Lost in Translation

“I understand the loathing, but what really bothers me about this novel is the word fear. It’s just so ambiguous.”

“Oh, I completely agree. The ambiguity is really the issue. This guy has nothing on real academics.”

A friend sitting in the next desk over looks at me and rolls his eyes. My face, though I can’t be sure, is holding a look of combined confusion and disgust.

I turn my head and realize it’s the two kids who sit right behind me who have been talking. I’ve never bothered to remember their names.

One looks at me, his blond, greasy hair falling over his black-framed glasses. He wears a trendy Salvation Army sweater vest. He has unopened books piled on his desk and obscure band pins on his messenger bag.

His friend looks exactly the same sans the blond hair. Same clothes. Same glasses.

“You couldn’t possibly understand what we mean,” he says to me.

“Well, obviously not. You guys are just way too ambiguous,” I say.

I sulk, wishing I had said something wittier.

My professor saunters in.

“So, did you enjoy the novel?” the professor asks, smiling at Blondie.

“Well,” Blondie says, “can you explain what you mean by the word ‘enjoy’?”

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