Archive for December, 2012

Gare d’Idiot

December 31, 2012

I mean, uh, Gare du Nord.

Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord

I went to the train station today.

I bought non-refundable tickets on the EuroStar.

For the wrong weekend.

Well, in a way, it is totally the right weekend, I will be celebrating a little anniversary.

However, my host asked me to come the weekend following.

Even though I totally got the message, even though I was exactly on the page, I still mucked it up.

I had gone online this afternoon and made the decision to not be in financial fear.

The money will be there.

I am financially successful and solvent.

I write this everyday in my morning pages, along with a few other Stuart Smiley affirmations.

Shaddup.

It works, you want to know how I know?

I am living in Paris.

One of the affirmations I have been doing for years is I am a world traveler.

I am moving to Paris.

Et, voila!

I am living in Paris.

To continue living in Paris, at least in a semi-legal sort of way I actually need to leave Paris, or the EU nations in general, and get a passport stamp showing I have been out of the country.

London is just across the way and there is this amazing tunnel thing with trains.

Yeah.

It was recommended to me a few weeks back by Barnaby that one way to extend the life of my Visa was to get it stamped coming in and out of London.

Then Corinne mentioned it.

Then I got an e-mail from some one I used to know in San Francisco who said she was living there.

Ms. Kellie just visited from London.

All signs seemed to point that way.

Actually, I am going to London, regardless of my silly mistake in dates, so not only do all signs point that way, the tickets confirm it.

I was just supposed to get tickets for the next weekend.

Sighing again.

I fluctuated between wanting to castigate myself to having a little forgiveness, I made an honest mistake, I certainly had not a malicious bone in my body when I purchased them.

In fact I almost did the entire transaction in French.

Which is how I messed up.

Before heading out the door to the train station I had tried to first purchase them online.  For whatever reason I could not achieve the goal.  And I kept hearing Barnaby in my head say, just go to the station and get them, they will be cheaper.

They were.

Even for the wrong weekend, they were cheaper than the online prices.

Foiled by the internet site and knowing how to get to Gare du Nord, I got lost once and found myself there, it is not far from where I live, I decided to just walk there.

Taking some one else’s suggestion.

Crazy that.

On the way I called Corinne, my mind was going a mile a minute.

I don’t know if it was letting go of the Euro in my wallet, not having money to pay rent, the thought of fucking it up, or making the commitment by going to London which shows a positive action for staying in France.

I would not be buying a ticket to go to London for two and a half days if I was going back to the Bay Area.

No, I woud be keeping those precious Euro for groceries.

My decision to buy the ticket really felt like the cement icing on the cake.

I am staying, aren’t I?

I think that was where the real fear lay.

I am sitting here listening to the rain fall around the sixth floor of the flat in Paris I am babysitting at.  I am thinking about being in San Francisco last year, second floor of a house on 19th and Valencia, doing the exact same thing, baby sitting.

Same situation.

Totally different localities.

I have to say I feel better in my skin here.

I am so scared I cannot breathe at times.

But I do feel more comfortable here in what I am doing then in the not knowing I was in last year at this time in San Francisco.

It was as if this whole last year was made to get me here, sitting at a glass table looking out the sixth floor at Paris.

That’s Invalides there.

There is the Eiffel Tower through that window, look, it is sparkling.

It does that you know.

I do know what I am doing here.

I am trying to stay.

I am committing.

I am committing to something wild and crazy and insane.

Being a writer in Paris.

My silly, juvenile, little girl, 40 year old woman, dream.

I have belief, however, that despite the uncomfortableness I go through every other second, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

I am not struggling against it.

My heart swelled earlier as I listened to some one share and I thought it would break open in my chest and I realized it was, just a little.

Paris is heart breaking.

And every time I have my heart broke open a little bit, it grows that much larger, to receive that much more love.

The words I open my heart to give and recieve love, taken on new meaning again.

I used to say them as part of a mantra that I picked up from doing work out of Calling in the One.

Fyi, my Beloved has not come yet, unless you can say it is I that came to it.

Just like I got to love San Francisco, I am getting to love Paris.

Beloved city that sometimes calls me crazy things.

“Oh beautiful, sexy woman, you have a great ass,” he hollered at me as I strode by on my very determined and scared way to Gare du Nord.

“I want to fuck you ass [sic]” he conitnued as I ignored him.

“Bitch, you can look sexy all you want, bitch,” he finished and continued muttering as I crossed the street.

I know you don’t mean it, Paris, well, I don’t mind being called sexy and beautiful with a nice ass, but I don’t put out that easily.

I am going to stay.

My tickets say so.

Billets

Billets

Even the people in the crosswalk seemed to be saying, London, it’s not exactly Abbey Road, but it reminded me of it.

Crosswalk

Crosswalk

Today, despite the fear, despite the wrong day, despite myself, I move forward.

I confirm this.

Here, in Paris.

Advertisements

Home Stretch

December 30, 2012

I just got back from an editing session at Odette & Aime.

I have one chapter left to edit in Baby Girl.

One.

I am exhausted.

I had not a thought to dinner and wound up making oatmeal for supper.

Oatmeal, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Sunday, markets are not open, not much is, I could have swung through the out door market I rode my bike past this morning, but I did not have the fight in me to muster through the crowds on an empty stomach.

I decided to ride my bike back to the hood and get lunch at the house.

