I had returned to Portsmouth and was planning to work in an office which my father had on the ground floor of the Gay Street House. I was in the process of unpacking a large trunk which I had carried into the office. The trunk was completely filled with magazines which I intended to go through looking for pictures for collages. I was especially interested in the pictures of a number of copies of the magazine "Art News" which I had in the trunk.
I was still a bit apprehensive about working in Portsmouth and I figured it was going to be difficult to meet interesting people here. But I had already met one attractive woman while here at the office and suddenly two other attractive women walked into my office and sat down. One was blonde and the other brunette. They apparently had some business with my father, who was occupied at the moment in a room at the end of the hall.
I looked at them and thought I recognized the brunette (probably in her early 30s) as someone with whom I had gone to high school. She seemed intelligent and was shapely. It seemed to me she had entered my high school class in the twelfth grade and I had never really known her well. I couldn't remember her name, but I thought it began with an "M."
Thinking they might want something to look at while they waited, I laid some magazines on the table for them. I was sure to put out some copies of "Art News" because I figured it would be the most interesting for them. Finally I spoke to the brunette and told her I thought that I had known her in high school and that I thought her name began with an "M." She told me her name was Maria.
I thought I also recognized the blonde (also probably in her early 30s) and I thought I had likewise probably gone to high school with her. It seemed to me she had gone for a while to somewhere like Alaska to study, but I couldn't remember for sure.
In the room was a large computer which resembled an upright copying machine. In fact it did make copies and I was in the process of working with it. I became more cordial with the two women and I told them I was working with the machine and the magazines. I told them the machine belonged to my father, although I had my own computer elsewhere.
It began to occur to me that since I was going to be living in Portsmouth anyway, I might get to know the women. They really seemed in good form. I especially noticed what a good figure the blonde had and how firm her breasts seemed to be. But more importantly, they both seemed quite intelligent and I was especially intrigued by the possibility that they might speak French, German or Spanish. I definitely wanted to find someone to speak the languages with and I basically had established languages as a criterion for developing new friendships. Language ability seemed to me to indicate a more developed mind and I knew I could quickly become bored with someone who had never bothered to master another language.
So I first turned to the blonde and simply asked her if she could speak any other languages. As she responded, I began to notice she had a rather affected air about her. There seemed to be a shadow of false sophistication in her personality. She informed me she had once gone to live with some American Indians in the north west. So that is where she went in high school! And she had learned two American Indian languages. She told me the names of the tribes.
She seemed rather self-satisfied with the fact, but personally I thought it was rather silly. Why would anyone want to bother learning an obscure American Indian language? In fact I had serious doubts that she did know the languages. Certainly hardly anyone would be able to test her. I could see she and I weren't going to have a great deal in common.
So I turned to the brunette and asked her the same question. She informed me she spoke some kind of "brown" Jewish language which wasn't actually Jewish but some obscure variant thereof. She then named two or there other strange, apparently little-known languages which she said she knew. She was as bad as the blonde! She seemed to be proud she could say she spoke some never-heard-of languages. But I had the feeling it was a false pride and I was likewise unsure whether she could speak the languages.
Finally I simply asked them if they could speak French, German or Spanish. I had already begun thinking how I could start talking to them in all there languages by saying, "Ich spreche deutsch. Je peux parler francais. Yo hablo espanol." I had recently noticed how I often rapidly switched from one language to another in my thoughts and I found it so refreshing to be able to switch around with languages when talking with people.
I was even thinking of telling them how long I had lived in countries where each language was spoken. I knew I had spent about a year in Spanish-speaking countries. It seemed I had lived about three months in Luxembourg. Since Luxembourg was both French and German speaking, I didn't know for sure which category to put it in, so I thought I would probably include it in both. I figured that would mean I had spent about seven months in German-speaking countries. I couldn't seem to remember exactly how much time I had been in French-speaking countries.
But when the women responded to my question, I was disappointed to hear they couldn't speak any of the three languages. And they didn't seem to be interested in learning languages or indeed in the subject of languages altogether. I began to realize that since there probably was a dearth of interesting people in Portsmouth I might try to get to know them better anyway. But I clearly saw that my interest in them was going to be limited.
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