First Thoughts

While I suspect that no one has, in fact, noticed it, I’ve failed to update this blog since I left. Having been here for little more than two weeks now, I figured I should probably get around it.

Today is the most recent cold day in a series of cold days which with spotty exceptions extends back to my entry into the country. Adeline (who is in fact the girlfriend of the son of the boyfriend of my mother-in-law, but we shall call her Adeline for the sake of simplicity if nothing else) asked me a while ago if it was colder in Denver than it is in the habit of being here. I explained that it was, and accompanied my answer with an example of a temperature that is not uncommon during a Denver winter, which was greeted with horror and incredulity.

However, while I told Adeline that Denver is indeed colder, the local weather it seems is not content to take second place in this department and has done its best to outdo Denver; I don’t believe there has been a single day that I could have gotten away with just a tshirt.

In other areas, having had lots of practice, my ability with the French language has drastically improved, much in the same sense that the artistic abilities of a third-grader can be said to be an improvement on the artistic abilities of an epileptic toddler. More often than not I still have that slow, exploratory way of speaking, as if the speaker is trying to wrap their mouth around syllables strange to them, while simultaneously verifying in their mind that they are wrapping their mouth the correct way around them and moreover that they are in the right order, which is, of course, exactly what I’m trying to do.

My wife and I have a bed that is too small in a room that is too small in a house that is too small in a town that is generally just the right size. The greater population density here means that space is at a premium, and most things, houses in particular, are designed to make the most of the least space. This leads to some interesting consequences: the stairs for example, while being a normal set of stairs in that their function is to assist you in moving between two areas of sharply differing elevations, are decidedly steeper than normal stairs with the steps being smaller than I have been accustomed to. While this creates no difficulties for the more adept members of the household (i.e. everyone but myself), I have already had the pleasure of falling down these stairs on my last trip here, which I feel I did with a level of grace and fanfare rarely achieved in the storied sport of stair-falling. However skilled I may pride myself on being at falling down the stairs, I feel I have no hope of outdoing my last fall down these particular stairs, and so I’ve decided to retire from the sport and have, in fact, been actively trying to avoid participating in it.

In still other areas, the canvas, easel, paints and brushes that my wife bought me for my birthday are still standing their lonely guard in the corner. The reasons for this are many, but the primary one is that I’ve found that I fear a blank canvas much more than I have ever feared a blank page. Not wanting to seem ungrateful for a gift that I am certainly excited about, I explained this to my wife. I also explained that I believe the reason for this is that in my possession and at my disposal I have no less than hundreds of sheets of blank paper, of varying sizes, thicknesses and textures. I have smooth paper, I have rough paper. I have card stock, I have newsprint. I have small paper, I have huge paper. And when I run out, it’s a very easy and straightforward (and cheap) affair to acquire more paper. But I have exactly three canvasses. So I am trying to save them until I can think of a dreadfully amazing subject to paint.

However, I think I may be overthinking it. Perhaps I should just grab a bowl of fruit, a bottle of wine and a broken eggshell and get on with it.

We are currently working our way towards attaining fully legal status for me. Rather, it should be said that others are working the way on my behalf. I believe I should be able to start looking for a job in very very short order, which would be a welcome change from all this laying about I’ve been doing, but I’m still a little uncertain as I’ve heard different things from different people about this, and on some occasions heard different things from the same people at different times.

And so, in the immortal words of one Forrest Gump, “…that’s all I have to say about that.”


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