19. The Elladan Show: 8
February 14th (Melevellar)
I have lived through the Melevellar Formal Supper. I even wore my fancy Sinda costume, and didn't spill on it. It wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. Actually, I was quite relieved. Maybe my luck is turning better.
My date was an engineering grad student named Angiliath. I didn't ask why she still lived in residence, but she seemed nice enough. Actually her real name is Miriliel, but she claims that's too girly so she renamed herself Angiliath. I told her Angiliath suits her better, and it does. She was wearing cargo overalls and had a tattoo of a Doriathrin battle axe on her forearm. She was a bit owly at first and kept looking at me suspiciously, and warned me that she was a kickboxing instructor and had a girlfriend, so I shouldn't try anything funny. After I assured her that I was only at the supper by myself because my boyfriend wasn't allowed to attend, she was much more agreeable. We sat at a table in the back corner and made snide comments about the way others were dressed. She didn't make any comments about my Sindarin outfit, but I'm not sure if that's because she liked it or if she was just being polite to her date. I didn't comment on her overalls, even though they did make her look a bit like a construction worker. She might have taken that as a compliment, though.
For supper we had cream of potato soup, which was excellent, and mushroom crepes, which were so bad they made me gag. I traded one of my crepes for Angiliath's salad. I think her sense of taste might be non-functional, since she thought the crepes were great. For dessert we had cherry cheesecake. I was still hungry, even after eating all the cinnamon heart candy from the bowl at the centre of the table. I was sort of tempted to stick around for the dance afterward, if only for the refreshment table. They had cookies and a prawn ring. But Aerthos said he'd be by to collect me in a taxi at eight, so I came back to my room to sit and wait for him.
I have packed a small overnight bag to go to the hotel, consisting of toiletries, clothes for tomorrow, clean underpants, a pillow in case the hotel pillows are crummy, a lounging outfit to wear to breakfast, a jacket in case we sit out on the balcony tonight and it's cold, shoes to match tomorrow's clothes, slippers, and two pair of socks in case one for whatever reason gets wet. I am not sure whether I should pack pyjamas or not, since pyjamas really shouldn't be required if we end up doing what we're going to the hotel to do. But on the other hand, I might get cold in the middle of the night. I ought to pack my good pyjamas just in case.
The hotel experience wasn't exactly what I had in mind. The hotel itself was fine, and even better than the luxury room at the Delta Elrohir and I once got by accident because all other rooms were booked. The room Aerthos and I had came with a king size canopy bed, walk-in closet, Jacuzzi tub, and a complimentary bottle of mid-range champagne. When we first arrived we admired the bed, hung everything we could in the closet, made plans to use the Jacuzzi later, and had a glass of champagne. Then we went down to the lounge for drinks, sitting right by the glass wall overlooking the harbour. That part was lovely.
But when we got back up to the room, things seemed a little awkward. Everything was too perfect, and too quiet. We lay down very carefully on the bed, above the covers and not moving. I said, "This doesn't feel right," to which he answered, "I know. It's like sneaking around in your grandparents' guest room." That was exactly what it felt like. I was afraid to move too much on the bed and wrinkle the perfect blankets. I didn't even want to breathe too heavily in case the air current rustled the drapes. There was a definite sense that if we started to do anything, a stern woman brandishing a rolling pin would burst through the door to shoo us away like naughty children. We lay there for a long time being worried and staring up at the pristine tassels adorning the canopy.
Finally, around eleven, Aerthos sat up and said. "I can't take it any more!" He rang down to the front desk and asked if we could switch to a standard room with no tassels and a nylon bedspread that we wouldn't feel bad about mussing. The fellow at the desk said it would be possible, but we couldn't be reimbursed for the difference. Neither of us cared. We packed up our things and headed down to the seventh floor, where all the rooms have regular queen size beds with ugly floral blankets, closets where the hangers are fastened to a bar so you can't steal them, standard shower-baths, and complimentary hotel-brand mints instead of champagne. A large television loomed in one corner. We sighed in relief.
After that everything was fine. We ordered a party platter of nachos, chicken fingers, onion rings and potato skins from room service and watched a bad action movie on pay-per-view. Maybe not the romantic evening we had in mind, but fun all the same. We'll know for next time that we're more suited to econo motels than upscale luxury suites on the harbour.
