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Cursing in French

“Your Weekly Popcorn” is a blog dedicated Jake Arasim’s short stories and movie reviews. Please enjoy his final short story of the semester, “Cursing in French.”

Jake’s song of the day: How Soon is Now? – THE SMITHS

Jake’s video clip of the day: Youth in Revolt (2009)

I go to the library every chance I get! The library is the equivalent of Disney World, by my own perspective. Every day, since the age of six, I would always read. Read, read, and read, all day long, from dusk till dawn. Usually, kids around my age would get busted for watching television past their bedtime, or sneaking a midnight snack. As for me, I would get grounded for reading a book past midnight. Hardcore stuff, right?

I’ve always had some anxiety when actually looking for a book to read, at the library. The anxiety can get so bad, that I would have to take a leak. This sort of event would happen every time I would just be browsing for a book. Just books! I could look around, searching for anything else, and not have that problem. It’s always been with books, where my bladder suddenly decides it wants to squeeze the lemon. However, for the past several years, I have learned how to maintain my anxiety, by obviously taking a piss before I would make another trip to the library. So, every time I make haste to the city library, I would make a quick trip to the bathroom. You have no idea how annoying it is to look through shelves of books, and I have to take a raging piss. It’s ridiculous! The only bathroom, in the library, is down on the first floor and I’m usually on the third browsing the horror and sci-fi sections.

Speaking of science fiction, I personally LOVE Ursula K. LeGuin. Her book, The Left Hand of Darkness, made me fall madly in love with science fiction, in the first place. If I could marry anyone, I would marry LeGuin. However, she died in her late sixties, so I guess that’ll never happen. As for marriage, in general, who the hell would marry me? I’m a 32 year-old virgin, I read more than I talk, I go to bookstores (rather than bars), I work as an accountant, I eat, I poop, and I fall asleep every night at 10:32pm (I have a strict sleeping demand). So, who the hell would marry Mark Price II?

It’s not like I’m desperate for love to arrive into my life, anyway; I have my standards. I want a woman who isn’t a constant, noisy, bitch as she rants on and on about the gossip she hears, all around work. If I’m ever going to marry, my spouse should—no, my spouse MUST—keep work and home completely separate. I don’t come home every day, complaining about how my friend, Kevin (just using an example; I don’t have friends), was the one who ate Leslie’s sandwich, out of the refrigerator, to my cat Cujo. That last part is true, I do have a cat named Cujo, and I know he’s just a damn cat, but you get my point. Oh, and my spouse would have to at least enjoy reading. Oh, and if she hasn’t at least heard of the author, Larry Umbrella, marriage ain’t happening’!

I woke up one morning, feeling like a forgotten fish stuck in a non-operating microwave. I smacked my lips, after slamming on my alarm clock—reading 9:32 am—reminding myself how much I hate morning breath. After I give myself this reminder, I practically rush down stairs to get a bowl of cereal. I eat my cereal, I clean my dishes, I slip out of my pajamas, and then I go into the bathroom for a five minute and thirty second shower (to avoid an increasing water bill), and I get dressed. I usually wear a white polo, with tan khakis and Asics tennis shoes. Since I’m not the getting-into-shape type, I figured I should just wear tennis shoes on a regular basis. After all, I’m always walking two miles to and from my apartment and the library.

I lived across the street of my local dentistry. The massive announcement, which stood outside the dentistry, always revealed the time and date. The date was July 23rd, 2008 and it was a beautiful 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of wearing khakis, today, I decided to wear khaki shorts. After I changed into shorts, I rushed out of my apartment, worrying that I was going to be slightly delayed with my daily schedule. It felt good to finally wear shorts. This year’s winter was too long.

Speaking of winter, I always thought it was a pain in the goblin ass to add layers and layers of clothes just to keep my stupid body warm and survive from hypothermia. From where I’m from (Helena, Montana), the weather can be as downgrading as the negative 30s Fahrenheit. Not only do I have to wear more clothes, during the ridiculous season of winter, I also have to do my laundry more often. It’s a complete mess. Who the hell wants to do laundry? No one does, but it’s something we all have to do every day, so I shouldn’t complain.

