Nothing could be more obverse than Paul’s tastes in music and my own. Maybe because of that and the no dance attitude of him, we never had a song we could call ours. But this short trip changed this terrible lacuna.
In February 2008, we stopped in Richards Bay to stay one day with JP. As divers, he and colleagues were trying to prevent the pollution in the area. He insisted in paying a special room in a very nice woody lodge. It was shortly after his birthday and I guess he was really happy to see us.
By then Paul was still fighting his high blood pressure. He is much better now, nine months after. He had to get up in the middle of the night for his pills and the noise woke me up.
‘What is going on, Paul?’ I asked.
He started laughing and laughing. The reason? Just because my question was put in perfect English. The explanation: a) I was kind of doing my somnambulistic act. b) I was dreaming in English.
I remember to feel glad with the idea of dreaming in English because that could represent I was progressing. Since then I’ve been dreaming in English a lot less. Why? 1) Maybe the learning process stabilized. 2) Maybe because I live in a Portuguese speaking environment. 3) Maybe I have no reasons to dream, be it in English or Azerbaijani.
Paul could never forget that episode. It happens that during our recent road trip Maputo-Durban we listened by chance one of those smooth R&B tunes with the lyrics: “Baby, talk to me/What is going on?”
Paul remembered automatically my sleepy inquiry, repeating with enervating amusement: “What is going on! What is going on!”
I turned to him and said:
‘It’s done! Like it or not, from now on this is going to be our song!’