Today was the first fabulous day of an entire week off school! I think it's called "reading week" because we're supposed to get caught up on our studying, but I don't think I know anyone who actually uses the time off for school-related purposes. I sure don't, and Elrohir doesn't even use in-school time for school-related purposes, so he's certainly not going to crack the books. We have one Quenya assignment together that's due a week from today, but I'm sure we (that is, he) can get it done in the few hours before it's due.
Aerthos suggested we go somewhere for a few days. I'm not sure where or why, since we just went to a hotel, but he wanted to go away. By "away" I think he meant "out of town". I didn't agree to go, but I didn't say no either. I said I'd see. Which was convenient, since a few hours later Elrohir came by and asked if I wanted to go somewhere for a few days. I asked where. He said, "The Shire." I asked why. He said, "Beer!" Clearly, he just wants to go on an exotic pub crawl. I told him I'd think about it.
A beer-hall tour of the Shire probably isn't what Aerthos had in mind when he asked me if I wanted to go out of town for a few days, but I really can't let Elrohir go alone and unsupervised.
I am in Hobbiton with Aerthos, Elrohir, and Gildor. I'm not sure how, but Gildor has this annoying habit of weaselling his way into road trips. We found him at a Super 8 just past the Tower Hills. Elrohir invited him to sit in our hired car to get out of the rain, and that was it. He joined the group and now we can't get rid of him.
Actually, it's sort of a good thing he did join. Gildor is the only one who knows his way around the Shire, and without him we'd have been lost forever on muddy back roads that all look about three feet wide. The outdated road map we found in the glove compartment wasn't very useful. We got lost and ended up at a potash mine before Gildor recognised a grain silo and got us back on the right track. He also successfully steered our car, which seemed humorously large and out-of-place, through the narrow Hobbiton streets to the Five Ribbon Inn.
Aerthos wouldn't get out of the car. He'd seen something on the news about Hobbits ganging up on big people and chasing them out of the Shire, and was worried our presence would incite a similar incident and we'd be chased out of town by midgets bearing shotguns. He'd also seen Aragorn proclaiming that the Shire was off limits to anyone over five feet tall. I tried to assure him that the ban only applied to Men, not Elves, but he didn't buy it. He made Gildor get out of the car first in case anything started.
Nothing started, but the locals did sort of stare in shock. Clearly they are not used to anything out of the ordinary, and don't like any unexpected events distracting them from everyday routine. The Shire is like a whole country of grandpas. From the looks they gave us, I'd guess they consider Elves rather outlandish and showy. Elrohir's shiny purple shirt caused a sensational murmur of "Well I never!" A little girl started crying when Gildor tried to pat her hair.
Aerthos kept trying to hide behind me. He doesn't speak any Westron, so understandably he felt a bit lost. He just stood there and looked miserable. He looked even worse when the innkeeper grudgingly gave us a room. Everything is Hobbit-sized, from the height of the ceiling to the length of the beds. We had to push two queen-sized Hobbit beds together to make one roughly double-sized Elf bed. But then there is the problem of the blankets. Really, we should've thought this trip through more carefully. It is very difficult to sleep in very small beds with very small blankets. Also, nobody bothered to look up whether the Shire ran on the same electrical current and had the same plugs as the Grey Havens. Of course it doesn't, so I can't plug in my computer. And Aerthos' hair dryer is completely useless. We will have to go to bed with wet hair tonight, provided we can fit in the shower. I'm not feeling too hopeful. The nozzle looks about armpit-height.
Of course Elrohir thinks all this is wonderful. He thrives on impracticality. He also sleeps curled up like a cat, so these beds are about right for him. Right now he is down in the pub with Gildor getting loaded, much to the dismay of the locals. I think they're ruining the homey atmosphere. I wouldn't be surprised if I woke up tomorrow morning to find they'd been arrested.
We are back in the Grey Havens. We went to the Shire, took pictures, bought souvenirs, and came back. That constitutes enough of a road trip for me. I slept through most of the driving, and am much happier for it. The Shire is nothing to write home about. Quite literally. I bought a postcard to send to dad and Erestor, but couldn't think of anything to say. But we also purchased some mementos of our trip. I now have a Hobbiton coffee mug, Aerthos has a sticker and a photo book, and Elrohir has a tee-shirt that says "Don't pick the flowers! Flowers don't like to be picked!" He thinks it's hilarious. I don't get it.
