Madame

She was wearing some sort of tweed bag, over a black turtleneck and a pair of very fuzzy leggings with black, chunky sneakers. Her hair was a poodle on her head, or perhaps a pile of chocolate pasta, that tumbled into an abrupt stop above her ears. The vermillion lipstick was chunked on; I have visions of the application process being carried out the way a one-armed chef would knead bread dough. While lecturing, she almost never stopped moving. Her arm movements exceeded even the realm of an airport traffic controller. With her dark clothing, they were more akin to that of a raven on cocaine whose wing happened to be both on fire and filled with helium. The tweed bag had a belt of tweed strings, but she hadn’t fastened it, so it raged through the air on her side, having the ride of its tweedy life. It had a metal tip, and she could have bludgeoned a toddler in the face for the force and speed with which it flew. Occasionally, she would sit for a few moments. She did this by lifting the hem of the tweed bag, straddling the chair, and plopping into a squat.

Throughout all this, however, her mountainous bosom remained stalwart. As she zipped about, it consistently presented itself as a horizontal, bountiful and unmoving mass, like a marble shelf. It is the sort of bosom that is just that– a bosom. It is not accurate to use the term “breasts” to describe such solidarity. In fact, her bosom wishes you to know that it once killed a man for having called it “boobs.” The term is both demeaning and offensive to the unified, log-like nature of this particular bosom. United we stand. Ask not what your bosom can do for you, but what you can do for your bosom. Powerful. Daunting. There.

As far as her speech goes: if I had known Shamu was going to be jumping so high today, I wouldn’t have sat in the Splash Zone.

But there I was, in the front row, wishing I had known that a shower would be included in class today before I had awoken early in order to take one. A veritable symphony of vowels and consonants and hacking and gagging and spitting and Frenchness seized her speech. While she was speaking, I got the image of a giant, spitty orgy of h’s sprinting around in her throat. They would bounce like a pinball between the occasional consonant, and then hold each vowel at gunpoint for however long it took to make it crack. This was often several seconds. At this point, they would have an h party that would result in a throaty growl of respiration. This woman literally transformed “Alors…” (“So…”) into a three-second long, “AlooooooooooHHHHHHHRRRRRRRs….” followed by a frenzy of consonant sounds (accompanied in my head by the flashing lights and bells of a successful pinball game). Then, a vowel would show up, hang out, do some yoga, and finish in a marathon of throaty suspiration before the whole process of hacking and gagging and spitting and Frenchness repeated itself.

Bienvenue à la France.

One Response to Madame

  1. Pingback: A sampling of the utterly ridiculous things that have happened to me while abroad. | wrap me in phyllo dough

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