Last week, before many events came, Seeks-Justice (I think it was) Strenata and I had agreed to share a meal and an attendance of a singing by a student group together, alone, after our final spelunking class. (To which our grades were, of course, "Deeply Studied", because the instructor prefers that silly little joke to the slightly inferior "Dutifully Attended".)
I was rather nervous.
Preparations for a Date
I left my new glass pitcher's force unused, in case I needed to pour fourteen gallons of water upon Seeks-Revenge as a distraction for making my escape.
This is silly, because I have respectably much cley left at eveningtime now that I'm not using most of it making the pitcher every dawntime.
Thery recommended I bring flowers. Thery has never dated an Orren of course. I cast around and found Tethezai instead. smirk. From her advice I brought a small silk beanbag fish, understuffed for extra wiggliness, dyed alarming purples and magentas, with glittering eyes.
And money, of course. I tried to retrieve the sixteen lozens Dubaille owes me, but there was little success there. Indeed, so woeful was his story and so storied was his woe that I nearly lent him six more lozens, except, fortunately, I didn't have them. Not out of pity. Out of a need to shut him up.
After the Spelunking
And after class Strenata came up to me and introduced herself. "Hi there, small blue cave lizard! I'm Seeks-Slithering-Songs Strenata. Let's eat!" So I painted that name on a bit of shiny paper that I happen to have brought ... um ... from a little roll of it that I happen to have been carrying since I figured her name trick out... and stuck it in her hatband, and we were off.
Cafe du Fronde was its usual busy self, so she sat on a stool at the back, with enough of a shelf near it to hold up her grilled shrimps and chub-beetles and a little bowl of pomegranite cream. I perched on her shoulder, and assaulted a quarter-order of shrimps with raisins and no offirrah. (The Cani waiter does complain about having to open the large barrel of offirrah, whenever I show up.)
And we talked about nothing in particular: how odd it was for a Gormoror's collection to be at all as good as Pandarff's; how the world would be very different (or not) if the World Tree had intensely luminous fruit instead of a sun rolling around the sky; whether a nendrai could beat a chromodon in a fair fight; how paper is made; how wonderful paper made from Dubaille's fur would be for letters of debt.
And when she stood up, the beanbag fish slithered off her hat. She caught it in mid-air, and giggled, and hugged me in the middle of Cafe du Fronde. And played hackeysack with it the whole way to Sprowlween Hall.
The performance, by The Monstersingers, was suitably silly. Bubbly parodies of traditional religious and dramatic songs, weaving current events and other amusements into it. Since I am one of the current events and amusements, I was a bit nervous ... but I escaped with but a single verse. There was a song about Spirshash -- Firffaff in the song -- a married Orren man with husband and wife, but having seven very clumsy secret affairs, one each with the other seven species. When the Sleeth came bounding and howling through their bedroom window, Spillissa and Spoogemarine finally noticed...
And Seeks-Slithering-Songs Strenata was nice enough to put her hand on my flank and not laugh very much while they did that one.
And that was that. Absolutely the least dramatic date I've had with Strenata. Perhaps the least dramatic date I've ever had, since I do seem to date Orren.
The Unpleasant Musing
Strenata has a bit of a crude accent. It's not too bad, not like Iska's. For example, when she says in Vheshrame, it sounds like in Veshrame, the way anybody would say it except at court or something. But when she says to Vheshrame, she says to Veshrame like some very rural person or Gormoror or like that, not toov Heshrame the way any reasonable person would.
I suppose I shouldn't let this bother me, but it does.