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“It really was in the poorest possible taste”, I said to Madeleine as I forced the last bit of chicken in ichor into my mouth, “I mean really, street performers are bad enough – and mimes the worst of the lot – but this went beyond the pale.”
Madeleine nodded at me through a heroic sip of her fourth merlot. She wasn’t really paying attention, she almost never did, and that is partly why she is such a great dinner companion.
“He was just standing there, clutching at his throat, his mouth opening and closing with horrid irregularity. It was quite off-putting really. It was nearly enough to make me cancel my lunch.”
“Such things simply shouldn’t be allowed”, Madeleine sympathized with a slight slur.
“I quite agree, and you haven’t heard the worst of it yet. Once he grew tired of the throat clutching and mouth opening he dropped to his knees and onto his face. He lay there twitching for a few moments and then stopped even that.”
“How very awful for you” Madeleine said as she attempted to lure a waiter over in hopes of obtaining another glass.
“I should say. There were a few people who watched the whole of the grotesquerie with me. One black-clad, bereted young man – an artist or a communist I’d think – applauded and dropped some coins onto the paltry pile of money collected in a battered hat. ‘Brilliant’ he kept saying as he walked away. For my part I couldn’t convince myself to leave him anything but lying there – so I made my way to a lunch I was no longer sure I could eat.”
“Dreadful”, Madeleine said, “No, not the wine. I was talking to my friend,” she added when she saw the waiter’s affronted look. “Though it is a bit listless”.
“Quite dreadful. Why it fairly spoiled my whole day. This morning I read in the paper that a mime, a student at the Ecole Theatre – as if a French name confers prestige – choked to death on the last of a sandwich while a small crowd of onlookers did nothing but watch.”
“Serves him right, imagine the gall to do so private a thing on a public street. Vulgar really, unforgivably vulgar. People have no sense of decorum.”
“I quite agree”, I said as I stood, helped Madeleine from the table, and went to pay the bill.
But would I be a good Messiah with my low self-esteem? / If I don't believe in myself would that be blasphemy? - The Bloodhound Gang Hell Yeah