A night out with my students

Writing all over the program

So my “pupils” invited me out with them to meet some of their friends and also to get in touch with people who are part of a program that goes to Nicaragua to help the children there. I want to get involved so I accepted.

Well, I arrived at the office where we normally have our sessions and had my first glimpse at the living quarters. My goodness. It was like a maze. I would have loved to grow up in that house. A whole new meaning to hide and go seek. It was amazing. It’s a flat of course, like most places in Spain, but it seemed to go on forever.

Well, after the yummiest grilled cheese sandwiches and “Bambi” chorizo and Coca-Cola light (wow, how many things that I’ve never wanted in my life could I shove in my mouth in one sitting?), we headed out.

I went with my male pupil, an interesting specimen who is the most flighty person I’ve ever met. Think Andy, folks, but with a phone permanently stuck to his ear and a little bit more A.D.D. Sorry, Andy. I love you, but you know it’s true. So me, him and the phone cabbed it to the club, get there and it’s closed.

They move us around the corner because apparently the place has recently moved and no one knew, but we have to wait outside for a minute because they’re not ready for us. There’s a group of about 10 of us sitting outside in this awkward semicircle-triangle thing. Well, at least it was awkward for me. There’s a mix of pharmacists, lawyers, half-American/half-Spanish professors (sounds strange, but there was actually more than one!), people in their mid 30’s and 40’s. I immediately wished I had worn my heels. For some reason when I wear heels I feel more grown up. Guess it’s like when we’re six and play dress up, huh?

Anyway, the night goes as you can imagine. There’s Spaniards drinking and talking animatedly and Americans stuck together in their little circles and me in the middle not really in either group. The place is a little more posh than I would normally go to. One drink cost me 7 Euro. I almost choked! I can’t hear worth diddly so I spent the night watching people’s lips and catching phrases here and there. I was “the English teacher,” the one with good Spanish. Lol Whatever.

My favorite part of the night was the band. We got there while they were still practicing, and immediately, I couldn’t stop watching them, listening to them. They had this soul about them, just a pianist, a drummer and a bass player. They were incredible. Later on in the night, I sat in the audience listening while the other folks were in the back causing a ruckus, and I wrote. It’s a good band, good music that can inspire me to write…

My least favorite part of the night was the women. For the majority of my life I’ve struggled with the female species. They’re an interesting lot that mostly leaves me frustrated and annoyed. I’d much rather spend my time with men. I don’t know why, but the women just seemed not interested in a damn thing I had to say. It could be because I’m exceptionally boring, but I’m not sure. One woman in particular, a stylish woman with a red leather skirt that should have been retired when she turned 30, was speaking and my female pupil asked me, “Did you understand her?” and I was attempting to explain that I don’t hear very well, so it wasn’t a matter of me not understanding only that I’m not hearing enough to understand when the woman waves me off – yes, she actually took her hand and WAVED me off – and said, “of course she hasn’t understood a word I’ve said.”

It took everything in my power to turn around and walk away.

And that was the attitude of the majority of women at this place and also at other places I’ve been. Even on my rugby team, it’s more common that random guys will put up with my bad Spanish, have more patience with my errors than the women I sacrifice my body for. Usually, they brush me off, switch to English or they stop talking to me. It’s very frustrating.

The other beautiful part of the night was an interesting group of students from Georgetown. One kid, a 20-year-old model fill-in, was attempting to hide from a drunk 35 year old woman who was coming on to any boy/man standing still for more than six seconds. He came to me and started talking. I think he thought I was his age but once we got to talking, he quickly excused himself to go to the ATM, which he never went to. His buddy had cornered some woman and was saying, “The only reason I work is so that I can buy new computers and get this new $3000 stereo system I want. I’m going to quit banking in three or four years and move onto something else. If they’re gonna offer me $500,000 then well… “ blah, blah blah

I know, right? I am soo not making that conversation up.

It was an interesting night, full of me rolling my eyes at people, running away from people and struggling to get out a complete sentence. The best parts of the night was the wonderful jazz and on my way home when I sat in the car with my pupil and her male friend and we talked about love and life and why it’s so hard to find someone to share your life with.

It was a stimulating conversation; I didn’t want to get out of the car. And I’m sad I never got to talk to Benny Lackner and his Trio, the sexy trio that they were.

**** If you want to hear a good jazz band (in my humble, non-jazz aficionado opinion), look up the Benny Lackner Trio, desde USA…

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