BUT today I get to pack! Aerthos' roommate has moved out! He went to his girlfriend's flat on the 13th, and isn't coming back. Aerthos may have terrible luck with roommates, but this is good news for me. No more tiny dorm room. No more communal showers. No more fluorescent lighting. No more being forced to attend Elrohir's toga parties as a slave boy in a loincloth because I don't have an appropriate toga.
I am going to move tomorrow morning. Elrohir is going to help. We've not quite figured out the logistics of moving yet, such as how I'm going to get all my things over to the house, but I'm sure we'll figure it out. A taxi may be involved. It is too far to walk to Aerthos' house at this time of year, especially when carrying boxes and bags of varying shapes.
I am back in my dorm room. Aerthos doesn't have internet at his house. I've been forced to come back here until Wednesday, when the Telus man promised to come by and install the DSL. Also, Aerthos doesn't have a long-distance plan, and got a bit tense when I mentioned this morning that Sunday is my long-distance telephoning day. He rings his parents once every two months for fear of the telephone bill. I told him I'd pay it, and order a long-distance package, since I'm already paying for the DSL. He didn't sound much more enthusiastic. I think he just wants to avoid talking to his parents.
I rang dad around lunch time. He sounded depressed. I asked what was wrong, and he said, with a sigh, "Well... I woke up at five-thirty this morning, rolled over, and Erestor wasn't there... It just wasn't a very good start to the day." He tried to make it better by going out for breakfast, but he was too depressed to make it all the way to the real bakery so he stopped in at Donut Time and got a dozen chocolate glazed. He'd eaten eight so far, plus two hotdogs, a box of Kraft Dinner, and a bacon sandwich (with extra bacon). I told him that getting fat certainly wasn't going to win Erestor back. He told me to shut up. Then excused himself to get an ice cream bar.
Then I rang Erestor. He was huffing a lot and sounded angry, since one of Lindir's daft children had just cut up a chicken breast in his best fry pan, shredding the Teflon. He decided he was unable to live under the same roof as those ignorant, destructive louts, and was packing his things. I asked where he was going. He said he didn't rightly know. To work, perhaps. He could stay in his office for the night and then look for a flat in the morning. I suggested he talk to dad, then explained the situation. Erestor screeched, "He's eating nothing but frozen, processed, and fast foods?!" I said yes. Clearly, dad is in need of Erestor's high-quality cookware and proper supper-making skills. Erestor said he had to go. I'm fairly certain he went back to dad's, where there are no Teflon-ruining youths and he can have a safe tree-free parking space while showcasing his culinary skills.
I probably should've rang dad back to warn him that Erestor was coming over so he'd have time to clean up the mess of junk foods, but I figured I'd already done my good deed for the day. Since I am still officially opposed to their relationship, I can't help out too much.
Both Elrohir and I completely forgot about the Quenya assignment that was due today. As a result, I think Elrohir may be booted out of his teacher's pet position. The professor kept glaring at him all class. I hope he re-establishes his standing soon, since I can't get a good mark in that class without him.
We have to give a presentation on Wednesday now. It seems like this class is at least four times as much work as any other. At least in my other classes I get to do nothing all semester and then hand in one big assignment at the end. Incidentally, the end is six weeks from now. I really ought to start working on some of those assignments now so I'm not swamped later.
Our Quenya presentation was about birds. It was the worst thing I've ever done, and by far the worst thing Elrohir's ever done in that class. The professor looked disgusted with our feeble effort. Even Elrohir said he felt ashamed of himself. I couldn't help but worry that maybe I'm dragging him down to my substandard Quenya level.
I asked him after class if he wanted to keep working with me, and he said yes. Only he said it sort of vaguely, as if he were trying to say it in a way that meant "yes" now but could easily be written off as a distracted, untruthful "yes" next week when he tells me he forgot we were supposed to be working together and has found a new partner. I think I might have to accost him in the corridor tomorrow and get a legally binding "yes" on paper.
But on the plus side, Telus came by this afternoon to hook up my internet, meaning I could officially move in with Aerthos. We celebrated by having Taco Time and watching a video, but I managed to sneak fifteen minutes of email while he was in the shower.
