Mitch Lang, our beloved Irish poet, the Minstrel of Paris, will be running a level 4 diagnostic on the ship’s systems while I’m away. Merci Madame.
Commander Mitch Lang;
We’re now in the heart of summer and I find myself in a blindingly white waiting room with people of a certain age who seem to have been teleported directly from the 50s in their neatly defined stripy dresses for the women and bright beige blazers for the men. An uncanny Hopper look about them. Of course the ladies are all wearing highly conspicuous glasses. The men, broader thin gold frames. The only modern touch was the tinny ring tone of a mobile phone; makes me a little apprehensive about the doctor himself. I am thankfully the odd one out.
Outside people bustle to and fro in the hot sun, teenagers rushing into McDonalds, mothers and kids queuing for ice-cream.
I have just been saved, a young girl (even younger than me!) has just walked in. She spoke, pleasantly. She’s out of this century. The ladies with the conspicuous glasses with their thick gold bracelets communicate in French and Arabic , meaning I can only get half the conversation. A strange feeling. I had better not draw conclusions …just yet. I’ll just…wait. The only thing I managed to gather, with the help of a disapproving look from the oldest member, was that the younger generation were perhaps showing too much knee. Yeah. I’ll wait.
All true indeed.
I was so glad to see that girl, I replied my best full dentured ‘ bonjour’ and an almost equally relieved ‘thank you, good to know I’m not alone in this peculiar world that I just walked in on, get a load of these folks! Love your purple shoes and denim shorts, I too felt like wearing something denim, above the knee…today, free those legs!
None of this got passed my unmoving smile, of course. We both just dived into our mobiles, clutching to something from the 21st century. I did however find myself, despite the reassuring modern presence of my…oh…10 year younger, taller, slimmer, longer-legged, smoother haired…partner, discreetly and ever so elegantly slightly tugging at either side of my skirt until I managed to hitch it forward a notch or two until I got it to just about above the knee. That’s it ladies. Less shocking for you? Well it ain’t going any further! So get used to the view, push those all seeing spectacles back up on your noses and get a better look!
Still waiting in the sweltering heat, tuning in and out to the French/Arabic radio station. Forty minutes waiting. I dared not venture towards the faded lifeless waning magazines for fear of the date and more fifties fashion. The few interventions of a young male doctor’s inviting and reassuring voice gave hope. Sounds young. Thank goodness. Sounds…normal…thank heavens. Probably handsome…dark-haired…oh who cares He sounds young. Handsome is a bonus. CALL MY NAME PLEASE, I WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE! Please, let it be my turn! Mid-texto, it was. But the voice was not the same. I jumped up and legged it. Oui! Oui! C’est moi!!
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