After ward, I went to the cafe and I edited my head off.

I really am tired.

It is emotionally draining, as I have stated before to get transported to that time in my life.  So much misery, so many challenges, so much fear.

It is amazing I got out.

Corinne confirmed it with me last night, I really am lucky to be alive.

Alive to fight another day.

Alive to write another day.

Despite my tired body and weary brain, I am quite elated.  The book is almost done.  I feel like the end needs a bit of tweaking, but I don’t want to muddle about with it.  I am too close to it and I need a fresh pair or pairs of eyes.

I have two people confirmed to read, both of whom said they would be critical.

This is good.

I need critics.

I do not need friends.

Bless my friends, I do need them, but I need honest, critical, this works, this does not work, objective eyes.

John Ater assurred me he would tell me.

I cannot believe that he would not.

The other person said, “you may not like what I have to say.”

Excellent, that is the answer I want to hear.

Yes, I also want deep praise and love and I want to hear that it is good.

But I know that it has flaws.  I know that it can be a better book, a better read, and a better telling of the story with more editing and some clear cut criticism.

I don’t actually want to hear it, but I do want this book to succeed.

I really do.

I have worked on it for years now.

Years.

I am ready to move onto something else.

Speaking of which.

I finished a short story after I got done with the editing.  I did not know that was to happen. I felt a bit drained after the last chapter in Baby Girl that I worked on, I did not know that I had more words in me.

I did.

I used the facillities at the cafe, recalling the drole voice of the little drunken older lady with the bad skunk die job who had a pint at the bar while I was working.  She was slurring her words and the staff just rather humoured her and ignored her while she drank off her draught.

She mumbled, in French, about the gymnastics of getting down the stairwell to the W.C.

I chuckled.

The waitress chuckled.

The bartender chuckled.

The old lady hollered up the stairs that she could hear us all laughing.

We all smiled at each other.

I sat and read some John Fowles for a while, knocking off another good chunk of The Magus.  It is taking me a bit longer to bat through it than I thought it would, it is a big book–656 pages.

One of the critics, raving about it, says, “I read it all in one go.”

You must have had a few days completely free to do nothing else.

I am on page 424 and will probably finish my own book before I finish The Magus.

It is good Metro reading, though.  I do like having a book on the Metro, I do.

A song came on the radio in the cafe, I thought I might write to it.

Sometimes, often times, music will inspire me to write, a poem usually.

I thought a poem was going to come to mind.

Then I remembered the last time I had edited at Odette & Aime and I had written a poem then.  I flipped through my notebook, found it, and opened up my Word application.

I noticed the short story there I had started.

I read some of it.

I edited a sentence.

I cut another.

I wrote a line.

The next thing you know I have written the missing part of the story, taken out the superflous junk, and now have another short to add to my collection “The Atrocious Alphabet”.

Thrilled.

Here it is (I have put it in italics should you like to skip it):

The Amadeus Apple

  

  I stood in front of the gleaming golden apple.  I could not believe that I was here, at long last.  I had won.  I was going for a ride in the Amadeus Apple.

            My luck had finally changed.

            The side panel was opening, like a large slice being pulled away from the fruit.  My eyes widened taking in every detail, I must write them down later.  I never want to forget.  The mechanism so beautiful and glowing with its own light, the way it shimmered impressed itself onto my shielded eyes.

            The dark goggles on my face blurred out the worst of the glare that it emitted as it warmed up.  One could go blind from watching it too long—that had been discovered the first few times it was utilized.  Not that the knowledge was common, no one wanted to be reminded of the grim scar tissue and the hollowed out eye sockets of the men and women that had their eyes blazed out by the shine.  Not that going blind was the worst thing that could happen any longer, either.  The world had moved on and to not see what it had become would have been a blessing for some.  I did not wish to loose my sight, yet, however.  I adjusted the dark lenses strapped to my face. I wanted to see where I would be going.

            No one believed that it would really transport you to a time in the future when the Earth had recovered from the devastation of the fall out.  The stories abut the Apple foretold a clean future, where the seas had been restored and the skies cleaned and the food palatable again, the grass green, not scorched.  It was too good to be true.   I remember what my mother said about things that sounded too good to be true.  I knew it was propaganda handed out by the government.  But seeing the Apple advertised on the side panel of an Army land tank I had chosen to believe nevertheless.

            No one wanted to stay in this time any longer.  There was nothing left.

            Getting out was my only thought.

            I wanted to go for a ride in the Amadeus Apple.

            I had walked from the West Coast of the continent to the South Eastern side, many miles, many adventures through the underworld and the sudden rising of the Midwestern sea—the Great Lakes had conjoined after the blast had carved out the main lands of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

            No one had known until after the bomb had been dropped that the major think tanks of the world had been housed in Central Wisconsin, it would have been laughable to consider, the brightest minds gathered together in the middle of the middle West eating cheese curds and figuring out how to create world peace while drinking cold beers and engaging in an outdoor barbeques of Johnsonville Brats and German potato salad.

            It had certainly surprised me when I had heard the whispered stories of how the apple had appeared.  I had grown up in Wisconsin.

            They, the Institute, had known that something was about to happen, when the Amadeus Apple had, according to the legends of the road, materialized briefly on the lawn of the compound outside of Waukesha. 

