April 1, 2012

Conquering the Ancient World

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A few weeks ago, I waxed poetic about the delightful duo of gods from the ancient world that had made their way into my life this last semester of my senior year. To refresh your memories, I thought I had lost my Grecian love affair, a man with facial hair so plentiful that you could actually watch his freshly shaven face develop a five-o’clock shadow over the course of one short class period. But these memories were quickly forgotten when the Roman entered into my life. He was a man so handsome that if he ever buttoned his shirt all the way to his neck, I’m sure he would be committing a crime against humanity. I finally had a glimmer of hope that Rome — not that pithy little Greece — was where I should set my sights, when all of the sudden I bumped into the Greek god, back from a break abroad, after leaving the Roman’s class. Surely, it was all too good to be true, I thought. There is no possible way I could have Greece and Rome and still get away with it. Or so I had thought. Some days after I published my article, I received an anonymous email from a reader with nothing included except a picture of a statue of David with only a short description that read, “Enter the Roman.” Bravo, I thought, what a cheeky joke (pun intended). But then I looked closer. There was something off about the statue. At first I couldn’t figure it out, but then it hit me: Whoever sent that email had pasted my Roman’s face on that statue! I could not hit the delete button fast enough. I looked up from my library perch, darting around to see if anyone had noticed me. I had been found out! Someone knew who “The Roman” was. And that someone was probably going to tell the Roman who I was too. Barring the effect that this little fiasco would have on my pride — which, let’s face it, considering I wrote the article in the first place, pride should really be a non-issue — I also considered the consequences this would have if the Grecian ever found out. What would my first ancient love think of me? Was I to go down in their circles as a cheap Cleopatran player? I had to act fast. In class the next day, I waited to be called out. Surely, the Roman was going to make some joke about his “chest hair,” we’d all have a laugh and then my hopes of ever pulling an Alexander the Great across Greece and Rome would be dashed. When he passed out the attendance form with all of our pictures on it, I thought that surely then I would be had. There would be a silly drawing of a moustache on my face, everyone would laugh, and the joke would be on me. But the list came around and there was no such thing. “Okay,” I thought, “maybe he has something even more horrifyingly embarrassing planned. But then thirty minutes came. Forty. And finally, the end of class had rolled around. My deed had remained unnamed. Surely, I thought, there was some mistake. Did he really not know? Well, there was no time to find out. As soon as that clock hit 2:10, I had a very short window with which to bolt out of the classroom and “accidentally” run into the Grecian, ascertaining if he too knew of my sordid attraction to his adorable accent and slightly disheveled hair. The instant we were dismissed, I packed up my things with lightning speed and made a beeline for the door and the relative safety beyond its wooden frame. I almost had a foot out the door when I heard this: “Are you, by any chance, Cristina Stiller?” “Shit,” I mumbled, hopefully inaudibly, but realistically probably not. I turned around, struggling to make eye contact in a totally normal way without unleashing some serious creepy eye on the Roman. He was right behind me, meaning he was 10x closer than normal and thus 10x more attractive. I had underestimated my ability to keep my composure at this proximity. “Maybe,” I said, thinking this was a pretty cool way to respond. It was only later that it occurred to me responding “Maybe” to a simple “Yes or No” question makes absolutely zero sense. “I read your article. That was pretty cool. My mother always told me I had a nice butt and I’m sure she’ll be glad to find out that someone else agrees. Care to have a beer after tomorrow’s class?” I rebounded with a casual, “Oh, thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’d love a beer.” And then I made a 180-degree turn with a perfect swoosh of my skirt, impressed that I didn’t trip all over myself and even doubly impressed at the sight I beheld just beyond my classroom door. There, in his perfect symmetrical design, stood the Grecian, a copy of The Cornell Daily Sun opened to my article. He looked up and caught my eye. And then I made my way out of the classroom and into his open arms. Or, this is how the story should have ended anyway — if it wasn’t April Fools.

Cristina Stiller is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at cstiller@cornellsun.com. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller