What are we racing against?
Sun Jun 25, 2017 17:44

His talking-partner had apparently never heard of the migration areas between Sweden and Finland. Anssi had known even as the words were coming out of his mouth that he was doing a bad job at explaining it, but he had still hoped that it might be enough to be recognizable. It was really weird that the other boy hadn’t recognized it at all! Anssi’s mamma was ruotsinsuomalaiset, and he had obviously spent a lot of time with her, so he knew that the community of Finnish-speaking or Finnish-born Swedes was pretty big. But maybe it just wasn’t common for people who didn’t live in Sweden to learn about Sweden…. although that didn’t really make sense, either, since his old school in Umeå had talked sometimes about Germany and the United Kingdom and even Japan.

It took a moment for Anssi to realize the joke, but when he did, he giggled quietly. “It is a giant word,” he observed. It was an easy word to spell, too, because it was just two stuck together, but the blonde didn’t say that (because it would probably sound like he was making fun of the other boy and that wasn’t how it worked). The size of words didn’t make much difference in how hard it was to spell them. Anssi had learned that the hard way when he started learning English properly in school last year. He had already known some talking-English since his big sister Dagny would practice with him a little bit, but he hadn’t known any writing-English, and he was still awful at it. Moving to Texas and starting school there had helped, but not very much. He was about ninety-nine-percent sure that he would be attending RMI in September and also about ninety-nine-percent sure that his professors would not understand any of his written assignments.

“Sorry!” he squeaked when his attention was gestured to the plate. He hadn’t even realized that the other boy was already holding a plate of food. That was just how focused he had been on their conversation, Anssi guessed. Still, what a chaos. The other boy was now encouraging him to eat his cookie, and Anssi stared at his plate skeptically. “Umm.” This had gone from chaos to strange. If he had to choose between not paying enough attention to know the boy already had food and having to figure out how to politely turn down his offering of a cookie… well, Anssi didn’t know what he would choose. Neither of them was worse or better.

Fortunately, the other boy took the chance to re-introduce himself, which in turn reminded Anssi that he still hadn’t introduced himself even once. “Clate-on,” he echoed, kind of stilted. “Hey. I am Mikael Anselm Ragnar Lundqvist,” he rattled off, “but I am being called Anssi.” His family sometimes called him Kalle-Anssi, especially Ruben, but it felt weird to introduce himself that way. “And now am I not wanting your cookie, but to get one for me. I… do not want to take yours away from you.” The reiteration was necessary, as it had occurred to him that his first phrasing might seem offensive, like he really didn’t want Clate-on’s cookie, and that was alarming. Smiling in an attempt to be less offensive, Anssi started walking to the table of food. “We can also be sitting!”

  • Slow and steady wins the race - Clayton, Sat Jun 24 19:32
    Clayton was caught off guard by the boy’s question. He didn’t really have an answer as to why he wouldn’t be wearing socks, mostly because the more he thought about it he didn’t actually have a solid ... more
    • What are we racing against? - Anssi, Sun Jun 25 17:44
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