Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meet Klaus (with a "K") [Academy House]

I've been settling in to my new home at the Academy House.

I've got a routine down and everything.

I spend about one waking hour a day there. Thirty minutes before the gym and 30 minutes before I go to sleep. Most of this time is spent making and eating my Oatmeal-Protein-Truvia concoction.

I like this routine.

One night, I went down to the kitchen to make my concoction and there was an older gentleman eating his own concoction at the table. I think it was pancakes and some blue stuff -- not syrup.

He slowly turned toward me, and once he fully rounded on me, I had one thought. Garfield's Halloween.

Please understand me. This man did not resemble the old man from one of my all-time favorite movies. He was the old guy from that movie. You know. The one who served as "cabin boy" for the ghost pirates when they were still alive. That was 100 years ago, meaning the guy was about 112.

"Hel...Hello," I said.

"Goooood evening," he said in a thick German accent.

"I'm Cody," I said. "Nice to meet you."

He likes his lips and smacks his mouth.

"Klaus," he said. "Please to meet you. It's 'Klaus' with a 'K'."

I notice that Klaus has a severe speech impediment, and I go back to making my concoction.

"Do you like music?" Klaus asked.

I don't like this question because I don't particularly like music, and when someone asks me that question, they invariably do like music.

"Not really," I answered honestly.

But that didn't stop him.

"And by music," Klaus continued with his speech impediment magnifying. "I mean classical music."

He throws his hands into the air to gesture the grand nature of classical music.

"I like some classical music," I said. "What was your name again? I'm Klaus. With a 'K'."

"You may have noticed," Klaus continued. "But I have a speech impediment. It's pretty bad."

Yup. Honesty is hard sometimes.

"I did notice," I said. "But it's not bad."

He rubs his throat.

"I had severe throat damage," Klaus said. "But before that, I was a wonderful signer. And I can still play the piano."


"That's awesome," I said. "What happened to your throat?"

But Klaus is on a roll. And he begins singing something that I don't recognize.

"What accent do you think I have?" he asked me.

"German." It wasn't a guess. Klaus was as German as sauerkraut and world conquest.

"That's right," he said. "Do you know German?"

No, I don't.

"Then how did you know?" he asked.

"I've talked to Germans before and watched a lot of movies," I said.

"That's where my name comes from, 'Klaus', 'Klaus' with a 'K'," he said, transitioning into his next speech. "There are some great concert halls around here."

Showing of some knowledge, I actually add something.

"Like the Walt Disney Concert Hall?" I asked.

"Yes!" Klaus said, his excitement growing. "How do you know about the Walt Disney Concert Hall."

Brother, how would I not? It's right down the road. It's famous. It's in movies.

"I'm not really sure," I said. "I just do somehow."

"It's a wonderful place," Klaus said. "All of my friends perform there. If you ever want to go, let me know. I can get you great prices."

I express my gratitude and Klaus degrades into niceties. How long have I lived here? What do I do? Each question, however, lead to another story about him and how long he had lived there and what he did and what he thought about this and that. This pattern went on for about 30 minutes.

"But enough about me," Klaus said. "I'm the past. You. You're the future. Tell me about you."

I have a routine, I want to say. And I'm freaking tired.

But I oblige and throw out what I do, which just confused the old man. I told him I'm from Florida. Blah, blah, blah.

Either I'm boring or Klaus only cares about the past because I quickly recognized he was losing interest and saw my chance to get out of there before my concoction went bad -- it was already cold.

"It was really nice to meet you, Klaus," I said, backing toward the door.

"You, too," he said. "If you need anything. I'm in room xxx. And remember, it's 'Klaus' with a 'K'."

"Right," I said and bail. Routine destroyed, but interesting conversation in tact.

Plus, I got to meet the creepy old guy from my favorite Halloween special.

Follow Me | Friend Me | Find Me
blog comments powered by Disqus