Archive for the 'storytree' Category



Gourde and Sisters on the Storytree

-I started running again.
-That’s great, I play soccer. During the winter, I play with the boys, during the summer I play with the girls.

Do you have a sister she says. I do. What does she do she asks. I tell her that my sister is a physiotherapist. She moved back to Quebec after having spent some time working at a hospital in Three Rivers. Really, my sister also spent some time there and she just came back as well she says. My sister is also a physiotherapist. My sister went to Evergreen high school, in the international program I say. My sister went there too! Those are some strange coincidences.

A few classes later, Gourde tells me that her sister doesn’t remember my sister. It had taken a few weeks for me to see my sister again. She had recently moved to James Bay to work at a hospital there for a few months. She’d be easy to remember, she’s a brownie, like me, I say. The fact of the matter was that in Quebec City, Caucasians are still the norm. Especially if you went back a few years. I was one of the two visible minority students at my private secondary school. Two out of 1200.

Gourde is interesting, she’s got a quick wit and mind. I always have fun with her.

Skinny Jeans

-So, what do you think?
-About what?
-About skinny jeans on guys.
-Like Nat’s jeans? (pointing at Alex’s girlfriend Nat, who’s wearing skinny jeans)
-Yes but on a guy. I watched Star Académie last night and this douche was wearing canary yellow skinny jeans with a red top. I guess he tried to own them, but it didn’t really work out.
-I don’t think they work for me.
Caro, Rose and me

Breasts and Pectorals

-Watch out, I’m made of muscle!
-See these? (she says pointing at her boobs) These aren’t breasts, they’re pectorals!
Caro to me on our way to class

Belgian Flowers on the Storytree

S is a 16-year old girl who is enrolled in college. She’s leaving Quebec to spend a year studying in English in Mexico with her father. Her father is a consul there. Her mother is Belgian. She’s attractive, smart and bilingual, but like some girls of that age that try to look older than they really are, she wears too much make up. With S, it’s really her eye shadow that is a bit over the top. She’d be a lot prettier without it.

My life is complicated.

Why is your life so complicated?

I just need a break. It’s really cool that I’m going to Mexico to see my father for a week.

When she talks to me, she looks me straight in the eyes. It’s disconcerting, because most adults don’t do this as much as she does.

I started seeing this boy last summer. We really got along great, but he went to a college in another city. We broke it off and I didn’t speak to him for a few months. I bumped into him at a party and we talked a bit. Things were awkward, but he really wanted me to send him an email. I didn’t. We spent some more months without talking.

Meanwhile, I started seeing this 25-year old guy. When he learned that I was 16, we stopped seeing each other. A few weeks later, he still wants to get together though. He says he dreams about me but I just ignore him.

I could see her being someone’s Lolita.

After that, one of my friends decided that we should go out so we did. It just happened and it’s not something I really wanted. Then I saw my friend from the summer again. We really clicked once again, so I think that we should start up again. At the time that I saw him, I was still going out with my friend. Only he didn’t know that. Last Sunday, I left my boyfriend. Now, I don’t know if my friend from the summer knows that I have been seeing someone else. It’s strange, because we never talked about this.

That’s the life of a 16-year old.

* * * * *

You’re going to laugh at me again.

No I won’t.

You are. You laughed at me last week.

No I didn’t.

It’s because I’m messy. It’s not fair. Boys are allowed to be messy. I’m not. Actually I’m really messy for a girl.

She is quite messy for a girl, but I don’t hold it against her. I just find it comical. I look at her rummaging with a smile on my lips.

She tells me this while she rummages through her bag to find an article that we are going to study. It takes her quite a while. So long that I get up and go photocopy the article once again. While she rummages, her books fall over and her papers are all over the place.

I found it! I knew that I had the article she tells me while I finish photocopying the article.

Marriage and Lawyers

I’m teaching four lawyers.

All are women.

All of them are under 35.

All of them are married.

To other lawyers.

The Hunger Tree

The Hunger Tree

The Hunger Tree

That story reminds me of something, he said. Student life isn’t so easy, especially when you have to support yourself. Between food and rent, there isn’t much left over.

The hardest was when I first arrived, he said. It wasn’t easy. I burned through my savings pretty quickly. Thankfully, I quickly found a job, but it was a full six weeks after I first arrived that I got my first paycheck. It wasn’t easy. I tightened my belt, ate the same food over and over again and went a bit hungry for a few weeks. If you’ve never known hunger, I suggest you fast and try it out. It’s humbling, he said. You’re tired for no reason, sleep doesn’t come easy and it’s easy to puke if you eat too much too quickly.

