We went on one of those river hiking thingamabobs today, five hours of trekking through glorious waters and golden views and continually falling on my face.
O grace, how you elude me!
By the end of it I had stripped to a turquoise bathing suit, sopping shirt slung over one shoulder, warbling the “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” song from Mulan in an effort to rally the family forces. BE A MAN YOU MUST BE SWIFT AS THE COURSING RIVER [cue fall in river – o grace!]
We crawled up the crags to the road, I on my hands and knees, no longer caring about the state of my abused attire. O a change of clothes, o hunks of bread fetched from the trunk, praise be!
At home I go out to the terrace and pirouette with dusty feet as my mother hollers “Emma! Eat your mushrooms!” My mediocre ballet distracts her, leaving me to prance around, legs covered in antibiotic ointment and still stinking of river. On the street in front of our building, someone has written “Felices 18 Amor 31-7-10” which, for those of you without rudimentary knowledge of Romance languages, translates to “Happy 18th Love”. It’s the work of the enamored hooligan, the combined victory for the beloved and against the authorities, the triumphant defacing of public property. I tell my mother and she laughs, suggesting that we go down and wash the birthday wishes off with a hose.