            One day it had settled, out of thin air onto the thick, verdant, green pelt of lawn.

            A large apple shaped object, shimmering with peacock light, vibrating with the sound of Mozart’s last symphony.

            The music of the spheres does exist.

            The Amadeus Apple stopped spinning and the in habitants of the compound had gathered round.  They all went blind.  A blessing they said, later, as they were all spared the sight of the land being swallowed into the crater that had been the Midwest.  A blessing they said, having been given new eyes by the Government that glowed in the same shimmering lights as the Apple.           

            I stood, shaking with anticipation, my skin already irradiated from the music flashing into my skin from the speakers.  I recalled all the tales I had heard.  I trembled with exultation.  They were true.

            I was ready.

            Ready to go forward into a brand new world.

            I stepped into the slice of apple.

            I did not pass Go.

            I did not collect $200.

            I did scream.

The End

I frankly, was delighted.

I edited a chapter in the book.  I finished a short story.  I wrote some inventory.  I read some “light reading”.

I went for a bike ride.

I ate some dinner.

Yes, it was oatmeal, but I like oatmeal.

Not a bad day.

In Paris.

London in the New Year?

December 29, 2012

I met with Corinne tonight and did some of that thing we call doing the deal.

I am about to embark on an inventory, a fact-finding mission, you could say.

I pretty much know what facts I will find, lots of fear, disillusionment, selfishness, pride, goddamn loads of that, self-seeking, inconsiderateness, and mayhap a few other fun things.

Before I delve into that part of the story, let me just say thank you to the weather Gods.

Thank you for a reprieve from the grey, the cold, the rain.

I got an afternoon of sunshine and the most delirious walk about in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Luxembourg Garden

I had a nice morning, a morning that I was able to keep the hob goblins of financial fear away.

Just taking little one two actions.

Make coffee.

Write.

Meditate.

Take out the trash.

Funny how taking out the trash led me to the most glorious of my walks in Paris so far.

I had debated taking a walk in the neighborhood, but the gardens were calling to me.  I waffled as I was getting dressed, two Metro stops and time spent away from my schedule, what schedule?

I only truly had one place to be at today, the American Church at five o’clock.

I could let my “schedule” go.

As I was taking out the garbage, when in doubt of what to do next, do the thing in front of you–take out the trash, a bright burst of sunlight fell on my head through the courtyard and I knew without question that I needed to get to the gardens.

I came back inside, got my batteries out of the wall charger, loaded the camera, grabbed an apple for the road and headed to the Metro.

Two stops later I got out at Saint Suplice.

I was about to walk directly to the gardens, but the cathedral called to me.

I may have had something to do with the carousel in the courtyard, I am a sucker for carousels.

Carousel

Carousel

This carousel in particular drew me in, the sun splashing over it, the children running around it.

Little French children giggling and chasing each other around a 19th Century carousel.

They were all wearing berets.

They were all in striped jerseys.

They were so gleefully French it was impossible to not get swept up in the joyousness of the carousel.

I even contemplated going for a ride, but stopped at just getting a few close up shots of it instead.

Carousel

Carousel

Then, as I was right by the front door to Saint Suplice, I decided I could take a moment before heading to the gardens and go inside.

Saint Suplice

Saint Suplice

 

 

 

 

 

It was absolutely the right thing to do.

The organist was playing, the light from outside pushed through the stained glass windows, there were not many tourists about (the few who were there I avoided.  I felt if I were to not ignore them I would smack them.  No photographs!  NO CELL PHONES!  Really, honestly, take your call outside, it’s a church for Pete’s sake).

I walked around the sacristy and looked at the windows.

I have to say I felt so at home I even, for a moment contemplated converting.

I am not Catholic, but I play one on tv.

My mom was raised Catholic and from the stories it was not the most fun up bringing.  She deigned to baptize me when I was little.  A neighbor found out and I think hounded her until she gave in.

At the ripe old age of eleven I was baptized Lutheran.

Huh?

But my fondest memories of church are going to midnight mass in Lodi, Wisconsin at St. Patrick’s then going to my great grandma and grandpa’s house.

I also am a fan of the Lord’s Prayer.

Yeah, yeah, I know, but it reminds me of my grandparents.

Sitting at the dinner table and praying before a meal.  They always said it.  The words did not mean much to me, but the familiarity, the ritual, the tradition, that did.

I did not exactly have the most stable up bringing, but my grandparents home in Lodi was a fixture.  Despite hard times or maybe because of them, it was always a reprieve to go there.

The same kind of reprieve that I felt at Saint Suplice, Sacre Couer, Notre Dame.

I think of my grandparents.

Especially my grandmother.

I think she would be pleased with me, with my daring, with the leaps I have made–first to California and now to Paris.

The warm sun through the stained glass, the crescendo of music falling from the pipe organ over my head, a huge organ, it must be the largest one I have seen yet, and I was enrapt.

Smothered in faith.

I do not think I will be turning Catholic anytime soon, but it is soothing to be so caught and held, even for just a moment.

I took a deep breath, and may I add here, Saint Suplice is the best smelling church I have been in as well.  Saint Elisabeth gave it a run for its money, but I think that was because I visited during a day when they were cutting fresh roses for the altar.  Saint Suplice smelled old, but not moldy old, dry age-old, smote with incense and light.

It was heady perfume.

I wafted out the door and headed to the gardens.

