Being a Californian living in Massachusetts was more than getting accustomed to snow. There was the language, which was supposed to resemble English, or at least the English I had been taught. Eventually, I got used to a heart being called hat, the Red Sox the Sax, Harvard Havad, and yard yad, but then came the moment of my ultimate humiliation. My car was on the blink and my landlord offered to help me. I know nothing of cars, except how to turn them on and how to go forward and backward and stop. We both got under the car. I hoped he knew what he was looking for, because I didn't. "You need a tatch," he said. That was a tool I had never heard of. I looked into his tool box for a tool I didn't recognize. I assumed it would be the tatch I was supposed to find. I came up empty handed. "A tatch, a tach!" he nearly screamed. "Oh, a torch," I said. "Yes, that's what I said, a tatch." Now I was really confused. A blow torch under a car? What if it combines with fumes and blows up the car and me included? He was really getting angry. He shoved me aside, reached in his tool box and pulled out a flashlight. "Tatch!" he screamed, shoving it in my face.
top of page
bottom of page