Beginning French - Laurie Anderson
I've been doing a lot of concerts in French.
Unfortunately, I don't speak French.
I memorize it.
I mean, my mouth is moving but
I don't really understand what I'm saying.
It's like sitting at the breakfast table
and it's early in the morning and you're not quite awake.
And you're just sitting there eating cereal
and sort of staring at the writing on the box
And not reading it exactly,
just more or less looking at the words.
And suddenly, for some reason, you snap to attention,
and you realize that what
you're reading is what you're eating
but by then it's much too late.
After doing these concerts in French,
I usually had the temporary illusion that
I could actually speak French,
but as soon as I walked out on the street,
and someone asked me simple directions,
I realized I couldn't speak a single word.
So, as a result of this inadequacy,
I found that the people
I had the most rapport with were the babies.
And one of the things I noticed about
these babies was that they were apparently being used
as some kind of traffic testers.
Their mothers would be
pushing them along in their strollers
and they would come to a busy
street with lots of parked cars
and the mother can't see what the traffic
is like because of all the parked cars
so she just sort of edges the stroller out
into the street and cranes her head out afterwards.
And the most striking thing about this
is the expression on these babies' faces
as they sit there in the middle of traffic, stranded,
banging those little gavels they've all got
and they can't even speak English.
Do you know what I mean?
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