Toska the Idiot

Write the script for a conversation with your long lost friend Toska, who deals with ‘a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning.’. Generate five random words from the Words with No Translation tool and make sure Toska uses one word in each of his lines, making sure his words give some shade to their meaning.

I took a few liberties with this assignment, but created a story while keeping the general idea of interacting with Toska.  Hope you enjoy!

We began to suffocate on the agitated humidity in the shoddy hut. It seeped through the tree bark exterior and caught in our throats, our brains began to expand like balloons pumped full of helium. Clarity began to overlap with a dangerous paranoia, and in this state of isolation, paranoia could prove fatal.

I looked over to see Toska stretched across firmly packed dirt of the hut’s floor with his once white t-shirt wrapped around his head like a turban. “The sun isn’t exactly beating down,” I said, “your shirt may prove more useful if you wear it to ward off mosquitoes.”

“It is warding off those damn bloodsuckers. They could be sucking out my brain,” Toska scoffed as he stood to his feet. He picked up a pair of brown, size 11 Prada loafers and after a brief look of disgust, brushed their surface with his hand and put them on his feet.

“Where do you think you’re going?” The idiot, I hoped he was eaten by a tiger.

“I’m going to iktsuarpok, there could be natives preparing to attack any moment. It’s best to stay on guard at all times.” Toska picked up a large stick propped against the hut’s entrance, he felt its weight in one hand before resting the back portion on his shoulder. Toska donned a Mowgli worthy crouch and a look of determination- he needed a red loin cloth.

I watched him awkwardly walk out in his crouch like state and decided to take a nap. He had not changed a bit since we were kids.

After ten minutes passed, I heard strange noises coming from outside, not as much frightening as they were irritating. It sounded as though someone were calling a dog, or maybe their pet tiger. My head dropped back to the ground and I closed my eyes once more. The noise slowly grew louder and louder, closer and closer. In an instant my lips shrank into a hard prune and my eyelids retracted back into their sockets, the turquoise cardigan draped across my face took a reddish hue.

“What the hell do you want?” I growled through clenched teeth after tossing the cardigan aside. Propped on my elbows, I waited for a reply from the messy blond hair peaking inside the entrance.

“I’ve been making faamiti at you for half an hour,” Toska yelled in a whisper. “Come outside, I need you to see this, it’s important.”

The tousled blond mess disappeared and my eyes explored uncharted territory in the back of my head. My shoes were already on, but I took my time standing up.

Outside, Toska was crouched behind a cluster of bushes, the long stick lay at his feet. Without the slightest intention of being quiet, I walked to him and tapped his shoulder.

I covered my ears for protection against the deafening squeal suddenly released. On the ground was suddenly a huddled mass of grown man devoid of any dignity. I tapped my foot. After an extended moment, a set of eyes were revealed as Toska peaked from underneath his arms. With his realization, he jumped to his feet and discretely brushed a couple tears from his eyes.

“How dare you mencolek me! Those childish tricks could have gotten you killed, I was just about to attack, too,” he condemned as he brushed dirt from his butt.

“You are speaking gibberish. You sound like an idiot.”

“Gibberish? Gibberish! Let’s use biritululo to settle this once and for all, present your yams!”

“You have a damp spot on your trousers.”

“Yams, woman! Show me your yams!”

I turned around and began walking back to the hut, I decided to take a nap. The cardigan was over my face once more and I closed my eyes.

It had been nearly ten years since last seeing Toska, I had forgotten that agreeing to a camping trip with him would be a bad idea, particularly his idea of a camping trip, i.e., going to a foreign country and living off the land. We were meant to have a ranger pick us up after three days in this hut, it had been thirteen days at this point.

I heard a light cough and removed cardigan. Toska stood at the entrance looking like a child coming to his mother after having using a Sharpie to draw aliens all over the walls of his bedroom.

“Your, uh, cardigan brings out your eyes,” he said to his feet.

I put the cardigan back over my face and fell to the ground. I heard his steps as he began to walk away, but he stopped abruptly. Suddenly, he was on his knees beside my head and started, “I didn’t mean to yell at you, honest. It’s just being here, the dépaysement of being in this country, it’s gone to my head! I really wouldn’t have attacked you either.”

I heard the desperation in his voice and thought, he really is an idiot, but how does he make so much money? I left my face covered. “Toska, just… take a nap or something. We’ll be okay, promise.”

I again closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Word Definitions:

Iktsuarpok
“To go outside to check if anyone is coming”

Faamiti
“To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.”

Mencolek
“You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.”

Biritululo
“What do you normally do when you have a dispute? Do you talk things over? Go to court? Well, in New Guinea, to settle disputes, the people rely on biritululo. Biritululo is the act of comparing yams (and I am hoping that is meant in the literal sense) to settle a dispute.”

Dépaysement
“The sensation of being in another country.”

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