18. Samideano Blues
Mi estas via najboro Brajano.
Here I should have said something.
Here I should have done something.
Something Esperantic - let la verda stelo
spread out all over the world,
let its light slide down Chester Road.
I wouldn't talk to you for the rest of the year.
Mi estas via najboro Jakobo.
I have these pretty books and I've studied them.
Learned them back to front. Read them on the bus.
But when it comes time to using them
I'm silent like a cold green star
shining on Chester Road.
The summer after freshman year in college, I got the worst possible summer job ever in Beaverton doing phone surveys about people's supermarket preferences. Not only was I petrified of talking on the phone, but I didn't drive and the job was an endless bus ride or bike ride away from Tualatin. I endlessly and nervously doodled the whole summer, timidly called folks in Alaska or northwest Washington, and wrecked two or three bikes in the course of a summer. The Huffy's brakes fell off while I was riding (as documented in "Hall Blvd." on Spirit Duplicator).
When my various bikes were not working, I took a bus all the way to Lake Oswego or to PCC-Sylvania to transfer to another bus to Beaverton. It took upwards of two hours each way, so I had a lot of time to read. I bought a copy of Teach Yourself Esperanto at Powell's and set to work learning the universal language. I got decent at it, joined the ELNA for a year (c.f. my membership card in the packaging for Yak &'s Steadfast, Unalterable, Unyielding), wrote "Mesaĝoj" ("Messages") on the bulletin board on my dorm room door.
My neighbor Brian, unbeknownst to me, was also a follower of the proverbial green star. I had sent out this message and someone responded. What to do. What to do. Answer: awkwardly avoid my next-door neighbor for the entire academic year!
Rock and roll!