Friday, February 16, 2007

Yesterday I ran into Molly at a local public house. Molly's a lovely young popsy with whom I am slightly acquainted; we have a mutual friend named Cady. Molly had stopped in for a quick beer and to do the NY Times crossword puzzle. I went over to flirt with her briefly in my inimitable fashion, then I left her and promised not to bug her and let her do her crossword puzzle in peace. I'm quite considerate that way. But I really liked that she was doing the NY Times puzzle; Thursday's puzzle is usually nontrivial.

About the fifth or sixth time I went over to her table to promise not to bug her she happened to mention that she was taking Latin in college. Cool, I thought. Her popsiness wanes and her allure waxes. (Allure waxes? I'm pretty sure I need one if anyone does.) I myself studied Latin for several years in college. My prof used to call me "Arnie Archaic" because I always wrote my 'u's as 'v's. As you can see I was a smart ass then too. But you can also see why I perked up at the Latin thing.

"That's really great!" I said heartily to Molly, who of course knew none of this. "Who are you reading?"

"Catullus. He was a Roman poet who wrote a lot of love poetry." The "you won't have heard of him" was only implied, not stated.

Blink.

Heh heh. Little did she know I did a two-semester intensive independent study on Catullus. I love Catullus. When I recently applied for Ladonian citizenship I used the beginning of a Catullus poem as the Latin word or phrase that you need to contribute for no reason I was ever able to figure out. You get it. Catullus and I are like this (crosses fingers).

So was this an opportunity lovingly hand-crafted in Heaven or what? In that one brief moment I felt that my entire course of Latin study was about to pay off somehow. Entire course of Latin study? Hell, my entire undergraduate liberal arts education was about to be vindicated to a degree I had not thought possible for the last 30 years. Go Hulles! Molly will swoon into your arms and make simpering noises of adoration and Spring will come early and we'll have lots of babies. Or something.

"Oh, Catullus, you mean like 'Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, rumoresque senum severiorum, omnis unis aestimemus assis!'" I said to Molly proudly, only turning a couple of 'u's into 'v's just to piss Ed Burke off. This is the same thing I used for Ladonian citizenship -- it's the beginning of what is probably Catullus' most famous love poem if an obscure Roman poet can be said to have a famous anything. And of course it was the only one I had memorized at that particular moment. So I stood there beaming, waiting for the swooning and simpering and shit.

She just looked at me. I don't think her expression even changed one iota. She might have made a "hunh" noise; I am uncertain about this after the fact. But not exactly the reaction I had been hoping for.

My next thought was that she probably has millions of guys that come up to her in a bar and quote Catullus in Latin who she happens to be studying at that very moment. My seven years of undergraduate liberal arts study were for naught. I'm not hypereducated at all. Young men today run around all over the place quoting Roman poets in Latin. Great. They're probably all very handsome, speak fluent Portuguese, and are about to move en masse to São Paolo too. Pricks.

Then she smiled a tiny little bit and I felt better.

I'm going to meet her tonight and give her my copy of Catullus' poems, purchased new 34 years ago and kept by me ever since, through marriages, divorces, unfulfilling relationships and countless naftabs. I hope she appreciates it.

I'm not expecting swooning and simpering from Molly though. I guess she's not the swooning and simpering type. Guess I'll have to wait until I meet some other cute blonde who is currently studying Catullus in Latin for that. At least I know I'll be ready when that day comes. Although come to think of it, I thought I was pretty ready yesterday....

I want my money back for those seven years, dammit.

-- Hulles

15 comments:

Heather Harper said...

Bless your heart, Hulles.

I hope you get at least one simpering noise from her...

La Espia T. said...

See, by playing hard to get she's getting your whole Catullus collection. Smart cookie.

LaCosta (Lollie) said...

Vini, vici not so much vidi, eh? (Did I get that any where near right?)

LaCosta (Lollie) said...

Crap I Googled too late - I meant not so much vici...

Hulles said...

Heather, you're funny. Actually she's not really a love interest, at least not anymore than every female is at this point and you all are particularly (bad grammar, hopefully you know what I mean). And even if she had been yesterday, she ain't today. I hate getting stood up, especially when all I wanted to do was to give her a book. Oh well, worse things have happened. At least I got to see some friends later.

T., a little too hard to get, see above. I'm keeping the book for another 35 years. Nice to see your face, I hope you're feeling great these days.

Lol, I loved your comments; they made me smile. I haven't been able to say"veni" much these days either by the way, if you'll forgive the bad play on Latin words. And as you will have read, no "vici" either. Fine. At least I got some "vidi" action. And btw Ed Burke my Latin prof and good pal always tried to get me to pronounce "vici" as "weekee" but he never succeeded. And I still love your bloomers; I assume they're late ones.

Jen said...

Like I always say: Never trust a blond! They're never there when you need 'em.

Ok, I never actually say that. But in this case it applies anyway. ;)

La Espia T. said...

Hulles, I am feeling better; a lot better, thank you! Oh, and writing quite a bit if you've checked my blog.

Jen, Us brunettes have to stick together!!! Only free gifts for us!!!!

Hulles said...

Jen, I hate to burst your bubble but lately brunettes and redheads haven't been around when I need 'em either. But really good to see you (your comment actually, but you get it).

T., I'm so happy you're feeling better. As far as your blog, I know, I stop by every day, I was so happy to see a new post! I'll finish reading it tomorrow, God willing. I love your candor so far; I'll have lots to say about it.

And to both you and Jen: there are no free gifts. There are more expensive and less expensive gifts, but no free gifts.

Cynical? Me? Maybe. XOXO.

Jen said...

I can't speak for redheads, but obviously those brunettes you mention are not representative of our sisterhood. We are highly intelligent, articulate, beautiful, and reliable, amongst other beaming attributes. Well, I am anyway. And of course, Espia.

Heather Harper said...

I was wondering...

Am I considered a brunette if I have black hair?

You have blondes, redheads, and brunettes...but what about me?

cK said...

Sorry, Hulles. I'm part of the problem. I'm one of those guys flaunting Cattalus verses so frequently that it's become hackneyed. "Oh, great. Another Catallus verse, and at the exact point I'm turning to Catallus," say these women.

I suggest you get ahead of the competition and set your recitation to the rhythm of "La Vida Loca."
-cK

Anonymous said...

Sao Paolo is great and of course the woman are appreciative ... plan a trip.

kas's friend SIEL

Jen said...

Heather, if you have black hair you are considered a brunette. Welcome to the fold.

Claire said...

No simpering for a Latin quote? Wow, dames are harsh.

Cxx

Hulles said...

Jen, I should have said "present company excepted," of course. Any one who reads me is all the things you mentioned and more. Unless they're guys.

Heather that always confused me as well. I meant to lump sultry black-haired women like yourself in with the brunettes. Women of my acquaintance with black hair tend to resent it when I call them "blackheads," so you get shoved in with the brown-haired women in my book anyway.

SIEL, hi, and I can't wait to go to Sao Paolo. As soon as I have two dollar bills to rub together I'm outta here. Brazil needs me.

Claire, yeah, these dames are harsh here in Saint Paul. With a couple notable exceptions of course. Maybe I'll come over to the UK and move in with you. Hope that's okay. I expect breakfast at 9AM sharp but it doesn't have to be anything fancy.