Sunday, July 3, 2016

ES TUT MIR LIED by Peter Nolan Smith

My high school German professor smoked cigarettes in the classroom. Ashes from his dying butts dropped onto his black cassock, as I read Kafta's DAS URTEIL from a blue book.

"Du sprechet wie Arschloch," accused the toadlike brother with a tobacco-ravaged voice.

"Jawohl, Bruder." Spelling like an asshole was not good for my grades.

Boston accents have no R and our class attempts to speak Deustche defiled the Teutonic language.

My 1st semester grade was an D-.

I was on academic scholarship.

The Principal and Vice-Principal suggested a change of language to Spanish.

I refused their offer.

My 2nd semester earned an F in German troubled by another F in religion.

I no longer believed in god.

The school withdrew my scholarship. My uncle was a lawyer. He persuaded them to reinstate half the scholarship and I remained at Xaverian to learn German.

My accent failed to improve despite Bruder Karl's tutorship and I graduated without any honors other than the annual delivery of Bruder Karl's Christmas card. I met him at an alumni gathering and he said, "You were my star student."

"Wahrheitsgemäß." I doubted him.

"You were the only one who could speak Deutsch."

"But you failed me."

"Because you couldn't read it." He stubbed out his cigarette and clapped a hand on my shoulder. "One day you will speak German in Deutschland and maybe other countries too, for once you can speak one language you can speak them all, especially one as hard as German"

His prediction came true, when I worked as a doorman at a pimp's nightclub, BSIR in Hamburg.

"Es tut mir lied."

I said that whenever I didn't let in a nightclubber.

I said it in French more than once in Paris, but there I said, "Je m'excuse." or 'I excuse myself'.

I learned this phrase in Italian, Indonesian, Indian, and Chinese, because I have sinned around the world and I have been sorry for my transgressions, however I have never heard a Thai person say that they were sorry.

"Kor thod."

The words 'I'm sorry' do exist in Thai, but they rarely say it.

Your girlfriend can burn your house down with a burn-the-house-down smile.

No sorry.

Leave you for another man.

No sorry.

Say you don't love them enough.

No sorry.

Their lack of contrition was a parody of the famous adage from the movie LOVE STORY.

"Being in love is never having to say sorry."

Thais love everyone and we all know that Beauty never says sorry to the Beast.

No comments: