I was leaving today to do my Monument climbs and putting my sneakers on out in the hallway when this little person and her little dog emerged from down the corridor, where they had been standing, unbeknownst to me. It was Emma--home from school on a technicality--and Benny the puggle. We ended up going to the dog park. Benny is a speed merchant. If he decides he doesn't want to be put back on his leash when it's time to leave, you can't catch him, so we had to chase him for fifteen minutes. Keystone Cops routine. Emma fell over at one point, after one of Ben's vicious dekes.
So we sat on the bench hoping that would lure him over, and the second we sit down, up he jumps, and on to the leash he went. We took him home after, and then Emma and I went to Starbucks, where I got her a hot chocolate and she proceeded to try and teach me Mandarin for the next two hours, getting greatly irked each time I screwed up on Duolingo. And talked about sundry things (Joy Division vinyl, favorite Green Day songs, The King, the second season of The End of the Fucking World). She's so funny and sharp. True rapport is among the rarest commodities in this life. The pace, the timing. I was exhausted, but it was good to see her, get caught up, learn what has been going on in her world.
She was hungry so I took her to lunch after at this taco place we like. She is good friends with the guy who works there. They're very playful. Nice guy. I see him around all the time now, and he's like "Hey, it's the mentor!" when he sees me. Emma goes up to him while we were eating to show him a photo of Joel Edgerton to ask him if I look like him. She's hilarious. When we left, she turns back across the place and says goodbye with an "I love you." She wanted to go skating after, but the rink doesn't open until tomorrow and as it was I was almost falling asleep at Starbucks. She also had on a pea coat and beanie and as we're going down the street she sticks out her fist and says, "twins."
It's impressive how readily she absorbs languages. She's only been doing the Mandarin for less than two weeks. She's writing it, pronouncing it, explaining to me how sentences function, what indicates possession, etc. It was good to see her. We took Ben to the dog park again and he was more subdued this time, until we left, then he nipped at Emma most of the way back, growling at the bottom of street signs. He's an odd little fellow. By the by: Emma's favorite Green Day song is "Jesus of Suburbia." Mine is "When I Come Around," the 1994 BBC version.