Good Narrative Principles

Whistling S


Simone speaks with a thick whistling S. She has spent countless hours with speech therapists trying to correct, or at the very least, tame her speech impediment, to no avail. Midway through her doctorate in art history, Simone awakes one morning with a unusual sense of clarity and calm. Despite stellar papers and a list of published work that any tenured professor would envy, Simone knows that her future as a lecturer is doomed. No undergrad would sit through her lecture on Wassily Kadinsky, Raphael Sanzio and the Renaissance (especially when she pronounces it according to French customs) without busting a gut. She is used to that. Instead of facing years of polite but firm rejections, Simone heads over to the Met and begs her friend, who is a conservator in Egyptian and Asian art, for a job. The only opening is on the janitorial staff. Simone accepts the job. Now, she happily spends her days gliding from Gerard David to George Bellows. Accompanied by her broom and dustpan, Simone rarely speaks to a soul. Instead she drinks in the leaps of imagination rendered in oil and carved in stone.

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