How I overcame my fears and spoke French on national TV

How I overcame my fears and spoke French on national TV

Speaking French is not a simple matter of flicking a switch and carrying on with life. It is inextricably related to feelings of legitimacy, falsehood, belonging and alienation. It is associated with anger and frustration, inadequacy, stupidity, and triumph. It is related to who and what I am, my place in the world around me and a constant negotiation and re-negotiation of meaning, intention and power. 

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In Which Our Heroine Goes Bald

In Which Our Heroine Goes Bald

I cut it all off.

There was no ceremony.

With my housemate in the other room I slipped away and unpacked the men’s clipper kit I’d purchased the day before. Inches of wavy hair fell into the sink as I ran the nibbly grille over my scalp. Rawl! Rawl! It growled deeply as it encountered thick patches. Rewl! Rewl! It cried at the short ones. I looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes, enormous now, looked back from between my black eyelashes. My thick eyebrows seemed thicker and I decided to start penciling them again. I ran my hands over my dome, still scattered with the debris of the massacre, and reveled in the tingly massage. I felt Egyptian, ancient, feline.  

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