that may accomplish a purpose but in an unseemly way.

“That’s not really how your species transfers ideas, is it? How do they judge reactions or interpret physical reactions to an expressed thought or … whatever?”

“I don’t guess they do.”

So, I’m—like—supposed to know what my ‘frands’ think by listening to or watching a device? That’s not the way the Greeks did it, I am told.”

“That’s the way they do it now.”

“By mechanical means?”


Do they—like—perform any other intimate acts by means of mechanical devices?” He/she blushed a deep color.

“Well they do have this thing called “sexting.”

“Let me guess. Sex by texting.”


“No, I mean the real thing.” A deeper blush this time.

“Not at that age.”

“You mean they postpone such things?”

“No, I mean they don’t need mechanical assistance.”


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