Monday, June 4, 2012

aloha aloha

In Hawaii, Aloha means both hello and goodbye.  It is common to present house guests with a pineapple as an aloha present when they arrive at your home.  Aloha, hello.  If the house guests overstay their welcome, they may be gently urged to leave by placement of a pineapple at the foot of their bed.  Aloha, goodbye.

We had a rather disturbing visit for two and a half really long weeks by SB's fellow classmate who had been living in HK and was moving away.  We didn't realize that she would spend almost the entirety of her stay on the couch.  She only left to fetch bottles of Coke Zero (two per day).  Apparently most of her friends failed to live up to her standards so she had no one that she wanted to visit despite having been here for over five years.  We had been trying to encourage her to seek counseling for the past year and were concerned about what we saw as symptoms of depression.  Little did I know that my sympathy would be sorely tested.  While we were all together I started noticing odd behavior.  She was batting her eyes at SB often.  May I just add that I had only read about characters batting their eyes in books and the reality of it is not as flirtatious or sexy as it sounds.  In fact, the first few times it seemed like she had some sort of a nervous twitch.  Eventually I realized, oh, she's batting her eyes at him.  This is awkward.

Bless his oblivious heart, SB eventually asked her if something was wrong with her eyes so she stopped the batting but continued talking to him in a weird, baby voice.  Then one morning at breakfast I looked over to where she was sitting across from him and she was holding her glass to her mouth with both hands and doing some weird hunchy thing with her shoulders while looking over the top of her glass and making facial contortions as though she was caught between a giggle and a seizure.  Good crap, I thought, is that what a simper looks like?  Where are we, in Victorian England?  She did this a few more times while I tried not to lose my appetite until SB very thoughtfully told her that when she held the glass to her face with her hands, it reminded him of a feed bag.  Then he proceeded to wax poetic about his favorite horse at the Cornell stables, who once bit him on the ass.  Can you blame me for feeling just the smallest twinge of spiteful pleasure that she reminded him of a horse? 

Then there was her request to spend her last evening at a karaoke bar.  When I say that I can't sing, I am not exaggerating or looking for praise and reassurance.  I have a tiny range that I am passable at and the rest is a mixture of screeching and croaking.  SB has a lovely voice.  The house guest has a lovely voice, probably and good as SB's but I am biased toward him.  The night before I had allowed SB to coax me into singing a Blondie song, which I surprisingly hadn't totally butchered.  We laughed about my ability to hold it together until the end of the song when Debbie Harry took off on a harmony and I immediately crashed and burned.  If you are guessing that the house guest chose to play the same song of all the available songs and sang it beautifully to SB, you would be correct.  I kept reminding myself that she was depressed, needy of SB's affection attention, and most importantly, leaving soon.  That became my mantra for the next 12 hours.  She is leaving soon. 

Oh, I was tested.  She phoned SB FOUR times and text messaged him numerous times in the hours between when she left and when the plane took off but then she was gone.  No more crazy, needy weirdos except me, I told SB, while waving the pineapple that I had bought but didn't give her in a threatening manner.  At least my crazy friends are interesting and entertaining.  And then I proceeded to eat so much pineapple that my teeth hurt.  Aloha.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Good job practicing patience! I love that SB is oblivious to it all!