Went grocery shopping with Aerthos today, since all he had to eat at the house was rice cakes, potatoes, Ritz Bitz left over from his last roommate, Appletreet cups, and some weird things in jars. Half the things I put in the cart he took out, saying we didn't need luxury items. After ten minutes I lost my temper in the middle of the preserved vegetable aisle and shouted at him that pickles are not a luxury. Then I stormed off to get my own cart. We are on separate food bills from now on. If he wants to live on rice and pasta, that's his own choice.
We had separate suppers as well. I made stir fry. He made instant mashed potatoes. I offered to share, but he wasn't speaking to me, apart from the word "no".
Due to the supermarket row, I stayed in my own room at the house for the first time last night. It was a bit odd. I never noticed before how loud the furnace is, or how the street light outside seems to have been carefully placed for maximum annoyance by shining right in my window all night. I'm not sure if it was because of these things or because of troubles with Aerthos, but I didn't get much sleep. Then, in a scenario eerily similar to what dad described on the phone the other day, I woke up shortly after five, saw Aerthos wasn't in bed with me, and was overcome with an acute feeling of loneliness. I couldn't get back to sleep after that. I eventually had to give up, deciding to watch television for a while until it was time for class.
Aerthos was already up, sitting on the sofa, watching educational Quenya children's programming. He refuses to get cable, so that was about the only thing on, apart from news. I wordlessly sat down next to him and we watched in silence.
Halfway through the show about a man in a dog suit with superhero alphabet powers, he randomly said, "Sorry." I said, "Me too." Then he leaned over onto my shoulder, and we spent the next seven hours curled up together, alternately sleeping and cuddling. I ended up missing class, but that didn't seem very important.
For supper I made spicy baked chicken, he made cream of mushroom soup, and we shared both. The flavours clashed horribly but neither of us really minded.
A reporter from the school paper showed up to cover Elrohir's World Cup Jenga tournament last night. Elrohir won the gold medal: a Corona bottle cap glued to a McDonald's shoe lace, which he made in props class. He really is good at Jenga. Too bad it, like most of his other talents, is completely useless when it comes to any real-world application.
He came over for lunch today, claiming it was because he was bored at the residence, but I think it's because cabbage rolls were on the cafeteria menu. He helped make pork chop stew. Then he stayed, and stayed, and stayed, until finally at seven Aerthos asked him if he didn't have anyplace else to be. He said no, he'd rather stay here with us and watch television. So he grabbed my pillow and duvet, got as many snacks as he could carry, and snuggled down on the sofa to watch the entirety of Sunday night programming on channel five. Aerthos and I had been planning on snuggling on the sofa ourselves, but Elrohir took up too much room.
I tried to explain to Aerthos, who has been a bit cool toward Elrohir ever since the whole Shire incident, that he is like a pet that needs lots of attention, and the majority of that attention usually comes from me. Most of the time it's adequate if somebody's just in the same room as him, especially if they're watching him play Nintendo. He doesn't do well on his own. But Elrohir's well-being isn't too much of a concern in Aerthos' mind. He said that either Elrohir goes or he does. So I tried to get rid of Elrohir, but he had already fallen asleep in a pile of biscuit boxes and pudding cups. I couldn't bring myself to wake him.
Aerthos left in a rather bad mood. I don't know where he went, and he hasn't come back yet. I hope he's alright. He forgot his wallet on the kitchen table.
Elrohir stayed over last night. He woke up around midnight, at which time we decided it would be fun if we got drunk on some really bad rum we found at the back of the pantry and stayed up half the night playing Magic cards. Aerthos came home around four in the morning, also very drunk. He cried and apologised and told Elrohir how much he loved him, then we all fell asleep on the living room floor in a pile of Magic cards. I accidentally rolled over onto Elrohir's graveyard, bending his Force of Nature and a Hungry Mist. I hid them in the middle of his deck. I hope he doesn't notice.
Naturally, Elrohir and I were both far too sick to go to Quenya this morning. I wonder if he is the bad influence on me, or if I am a bad influence on him?
Elrohir has decided to move in. He doesn't like being at the residence by himself, floor monitor or not. He now resides in our spare room in the basement, though he spends most of his time on the sofa in the living room. Aerthos has been very good about it and hasn't complained once. He even tolerates Elrohir's habit of watching telly in nothing but his bright yellow underpants. Though sometimes I wish he wouldn't tolerate it quite so avidly. And Elrohir should learn to cover up. He is unwittingly leading my boyfriend astray (at least I hope it's unwittingly).
