a Grist of Bees

Technically, what I encountered is closer to what I consider a swarm of bees, but “grist of bees” just sounded cooler. And, upon further investigation, a bunch of bees flying about in a loose pattern, without any discernible purpose or direction, is really better described by “grist” than by “swarm.” The things you learn. (I’m obsessed with collective nouns, lately. Is that weird?)

Anyway, walked outside, oh so productive, to the laundromat in the next building over. Had my keys in one hand and my hamper in the other. The sun shone, the birds sang. I swung my arms. All was well.

Then, a maintenance worker walked by, pointed at the parking lot (about 20 feet from us) and spoke to me. Though I didn’t really understand the specifics, I got the general meaning: “Check out that ridiculous cloud-looking thing of big insects that’s moving all around.” First, I asked what it was, in English. Then I realized it was bees. Probably KILLER BEES. And the guy said, “be really, REALLY careful. They’re blood-sucking Texas-killer-bees.” Or, at least, that’s what it sounded like, but my Spanish isn’t perfect, yet.

End of story.

Real conversation as follows:

Guy (pointing): Mire allá.

Me: What is it?

Me (after watching it for a minute): Is it bees?

Guy: . (walks away)

Me (talking to myself): ¿Que es? ¿Es…? ¿Es…? I have to look up “bees” when I get home…

I realize that speaking in Spanish after actual Spanish speakers have left the vicinity is pretty much useless, but for the first time in my life, I am the slowest kid on the block. I just cannot get my brain to work when it comes to the whole English to Spanish thing. I’m getting decent at understanding Spanish to English (generally) but man. Ask me to speak or reply in Spanish and I sound like a two-year-old with a horrific stuttering problem. On a 10-second delay.

By the way: Bees = Abejas

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