I find it rather appropriate that on the day I release a column about my inability to be a proper grownup, I received an e-mail from my Belgian friend, Stéphanne.
Stéphi has a PhD. She speaks at least six languages.
Here is a picture of Stéphi with her son, Diego, and husband, Marco. Marco earned his PhD two weeks ago, the picture is from his ceremony.
Marco... erm, excuse me, Dr. Marco is Italian and, at least, used to be crazy. He used to have really long, curly hair and sang the strangest version of Ray Charles' "Hit the Road" you've ever heard. I remember sitting and drinking with him and being amused that the whole of his English vocabulary appeared to be structured around the use of the words "fuck," and "shit."
He's got a PhD now.
The two of them lived in Burkina-Faso for a while as aid workers.
I was writing Stéphi and telling her about my novel and then suddenly thought: "Man, what a pathetic accomplishment a novel is compared to all the things Stéphi and Marco have done."
And let's not talk about Diego. He already knows more languages than I do.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the bar.