Props class has been getting a bit out of hand ever since our professor realised the rock opera starts performing in two weeks and we only have a handful of props made. And that's a literal handful- we've made a sack of coins. Today Elrohir and I worked together on a papier maché surf board. Somebody else was assembling an old-timey microphone, and a large group in the corner was making a car out of poster board and tinfoil. I still have no idea what this rock opera is about, and Elrohir refuses to tell me, but he says I can come watch rehearsal tomorrow.
I still don't know what the rock opera is about, and I've seen it now. I think it might have had a plot, but I wasn't paying close enough attention to the lyrics to figure it out. So to me it just seemed like a big jumble of songs performed by people wearing costumes, pretending to be other people. Elrohir was wearing a surf shirt, so I knew he was Gil-galad. I think the dude in tight jeans was supposed to be dad and the one in the slick suit was supposed to be Sauron. It's anyone's guess who the rest of them were. This really seems like something that requires a programme and song listing to understand.
It started off with an early-Second-Age-type band singing a memorial surf song about Gil-galad. But then Gil-galad (Elrohir) was on stage and the backdrop sort of looked like a beach and he was holding a piece of cardboard that I think was standing in for the surf board he and I aren't done making yet. He and his surfer friends sang a surfing song, then the friends left and he sang a sadder song that I think was about spears. And maybe Fingolfin, since I remember that name coming up in one of the verses. After this somebody in lots of black leather performed a number that included lots of fake smoke, and Gil-galad ended up on top of a platform surrounded by strobe lights. Then the fellow in tight jeans started singing. A choir came onto the stage. More fake smoke appeared. Then everything went black and Gil-galad sang a sad type of song by himself, at the end of which he and tight jeans Elrond were looking a bit too friendly.
This part I was almost able to follow. But then everyone cleared off and a girl came and sang one flirty song to the actor I thought was being dad. She didn't appear again until the middle of the second act. After her song was more sentimental stuff from Gil-galad. Then suddenly Sauron appeared out of nowhere and sang about being back in Middle-earth. That was the finale to act one. I don't remember the opening for act two, or even the first few songs, since I fell asleep while the director was giving notes for act one and didn't wake up until halfway through the flirty girl's second-act song. After that I was too lost to pay much attention, so I did some Quenya homework until the grand finale. And I only watched that because it was performed by the black leather guy from act one, and he was sort of interesting.
When it was over I had to lie and tell Elrohir it was really good. He talked about being Gil-galad all the way back to the house, and twice mentioned his drinking buddy, "the dude who plays Erestor". Which one was supposed to be Erestor?
Did no homework today. I probably should've started something, since I have a major essay due in two weeks (WHERE DO THESE THINGS COME FROM?!!!), but instead Aerthos and Elrohir and I went to McDonald's. I ordered a Big Mac. Aerthos ordered a chicken burger. Elrohir ordered McNuggets and a free sundae. I'm not sure how he gets away with it, but they gave him a free sundae, no questions asked.
Dad phoned when we got home. He sounded slightly distant, as if upset because I didn't ring him this morning. As if to punish me for being so thoughtless, he asked to speak to Elrohir. He never asks to speak to Elrohir!
After he hung up, Elrohir announced that dad and Erestor have decided to come to the Grey Havens to see his performance in the rock opera. They will be flying in late on the 18th and will be staying at a hotel. Elrohir says that dad claims this is because he knows there won't be room at our house, but I'm sure they only want to be alone and indecent together.
I asked if dad had said anything about coming for my convocation, but Elrohir said no, he hadn't mentioned it.
Classes these days just aren't worth mentioning, but yesterday turned suddenly excellent when I got home that afternoon and found a cheque from Glorfindel in the post box, for $1,260! I celebrated by ordering Nandorin takeaway, with extra fortune cookies. Then Aerthos and I walked over to the uni pub with Elrohir and some of his friends for Karaoke Tuesday, and we all got pleasantly loaded. If I remember correctly (and I'm not sure I do), I drank two peach coolers, two rum and Cokes, a bottle of cranberry stuff, and half a pitcher of beer. I don't even like beer, but by the time it came around I was on a roll and didn't really care either way. Aerthos got up on stage and did a creative rendition of "Wild Thing". Then Elrohir and I sang "If I Had A Million Dollars", but Elrohir spent half the song just yelling into the microphone.