I walked around the outside periphery.

I let the joggers pass me and closed my eyes and lifted my face to the sun.

That is God for me.

G.reat

O.ut

D.oors

That is all I need.

Cradled again in the lap of Paris.

Paris, you damn tart, just when I think, I don’t know, maybe John Ater was not right and I am not going to want to stay here, you go and throw me a sunny afternoon and I am smote, totally smitten and in love.

So, when Corinne mentioned that one way I may be able to extend my Visa for another three months was to go to London and get stamped there, it is not an EU nation, I thought, ok, I can do that.

Kellie was just here and said I should go.

Then, I get home tonight and whilst eating my salade, I see I have an e-mail from an old friend from San Francisco.

Who I thought was in New York, but is actually in LONDON!

In London at graduate school with her partner, planning a trip to Paris in April.

Ok Universe, I hear you.

I say yes.

London.

January 2013 I shall make my return, it’ll be eight years.

Happy Anniversary indeed!

 

 

One Time Out

December 28, 2012

Closer to staying in Paris.

I had to take A. out of the bedroom and out of the action for a time out.

She was having a world-class tantrum.

Oh the drama.

Oh the tears.

Oh the unfairness of it.  I have never actually seen a five year old throw a tantrum of this magnitude.  I get the feeling it works on others, I was not budging however, I just scooped her up and took her out of the room.  I do not speak tantrum.

She wanted to be the banker in Monopoly (French Monopoly, fyi, which has different street names and everything–although the premise remains pretty much the same).

Having her own money was not enough, she wanted the bank’s money too.

I asked her what was wrong as the tears just streamed down her face.

“I want to play it my way.”

Yes, honey, we all want to play it our way.  Unfortunately, my way does not often get played.

Rather I get played by my expectations.

I smiled and let her explain herself.

“I want to own the bank,” she said through sniffles.

Girlfriend, so the hell do I.

Especially when they charge me crazy surcharges.  The “you’re not in America”treatment combined with the you no longer have direct deposit (as I no longer have a with direct deposit) so, we are going to charge you some extra fees.

Gee.

Thanks.

I wanted to throw a tantrum just like A.

However, I am taking a different tack, not throwing a temper tantrum and just accepting that money comes and it goes.  What if instead of thinking that I do not have enough, I think, I have more than enough and there’s a shit load coming my way.

I deserve to live in a nice place.

I see others doing it.

The house where I baby sat tonight.

That’s right, I am the baby sitter.  A distinction I allowed myself to get comfortable with.  I am not the nanny here, I am simply a person who feeds and watches and monitors.  I am paid for my presence, not so much my knowledge.

I do not have to get attached to these kids.

Frankly, I am not sure I want to.

It is hard when you get attached.

Although I did find myself loving on each one of them at some point or another today.  Rubbing the little boys hair, spinning around the three-year old, consoling A. when she was not getting her way and distracting her into a happier place.

I did not feel so compelled to be the GREATEST NANNY ON EARTH.

I even read a magazine and drank a cup of tea.

I also used the phone again and called my friend Alex back in Cambridge.  His birthday is on December 24th and I usually call him up and sing him “Happy Birthday.”  I also typically get the same treatment from him on my birthday.

I missed hearing his birthday song, so after waiting the appropriate amount of time, it was way too early the first time I thought of it, I got on the phone and called him.

Nobody picks up anymore.

Everyone is screening their calls.

I don’t know how the number comes up on caller id, but it has only been answered by my mom.

This is funny.

I have also waffled on calling every single person in my phone book.

I had a moment’s hesitation.

What am I going to say?

I felt as though it was time to cut ties.  Sever my relationships with San Francisco, with the United States, get more into being here in Paris.

I will not be catching my flight back in February.

I will be giving myself more time.

I have fallen in and out of love with Paris quite a bit this last week.  However, I blame that partially on the holidays and the dark weather, the short days, and the money fears.

I really do want to be here.

I do.

I have to give it more time before I decide anything.  Basically I have to give my own self a time out.  I have to give myself pause.  The only thing that I do otherwise is continue putting myself out for baby sitting gigs and working on my book.

Do the commitments I have taken on and show up for each day as it happens.

John Ater said to me last night, “honey, what you are doing is not hard.  It is uncomfortable, there is a big difference.”

Yes, yes there is.

I am not lining up for a soup kitchen.  I am not homeless on the streets.  I am not spare changing illegally in the Metro stations with a small child at my feet.  I am not sleeping on a piss stained sleeping bag over an air vent by Hotel de Ville.

I am on my MACBook writing my blog.  I have had dinner.  I am listening to music.  I had an extraordinary hot shower this morning.  Life is good.

In Paris.

Tomorrow, a walk, a bike ride, work on the book, meet with Corinne, do the deal, get the fuck out of my own way.

Pat the fear on the head and send it on its way.

Maybe I can give the fear a time out?

Say, fear, I am tired of being pushed around by your small dick inadequacies.  I am really quite fine, go harass some one else with your pushy come on ways.  I have other things to do.  I don’t find you sexy, I don’t want to sleep with you, I don’t want to be your plaything any longer.

I am reasserting my desire for abundance, prosperity, love.

I work my ass off.

I deserve them.

The first thing to change is the perspective.

Again, a time out, a stepping outside the box and seeing what is really happening.

I live in Paris.

