Bridging the Gap (I)

The flirtatious perils of language tutors – a prose poem by Stephen Nashef


“What time would you like to connect tomorrow?”

He said it with a suggestive phrasing (untranslatable to English) as though the matter had already been decided. He knew that, in the language he was using, “to connect” could mean “to meet” – as in “What time shall we meet for class tomorrow?”

However, “to connect” could also mean “to fuck” – as in “What time shall we fuck tomorrow?” A pinch of a second saw an invisible ripple – the notion of a breath – possess his language teacher. A professional though, she prettily recomposed herself and suggested a “more comfortable” way of expressing his meaning. He attentively jotted down her correction.

He also knew it could mean “fuck” of course. This was his first concerted attempt at the art of second-order invaso-hypnotism [ invaso-hypnotism, n. |  ɪnˈveɪzəʊhɪpnətɪz(ə)m | 1.The stealing implantation of impressions/suggestion behind the stern gaze of attention... – OED, 2nd ed., 1989]. Other attempts since this instance have included:

• his expressing a fondness for “eating fermented beancurd” (which, turns out, in common parlance is a slang term for cunnilingus)

• a mispronunciation of “go the cinema” yielding “smell inner thigh”

• a peculiar idiomatic ambiguity between the admiration of pedagogical method and a kind of pleading subservience to a sadistic dominatrix

• and once an ejaculative outburst of “Marry me!” which he never quite explained but thinks he got away with

He was quite decrepitly in love with his language teacher.


END NOTE: The subliminal flirtations with his language teacher were never successful, in that their repercussions seemed confined to the realms of the unconscious, resulting in no active feeling or change of perception on her part. However, her lover at the time is said to have complained of a change in mood during their moments of intimacy, from a romantic gentleness to a patronising tone, complete with frequent corrections of grammar.

Read part two of Bridging the Gap here