I remember one day, when I hadn’t eaten all day until I arrived home at 5PM. I made myself a shake, he said. It didn’t last long in my stomach, I projectile vomited it up a few minutes later. It wasn’t pleasant.

There was one time when I just didn’t have the money for the bus pass, he said. I had to walk everywhere for a day or two, until I got paid. I even walked in the rain. After classes, I was walking back when I stumbled upon a transfer bus ticket. It expired at 5:30PM. It was 5:40. It was completely wet. I delicately held it in my hand and got on the next bus. The driver accepted it and I was warm on my way home.

My Dad and the Student Life on the Storytree

The oldest oak tree on the University of Oregon campus

The oldest oak tree on the University of Oregon campus

I used to live in the dorms at my university in Vienna, Austria. I was there with my two brothers. In the summer, they’d kick us out and we’d have to move into a small apartment with a kitchenette. There was one toilet per floor, for 3 or 4 apartments. To shower, we had to go to the public swimming pool. The laundromat wasn’t in the building. It sounds crazy, but at the time, we came from nothing in India, so for us, it was all new.

My brothers and I used to work at that university cafeteria for extra money. When Fridays came along, we forgot about school and work and had fun. Most times, we couldn’t even afford the trip via tramway to a bar 7 km away, so we walked. We walked back as well, but we were together.

Great Grand Schtroumpf

Schtroumpf crumpling by Mélisande

Schtroumpf crumpling by Mélisande

Following the adventures of the past few days, Great Grand Schtroumpf decided to intervene and to personally reassure everyone involved. The first thing that happened was that he apologized and said that this should have never happened and will never happen again.

A few moments later, La Schtroumpfette apologized as well in front of the other people. I said not to worry because sincerely it wasn’t really her fault. I noticed that Schtroumpf Grognon wasn’t there yet. I thought he had been fired, but he appeared a little while later with Great Grand Schtroumpf tailing him. Great Grand Schtroumpf wished everyone a great week and left. Schtroumpf Grognon pretended like nothing had happened, which totally proves that he’s a total asshole.

Overheard at the Bistro

-I teach English and I do math.
-Do math? As a hobby? Why? I suck at math!

Girl bends over looking underneath a pool table for no apparent reason.

-What are you doing?
-When I go out, from time to time, after I’ve had a few drinks, I like to put my head down to get a buzz.
-OK.
-I was just kidding!

Schtroumpf Grognon Versus La Schtroumpfette

by Wonderflea

by Wonderflea

Having met La Schtroumpfette and Schtroumpf Grognon, we move on to the today’s tale. As time unfolds, the leaves of the storytree are revealed, each to his own and each interconnected to others.

Today was the first day of LS’s return. She was quite happy with herself. She had a great time away. SG was his usual grumpy and grouchy self. Whenever we do something that he doesn’t like, he makes it known to everyone. Some people know him, others know him well, others dislike him, since he’s admitted that he’s a total asshole. He was especially grumpy today. Schtroumpf Français just came back from a vacation, Schtroumpf à Lunettes and Grand Schtroumpf were going on a vacation soon and now to top things off, LS just came back all tanned and happy.

Now we were working and things were going great, but SG wasn’t happy since the exercise that they were doing appeared to be long. He grumped and growled and huffed and puffed, aimlessly staring into space and thinking about all the things that he could if he wasn’t stuck here. Meanwhile, everyone else went about completing their work.

He continued to sigh and grumble, which slowly but surely drove LS completely insane. LS and SG have cubicles right next to one another. They know each other pretty well. Which is pretty surprising, considering what happened next.

-Are you going to stop you annoying sighs and grumbling? It’s been going on for ten minutes now, we all have to do it and I don’t hear anyone else complaining. Shut it, she said, throwing her pencil emphatically in his direction. It landed meekly on the floor.
-We are all here to learn and you are even paid to be here, be thankful not a lot of people have this opportunity!

The rage swept over SG and he exploded. Nanoseconds had just passed.

-Screw you, you crazy bitch, keep your stuff over at your side [speaking of her pencil], go to hell! Go to hell, it’s none of your business!
-You didn’t even listen to me and that’s how you are reacting?

At this point, both were screaming. I was watching for an opportunity to calm things down. I knew that there was a lot of anger here that needed to be dealt with. Everyone else was looking at them. They continued on.

-You are one crazy bitch, a crazy bitch, I’ve never met anyone as crazy as you!
(T’es une crisse de folle, un estie d’folle, mêle-toi de tes affaires maudit!)

LS got up, her lower lip quivering. She was moments away from breaking down into tears. She started packing her stuff up and a few seconds later she left, while SG was still raving like a lunatic.

-We are going to have a talk about what you said later…

After she left, SG started packing his stuff and was gone in a few minutes. Our work was at an end and I left not long after.


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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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