I’m not quite sure how to tell the story I’m about to tell. In fact, I’m not at all sure I should be telling it in the first place. In any case, please forgive its length.
In an attempt to drown my sorrows (W.F., for example, has failed to call me this week as he promised), I decided to throw myself back into the life of the mind. I briefly considered becoming a monk and moving to a medieval castle to illustrate manuscripts, but then it occurred to me that the whole Jewish thing would probably get in the way.
Plus, there’s an orgy scheduled for Thursday night, and I don’t want to miss it.
So I did the next best thing, which in this case was to go out and buy a textbook on Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Put this part of the story on hold for a moment and move with me to the present day. My friend D.R. and I spent this evening at Drip. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Drip is a cafe on 84th and Amsterdam that sells delicious Oreo milkshakes and has books full of personal ads.) There are four books of Men 4 Men ads, in which I have found exactly one ad to which I want to reply. But in order to reply to an ad, you have to leave one yourself. So D.R. and I sat there, trying to write an ad for me based on what we thought this one guy (about whom we knew nothing except what he put in his ad) would like.
The thing is, his ad is extraordinary. It has taken D.R. and me three visits to Drip to write an ad for me that’s at the level of this guy’s.
By the end of this go-round, we’d come up with answers to all the questions except “looking for.” Everything we thought of was either inferior to his answer or already in my ad somewhere else.
So we decided to answer in hieroglyphs.
I have spent the last two hours in my kitchen (the only room in my apartment with decent light) poring over An Egyptian Grammar trying to figure out how to say “somebody who’s cute, smart, funny, compassionate, stimulating, and a top” in Middle Egyptian.
I think I have finally figured it out.
Now I just have to practice drawing the damn things so it doesn’t look as if they were done by a developmentally disabled child.
The Middle Egyptian is, as far as I can tell, grammatically correct, though probably stylistically and idiomatically atrocious. A literal translation would read “man beautiful clever, he brings to me amusement, he cries out for justice, he causes to rejoice my spirit.”
“And a top” will have to be in English. I’m sure the Egyptians did that sort of thing, but they don’t seem to have carved it on their funerary architecture.