So, as I started walking down James Street, contemplating about how much I hate winter, I completely forgot about one thing. And once I realized what that was, it was already too late to do anything to avoid it. It’s a Wednesday morning and I arrive at the library, two minutes shy from it’s opening time. This was completely my fault, because I forgot to look out my window, at my dentist building, to see how many degrees it was outside. I didn’t let that bother me, even though I was about to loathe myself completely, within the next ten minutes. The library was quiet (duh) and not a lot of people were inside it. This is why I like arriving at the library early because the library was open when everyone else went to work, and it was perfect for my work schedule, also. I made my way up to the third floor, where the science fiction and horror books were located.

(Both the horror and science fiction genres had four shelves, containing at least seventy amazing books. I kid you not, I have read at least over half of these books. You can pretty much say I have a lot of time on my hands.)

I quietly approached the shelves and my attention was immediately caught by the sight of a book. This was a book that I had been waiting for. For being a new, popular release, I’m surprised that my library only had one copy of The Essence of Pixie Juice, a hilarious science fiction novel, written by Larry Umbrella.  The book had just been released about a week ago and I started to get really excited. Really excited. I took the book off the shelf, being a lot smaller than I expected (I usually appreciate a novel worth reading over 300 pages, but 230 pages written by Larry Umbrella was good enough for me!) I started reading the synopsis on the back cover, before I realized the terrible “danger” I was in.

I really needed to go to the bathroom. I forgot to go back at my apartment! I started swearing in fluent French, under my breath. In graduate school, I finally learned how to speak fluently in French. Which is pretty cool, I guess, although I haven’t met anyone else who spoke French, ever since college. I continued to swear, desperately reading Umbrella’s synopsis, while desperately holding my bladder from exploding. Sunufabitch! Rrrgh! I was in no mood to rush quietly down the stairs. I really had to go, so I sighed frustratingly, and I decided to go down the stairs to the library’s only bathroom. I was unable to finish reading Umbrella’s hilarious synopsis, which also made me angry.

“It’s alright,” I whispered to myself, “it’s only a two minute potty break. I’ll be fine.” I walked past the librarian, who looked a lot like Aunt May from The Amazing Spider-Man comic book series, and gave her a slight wave, as I battled my way to the restroom. She waved back sweetly, as she was taking previously borrowed books back to their shelves. I hastily walked into the restroom and approached the urinal, loosened my belt, unzipped my pants, and released. I made the angry grunt, like a war-monger, as I pushed my urine into the toilet as much as I could, followed by a small release of flatulence. I was still going, which made me even more frustrated, especially when my damn cell phone started ringing. The ringtone played Beethoven’s fifth symphony, which meant that my work was calling. I started swearing in French, again, but a little louder than before. “Merde, merde, merde!!!”

mark prince ii (2)               I was not able to answer my phone, before I were to finish urinating. It was coming down, like a never-ending river of yellow. I calmly took out my flip cell phone, from my shorts pocket, still urinating, and … *plop* I had dropped the damn thing, all butterfingers and bad luck. It was all in slow motion, as I watched my ringing phone fall into the deep hole of the toilet. Not only was my phone drowning in a pool of my own piss, I was still going to the bathroom! My eye twitched violently. At first, I thought of simply taking the phone out, but that would lead to a phone covered in pee and that would lead to insanitary hands, as well as wanting to wash off the phone with water, thus damaging it more than it already was. I stopped peeing, but I was definitely pissed off. The phone was no longer ringing and I had no idea what my boss wanted. I bet it was something really important, something that actually risked my job. Fortunately, despite being furious with myself, there was a cell phone store a couple blocks south from the library. Thank God I was about due for an upgrade, also, or else I would be spending $550 on a new, stupid phone, which I really need, according to society. Society or not, I actually really need a phone. Without one, I don’t have a job, pretty much.

