Apr. 18th, 2009

jacktellslies: (sebastian)
I'd thought that I was the only one left at my level at my fencing class. Beginners are allowed to sign up during a two week period. Another ten weeks go by in between before the next opening. Among my fellow beginners there are the more experienced boys, who are cocky, not particularly good, and easily made utterly confused when made to fence anyone on any level other than their own. Three weeks ago I attended a class with five or six new beginners. As far as I can tell, one of them is left, and he's been joined by a gentleman who started a week late. The one I'd met before is attractive, quite tall, and has been handling his plastic weapon with a delightful flourish since the moment it was handed to him. I hope he stays. My class began with fifteen people or a bit more, and I'd believed that I was the only one remaining. But today Pierre came to visit me at work, admonishing me for going to Thursday's classes rather than Monday. (He prefers our instructor Nick, who runs Monday's classes, for something having to do with teaching style. For the most part I'm simply at the mercy of my work schedule, but I prefer Patty's classes on Thursday. This is because when, in the course of a game that requires that one player only lunge, and the other move in any way they wish while attempting to get as close to the lunging opponent as possible without getting hit, she demands, "Right. Now you tease me," my lizard brain flops out of my ear and begins rubbing up against her leg.)

Pierre is French, and in his sixties. He is, I swear to Christ, a former mime, and also a retired architect. We took the same train together one night after class, and while talking in the station we discussed our lives and our travels. His family hosted exchange students when he was a young man, and he seems to have seduced all of them. The first was a British woman who was, I believe, studying archaeology at University. He insists that good French spoken with a British accent is simply sublime. The next was an American whom he married and followed to New York in the sixties. To be French and in New York in the sixties! He admitted that he prefers America to France. Then he amended the statement to note, "Well. I do miss the land. And the food." And he continued, reciting a list that was fairly long, and ended in a shrug that indicated that it could have been longer, giving the distinct impression that America itself he could probably do without were he not exceptionally fond of American tail. Being as I am sympathetic to geographically inconvenient preferences, I've adored him ever since.

He came to my store accompanied by his American wife, not the first one, and possibly not the one after that, either. She told me that he missed me, mentioning my absence after every class at which he didn't see me. How sweet! He insisted that I join him on Monday, sure that we'll learn more if evenly matched. I apologised and told him that my employers are cruel and and my schedule demanding. Dropping to en garde he demanded, his accent beautiful as ever, "Where is your boss? I'll fence him with your filleting knife for your freedom!" I sighed, "I try it all the time! It hasn't worked yet!"

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jacktellslies

August 2009

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