Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Post Poland Shuffle

June 6, 2005 (Paris)

I left Warsaw a week ago Friday -- ten days ago now -- and flew back to Paris. Wizzair to Beauvais. Had to cry to get a cab at Porte Maillot, in Friday rush hour, but sometimes crying works. Sometimes it's the only thing to do. So I was on time for my appointment with Dr. Julia, who gave me prescriptions for the rash and told me to go home and wash every stitch of clothing in my suitcase, rinsing twice.

Adrian helped me load all my laundry and then gave me a sundress to wear. A balmy night, so we walked to the Place des Voges. Got the last table facing the place. Got a little tipsy on the rose wine. Made a detour for ice cream on the way home, half of Paris lined up out the door and around the block of the gelati shop on the corner of rue Vielle du Temple and rue "St. Cross of the Buttonery."

Spent Saturday working, catching up, and then hung out in the evening with Jenny H. Campari and soda at Le Progres on the rue de Bretagne and then dinner on the terrace of le Rocher du Concal on rue Montorgueil. We were going to go to a party later but when Jenny called Carolyn, Carolyn said that the party was already breaking up. Not even midnight! "Trixie, where's your moxie?" Jenny gasped. But I was happy to walk back to the rue de Saintonge alone in the warm dark.

Sunday was gray, cooler, a good day to sit at the desk. But I got myself out of the apartment in late afternoon, ran down the rue de Saintonge to the little Armenian church in time to catch the free Schubert concert. Wonderful to close my eyes and just listen, let the music carry me away. In the evening I met Christine H. at les Philosophes for intense conversation -- maybe it's the place? -- about poetry, abusiveness, love. Later, Adrian made dinner here for the two of us.

Monday, I woke early, finished revising an essay, printed it out, sent it off, met M. for coffee on the rue de Bretagne. Caught the TGV to Zurich in the late afternoon in a swoon. The train ride was dream-like, as train rides can be. And a little surreal. In Dijon, the train stopped for a long time, and many announcements were made. Finally, it became clear that everyone in the rear of the train who was going to Zurich was to disembark and get back on at the front of the train. All the passengers in the car I was in looked at one another and shrugged. My gentlemanly seatmate insisted on carrying my bag. There was a flurry of confused people rushing back and forth on the quai. We found a car with the same number as ours at the front of the train and got on. Took our seats. Looked around. It was the exact same people in the exact same seats as before. Everyone laughed.

Cathy and Tom had waited up for me in Zurich. Cathy prepared a lavish "snack" for me and opened a good bottle of red wine. We talked until one or two a.m., and then I went downstairs to the guest apartment and settled in for the night. Spent the next day writing and recovering from the wine. In the evening, Tom and Cathy and I went to the lovely "little chicken" restaurant just over the hill and had a lovely meal and then talked again, until late.

On Wednesday, I walked into the hills, into the forest a bit, and then got ready to catch the train to Basel. Tom had left for New York in the morning. Cathy was packing to leave for Washington at the end of the week. Dagmar met me at the station in Basel, looking illuminated and very blonde in the hazy sunlight. We caught up for a couple of hours -- photos from her trip to L.A. of Neal and the new baby, Liam -- and then in the evening Uschicame to take me to dinner at Kranz. We dined in the garden, under a white umbrella -- a feast of fresh asparagus for me, good white wine from the region, dessert of peppered strawberries and ice cream.

I spent most of Thursday with Wilfried, running around Rheinfelden. We had lunch at the place on the Swiss-German border, on the patio overlooking the river. We talked about magic and travel and the way we want to live. Wevisited Marga's grave. We stopped to visit Bernard, sat in his garden drinking sweet mint tea and eating melon. He told us about his travels in the Sahara and about the Bedouins. He and Wilfried argued a little about the EU constitution, about whether the "no" votes are a positive or negative thing. They agreed to disagree. Bernard gave me a rock from the Sahara to keep. I'd like to go there, too, some day.

In the evening, Dagmar made dinner at home -- more asparagus -- and we talked on the terrace until the garden below us went dark. Until even the birds were quiet. We both turned in early, got up at 6 a.m. the next morning, and she went with me to the station, and she was on her way to Zurich and I was on my way back to Paris on the 8 a.m. train.

Friday evening in Paris. The world became strangely transparent ...

On Saturday I went to Alfortville to visit la famille Poilloux. Pierre's mother died about a week ago. He was her baby, the youngest of her nine children. He kept saying to me, "You know, it's hard to lose a parent." I know. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just after Pierre and Isa and the kids had left for Indonesia. They couldn't be reached on their island in Borneo, and didn't know what was happening, She was only supposed to last a few weeks. But she waited until they'd returned, so Pierre had a chance to say goodbye. He wrote something absolutely beautiful that he read at her funeral, surprising himself and everyone. We spent a long time after dinner looking at photographs of the sea in Indonesia, their family paradise. I want to go there, too.

Sunday I met Jen D for brunch, then we took a long walk along the Seine, talking about poetry most of the way. In the evening, I met Jenny H in the rueau Maire. Punk music was pouring out of the Baghdad Cafe when we passed, and we couldn't resist going in, cramming ourselves against the bar, admiring all those boys with skinny arms. The drummer was shirtless and his head was shaved and he played really LOUD and I wished it were even louder. It was Jenny's early adolescence in Pittsburgh; it was my wasted youth in L.A.; it was great. It was also Paris, so an older gentleman (even older than I, and I'd thought I might be the oldest person in the place) came out of the dining room in back to inquire, hopefully, if the band were going to take a little break? Out in the street, people were standing around smoking in the rain. Not really rain -- just a fine drizzle. Jenny and I went around the corner to the same Chinese place where I'd eaten with M. a few nights before and had a big, delicious, cheap meal.

So I have less than a week left in Paris, and that's already breaking my heart, but I'll be really happy to see my family again, and friends in the States. I'll fly to Cincinnati on 12 June, visit with my family in Kentucky until the 22nd or so, then fly to the west coast. I may check in here again, but I'm sure all that I'm going to be doing in the next few days is visiting with friends and swooning.

3 Comments:

Blogger nolapoet said...

Can't wait to see you stateside, Cecilia! Just back from another wondrous West Chester, and have lots to tell you.

Robin

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

janina dmowska aka smoczynska z warszawy 01-645
jest stara kurwa!!!!!!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

janina dmowska is whore who fucked up my life and now she is moving to san diego cailfornia. i anyone meets this whore they should stay way because she might too mess up you life, she is EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!
KURWA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:45 PM  

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