Friday, June 26, 2015

Growing older . . . and hearing voices from the past

"Switch Your Land"
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As I lay dining on a piece of toast while bedridden with my stomach virus, an old Swiss-German friend with the ever surprising surname "d'Aujourd'hui" was writing me an email:
High Jeff,
Well, that would be nice, in general, but while sick, I had no desire for any chemically induced buzz. Nevertheless, Ms. d'Aujourd'hui continued:
I was thinking about you, asking myself how you might be going. I saw Antonia today, Monica's friend in Fribourg. Maybe you remember her . . .
By the time I read her entire email, I was able to answer. I didn't say, well, I'm going . . . going . . . though not yet gone. I instead replied reasonably to Ms. d'Aujourd'hui's question:
Yes, I remember Antonia. I admit I had to reflect a bit to do so, but that seems to be a matter of getting older - in my case anyway.
Ms. d'Aujourd'hui went on to inform me:
I'm at Zürich for work. And I'm astonished how lively this city is. There are so many people here from all over the world. Summer is really nice here; everybody is outside, gathering in the parks, swimming in the river and the lake. I stay at my brother’s flat; my son is living here, so it is a nice occasion to spend some hours together.
I was at work, too, although in Seoul, and I told her:
At the moment, I'm preparing for my 9 a.m. course, an intensive class on writing. Expository, not creative. Occasionally, I have to correct students' pronunciation, so I sometimes do your [sort of] work, if you're still doing Logopaedie . . . . I still read the IHT - though it's now the INYT - so I know that Zürich is a bustling place, and so is Basel, with its yearly art fair (or whatever it's called). Once in a great while, there's an article that mentions Fribourg.
Ms. d'Aujourd'hui soon signed off:
A lot of Swiss greetings . . . . hope you're as fine as you can be!!
I did the same:
I suppose I'm doing as well as the last time we communicated, though a bit less so. You seem to be doing well. I hope you are.
And so it goes as our past fills up with more and more of our less and less time . . .

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