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  • "Tonight, we will to watch a movie after dinner. With candies! Argentine candies. You like candies, yes? Yes. I will to go, after dinner, and buy them. Not too many. Maybe 20. 10 for me y 10 for you. We will do this tonight, yes?"

    With my roommate away and no greater plans for the evening, I figured why not. Pablo was clearly excited about his idea, and I agreed that it might be nice to just relax and enjoy a movie. I hadn't seen a film in Castellano yet, so that seemed particularly appealing. We set 10pm as the start time, and planned to meet then in the kitchen's dining area where the television sits. Not a long walk from my bedroom, as you may recall.

    At precisely 10pm, just as I was preparing to leave my room, there was an impatient knock on my door. I had heard Pablo rustling around in the kitchen for several minutes prior, presumably preparing things. I opened it to find him not simply ready, with the television on and the movie in and waiting, but actually lying on the floor. Directly outside my door, with no room for me to even walk around him, he lay fully reclined, pillow from his bed behind his head and small pile of colorful candies to his side. This was a big deal.

    Carefully stepping over him, I proceeded to my clearly assigned place at the dinner table, where he had left my pile of candies. There were 12.

    "¡Apagá la luz!" he said, as soon as I sat down. And, with the kitchen sufficiently blackened, me sitting awkwardly upright and Pablo settled in nearby on the floor, already making good progress on the candies, the movie began. Turned out that he had chosen Casablanca, of all possibilities. Absurd as it was, I had long felt that I might have some sort of obligation to see it eventually. Who could argue that watching it here on a Saturday night in some kitchen in Buenos Aires was any less appropriate than any separate occasion?

    Unfortunately, perhaps because of the heat, perhaps because of the pace and tone of the film, I found myself immensely tired only a few minutes in. I tried one of my candies in hopes the sugar might wake me up. Then another, just for good measure. I focused on the subtitles in Castellano, thinking I might be able to learn something and keep my brain active enough to stay alert. With no such luck, however, I soon nodded off, head resting atop my arm, only to awaken startled perhaps ten minutes later. Pablo did not notice, wasn't at the right angle to notice, I told myself to feel better about the situation.

    With no comments from him for the remaining length of the film, I narrowly managed to keep my eyes open, and with relief, quickly flipped the light switch back on as soon as the credits appeared.

    Through Pablo's expression of his glowing love for everything about Casablanca, of his desire to have a copy of the movie poster for his room, of what we might watch next time, I nodded amiably but groggily. Next time, I thought, I might want to get some more sleep first.
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