Although summer has officially surrendered to fall, and the interns here at Flaunt are talking about their Halloween costumes, the cool days and gentle sounds of the fallen leaves scurrying after each other along the sidewalks refuse to show up. Pardon my French, but this everlasting heat is fucking with everyone’s minds, and I am not overstating it when I say that the intern room looks and feels like the final battle of Les Mis is being performed. In other words, a rise of petulant behavior is taking hold and tensions are running high.
That thickness is in the air as Mr. Bedard, our Executive Editor, walks into the room that morning, barking (yet with a slight grin), “You kids have been acting like... ummm... like ummm...” He struggles to find the words. “...Like stubborn little French kids who are pouting because they want chocolate and caramel bonbons instead of cheap gummy bears! Now I know that by no means you deserve this, but I brought y’all a little morning snack anyways. Look at it as an example of how you should all be acting with each other,” before adding, “Mi casa es su casa, get it? Share! Come on, I wanna feel the lovin’!” Finally Mr. Bedard set down a China platter full of watermelon, sliced into rectangular cubes piled one on top of the other, forming a pyramid, just like a plate of fresh-out-of-the-oven (pot) brownies.
Us interns, not knowing what to say, forced a smile as to say thanks, and then began longingly staring at the platter, wondering if it would be okay to be the first one to grab one of those succulent, yet crisp pieces of blood red fruit. All hands shot in almost simultaneously. One intern shouted, “Holy shit, this stuff is better than Turkish delights! Is this watermelon from Avignon, where Cindy Crawford gets her antioxidant for her rejuvenation beauty product line? I feel young and revived!”
"It makes my left knee tickle,” added another. Then the most proper intern, who usually holds back on the dirty talk, piped in while struggling to maintain her composure, “I venture to say that this fruit is getting me sexually aroused. Quite frankly, I have never felt this way.” It was evident that everyone’s mood had shifted, and many different emotions enveloped the room--love, both physical and emotional, the long gone feeling of youth, unbridled freedom. And with that, Les Misérables turned into the last scene of Perfume.
As Mrs. Chu, our Associate Editor, stood there at the entrance of the intern’s office, unable to find an explanation to this sudden change, Mr. Bedard walked up to her and whispered: “I tricked them. I punched a hole in a watermelon that I bought at Ralph's (definitely not from France), then let it soak up a whole bottle of Russian Standard Vodka. My brother-in-law gave it to me. It’s the best in Russia.”
And so that morning, we all got drunk on the best eau de vie from Russia.
Written by Ilaria Rimoldi