I made this choice and I get to continuing making the choices and showing up for the work.

I envision success and stability, solvency.

And yes, paying off my student loans, even when my head whispers, “hey just default, it’ll be alright.”

Thing is.

It is not going to be alright.

It is alright.

Even when I don’t own the bank.

It doesn’t own me either.

Accept and say “Thank You”

December 27, 2012

Fuck.

That is what I get when I speak with John Ater.

That and a face full of tears.

I told him about the nanny gig I had turned down and he spoke to me of ego, humility, and my lack thereof.

Sigh.

I will be making a phone call tomorrow upon getting up and see if the position is still available.  And I will shut the hell up about it not being enough money.

When one does not have money coming in, aside from the part-time I have for the next four days, then one does not have a leg to stand on.

That being said, if I scrape it together and work an extra hour or two, I may actually make rent.

May.

I got a few extra hours today at my little gig in the 7th arrondissement.  And they asked me to stay a little longer tomorrow as well.  With that and New Years I may get to rent.  It will be close, but I may get there.

The check in with John was just what I needed.

I admitted that I was having a hard time, it is harder than I thought, but he said, until I was out of my first three months here it was probably going to feel that way.

Then I would be more comfortable, things would not be so strange, I might even have a little steady cash coming in, and then I would be here and a year would go by, and the two-year marker he keeps talking about will set in and then, suddenly, I will never want to go back again.

I told him I found myself homesick for Oakland of all places.

I thought he was going to spit up on the monitor he was laughing so hard.

Hmmmm.

What would you pick?

Oakland?

Or.

Paris?

Yeah, just writing that makes me see how silly it is.  I just had a moment, it is passing.

The walk today actually helped me quite a bit.  I got a good stretch out of my legs and walked along the Seine and took a few photographs.

Taking out my camera always helps.  I don’t mind looking like a tourist, have you seen Paris?  It’s over run with tourists.

Last night, walking along the Champs Elysees I nearly swooned with the crush of people, day after Christmas early evening crazy that was happening.  I have never seen so many people for so long, block after block after block, I thought it would never stop.

I had gotten on the wrong Metro line and instead of trying to wiggle around underground correcting it, I just thought, I will walk along the Champs Elysees and just cruise down.

There was no cruising.

It was insanity.

I do not want to know what it must look like during high tourist season.

Ack.

I also will be here when high tourist season starts and hopefully ends.

Barnaby has renewed the lease, I am a listed tenant/occupant and there it begins.

I am on a lease.

I am going to pay rent.

I am going to take that nanny gig, if it is still available, and if it’s not, I will get my humble pants on and look harder.

I will not look another gift-horse in the mouth.

John also reminded me that I did not know what I was turning my nose up on.

I realized that and kicked myself.

I thought I was being pro-active and taking care of myself and saying what I needed.

But it is not what I need if I turn down something and do not have anything else in the wings.

I feel fairly stupid and yes, I did shed a tear or two.

John gets me there right off the bat.

After my long walk today I ended up in the 7th on Rue Breutille, to take care of three little monkeys, 7-years, 5 years, and 3 years old.  We watched videos, cut out snowflakes, played with stickers, read lots of books, had pizza for dinner (well they had pizza, I made oatmeal, not much in the house for me to nibble on), snuggled one another and made long distance phone calls.

Oh that is right, I called the states.

The dad said, “feel free to make long distance calls, anywhere in the world, we get free calls with our service.”

I could barely wait for them to leave.

I called my mom.

I called Joan, John, Jennifer, Beth, and started to call a few others, but there are only so many ways to make a phone call when you have that many monkeys scrambling about for your attention.

I only actually got through to my mom.

It was nice to wish her a happy anniversary, a belated Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.  We did not talk too long, but she sounded good and it was nice to say hello.

John and I Skyped.

He asked immediately if I was wearing eye-make up and will wonders never cease?  I was, but it was waterproof.

He was pretty impressed.

I know he is right, I flipped him off, and I got some humble pie on.

I got some right sized on and I get to make a phone call tomorrow and see if I can amend my assholeness.

I won’t count on it, but I am taking the action anyway.

Last thing I want to tell my room-mate, I am just now realizing, gah, I am a fuck, that if you can’t pay rent, you certainly don’t want to tell the roomie that you turned down a paying gig of any kind because it wasn’t enough.

It is enough.

At least for now.

At least until something else comes in.

It is better than nothing coming in.

Thank you John, I wills start by accepting your suggestions and go from there.

Humility.

So tasty, even in Paris.

Sex, Death, and Babysitting

December 26, 2012

Today I went to the Montmartre Cemetery.

It just so happens to be right next to the sex district.

I understand this, actually.

DSCF7172

 

It is a natural reaction to death, sex, perpetuating the human race after all, we may be logical, but we are just animals at times.

Animals that like latex.

Good lord there was some window displays that I could do without having seen.  That being said, there was a little tingle below on the occasion.

I have not had a lover in Paris.

Although, I was reminded of Philippe from the last time I was in Paris and our little rendezvous in Pere LaChaise.  We did not have sex in the cemetery, he would have if I had said the word, there is no doubt in my mind.

Seems like I could get a little action whenever I wanted, if I was willing to accept the offers that are constantly being lobbed my way.  I actually get more notice here than I did in Oakland, different, the attention is different, but the intent is the same.

