One in Two Thousand: Belle Furman ’20

Nigel Jaffe


Belle and I went to the same high school, and even though we never crossed paths there, she managed to spot me in Frosh Quad within my first week at the College. Such is life in the Purple Bubble. On Sunday morning, Belle and I waited in line at the Mission egg station for several minutes while a batch of over-easy eggs was being prepared fresh. Eventually, I decided to just get scrambled instead. Belle caught up with me at the table a few minutes later, and we sat down to discuss dancing techniques, elbow-licking and the dangers of going to amateur barbers on Friday nights. 

NJ: That took longer than I expected. I don’t even have much of an egg preparation preference. I was just lingering indecisively.

BF: It’s really my fault, I think, because I made a three-paragraph comment card a while back about how I wished they had over-easy eggs on Sundays.

NJ: How did you stretch that into three whole paragraphs?

BF: I just continued writing onto the back of the card… Oh, how did I stretch the content of what I was saying into three paragraphs? Easy! I took them on a narrative of my love for over-easy eggs.

NJ: Where did the narrative start and end? With eggs, I assume?

BF: Yeah, with eggs. I’m an egg.

NJ: Nice. Speaking of narratives, do you have any good hiking tales? Maybe some mountaineering?

BF: I’m not into mountaineering. I like to walk. 

NJ: Some city exploration?

BF: Riding the subway and staring at people.

NJ: Suburban adventures?

BF: I don’t understand the suburbs.

NJ: Seafaring?

BF: Nope. I am going to work on a boat this summer, though.

NJ: What are you going to do on the boat?

BF: Live on it, I think. 

NJ: Gotcha. I’ve heard that you’re an expert on dancing.

BF: My theory is that dancing is 87 percent in the shoulders, 13 percent everywhere else. It’s really important to properly utilize the shoulders.

NJ: That sounds about right. Do you have any dance idols?

BF: No, but there’s this video where a computer-animated Dobby from Harry Potter dances on top of a mountain. I’d say that resonates with my moves. When I was growing up, my sisters and I would all do the dishes while dancing. That was good practice because the more you were dancing, the fewer dishes you had to do. 

NJ: Very sneaky. What are your thoughts on elbows? Pro, or against?

BF: My little sister still does the thing where she licks my elbows without me knowing.

NJ: [Laughs.]  You’re going to have to unpack that one a little bit.

BF: Why? I feel like that’s pretty standard fare.

NJ: I didn’t know that was a thing! Are elbows just totally senseless?

BF: Yeah! You’ve never heard this? You ask me about elbows without knowing that when people lick your elbows, you don’t know?

NJ: Well, you don’t know! I may. In fact, I sure hope that I know.

BF: Everyone knows that when someone licks your elbow, you can’t really feel it. I don’t know why – should we Google it? Or just try and brainstorm?

NJ: Let’s brainstorm.

BF: [Pause.

NJ: Do you think that the mind and the body are two separate things?

BF: Wait, are you recording this?

NJ: Yeah! This is the “One in Two Thousand” interview.

BF: We have not said anything that deserves to be published.

NJ: That’s okay. There’s all the time in the world… sort of.

BF: You should’ve told me. I thought we hadn’t started yet.

NJ: [Laughs.] Alright, fine. Starting… now. 

BF: Now this is high stress. Does anyone even read this?

NJ: That’s not for me to say.

BF: People kind of read the Record. They just… scoff at the headlines and then move on. 

NJ: At the quality of the headlines, or at what the headlines contain?

BF: Both. It’s mostly the headlines that say stuff like, “1200 new students admitted to Williams.” Breaking news. Breaking news.

NJ: Tell me about your haircut.

BF: Well, it’s buzzed all around, even though I had very specific hopes for this haircut. One of my friends did it for me at 10 p.m. last Friday. Now I look like a thumb. I still love my friend, though.

NJ: I think it looks pretty good.

BF: I had been complaining for weeks about how the hair on the back of my head was getting mullet-y. I just wanted my sides tamed a little bit. I didn’t like how I looked like a Chia Pet. I just wanted to look a little more streamlined.

NJ: Streamlined… Like, aerodynamic?

BF: Right.

NJ: Hydrodynamic?

BF: Yes.

NJ: Just plain dynamic, even.

BF: That’s all I ever wanted. 

NJ: I’m going to go get some more coffee.

[I leave. Belle is alone with the recording device.]

BF: Hey, Nigel. You went to go get coffee. [Laughs.] Are you even gonna be able to hear this over the ambient noise? Probably not. I feel like this is a bad environment to do this in because I’m at once grumpy and feeling small. That’s kind of a bad combo for this activity. 

[I return.]

BF: I talked to you while you were gone.