At half two, when the bar closed, we took a taxi home. One of the posh taxis, too, with all-leather interior. I'm pretty sure the driver muttered something unmentionable under his breath when we drunkenly told him we only needed to go three blocks.
Aerthos is starting to bug me again. I'm not sure exactly why or how, but I find myself getting cross with him very easily these days, and wishing he would leave me alone. It's nothing major, really, but the little things that I find so irritating. Like how he walks into the bathroom to brush his teeth while I'm peeing, without so much as an "excuse me". Or how he says Erestorish things like "Don't say no if you'd rather not" and uses inappropriate adjectives like "fagulous". Or how his CD collection is predominantly soundtracks to musicals. Or how he constantly sings "I Could Have Danced All Night" (though he replaces "danced" with a different, slightly less innocent verb). It's enough to make me want to kick him in the pants.
I would talk to Elrohir about this and ask for his opinion as to what I should do, but I know already what his answer will be. Elrohir is always strongly in favour of a good pants-kicking.
I tried to spend today avoiding Aerthos as much as possible, but it's a bit difficult when living in the same small house. He kept asking me if something was wrong, and no matter how many times I told him I just had an upset stomach from eating a tainted egg at breakfast, he kept hanging around. Nobody ever believes my tainted egg excuse!
He offered to make me an egg-free lunch and supper, but for some reason that just made me even more annoyed. I think the real problem is that he tries too hard. I was much happier with Erestor, who never paid any attention to me, because at least then I had something legitimate to complain about. I have come to the conclusion that I'm not happy unless I have a good source of complaint.
Rang dad this morning, if only so that I could say I'd done it. He wasn't doing anything, so it was a very boring conversation. He told me that it must be snake mating season, since Aragorn's old pet corn snake keeps trying to escape from its terrarium. Erestor found it slithering around near the base of the dishwasher yesterday and dropped a whole stack of glass bowls in fright. Dad is looking into having the snake shipped down to Gondor.
Still not getting along with Aerthos. Spent the afternoon doing laundry. How come my socks keep going missing?!
I ran into Angiliath at the sandwich shop today while I was eating my (untainted) egg salad on brown. She was carrying a very full tray and complaining loudly that young, insignificant students were taking up all the room by putting their backpacks and binders on seats. I invited her to sit with me, after I moved my backpack off the adjacent chair. Looking at her tray of stir fry, chicken fingers, pizza, chocolate milk, and coffee, I asked if her girlfriend would be joining her. She scowled and said no, it was all for her. And she ate it. For a girl, she can sure eat.
She asked how my boyfriend was, and I told her the truth. She was very understanding and sympathetic, saying her girlfriend (whose name is Merenel) can get very clingy and annoying at times (though after seventeen years, she's used to it). She suggested I write to the Students' Union advice column advertised in the paper. They might be able to offer a unique perspective, or at least an insulting reply. I said I'd have a go at it, since really anybody's advice is helpful at this point. Then she gave me her email address with instructions to write at least once before end of semester so we can meet for coffee or pizza or something.
When I got home, I wrote a letter to the advice columnist, Uncle Thelion, who I'm sure is much closer to a geeky computer science major than somebody's actual uncle.
_ _ _ _ _
Subject: Advice on boyfriend
Dear Uncle Thelion,
I have been in a semi-successful relationship for
the past four and a half months now, which (by my
standards) is a significantly long time. My
boyfriend and I have been happy enough, and I'm
sure he's a wonderful person, but lately I've
started to feel as if everything he does irritates
me. We live together, so I have ample time every
day to be irritated.
It's not anything dramatic he does that annoys me.
Just consistent little things, like grabbing my
bum whenever I stand with my back to him, or eating
chips off my lunch plate without asking. And he
has appalling grammar, saying things like "I seen"
and sticking apostrophes where apostrophes just
don't belong, even though I always point out how
annoying I find that.
What can I do? I don't really want to end things
with him, but sometimes I feel as if I have no
choice. Do you have any ideas how I should go
about breaking things up in a friendly way? Or
how to better cope with his irksome tendencies?
The only time I find I can really stand him is when
we're having sex, but that might just be because
it's sort of difficult to think of anything else
Thank you in advance,
_ _ _ _ _
Overall, I am quite pleased with the content of the letter. It gets my point across while also sounding convincingly contrived, so no-one will suspect me in case the paper decides to publish it.