Hey, Universe, I am flattered, but I would like a date please, a relationship please, some one to not just snuggle with on the Metro, but someone to talk with too.

I want so much.

A job.

Rent.

Happiness.

Actually, the happiness comes more often than not.  Especially when I get the hell out-of-the-way.

I said no to an offer today, not of the sex kind, I just ignored the ask and passed the shop the man was leering out of on my way to the tombstones.

No, I said no to a nanny gig.

Despite them being friends of some one whom I treasure very much, some one whom has given me a lot of help.  The ask was too little.  I wanted to say yes and I wanted to say yes to people please, her, not me.

I stuck to my guns.

Uncomfortable saying no.

I do, however, have a little gig tomorrow.

It is back with the family in the 7th.  It is longer than it was to originally be.  They have family in visiting for the holidays and I said, absolutely, I can help out more.

I will be baby sitting tomorrow and Friday.

As well as New Years Eve and the 3rd of January.

I also have an interview for a part-time gig on the 29th.

Then, there is the proposal I want to throw my room-mate.  I want to trade some work with him for rent.  I offered at one time to be an assistant to him, back in San Francisco, another age ago, it would seem.

I am going to bring it up again.

He could say no and I will just have to owe him rent.

Unless a Christmas miracle happens, I will not have rent for January.

I have had miracles happen before, so I will not discount the possibility.

In fact, as I wandered through the sexy sexy area and into the serenity of the cemetery, the sepulchres, the mausoleums, the tilt of tombstones, the moss creeping down the stones, the paths between grave sites, the flowers wilting in stone vases, the caw of ravens in the trees, the whisper footed cats darting in and out of the alleyways, none of my worries are so important, are they?

The death about me.

The sex about me.

I am just a small part of a large whole.

This life, it is short.

I can see that.

I stood spellbound by a grave.

Visage

Visage

The coin of his face imprinted on the cross.

Did he worry?  Did he have anxiety?  Did he seize the day?

I think he did.

I think I shall.

Of course, I forget this, I walk out the cemetery, back through the loud shouting red leather thrill of furred hand cuffs and Moulin Rouge sex-aterias and flesh shows, table dancing, lap dancing, private shows, and over to the Naturalia grocery store.

How funny.

A bio store right in the middle of the sex street.

I went in, bought a box a tee, a bag of oatmeal, and some soy milk.  I am going to give the dairy a little break, my skin has been a little off kilter and getting that out of my system helps.

See, that’s where I go.

One moment, in the middle of the cemetery telling myself as I look at the sky and the wet dark trees that I am to live and get out there and not worry.

The next moment, in the middle of a grocery store aisle worrying about acne, after all who wants to date a girl with a spot on her chin?

The guy right outside the door leaning out at me with a can of malt beverage and a lopsided grin, “psssst.”

After the walk and the sex and the shopping, that too is a part of denying death, let me buy some things, food, to stave off the dying.

I came home and made myself a nice hot lunch, then I gathered my fears and anxieties and put them in my bag and said, “do you mind waiting for a few minutes?”

I called the person who had recommended the job and said I did not take it.

I could hear the disappointment in her voice and I stumbled about, awkwardly, stupidly, and I acknowledged it.

It was a most uncomfortable conversation, especially when I realized I was trying to please her.

Ack.

That gets me into such trouble.

She gets to have her experience and I mine, and we can have conflict of ideas and still work together to do the deal.

It is ok.

Upside down and discombobulated by the thought of turning down a gig for 8 Euro an hour.

Eight.

Remember the death bit?

Your anxieties are for naught, love, now go write.

I gathered the laptop, put on my coat, draped a scarf about my neck and went to Odette and Aime.  I edited my book.  I drank a creme.  I got lost in the world of the Greyhound bus and the bus stations.

Remember when they had television screen monitors built into the chairs?

I wrote about not having anything but $48 in my pocket, a few packs of cigarettes, a can of Pringles, a navel orange, and a Skor candy bar–nowhere to live, not a second pair of shoes, no glasses, no extra underwear, not a bike to ride, not a cup to drink from.

I have come a little ways from there.

I looked up after an hour and saw the darkening sky and realized once again, I am exactly where I am supposed to be and the worry and the anxiety are not worth it.

The moss on the tombstone will be worn to a soft green nap, my bones brittle and broken, my words the only thing that may stand the test of any kind of time.

That is my truth, at least for this moment.

 

 

WWSTKD?

December 25, 2012

Translation?

What would Stephen King do?

I do not know exactly, since I still haven’t gotten the book, however, I have an idea.

He would write.

He would read.

Then he would write some more.

Even on Christmas?

Yes, Virginia, even on Christmas.

So that is exactly what I did.

Now, I did not expect to do this much work on the holiday.  I thought I would be hanging out with Miss Kellie, but her travel plans changed and she hopped over the channel this early afternoon.

We got up, I made oatmeal for the two of us and we had coffees.  We talked a little about last night’s festivities, it already feels far away, and started making plans for the day.

Her plans were foiled when she saw how much the ticket to take the train back to London would be and also that the bus back on the 26th was sold out.  She found a ticket for this afternoon at 3pm and that settled it.

I programmed the direction into my Iphone and off we went.

After leaving her with hugs and much gratitude, it had been such a nice thing to be of service, to show her about, to take her here and there and see the city through fresh eyes, that I was sad to see her go.

