Moi, je parle bellement un jour

by jemma margaret

Every other day I don’t speak English.

I didn’t notice this until recently, since I do plenty of writing and thinking in English (sometimes even reading). There is a whole anglo-saxon universe bouncing around in my head, but it rarely escapes my lips.

On the metro last evening I tried to tell a colleague that if someone else spoke English the way I spoke French, I doubt I would understand them. Remember, that is what I was intending to say…what came out was something like,

“If I hear one speaks English like I French I think this is stupid.”

Probably there was some sort of punctuation involved. However, with my constant pauses to recollect vocabulary, all commas, semi-colons, and periods are pretty much random as well.

When I consider the situation sympathetically, perhaps it’s more like beat poetry than the mutterings of an imbecile. During French class we were talking about French films we had seen. I mentioned Jean de Florette (staring the not yet extremely fat and greedy Gérard Depardieu), and the professor asked me to explain the plot.

“A man in the land. Rabbits, rabbits? Rabbits. He needs water.”

Probably after class everyone rushed to find a copy. Probably also the New York Times should hire me to write movie reviews.

Meanwhile, I need to study the subjunctive for next week.

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