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Double-Trouble! (f)


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[Disclaimer: When I sat down to write this obs, I was in a certain mood which I think is very much reflected in my writing (more than usual). I'm not sure if I should be apologizing for it or not but the least I could do was give you a heads up.]

It's Wednesday noon, outside a pleasant wind caresses the tress, at lecture hall #9 however the presence of roughly 90 people fills the air with warmth and stuffiness. I sat at the second row, I almost always do, left of the isle, 3rd chair from the end. To my left sits R, probably the best friend I've made at uni, probably because she reminds me a lot of myself. To my right sits E, a friendship I would've fathomed unlikely had this been highschool, she's too upper-class-girly for me (where as I am only upper-class minus the girly). But still here it is, we're friends and I know it's not just because she likes being able to peak at my laptop screen to catch up on anything she's missed while trying to keep up and take down notes.

It's another hour and a half of rambling about Freud, you think that after a few weeks we'd run out of themes to cover but the torture continues, I know he's a genius but must we dwell on every little detail? I actually quite like the professor, he has this charming tendency to humor himself (but no one else). Yet I find his willingness to answer each and every question he's asked, no matter how irrelevant, a burden. Every Wednesday I find myself either gradually annoyed by the tendency of my peers to waste our time or by the slow pace of things. The thickness of the air does little to help my urge to get up stretch my limbs and make a run for it. All the more reason why the events I am about to describe were a welcome distraction.

E has already sneezed once during this lecture, pinching her nose to stifle "h'nng!", still thrusting slightly forwards followed by a sigh, falling back to her seat. It earned her a bless you from me, from R, and from our professor. She gave us all a general "thank you" as I struggled to forced back my attention to whatever psychosexual phase we were discussing at the time. E, humors me in more than just that one way, she has these bursts of self-analysis "oh my gosh! I'm neurotic!" or "sweet lord, I am so anal" the type of thing you wouldn't expect anyone to just blur out, but at least it's at the right context. She finds my presence slightly unnerving, how it is that I am unfazed by any possible discoveries and realizations of my own.

Much later, or at least what felt like much later, time seems to flow differently during that lecture ... it is actually R who snags my attention. Little did I notice any change in her bring that suggested she was even remotely sneezy. She snaps to the left with a dry sounding "a'hoo" without giving me the benefit of observing. I'll admit some people are like that fast and out of nowhere, but she leaves me puzzled. I bless her, she thanks me and than adds "phew, that was a race against the clock" I raise my eyebrow even though I'm not facing her as I mumble "explain". She elaborates "well I just wanted to get to a tissue before", still lodged deeply staring at my laptop screen I suggest "oh, so you lost". She shakes her head as she says triumphantly "no I didn't", she sends her right arm to pull out a pack of tissues and wave it at me. It still leaves me confused, where was I when this epic battle for a tissue before the sneeze took place? they should make zippers louder.

It was at this exact second that E, forcibly thrusts forward with another stifled sneeze "g'nch!". I bless her, stumped by the proximity of both sneezes and R who has her tissue pack still flailing to my left leans over me gesturing to E that she could have one if she's like. E however is already bending towards her own backpack already in the midst of pulling out her own pack of tissues. Before she pulls one out she waves it around towards R, as if to say "oh thanks, but you see, I've got my own".

I sneak a quick look to R, then one to E, and back to R, and back to E wondering how exactly it was that I got caught up in this double-trouble-sneeze-o-rama. Not that I'd ever complain, it just all happened so so fast, a matter of mere seconds (despite how well apart I've made it seem in writing). I tell myself out loud "I'm surrounded!" as I reflect on the philosophical aspects and the statistical probability of what just happened. Of course I've seen two people sneezing in close proximity before, but when I address space and time separately, I realize it's more often just closeness in time, and not so much closeness in space. Or if there is closeness in space, there wouldn't be closeness in time. It occurs to me I've just had both, time and space tightly packed together. It also brings back the last time I've been in this situation before some 9 years ago, good times. I fidget around in my seat, wondering if it just got hotter or if maybe just possibly I've changed shades of pink. It doesn't seem to matter I'm just happy to be smiling.

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