That and it was really good to have her in my corner.  Another person who adamantly believes that I am here doing the right thing even though I have no idea what is happening.

Flash back to last Christmas, I certainly had no idea what was happening then either.  I had just started at the bike shop, was house sitting for Robyn and felt lost beyond belief.

Now when I feel lost, it is usually because I actually am.

Kellie expressed admiration for how well I know Paris.

I actually do not know it that well, but I do know a few of the sights and a few of the stops and I know how to get from here to there decently.  I certainly know the lay of the land slightly better than some one who has only been here once and does not speak a lick of French.

That being said, it was also just re-affirming to have some one so pro me, so gung-ho about my experiences, and as she said, she was “rooting for me to stay in Paris.”

I am rooting for me too.

Today I eyed up the bicycle.

Hello, dear friend, is it time to part?  I do not want to sell my bike, but as rent draws near and I do not know what is next, I am taking what information I have and using it for the time to make decisions.

The thing is, brain, I do not have to make a decision quite yet.

Rent is paid for the rest of the month and let us to not discount miracles.

The miraculous happened last night as I tilted my head to the dome of the chapel and the words of French poured out the speakers hidden high in the cornices and poured over me in a flood of warmth and light.  The crush of bodies about me, the sweet smell of many candles burning in my nose.

Then the walk down the hill.

Lastly, before stepping through the door way to 36 Rue Bellefond, the genuine gratitude to be coming home, home I have one, to a warm bed, a hot cup of tea, and an indoor bathroom.

There had been a drunken row happening outside the Carrefour market last night amidst the three habitues of that corner.  The older man with a patchy white mid-length beard was scrapping with another man I did not recognize.  There was the sound of a bottle smashing on the side-walk.

“Merry Christmas,” I said and scooted inside the threshold with Kellie.

I am so blessed.

I forget that when I am back from the bus station heading by myself on the Metro to another destination.  Watching the stops on the board above as the train pulls in and out of stations until I get to Republique and hop off to find a room to sit in for a minute, a place to have a cup of coffee and a moment’s reprieve from the brain.

Which is wont to sucker punch me when I am not looking.

I will also admit, I was tired.

I went to bed last night at 4 a.m.

I was up editing the photographs I took, posting the blogs, putting up an album onto facecrack.  I did not get much sleep.

I had not gotten much sleep the day before or now that I think on it, the 23rd either.

Having a guest can be a wonderful thing, the company grand, but it can throw ones schedule a bit.

It was almost four p.m. when I got back to the apartment, I had gotten off a Metro stop early and gotten mildly lost.

Hmmm.

I had to laugh, no tourist side kick and I get lost.

Then I got harassed.

Not horribly, but he would not leave me alone and it was annoying.  I heard him whistle at me from about a half block away.  I ignored it, kept walking.  He followed, then began trying to engage with me.

I figured if I just ignored him he would leave off, but nope.  He grabbed my arm.

“Pardon!”  I said, not looking at him and plucking his hand off my arm.

He tried to get argumentative, and I kept walking.

I know it’s Christmas, but hey, fuck off.

He decided I was actually not going to drop trow and bend over for him and left me alone after another few seconds of rapid French hustle.

I crossed the street and he actually wished me a bon soir.

Ha.

Good night indeed.

After I whipped up my late lunch I thought what should I do?

A movie sounded like the ticket.

It’s Christmas, watch a movie.

In other words, check out.

Not to say that isn’t on the list, it very much is.  But to check out at 4:30 in the afternoon felt wrong.  I also had not done my morning pages.

A voice inside my head asked, “what would Stephen King do?”

REALLY?

“Yes, what would Stephen King do?”

I tried to imagine Stephen King on Christmas.  I saw snow and Maine.  A fire-place crackling with logs.  I saw a tree.

Then I saw a desk, a chair, a rug, books, and a computer.  Pens in a pot, notebooks.

Sigh.

Even on Christmas, I bet Stephen King writes.

I will too.

I opened up my journal and I wrote four pages long hand.

I meditated afterwards.

I asked for direction about work, rent, money, what to do next.

I did what I was directed to do next.

I made a cup of tea and I opened up my manuscript and I edited.

Afterward I made another cup of tea.  I sent my mom an e-mail wishing her a Merry Christmas and I sat down on the bed, there is nowhere to sit in this apartment (except the two folding chairs that constitute the dining area) and made a little nest of pillows to prop up on while I read.  Reading is important to my craft as well.  Stephen would probably take a minute, thirty at least, and kick through a few pages of a novel, I will too.

I picked up John Fowles “The Magus” and started reading.

I actually had the distinct desire to get up and go outside and go for a walk.

I stifled it.

It was not a real desire to walk, it was a way to feel bad.  It was to run away from myself, from the reading, from the pro-active action I was taking, and a way to actually isolate and feel lonely.

Darkly romantic, wandering the cold streets of Paris, all shuttered up early with the holiday. No one out on the side walks, no one in the shops, no one but me, lonely, alone, sad, and ready to be harassed by random men wearing cheap cologne.

Nope.

Sit still Martines, and read.

I did.

It was good.

A hot shower later, another few e-mails and a small dinner, I posted to my photography blog–I did take out the camera wee bit today, though not like yesterday, and now this, more writing.

