Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A feral child from Montpellier.

Something about her seems starved, feral. Her smile has a tone of desperation lurking in its creases. She dances on her toes, the very tips, like she wears toe shoes and listens to electro clash jam bands. A deep deep voice emits out of a frail frame and a soft face. This particular face is framed by volumes of wicked uninhibited black curls.

"You arrhh sou bew-ti-fal", she tells me. Her accent is so thick I can only understand her some of the time. When she talks to me she looks at me directly in the eyes, which makes me uncomfortable. I blush.

She is a wild thing. Insatiable, completely. I taught her what the word "tough" means, which was more difficult that I would have thought it to be. "What eez thees tough?" I put up my hands and made a boxing motion, then I pointed at my tattoo, and squeezed my midwestern lover's bicep. These were all the immediate things I could think of to illustrate tough. I was desperate to offer her something, a small form of provisions. She smiled and used the word six or seven more times that night. Usually in poor context. She gave me a drink back at her friend's house in Williamsburg, "I made you a tough drink." I just smiled and held her face.

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Apparently, its not just me, even dictionary.com has a hard time defining it.

tough [tuhf] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, adjective, -er, -est, adverb, noun, verb
–adjective
1. strong and durable; not easily broken or cut.
2. not brittle or tender.
3. difficult to masticate, as food: a tough steak.
4. of viscous consistency, as liquid or semiliquid matter: tough molasses.
5. capable of great endurance; sturdy; hardy: tough troops.
6. not easily influenced, as a person; unyielding; stubborn: a tough man to work for.
7. hardened; incorrigible: a tough criminal.
8. difficult to perform, accomplish, or deal with; hard, trying, or troublesome: a tough problem.
9. hard to bear or endure (often used ironically): tough luck.
10. vigorous; severe; violent: a tough struggle.
11. vicious; rough; rowdyish: a tough character; a tough neighborhood.
12. practical, realistic, and lacking in sentimentality; tough-minded.
13. Slang. remarkably excellent; first-rate; great.
–adverb
14. in a tough manner.
–noun
15. a ruffian; rowdy.
—Idioms
16. hang tough, Slang. hang (def. 56).
17. tough it out, Informal. to endure or resist hardship or adversity.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME (adj.); OE tōh; cf. D taai, G zäh(e)]

—Related forms
toughly, adverb
toughness, noun

—Synonyms 1. firm, hard. 5. durable. 6. inflexible.
—Antonyms 1. fragile. 5. feeble, weak.

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