I left the library, flushing my poor phone down the toilet, after washing my hands. I walked at a faster pace, which felt weird to me. I never went on a slow jog in a couple years. I’m so damn lucky to be average-sized. I walked into the cell phone place, told the sales associate that it was time for an upgrade.

“What happened to the other phone?” he asked, with a slight chuckle. He was a heavier man. He was so fat, that when he laughed, his “chins” would jiggle like a freshly-made dish of tofu.

I lied. “Nah. My dog, Cujo, ate the other one. Had to throw it away.”

The fat sales associate laughed, as he looked through my account information, after I told him of course. His jiggly chins really bothered me. They looked hypnotic and unsettling. He needed to lose weight, now. I also saw that the man had a ring on the finger of his left hand. Lucky bastard. However, it could only mean that his wife was fat, also. Fat people like fat people. Can’t be any simpler than that. Alas, if he was dating a thin, yet curvaceous, woman I would be surprised, yet not surprised at the same time. There are wonderful women out there. If you don’t believe me, men all over the world, then you are missing out. Same goes to you, girls. There are great guys out there. Why the hell am I being so sympathetic? I just dropped my phone in a toilet full of toilet water and urine, while my work was calling me. Why am I thinking about love and affection, again? Damn, if people could read each other’s thoughts, the world would have ended a long time ago.

As Mr. Double-chin was setting up my new phone, which was only $25 thanks to the upgrade, a beautiful woman walked into the store, holding hands with what looked like her son. She looked like she was in her early thirties, as her son looked like he was only eight. The woman was gorgeous, standing at least five-foot-three, with short blonde hair, brown eyes, and tan-white skin. Tan-white skin?! What?! This woman has already gotten me into a spell, which I did not realize, until she actually spoke.

Another sales associate came out of the back door, behind the counter where Double-chin was working. He was overweight, also! I made myself laugh quietly, after I imagined the idea of the two sales associates dressing up as Santa Clause for when the Christmas season came. I could already imagine a giant advertisement, in big letters: “Ask what phone contract you want to Santa! The deals are ‘Ho-Ho-Ho-tastic!” Oh, God, I have no creativity.

I had realized I was under a spell of pure affection when the beautiful woman said to the sales associate, “Bonjour! Comment allez-vous?”

OH MY GOD! I yelled in my thoughts, which on the outside I smiled brightly. She spoke in French! The sales associate looked dumbfounded and I could tell he was not bilingual. I knew exactly what she said, obviously, and I thought about helping out. But obviously, I was too damn nervous to actually help the woman out. She looked confused too, as the Double-chin Number Two said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re saying, ma’am.”

Then it hit me. The other day, I was on, browsing through. I remember scrolling across a picture of a cat. Taking my liking for cats, the picture caught my attention, of course. There was a caption above the cat, labeling “If you’re too scared, or nervous, 20 Seconds of Courage is all it takes to make everything ‘purrrrrfect.’” The words of wisdom really struck me and I thank God for reading it in the first place. When I remembered that wonderful quote and that wonderful cat, I didn’t hesitate to step in and help out.

catI translated in English, to Double-chin Number Two, of what the woman said in French. She had simply said, “Hello, how are you?”

Double-chin Number Two chuckled lightly (Dear Lord). “Oh, I’m very well, how about you miss?”

She spoke in French, again, saying that her name was Michelle –What an iconic name for a French woman- and she smiled at me, after saying that she wanted a new phone, also. Damn, was that smile a punch in the face. She was gorgeous. Holy crap, this can’t be happening, could it? As Double-chin Number One worked on my new phone, I continued to translate for Michelle. Once the two Double-chins were working on our new phones, I noticed that Michelle’s son was sitting in a waiting chair, reading a small book.

“Wow, a reader, huh?” I said to Michelle, in French.

“Oui,” she replied, smiling brightly. Jesus. She told me that his son, Jacques, enjoyed reading. She had moved here to America, just recently, after a brutal divorce with her ex-husband.

