“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Julia at the studio

Thursday June 14, 2018
5:03pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

She is desperate to speak to someone in French. She goes over to Chantal’s desk because Chantal will talk to anyone and she wants to speak French too. Le Sandwich. I understopd that one, Sans Probleme. Whatever. Let them speak in the secret language that I should know after four years of taking it in high school. After getting the French award at my grade 8 graduation.

At first I thought she was a miserable cunt who hated that I shared a cubicle with her. Maybe she thought I typed too loudly. Maybe she resented my youth. I can see now she might not have known how to express herself properly in English. I wish I didn’t spend so much time hating her back.

She smiles at me on her way to Chantal’s desk. She puts a little French in my name as she passes.

“Entry at the front doors only” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday April 9, 2014
11:35pm
5 minutes
said by the streetcar conductor

In Essaouira, we met a Parisian man named Francois. I wish I could show you his picture. He looked French, he sounded French, everything about him felt French. He was a screenwriter, on a working vacation, trying to finish a script. He rolled his own cigarettes. We stayed in a small hotel, in a room with french doors on the second floor. Francois was on the ground floor, just around the corner from the dining room. He was desperately attracted to the friend I was travelling with, but he liked my spunky sense of humour. I could tell. In that French way, he quietly respected each of us, her, with her otherworldly beauty, and me, with my wide smile and my jokes. When he ran out of tobacco, he asked if we wanted to accompany him on a walk into the main square. We did. In the blur of steamed trolleys and donkeys and brightly coloured carpets, the three of us help hands like pre-schoolers, and laughed as women clucked and men gave Francois high-fives.

“Featured Products” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, November 28, 2013
6:07pm
5 minutes
http://www.pashop.com

Nell opens the door to my study. “Can I come in?” I nod. She walks over to me, behind my desk. Nell gives me her list. It’s typed this year. “Thanks,” I say. “If you need clarification, just ask,” says Nell. When she leaves I put on my glasses. I read it. She wants a blue pottery bowl. She wants an easel. She wants a bamboo cutting board. She wants a subscription to a magazine that’s entirely in French. I call her. She comes. “When did you learn to speak French?” I ask. She blinks just like her mother. “I don’t know… I’ve been practising. I want to get better…” She blushes. “Fine,” I say. I wish I’d said, “Wonderful!”