April 29, 2005

Hiding out

I am working at Maxlab this week and next, it is an electron storage ring that provides different energies of light (from far infrared to x-ray) for experiments. We are studying how different atmospheric molecules absorb light. There are two students who are helping me with the work, one from Copenhagen and one from Vilnius Lithuania. As it happens, we are all the youngest siblings in our families. We were talking about it at lunch yesterday. 'Jesper' from Copenhagen said that his brother and sister are 12 and 13 years older than he is, and that they were always fighting. His sister used to try out her makeup on him. 'Anna' (from Lithuania) is 14 and 10 years younger than her siblings and says that her older sister used to call spirits into the bedroom using a piece of paper and a needle and that it scared the wits out of her. The spirits never lied. She would hide under the bed. 'Jesper' asked me what my hiding place was. I told him I had two. One was under the pool table in the basement, but the best one was in the cabinet over the staircase. That's where my family stored suitcases and sleeping bags and I used to climb up in there with a flashlight and a comic book, close the doors from the inside and hide out. It smelled cozy and was far away from the teenage chaos.


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