Okay, first off, why would a beautiful woman, with a clever kid, move all the way from Europe, to Helena, Montana, in the United States. Of all places, WHY MONTANA?! This was certainly too good to be true. However, I wasn’t going to let my hopes up. She probably doesn’t even read, let alone know who Larry Umbrella is known for. Not meaning to be a Debbie-Downer, but I have my standards, remember? Oh, and second off, who the hell would want to divorce with such a French babe, like Michelle? Hmm, she’s probably a psycho, like me.

We continued to talk. I told her I was an accountant and I spent most of my time reading. I bet I looked so ridiculous wearing a white polo, tan khaki shorts, and Asics tennis shoes, in front of her. She was wearing a beautiful, pink, white-flowery, spring dress in white heels. The outfit matched her green eyes, perfectly. Then, Double-chin Number One had my new phone up and ready for operation. That was a relief. I began to make a quick call with my boss, until I noticed what Jacques was reading, as he sat on the waiting seat. It was a FREAKING COPY OF THE ESSENCE OF PIXIE JUICE WRITTEN BY LARRY UMBRELLA! WOW! Words could not express how jealous I was of that eight year-old boy. What? I can’t read a book that was for kids? Shut up.

I told Michelle how much I loved Larry Umbrella and she smiled, again. She said how much she loved reading Umbrella’s books with her son, before he could even read. Every night, she would read him a hilarious story written by the “bad-assory” powers, of writing, by Larry Umbrella. I felt butterflies flutter swiftly into my stomach, as I began to actually like Michelle a lot more than a mere acquaintance. Although she doesn’t read independently, at least Michelle knows who the hell the legendary Umbrella is! That was good enough for me. This next event was completely unexpected, while Double-chin Number Two was still working on Michelle’s new phone. My heart sunk when Michelle asked me for a cup of coffee, after she got her phone, with her and Jacques. In my head, I cursed in French, once again. Michelle was totally into me. This was brand new; I liked it a lot.

I was really impressed with Michelle. Hell, I still am. I said “Oui,” with a satisfied smile. Before I met Michelle, I hardly ever smiled. I was always so self-conscious about how my teeth looked. Sometimes I just really need to be confident. That kitty on was right, 20 seconds of Courage is really all that took. Ever since I met Michelle, I had to switch around my daily schedule a bit, which I have never really done before. The only other time I had to do that was when I had to visit my mother, if she wanted cans of soup from the nearby convenient store. I’m thankful that I met Michelle. If I never forgot to take a raging piss in my apartment, before I went to the library, I wouldn’t have married her eleven months later.  Oh, and guess what, I totally lost my virginity that night, too. It was pretty awesome.

I still visit the library, whenever I can of course, except I have two new people in my life, who are more than happy to tag along with me. I now look back to eleven months ago, and honestly, I want to slap myself for ever saying, “I want a woman who isn’t a constant, noisy, bitch as she rants on and on about the gossip she hears, all around work,” because Michelle does it alllllll the time. It’s not as bad I thought, it’s actually wonderful. Michelle is my best friend and she makes me not feel so lonely. And another thing, thanks to her, I stopped having so much anxiety whenever I would go to the library. I can now officially say “I’m free.” Pretty hardcore, right?


About Jake Arasim (0 Articles)
Hey, dudes! My name is Jacob Arasim and, well, I love telling fiction, for the most part! I've been writing and illustrating my own stories/books ever since I was 5 and I never plan to stop! I love to write about comedy, sci-fi, horror, adventure, and sometimes "icky-romantics." I am majoring in English, with a Creative Writing emphasis, along with a Theatre Arts minor. I am 19 years-old, I like to be a goof, I love meeting new people, eating macaroni 'n' cheese, and just having a good time. I also enjoy lovely music bands such as the Pixies, Jack White, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, Nirvana, White Stripes, The Cure, Rage Against the Machine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, the list goes on! I also enjoy watching the Evil Dead and Harry Potter Movies, reading books, listening to records, going on runs, and just being a cool cat. Speaking of cats, I really LOVE CATS! That is all, enjoy my blog, and I appreciate you reading. Stay awesome!