To me, the notion of translating has always held laborious connotations. A flashback to those green and white Latin textbooks with miniscule charts of conjugations and tenses. Translation equaled time-intensive research and required at least one or two dictionaries in addition. It was what the traditional librarian embodied: someone accustomed to getting lost in the stacks scouring ancient and obsolete volumes, meticulously searching for exact meaning.
I recalled Saturday haircut nights with Garrison and A Prarie Home Companion.Dad would cut his sons’ hair to the segment where the host tried to make librarians sexy again. I dreamed of a world where librarians were no longer old maids loudly “SHHHH”ing laughter and joy from children. Instead a world where the women behind the reference desk were svelte temptresses who just so happened to spend their days aroused by Joyce and Wilde.
And then you showed up with your sleek and smooth battery-operated translator with the plug-in charger. It translated paragraphs of cyrillic into standard American English nearly instantaneously. In fleeting seconds your glossy machinery boiled down a string of memories, preconceptions and fantasies and encapsulated a transformation.
You popped it closed and slid it into your back pocket. “Happy Defender of the Motherland Day!” -AR