Thursday, March 06, 2008

Three isolated memories

Someone has dropped a neutron bomb on the town and only the women were affected. The men wander the streets in bunches. We are staying at an Oriental themed hotel on the Amalfi Coast that has been scratched into the face of the cliff, and we have decided to walk into town, but where are the women? We are greeted by hisses and cat calls from all angles. There is a honk, and naively I wave as a scooter shoots past. He makes a quick u-turn in the middle of the block and we realize that I have probably just consented to sleep with him and he's going to come back so we duck into a bar to take refuge in the cigarette smoke. There is a music program on the screen. Someone is interviewing Robbie Williams and it is subtitled in Italian.

Arnie is sitting on the front porch, rolling a cigarette. I keep a wide berth because secretly I'm frightened of smokers, but I'm also secretly fascinated by the way he rolls tobacco into paper. I make a big no-smoking sign, complete with smoke billowing out of a crooked cigarette and summon up my courage. "No smoking in the house!" I shout behind him, brandishing my sign. He turns, startled. "Oh hi, Jonski," he says, "I'm not going to come inside. It's sunny out here." I sit with him for a while, in the sun, then lose interest and go inside.

We are at a residential Guide camp. Because of our advanced age, we are there without our own leaders, and we are also at least three years older than any of the other participants. We are bored. Some exploration reveals that we can climb onto the roof of the building from the window in our room. There are some guys leaving the corner store across the street, looking mildly suspicious, like they're trying to shoplift something. On a dare I shout out that I think they're hot and the three of us duck back into our room. Shortly afterward a group of young men gathers at the gate of the camp, sending the leaders into a panic and causing a camp-wide lock down. Because we are assholes, we make the ridiculous claim to one girl that the guys outside have axes, and the rumour spreads like wildfire. Panic ensues and we lock ourselves in our room to wait out the storm.