Adult Education

(1 minute read)
by Terry Mahoney


It’s been a long time since I tried to learn French. Today, I’m trying harder as she gets into her stride. 

She’s enthusiastic, speaks with her body; drives her message home, pacing the floor; smiles, grimaces, gesticulates and frowns.

My problem is the cleavage. Not unattractive but too much on display in the vigour of her movements. I’m paying more attention to it than to what she is saying.

Pulling my eyes away, looking down at my notepad, listening, I hear,

“The French for some is de…”

It’s happening again, a bloody magnet, pulling at my eyes. A maximum effort, looking away. Eyes down, elbows on the desk, hands shading my eyes.

“…de la des…”

Oh yes. De, de la des. I remember this from earlier tutorials with a tutor without a cleavage. Oh no! Wrong to think that. Look away! Andy, seated close by, has drawn a full frontal nude. Good news. It’s not only me. Eyes down again, back to the tutorial. Paying attention.

“…But, when adjectives, numerals…”

Andy is obviously talented. Used his eyes for what’s on display, a feverish imagination for the rest. Very feverish. Pornographic. Forget it. Listen.

“…du is the word you must say.”

George, unshaven, scruffy, seated opposite, had stammered, shivered and sweated throughout his introductory statement on arrival. An alcoholic just three weeks away from his latest drink; in a very low state, but fighting back. To the round of applause, attempting to smile, he’d started to weep. 

He is sweating now, even more profusely than before. And I can guess the reason, from the direction of his eyes.

Tea break, in the canteen. Subject of discussion: Viagra. An elegant, prim middle aged lady announces, with an air of authority, that it’s a load of bloody nonsense. Foreplay’s more effective and a lot less dangerous. That’s it. Last bloody straw! 

An attractive French mistress. An alcoholic. A sex obsessed artist. Viagra and foreplay.

I’m switching to creative writing.

There has got to be a story here somewhere.

Copyright © 2022 – Terry Mahoney. All rights reserved.

About the Author 

Terry Mahoney (1935-2018) was born into a large working-class family in London and moved to Derbyshire in the 1960s. He led an ordinary, though interesting life. His sharp mind, cockney accent, pithy turn of phrase and army background were overlaid with a humbleness and humour that endeared him to everyone he met.

He lives on in the gems he wrote.

‘Adult Education’ is published posthumously, by the blessing of his family.

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