emma b. says

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Lost in Translation

Once upon a time, a month or so ago when I was convalescing in the South of France, before I made my vow to be a saintly goat herder (one that cares not for errant bodily hair) I made a rendezvous at the estheticien. For a waxing.

Between the beach, the pending wedding and the near certainty that I would be getting laid within the next two days, some grooming was in order.

On the fine morning of my appointment, the low, broad sun promised a poignant fin de l'ete scorcher, and I was naturally running late, hadn't yet consumed any of that fabulously potent brew they call cafe in those parts, as I recall, I was trying to banish a rose hang-over, which those of you who have an inkling of what a cross between a red wine hang-over and a white wine hang-over is, will certainly sympathize.

And so there is Emma, hot and flustered, and there is the nice lady estheticien with her charming Southern twang escorting me to the chamber of pain.

Now, I would like to claim that my French on any given day is fluent, I make the proscribed gaffes and still have difficulty with the whole masculine/feminine thing (why is a tampon masculine, fortunately Prince Charles and his avowal to Camilla has cleared that up for me...) and so when the nice lady told me that the AC was out I sympathized, it was after all hotter than a hooker's flanks in this tiny chamber. She asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted a "cirage" and she shot me one of those uncomprehending looks, I had apparently just told her that I wanted my car waxed... needless to say things went downhill from there.

Realizing the absurdity of my gaffe, I fought to back track (thinking if I had just risen fifteen minuted earlier I could have plied my sodden brain with some coffee and would have never asked to have my fucking car waxed) so she sweetly asked if I wanted une epilation integrale and I goggled at her whilst I was trying to figure that out and assuming it was just your regular run of the mill bikini was I gamely replied "oui".

Oh child, if I had only known.

Did I say that the AC was out, for as I was lying on the table berating myself over the "cirage" debacle and not really paying attention, what with the competing nausea, until I felt this hot substance spread across the entirety of my nether region.

Oh shit, thought I.

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

Rip.... howl.

In my haste to not appear like a complete moron ( I was after all representing my beleaguered nation) I had apparently agreed to have her TAKE EVERYTHING OFF. And at that point what could I say, needless to say that I was the butt of many jokes over the course of the next week, I simply didn't want to insult the nice lady, and so I thought I would just grin and bear it, I mean, it was my fault for not comprehending, and how bad could it be.

Oh fuck, it was bad.

Worse for the fact that there was no AC, and I am fairly certain that I left claw marks on the wall. Also I was highly disconcerted when she was taking off all the parts that were closest to my tenderest parts that she would first blow on me and then place a reassuring palm on my denuded jungle. Had I not been in such agony I would have thought it forward, but hott, such as it was, I was grateful to be soothed.

Needless to say, when I was naked as a jay bird and rearing to hit the pastis, despite it being 9:30AM, I tipped her a bucket of Euros and fled to meet my girlfriends at place des precheurs. Bin Bin took one look at my stricken face and said "qu'est ce qu'il t'arrive" and I said "j'ai trois mots - Holy Fucking Shit, get me to a pharmacy tout de suite, I need a vat of Biafine to becalm my poor enflamed, et pas comme il faut, pudenda."

****

after dinner that evening, we all piled in Pierrot's car to pick up his brother Melou at the Gare St. Charles in Marseilles all the Pouffes in the back seat singing our heart's out to sorry french pop songs. later when we were home at their mother's, and CriCri with her phenomenal diplomatic skills had parlayed Melou and I into sharing a bed, which was essentially a foregone conclusion after New York. But as he kissed me hello, and we giggled like teenages that his mother was in the next room, and he started to undress me...

I blurted (as I am wont to do)

-Il faut que tu saches quelque choses.
-quoi
-Il y a eu un malentendu chez l'estheticienne

later, when we were sated he said with understatement as only the French can do, finalement ce n'est pas si mal, referring to my jaybird nakedness, and then, and then I did not regret being lost in translation, not for the pain, not for the itch I knew would come, that night and the week to come were perfect.

so nice lady with the southern twang and the cool palm, thank you for stripping me bear, wherever you are around Aix-en-Provence. Next time I am there you can take it all of again.

and as an aside, Melou and I were running late to the rehearsal dinner, we had finally parked and were dashing to the restaurant when we passed the nice lady in her going out clothes, we recognized one another and she chirped at me "comment ca va madame" and I chirped right back to her, and I said to Melou that is was her who had made me as supple as a baby, and he stopped and thanked her...

****

Siobahn, je te remercie... j'aurais peut-etre du laisser "tel quel" mais j'ai eu une honte, une honte inexplicable. en tout cas, j'apprecie ton soutien enormement.

3 Comments:

  • Try getting your back waxed (at sister's suggestion)... Fuck that noise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:26 PM PDT  

  • hey there, C! Spoke with Anna -- she told me about the blog link from Bob's. Great, funny story here. Stay well. kisses, MM who used to be in Seattle and is now in New Hampshire (http://capgas.org/mdm)

    By Blogger MM, at 10:19 AM PDT  

  • Madame Bovary, (C?!),
    'Faut jamais avoir de regrets, only memories, n'est-ce point?

    By Blogger Queenshiv, at 12:53 PM PDT  

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