As I was doing very badly at pinball at two in the morning, trying to avoid actually going to bed, Uncle Thelion emailed me back. I knew he was a computer geek! Only complete losers are checking their email at that time.
_ _ _ _ _
Subject: Re: Advice on boyfriend
Lemme get this straight. You have a live-in
boyfriend, you have the opportunity to get
laid every night, and you think you have
something to complain about? Maybe you should
get your head out of your arse so you can take
a good look around at everything you should be
thankful for. So what if he needs to take
remedial Sindarin? As long as he's good in bed,
what else do you need?
Now quit your moaning. It's making all us sad,
pathetic singles even more depressed than usual.
_ _ _ _ _
I think he might have a point.
I actually did a bit of schoolwork today. Though this really wasn't a choice. I accidentally locked my keys in the house, and since Aerthos was in a night class and Elrohir had rehearsal, I had to sit around in the library until Aerthos' class was over and he could let me in. I made use of my library time by reading up on the evolution of government in Mirkwood. I may write my essay on this topic, since I took that whole Mirkwood class last semester and have already learned more about Oropher's struggle for independence than any Elf really needs to know. I bet all this stuff about Oropher would be exciting in a movie, but textbook accounts of his politics are duller than mud. Only a book found in the university library could make wars against orcs and dragons about as interesting as demographic expansion theory.
Dad and Erestor aren't here. We even hired a car to go to the airport to meet them last night, but they weren't on the plane. They weren't on the next plane either. It wasn't until we got back home that we learned, by way of a message on our phone, that an accident had befallen Erestor earlier in the day and he is now incapable of plane travel. Actually, he is now incapable of sitting down or lying on his back. Yesterday morning, while making his breakfast, the handle broke off the pot and he spilled boiling porridge all over the kitchen floor. He then slipped in the mess and fell flat on his bum, which was scalded by the hot porridge. The message on the phone also reported that he hollered and ran into a cold shower as fast as he could, with all his clothes on. Elrohir is devastated, not because Erestor has a scalded bum, but because he and dad won't be coming to watch the rock opera. He thinks it was very selfish of Erestor not to have waited until after the trip to have injured himself.
But we ended up collecting somebody from the airport, even if it wasn't dad and Erestor. As we were grumbling and heading back out to the car park, we came up to the information desk and heard a very loud voice with a mincing Lothlórien accent, alternately whining to the clerk for mercy and hollering threats. "But I don't HAAAAVE $580! If you just let me talk to the pilot... You can trust me! My brother is a customs agent! I resent being treated like this! I already TOLD you, I was ABANDONED here! No, I don't have a ticket! Who is the manager around here? Well, I don't like your tone of voice either!"
We rounded the corner and there was Rúmil, looking lost and bedraggled. He was wearing a ratty fur coat and didn't have any shoes. It looked like he'd been at the airport for some time and had been crying on and off. I blinked and said, "Rúmil?" Rúmil stared at me as if I were his personal saviour and cried, "ELLADANOHTHANKTHESTARSYOU'VECOMETOSAVEME!!!" Then he flung his arms around my neck and hung on like his life depended on it, which it very well might've. He smelled of B.O. and was trying to cover it up with strongly scented gum, but it wasn't working.
We had really no choice but to put him in the car and take him home, since we really couldn't leave him at the airport. He said he'd been there three days without a shower or change of clothes. I believe it. Aerthos kept trying to ask him what on Earth he'd been doing at the airport for three days, but he started sobbing uncontrollably whenever the subject came up, so eventually the matter was dropped. We drove him home, gave him some pyjamas to wear, and showed him to the shower. He started crying again when I said none of us had any special face cream and he'd be forced to use our cheap hand lotion. He said its harsh chemical ingredients stung his tear-reddened cheeks, though he needed moisturising so he'd just have to suffer through it, like he suffered through everything else in life.
I didn't bother to ask him what he meant by that, because he was already exceptionally teary and I didn't want him to drown in his own sorrow. I just gave him what I hope was a sympathetic smile. Then I put some clean sheets on my bed and told him he could spend the night there while I shared with Aerthos. For some reason that made him start crying even harder than ever. I opted to leave him alone after that and not say anything further.
