What a day for a daydream. I think Evelyn is ‘in the know’. I think I know she is in the know and I know I think she is in the know. I’ve been so jittery all day about this that it took me hours before I could finally think straight and write down something about what had happened today. By chance Evelyn overheard a conversation between Franz – the German exchange student, but not really – and she … wait. Let me start at the beginning otherwise you won’t understand half of it because it’s going to come out all screwy, because I’m in such state. I think you could call it cloud 9. By the way this story might not be suitable for kids of all ages, best be warned. Here goes.
After maths Franz was copying my English work, because, you know, he (bad words) at English. We were sitting there and Franz was trying the best he could to keep a conversation going with me. I think to most outsiders it would have sounded like we were talking two different kinds of gibberish. Probably the only reason we were able to understand each other was that we both had a Babelfish stuck in our ears. If you don’t know what a Babelfish is, read the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Then you’ll also know the importance of knowing where your towel is.
Franz, as I told you before, talks to anything that moves. I, on the other hand, keep my mouth shut to all that moves. Franz’s English is horrible, incomprehensible, and illegible and should be forbidden by law, whereas my English is above average for my age (I think I have my parents to thank for that). As you can see, we are an unlikely match. I don’t think we consider ourselves to be friends. We tolerate each other’s presence. Besides, we have got some sort of an understanding; he copies my homework and I copy his. That’s about it.
Franz was telling me about his first signs of pubic and facial hair (I know, I wasn’t too happy about the topic either). From what I could understand it made him feel like a real man and that his father was so proud of his son that he was going to buy him a razor (for his face, not for his … you know). If his father was really that proud, he’d have let Franz grow a beard and make him look like a real man, too.
Franz started asking me about my hair and I felt really uncomfortable. I don’t think one should talk about ones presence or absence of pubic hair in public. Otherwise they would have called it public hair. I’m not even sure whether one should talk about these matters at all. I tried changing the topic, but each time I did that Franz would rub his chin and go like,’ Do you feel zat (his way of pronouncing ‘that’)? Zat iz vat manliness feelz like.’ And we’d be back on topic again. After the fourth time he pulled that trick on me, I began rubbing my own chin and saying – as proud as I could,’ Feel that? That’s what eternal youth feels like!’
As you can see, sometimes it is not easy even to just tolerate each other, but it’s all for the greater good. One day we won’t be needing each other anymore and we’ll both go our own separate ways. We’ll part without any sentiment. Till that day cometh, I will have to make the best out of a bad situation.
What does all of this have to do with Evelyn and her knowing about the poem? Well, here it comes. Apparently (I love that word) she had overheard a little bit of the conversation between Franz and myself – sounds like déjà vu – she was waiting outside of school and I passed her she walked up with me for a little bit. Here’s more or less what was said on our short walk.
‘Listen, Arthur, I heard you talking to Franz …’
This is where I kind of turned red and stumbled,
‘Well, you see, eeuh, I can explain, you know…’
‘Don’t. I just … well, I just wanted to say that you don’t have to look like a man to be one. If you know what I mean.’
Then she gave me that shy look from under her hair and I think I turned tomato on her. We exchanged a very meaningful look and then she turned round and walked the other way. That’s when I shouted,
She turned round, still walking, and all I could say was,
She threw her backpack on her back, turned round again and headed home.
I think this is love. It must be love.
I should thank Franz.
See me tomorrow.