Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Come On In

Yesterday, someone knocked on my door while I was home alone, working on Bleak House. I knew I'd be unable to speak to whoever it was but thought it might be a mail delivery of some sort, an interaction that can be easily mimed. I opened the door a few inches to find a black-suit-clad Jehovah's Witness, holding out a booklet and saying things in Spanish. Shaking my head, I shrugged and said, "No hablo espanol." He said, "Ah," then continued to speak to me in Spanish. He seemed to be asking me some questions, like if this was my apartment. "Si," I said. As he continued to speak, I said, "Mi novio no aqui"--"My boyfriend no here."

I assumed this would be easily understood to mean "My boyfriend, who speaks Spanish, isn't here right now." Later, however, Andrew pointed out that I'd actually given this Jehovah's Witness a provocative invitation, akin to a winking, bathrobe-wearing housegirlfriend greeting the electrician with the news, "My boyfriend isn't here right now. Come on in."

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