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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Je Suis Un Chat

I’ve been using the app Duolingo to learn some French. At first, lessons covered phrases like: “I am a cat.” WTF. That’s utterly useless unless I bump into the Aristocats. Also, I’ve been on this earth long enough recognize a cat so I really don’t think that even if I bumped into a talking cat, it wouldn’t require a statement of the obvious. Although, a talking cat would be very impressive. As for me, I am not a cat. Why didn’t we learn to say, “I am a dog.”? Anyway. Since then, the phrases have gotten better - - more practical. Duolingo must make some assumptions, that perhaps you have some familiarity with pronouns. I guess I’ve had exposure to pronouns but even so, I tend to mess that up. I checked out some library books to clear that up and have learned that a local adult ed class is offering a basic French class starting in the fall.

It’s a little depressing that we’re already discussing fall and at the same time, it will be here before we know it. The other day, I looked out a window from upstairs and could already see that the light has begun to shift. When we first moved into this house, I was so excited about the pool that I exclaimed we should leave it open until our birthday’s which are both in late September. At the time, I didn’t think about the light changing and shadows falling over the pool and leaves floating down from the trees to the surface of the pool. Anyway. I wonder who from Duolingo decided they should include the phrase, “I am a cat”.

I learned of a book, Cherry, by Nico Walker that’s being released in August. Nico wrote Cherry, his first novel, on a typewriter in a federal prison in Kentucky where he’s serving 11 years for bank robbery. The book is described as fiction but is very obviously based on fact (I’ve seen it described that way too). Although I’ve avoided jail, I totally think I have some interesting stories to tell that I’ve decided to pen as “fiction based on fact”. That way, when Oprah promotes my book, I won’t ever have to go back on the show and have her admonish me the way she did James Frey for A Million Little Pieces. But no publicity is bad publicity, right? Yeah. I agree – that does not apply when Oprah is involved. Say what you will about Frey - - his book was published on April 15, 2003 and I devoured it in my days of early sobriety which began April 17, 2003. Same with Dry by Augusten Burroughs which was published in June of that same year. But Frey, those sentences were also broken into a million little pieces. I endured it all and to this day don’t really care if the guy wasn’t truthful because the bottom line for me at the time was, “Jesus. If this poor bastard can get sober, I sure can.” Because, I am not a cat but je suis ivre.

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