Friday, 9 October 2015

Alina (Funeral Portraits 1)

Pic from Amadeus Love

My French high-school teacher, Mrs. Marceau, bullied me into learning French
and cutting my hair short.
She demanded I come to her one-on-one tutoring sessions at her house,
but not as a sex-toy, no!, but a pet project.

She really wanted to enlighten me about Baudelaire and Mallarmé and Pascal.
Also had an obsession with Proust's madeleine,
always had a few on a plate on her desk, for us to enjoy.  

Although I was partial to poetry,
I didn't care much about French
and sometimes I'd show up late
or not even on the proper day.

Once I bumped into the teacher's one-on-one with Alina,
an ambitious classmate who loved foreign languages,
and got a kick out of grammar exercises.
Mrs. Marceau scolded me for being so absentminded
and told me to come on a different day,
and make sure I knew "Spleen" by heart.

Alina gave me a cold, razor-sharp smile, disdain mixed with shame.
Brunette, her hair cut short, her face pale and studious,
Alina lacked any female curves, but wasn't a tomboy either. 
She was just a goody two-shoes,
a neurotic teen,
her pencils always sharpened to a point,
her handwriting clean, elegant, calligraphic.

A few years later she cut her jugular with a kitchen knife,
they found her in a puddle of blood
sprawled on the floor at the entrance to her small apartment.
Based on the blood trail,
witnesses said that maybe she'd tried to run for the exit
when the red snakes began jumping madly from her throat
but hadn't had enough strength left to open the door and scream for help.  
"Scream for help?!?" I asked myself, puzzled.
"No, no way!
She was just in a rush to clean up the mess."

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