Always Un Deux Trois

A 3 hour French class has my brain careening. Dusty, forgotten words are being brushed off as my brain frantically searches among the back shelves for words of high school correspondence courses and French worksheets.

But it’s not just searching. It’s a mess.

The hard part is leaping over the files of Mongolian that have been neatly organized, colour-coded, stored, and packed away. Those files are familiar – in reach – at the front of drawers that had a time where they were opened often.

Now it is an obstacle course – leaping over boxes and bumping into filing cabinets as I scramble to the pile of shelves holding the French, way at the back of that dusty storage room in my brain.

I cannot pick up the word for “fourteen.” I have to start at “one” and count. I tried starting at “ten” but it was as if my brain was standing on stage pulling names out of a hat.

“Arro. Arro. Arro…..”

NO. NOT ARRO! I KNOW IT”S NOT ARROW! It’s niq, hoyer…sigh.
No. Again. Try again. UN. DEUX. TROIS.

Always Un Deux Trois. I must start with Un Deux Trois.

And the pictures of license plates flash through my mind. Hours on the bus spent practicing my numbers, aiming for faster, faster, know them faster.

And now

It is time to unlearn.

And that makes me sad.

And P.S. Oyuna, baksha – my teacher – I think of you.
That sends my heart careening too. And maybe that’s really the messy part…maybe I’m just missing you.

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