Rear view

Phil Kay

. _ _ . about (iauloises with no filter. They keep telling her she Gaming I’amour m translation

can't smoke on the flight. I act a bit as her inter/pret/upt/er. speaking oy'er Monique to explain her to the lady looking in. knowing that her words might confuse.

One little I have to ask a stewardess how you say: 'I have fallen in loye.‘ She doesn‘t know. And as we all think

about it. there is a triple dawning that if you don‘t know

it 7- heayensl maybe you haye not been able to say it much. Monique looks stern. We talk of semantique and phonetique and word order and occasionally I just go off in word sets she can neyer get and just let her see someone saying what they think.

I walk her all the way to her terminal carrying a bag and making sure she gets the l‘rench fags and the right gate. We pick them up and walk out of the shop and are les petits \‘olettt‘s. liminem et Louise Bourgeois. sltoplifters for a moment together as we go round to the till.

011 the way. Monique has a baggage label mysteriously sticking to the lower leg of les pants and as she notices it. she tips her calf onto a tip toe

for me to remove it. I take hold of the one corner and give it

a brisk wax-stripping. adding some slight yocal chic. We

both laugh and 1 stick it immediately onto my own leg. [I is magic the way she doffs her leg to me and I realise in 55 minutes I haye completely fallen in loye with this old lady.

ike Harold and Maud. I am sitting with Monique and l have leamed tnore than ever about what 1 am missing by not having grandparents. She and l are aisle-and-

windowed as ‘oui’ depart on the flight from Paris. This

lets me lean in to her over the spare seat. piyoting on

the armrest. She has me sending laughs down the

aisle: there’s no room for them here. so some I

stow in the oyerhead locker. She is. of course.

going to Mexico and I keep looking at her and

saying: ‘You are Mexican.‘ She keeps saying:

‘Non. je suis moi.‘

It is the depth of things we get into that amazes me. There are times I understand what she is saying and it amazes me. Times when I am understanding her and not sure if it is what she is intending. And times when I am sure I have no idea what she has just said and I know I understand her completely.

How sure are we that we understand folks just because we know what words are being spoken'.’

We talk of menstruation. the tnoon. water flying. inflation and l‘humanite. ‘lfhumanite est . . . tnanque.‘ Missing. Humanity is missing. She really makes me think.

We haye a real actual rifting joke going on about chit- chat. shit—chat. shut. chat. shit. merde. fertne and open; as real total joking as I get.

At one point we have to ask the stewards many little quick questions. Monique has a tiny smattering dash of senility and that opens her up to me. She just doesn‘t presume that this young man would not be getting her.

The stewards don‘t really get her and put their hands together a bit when talking to her. She keeps asking

Jolln Fardell

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