Where my mind goes when I’m drinking.Posted: November 12, 2009
My trip last week was to a tropical rock music festival in Key West. You might picture that as a boisterous event with constant music and various beverages. You would be right.
Sunday afternoon, much of the crowd was at a large open air restaurant/bar on the water. There was a band playing and I was watching football with friends at the bar. Several mojitos into the game, or somewhere before halftime, I spotted a very petite asian woman who was at least 80 years old. She stood alone, quietly, in the crowd near the door. She wore a long dress which I can only assume was traditional in her country, because I haven’t seen it’s equal here in the states.
Perhaps you remember a game they used to play on Sesame Street, One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others? I picked this lady, I won. She was so completely out-of-place. I surmised she did not speak English. She stood quietly to one side as if someone said, “Mom, please stand right here while I am in the restroom.”
She stood there taking in a scene that she probably had very few tools to interpret. I watched her turn her attention from the band, to the audience, to the loud football crowd protesting a call in the game and back again. She wasn’t frightened, she just took it in until her son emerged from the restaurant and guided her to a cab.
What must it be like to be far from home, in a situation not of your choosing, with no background to understand?
What would my life be like in my old age if my son moved me with him to
Romania and, while we were on vacation, he left me briefly at the Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute Festival? I shudder to think.
I am very monolingual and I hate the pan flute. But my son is a bright young guy and he could end up anywhere in the world after college. I’m going to have to talk to him about this before he works out where he is going to make his living. I don’t want to go to Romania.
If you run across a confused looking seventeen year old with shaggy blond hair in the next few days, please introduce yourself to my son. The confused look on his face will let you know he and I had the talk. Poor kid doesn’t even know who Zamfir is.
All the same, when the time comes, I’ll go wherever the boy says I need to be. I hope I pull it off with the grace of that little lady in Key West. Godspeed to you ma’am.
I also hope when that day comes someone isn’t blogging about me in Romanian.