After Reading Seduction of the Minotaur
I met a woman who was French and young. We met in a second hand clothing store. She was trying on a plaid jacket that I had just brought in to the store a short time before. The store was going to sell it for much more than I thought they would or than it was worth. She told a friend in French that she would buy the jacket and then bring it back, complaining that this and that was wrong with it, and that way she would get part of her money back. I seemed to understand what she was saying in French and tried to say something to her, also in French. She corrected my French saying that my verb was an old-fashioned way of saying something, no longer in use. I tried to say what she was saying to me—to repeat the French phrase after her with the correct accent. Since however my French was not expert, I had no way of knowing if what she was saying to me was correct in the first place.
Then the two of us walked around the store for a long time. In the course of those few hours I met two different men who were her husbands. One was young and black and held a child on his shoulders. The other was heavy-set, dressed casually and much older. He seemed to have a secret of some sort, because they made signals to each other about what they were doing. Finally the young woman suggested that we make an appointment to meet at another time. She said that since this meeting had gone on for so long it must have been an indication that we were compatible. Finally, we ended up sitting in a corner on a wooden bench, spending even more time talking, but I don’t know in what language. Then as we sat there we watched a guy put oil on his body and attach little silver candy balls all over him in neat rows, those little silver balls that can decorate cakes. We were above him and could see him from our bench. Then quite unexpectedly he was able to eat part of his arm without hurting himself. We could see his left-over arm, kind of jagged.