Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What You Can Learn From Sitting Very Still.

Having someone visit feels vaguely like being given a pop quiz. Over the course of a weekend, I will be tested on how good of a hostess I am, my ability to think on my feet and suggest fun things to do, and whether or not my knowledge of the city has improved since I've moved here.

You are sitting on the futon and I am sitting beside you and neither of us are talking. I'm facing the TV so I can't see you, I can't tell if you're watching me or the TV or neither, perhaps you're eyes are closed. I'm morbidly aware that this kind of behavior is frivolous, soon you'll be on a plane again or bus or train and it'll only be after you're gone that I'll really start to plan what I wanted to say and how I wanted to act.

It's on the way home from the station that I'll be faced with the hardest part of the quiz: attempting to solve the riddle of what is time well spent. Is it visiting enough landmarks and going to the right restaurants, or is it something more obscure and minute, sideways glances and the pressure of your hand pressing into mine and all that can be said during a long silence?