Meg, Molly and I sat gassing off at Molly's, drinking tea and snacking. Meg had just taken up with a serviceman so she was giving us all the juicy details. Finally, one of us was getting some.
"He must be kinda wham-bam," I said.
Meg shook her head as she swallowed her chamomile tea.
"He's kind of out of his element in the army. He likes cool jazz, and army is rock. When he's off the base, he likes to take things slow. So he takes sex slow too."
"Now there's a guy," Molly replied. "I'm tired of the pistons, and of the ones who move like their body is a truck they're trying to park. A good - deft - slow - stroke, that's what gets me moaning." Molly showed the "stroke" with her fist.
Just then Molly's phone rang, and she answered. Meg and I continued talking quietly for a moment, then I heard a snatch of Molly's conversation. My words to Meg popped like bubbles as I became riveted to Molly's. It was as if someone had just turned a radio's volume up.
"Yes, but with that parameter the argument for mise en abyme does not obtain. Given the hierarchy of values that dominated at that epoch, the juxtaposition of media creates a dialectical tension – "
I looked at Meg. She merely smiled and shrugged as she took another swallow of tea.
As soon as Molly was off the phone, I told her, "Molly, I know you teach foreign language, but that one you don't find in a dictionary."
Molly answered, "Sorry if that was too weird. That was professional-speak. Literary theory. You know, my job. When I don't have language students in front of me."
"You really talk like that? Even your voice was different. You said 'yes'."
Yeah, that's how it works. That's what happens when you get the 'Dr.' in front of your name. You morph into a jargon-breathing Derridean."
I turned to Meg. "You weren't thrown."
Meg said, "Well, I sit in my office, just outside the head's door, all day, so I get to hear it all the time, in the hall, in my office, in the head's. I'm used to it by now."
"You don't understand it, do you?"
Meg's eyebrows fluttered, her eyes lowered a moment. "Sometimes I get the feeling I do."
The room suddenly felt chilly.
"But it's weird."
"Yeah, it's an occupational hazard," Molly replied. "Relax, I promise I'll keep the paradigm shift in the subtext from now on."
"No more Ms. Dr. when you're listening. Now, about that cock of his," Molly continued, turning to Meg.
First published: May, 2011
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