She was wearing a pink shirt with black polkadots, the girl getting a manicure at one of the thousands of hair salons in this little city, and I thought she looked like an antibiotic.
For some reason, those colors reminded me of a high school biology experiment in which we were given tabs of various antibiotics - erythromycin, tetracycline, and god knows what else - all scary yellows and pinks and greens with black markings on them, which we put in petrie dishes filled with agar. We put the tabs in four quadrants of the dish, marked them off, then rubbed cotton swabs into our throats, then dabbed the swabs into the agar. Two days later, we could see how the antibiotic had prevented bacteria from growing. And all I could think of was that the antibiotics looked dangerous, like angry bees somehow; even the names sounded like they could sting you.
The Swedish phrase for the day is säg till, which means, more or less, let me know.
- by Francis S.