He spent all of today in my bed, crying, and didn't eat anything, which was fine by me since we've not bought groceries in a week and there really isn't much around to eat. I felt like a poor friend for leaving him to go to class, but his wailing is starting to get on my nerves so it was probably for the best. He still hasn't said what happened. I tried all evening to get him to talk about it, even missing the opening night of Elrohir's rock opera (which made Elrohir mad at me), but to no avail.
From his noncommittal mumblings, I have managed to work out that Rúmil was dumped by his boyfriend. Why he was stranded at the Grey Havens airport with no change of clothes and no shoes, however, is still a complete mystery.
I still have not seen the rock opera. Elrohir is being polite but distant.
After taking many herbal relaxation supplements and soaking in the tub for two hours with some aromatherapy oil I found under the sink, Rúmil was finally ready to tell me his sad story.
Just as I suspected, Ardlor dumped him (though Rúmil didn't say he was "dumped", he said "cruelly used and tossed aside without a thought for care or compassion"). Up until two weeks ago they were living in Rivendell, Ardlor working on his movie and Rúmil selling cosmetics at the mall, when Ardlor announced he'd met somebody else. The somebody turned out to be Mr. Mistoffelees from the international touring company of Cats, who, according to Rúmil, is "very short and unnaturally flexible". Ardlor and Mr. Mistoffelees were running off to Tol Eressëa together, so Rúmil used nearly every last cent in his bank account to get a one-way ticket to the Grey Havens and win his lover back before he was gone forever. He missed their flight by four hours. Not only that, but his luggage went missing, he left his shoes on the plane, and he had no money to get back to Rivendell or Lothlórien or even find a hotel for the night. That was on the 15th. He'd already stayed two nights in the airport when we found him.
I asked what he planned to do now, and he said he didn't know. Eventually go back to Lothlórien, probably, and throw himself upon the mercy of Haldir or Orophin and hope one of them has a spare sofa where he can sleep. I asked him if he needed me to lend him the money for a bus ticket, but he said no, tomorrow he was going to borrow some of my clothes and head downtown to try to get a job selling cosmetics at a mall here. He could work for his one-way bus ticket and return to his family in shame entirely by his own means. He still had his dignity.
It was funny to hear the word "dignity" being spoken by someone who, ten minutes ago, was asking if I had any old underwear he could borrow.
I hope he gets a job soon. There's just something inherently sad about someone who can't even afford to buy his own underwear.
I remember, some time ago, asking myself what kind of idiot would write a rock opera about Gil-galad. I now know.
Elrohir's rock opera was written by dad. He wrote it in the early Third Age. It was never technically published, but he sent the finished music to Círdan, which is, I guess, how it ended up in the GHU fine arts library. I don't think he ever intended it to be performed. It was more or less one big trippy tribute to his former lover. With laser lights and a smoke machine. Gil-galad probably would've liked it. He looks like the type who would be into cheesy old music.
Elrohir really was pretty good. He even made Rúmil cry during the soppy bits (though really that's not much of a feat, given Rúmil's dubious emotional state). I brought him cookies after the show, since I knew he'd appreciate those more than flowers. He arranged them into a flowerish shape on the makeup counter, then ate the whole flower while Rúmil helped him remove his stage makeup. Then he signed my and Aerthos' programmes with lipstick, instructing us to keep them safe for when he's really famous. I pointed out that, being his twin, I could get his autograph any time, including when he's really famous, but still he insisted on putting my programme in a ziplock freezer baggie for safekeeping.
When we got home I rang dad, even though it was three in the morning there. I said, "Happy birthday!" having just then remembered that it was his and Erestor's birthday today. He groaned sleepily and said, "My birthday ended three hours ago." I told him I saw his rock opera, and Elrohir was an excellent Gil-galad, but didn't he think that was a bit creepy? He said he hadn't thought of that, and yawned very loudly. I told him I hadn't sent his birthday present yet, since I thought he'd be here to pick it up, and he mumbled that he didn't mind. Then he asked if I could ring back tomorrow because Erestor was starting to hiss at him menacingly to get off the damn phone.
Dad wrote a rock opera. I never expected anything like this. He just seems too boring. But I guess he went through some kind of artistic phase before he and mum got married. And he wrote a rock opera about Gil-galad.
Now I don't know whether I should be impressed or deeply, deeply embarrassed.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.