Sunday, November 04, 2012

57. Living in the Past



An hour-glass (or a sand-timer)
They say – and I believe it – that what gives Man his perception of Time is what makes him human. Having a memory of something (with all that this triggers, like short- vs. long-term memory, memory recall, memory gaps and loss of memory, and a host of other savoury topics) may range from things that we would like to remember to things that we would like to forget...Even our cells are said to have memory: this will send us quite soon back to health matters!

For the time being, let’s have a look at something easier to handle than the depths of memory – a cloze test which tells a story. Now, that’s the nice thing: not only do we remember stories easily but we build our lives around a story (i.e., the story of our life or, unfortunately for our self-actualization, the stories of other people’s lives).

Check how well you’ve done and then answer these questions:
1.      Is the story plausible?
2.    Has anything similar ever happened to you?
3.    Would having such experiences be a reasonable reason to forget about sharing flats?
4.   What advice would you give to someone who has to share a flat (rents are ever so high!)?


Read the text and complete each blank with ONE suitable word from the list supplied. Each word can be used only ONCE. Five of these words are not to be used.
A 2,500-year-old water clock

about
afford
denied
as
at
claimed
did
into
nearly
noticed
on
pay
pull
quite
realize
retrospect
ruined
straw
taste
throw
together
turn
turned
up
were

When I moved into a two-bedroom flat with Sophie, I imagined we’d get (1)_________ really well. I couldn’t (2)_________ the place by myself, but after meeting Sophie at a local wine bar, I thought she seemed (3)_________a nice person to join me.

I had my first doubts about her the day we went to choose paint to do (4)_________the flat. I wanted bright colours but she insisted on very plain shades and wasn’t prepared to compromise at all. I thought: “What am I getting myself (5)_________?’ Unfortunately we had already signed the contract by then, so it was too late to (6)_________out.

Initially, everything else seemed fine. Then (7)_________the weeks passed, things began to change. When I went out, she’d ask me why I was wearing so much make-up, or she’d want to know where I was going or where I’d been. Gradually, I began to (8)_________that she was jealous of me and my social life.

Modern water clock
However, when I bought a new white dress, things took a (9)_________for the worse. I was just (10)_________to put the dress in the washing machine when I (11)_________a speck of orange. I put my hand into the machine and a whole load of orange turmeric fell out. It would have (12)_________my dress. I suspected that Sophie had done it. When I confronted her, she denied it, but I was so angry I even threatened to call the police.

Another night I came in and found a curry that Sophie had made, so I thought I’d (13)_________it. After one mouthful I realized it had washing-up liquid in it. It made me terribly ill.

Things went from bad to worse. I had a large collection of framed family photos which were very important to me. I came home one day and found all the pictures had been (14)_________upside down. When I asked Sophie who had done it, she (15)_________that it was nothing to do with her and just shouted abuse (16)_________me.

It was the last (17)_________, however, when she started spreading rumours; she told my friends, including my boyfriend, that I was going out with other boys, which just wasn’t true. But eventually, I began to lose confidence and after almost a year of this I had to move out. In (18)_________, I think she wanted to be like me, but when that proved impossible, she tried to make my life hell. She (19)_________did, too. I have never bumped into her again and, to be honest, I’d be horrified if I (20)_________.
Foucault's Pendulum under the Dome of the PantheĆ³n, Paris - since 1995
Source: Google Images