…I am one of them. I decide to hide out at a corner table, swallowed by the shadows around me. The other two grab the table next to the door, chatting, smiling. I order a whisky. Like liquid amber, it sits in my glass, waiting for me. For the tingling sensation, the smokey aftertaste and that burning sensation in my stomach. The other two strangers are talking. He seems uncomfortable. She doesn’t seem to notice.
not a pretty thing. It forces us to reminisce, remember, discuss, reflect. It has to be kept protected, stored in a dry and cool place, on display, to be admired by generations to come. We cherish the Ishtar Gate, we try to forget things like the Armenian Genocide, we are fascinated by the Alhambra while the Millenials take selfies at Auschwitz. We pay entry fees at museums and exhibits (so we can post that stuff on instagram), and damages to ease our conscience. For all we hide and filter and emphasize and deny, we have always carried a reflection of the past and present on us - language.
The way we express ourselves, what we deem fitting, tactful, appropriate. As much as we prefer to forget, our language is scarred by the traces of the past. Some words have been scarred until inusability ("euthanasia", for example, is strictly limited to veterinary medicine in the German language, in order to avoid the connotations of 1933-45), some words have been carried over decades and borders ("maisonette", stemming from the french word "maison" [engl. house], meaning small house), and other words have scurried into our language like a stranger's cat through a tilted basement window ("hashtag" - talking about hashtags would greatly confuse my grandmother).
The way we express ourselves constantly reflects our socioculture, from the personal socio to the collective culture, as it has for decades and centuries, as our ancestors have expressed themselves and as our predecessors will. People use language as their tool, change it as they go, add, reduce, alter and drop. Maybe we should get used to the fact that language, unlike the Ishtar Gate or the Alhambra, cannot be preserved. It cannot be stored dry and cool, cannot be locked in a vacuum under glass in shining light. Maybe we should embrace the changes instead of worrying every other second if we lose something of cultural or historical value (looking at you, Bastian Sick). And maybe, maybe then, even the word "hashtag" will sound fancy for generations to come.
Just please, for the love of god, there is no such thing as a superlative of "optimal". If it's optimal, it's optimal. Period.
The day I met Susan had been, quite frankly, horrible. In the middle of August of 2008, I was fifteen or so back then, I started my high school exchange semester in the US. I mind you, I was mid-puberty, dearly in love with another exchange student (whom I wound up dating for a few years after that, fun fact), about 8000 miles away from everyone I knew and stranded at the New York/ Newark airport. All flights had been cancelled due to a huge storm, my host family was waiting for me somewhere in Knoxville and I was all alone, bawling my eyes out because not even the Taco Bell guy understood my English (neither was I understanding him, for that matter). Being stranded for fourteen hours at a huge airport on a different continent where you are not even capable of buying a damn taco puts some perspective on things, I suppose. After having failed with Taco Bell but being starving due to 24 hours of traveling I scrambled up what was left of my dignity and tried to buy some sweets out of a press shop. Susan was in line behind me. When it was my turn she just mumbled “I got this.” and payed the very unfriendly clerk (Oh, New York). We started talking (alas, she started talking and I sobbed along), she and her family turned out to be the only other passengers on my connection flight. She distracted me, borrowed me her phone (because European phones have a tendency not to work in the US; why did no one warn me?) and called my host family for me. When we finally arrived in Knoxville, she made sure I found the people I needed to find, went and grabbed my suitcase and wished me good luck.
So wherever you stand in life, count your blessings now. Be aware of the things you have. It may not be much to you now, but ten years in the future it will probably be all you wished you had.
And then, after having had a great day/week/5 minutes – get back to work, take matters into you own hands and be productive like a champ.
Alright, alright. All in all, I can say about myself that I have always loved the right people, things & places. I may have loved too little, but therefore I was always safe & sound. I do have many regrets (because that no regrets thing is bullshit) and I would definitely change the way I interacted with certain individuals compared to what I did back then. No matter how much I may regret, it is an elementary part of what I am today; however, that does not mean I can’t wish to turn back time.
God, I miss her.
“We are all books, because we have spines and stories to tell.”
So, all of a sudden it's July. I have been wanting to blog since probably the beginning of the semester (so mid April), but I never got around to it.
My July playlist is getting full, so it's time for August to come around! Mainly, because I can start an August playlist, but also because I'll go on vacation (yay, Sweden) and all my exams will be over.
So, for now, I at least managed to set this up. Enough work for today, back to Netflix!