The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, June 30, 2012

arabian nights

I still remember the moment when Amal, known to scholars of my work as Miss Arabia, presented me with a copy of Educations Sentimentales by Flaubert.
My first thought was that now Al Qaeda was trying to kill me by boring me to death.
Frankly a suicide bomber would have been more humane.
I opened the cover of the book and read the inscription.
She'd written:
"A James
Qui m'aura appris tant de choses
De la petite parisienne"
I looked at her.
She read my eyes.
"Oh that's the way we write it," she said hastily. "You'd express it differently in English."
I smiled.
She hadn't expected me to be conversant enough with French grammer to get the sinister undertone.
For her inscription did not mean: "To James, who has taught me so much."
It meant: "To James, who is going to have taught me so much."
Later I would show the book to Margaux De La Tour a French friend who was not involved in espionage or in trying to kill me.
Margaux looked briefly confused as she read the inscription.
"That's strange," she said softly.


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