Because that is What Carmen Regina Martines Would Do.

 

 

Christmas Eve in the City

December 25, 2012

Paris, that is.

Whew.

What a day.

I got to play tour guide.  It was amazing, all that getting lost totally paid off.  Kellie and I strolled down the Champs Elysees, walked along the Seine, went to Place de la Concorde, The American Church, the Tuileries, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Pompidou, Hotel de Ville, a Christmas party in the Montmartre, and ended up at Sacre Couer for Christmas Eve midnight mass.

I am tired just typing that.

I am actually exhilarated and wide awake.

It is 2:15 a.m. Paris time and I need to write my blog and I still want to stay up and watch a White Christmas.

I need me a little Bing Crosby to fluff out my Christmas time.

Good Lord.

I just realized I still have all of Christmas day to get through.

Christmas is still here.

There is still another day of cheer to go.

I am alright with that.  I have been having a wonderful time with my friend.  Showing her the sights, enjoying being a tourist myself, taking lots of photographs.

Although, I threw up a little in my mouth when I realized I had taken over 170 shots today and had to go through and edit them all.

I got some amazing shots of Kellie, she is smashingly photogenic.

Kellie

Kellie

And a great sport about all the constant taking out of my camera.

It was nice to really play tourist.

To get down and dirty with the visitors.  Really go there.

We walked along the Champs Elysees after a really nice visit to the American Church on George V.

Down the long cobbled street and through the masses of visitors to the Christmas Village.

Then along Place de la Concorde, where the winsome Kellie dug into the most tasty of treats–a fresh made Nutella and banana crepe.

“Is there chocolate on my face?”  She asked me.

Yes, but, it’s cute, let’s leave it there.

We went through the side of the Tuileries and I showed her the Orangerie.  I was tempted to stop and go in, the line was the shortest I had ever seen.  We decided to ramble forward though, there was not much time to take in the interiors of any of the museums we went to today.

Although, we did go to walk around the Louvre, just walking around the Louvre is an experience.

Reflections

Reflections

We took turns posing for the camera.

Kellie

Kellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was fun having a companion to capture a few shots of me as well.  I got into the moment and donned the tourist cap.

Courtyard of the Louvre

Carmen in the Courtyard

There were so many places I wanted to take her and one destination bled into the other.

Bridge of Love

Bridge of Love

It was truly a full day when I look through the photographs.  There are so many that I want to put up.

Yes.

However, there is also the time and I have many words yet to type.

Focus on the writing.

You can always check out the photographs I posted earlier here as I post up my photographs before I write my Auntie Bubba blog.

Ack.

There is so much I want to do right now and so very little time to do it.

I want to not be up too much later, not exactly from the stand point that I need to do a lot tomorrow, but I do have a guest, who went to bed already, and I do have a schedule that I would like to keep some semblance of…

Oh, who the hell am I kidding.

I am not going to bed anytime soon.  Might as well just roll with what is happening.

It is Christmas.

It is a time to reflect.

I shared a small moment with my friend John tonight at Natasha’s Christmas Eve soiree–where Kellie and I ended, well, not quite, I would say we ended with Midnight Mass at Sacre Couer, our Christmas Eve walk about.

John was taking a breath from the bounty of Christmas goodies and having a nice European salad to cleanse the palate before jumping back in and the conversation landed on the Christmas tree.

He and his room-mate had gone in and gotten one.

I had a moment or two of regret for not getting one, it would have been lovely and I do hereby vow to get one next year, but I did get to have my Christmas tree moment.

As did John.

We both shared about that sacred moment, usually when one is by themselves, in the dark, with just the lights of the Christmas tree on and the moment, the soft, warm, gentle moment where time folds upon itself and all Christmases come together and there is that breath of nostalgia wrapped in love and the glow of the lights and the smell of the evergreen and you take a deep breath and all is perfection.

He got his moment last night.

And I had mine in the nave of the American Church.

I had stayed behind earlier this afternoon to look at the organ behind the nave and I came out of using the facilities and no one was in the vestry.

Just me and the large Christmas tree in the dark of the church glowing with white lights and strung with red and green construction paper garlands.

I was completely transported.

It was good.

So very good.

As was the party tonight.  I have made some wonderful new friends here in Paris.

Natasha

Natasha

John and I

John and I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really, such a blessing, to have friends about me, in a new city with new challenges and adventures and struggles.

Friends to help me and friends I get to help.

I am still so tickled that Kellie thinks I am a good tour guide, it felt really nice to be able to share my experience of getting about the city.  I am still chuckling about how Sarah said I knew the city better than she and she has been here two years.

Christmas Eve Love

Holiday Cheer

There was so much love and laughter and silliness, I felt at home smashed between the Johns and was super grateful that I got to be a little part of the festivities.

Deux Johns

John and John and I

 

 

 

And I got to go to Sacre Couer for midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

With a large group of friends.

I had no idea that everyone was going to want to come.  When I imagined it, I imagined going by myself.

You think I would have figured this out by now, I am never alone.  No, I am surrounded with love.

On the steps

On the steps

The church was overflowing with people.  We walked in, grouped together, from all over the world.

I was surrounded.

And the choir opened with Silent Night in French.

The tears fell and I raised my face to the cathedral dome spanning high above me, closed my eyes and let myself be washed in love, song, friends surrounding me on all sides.

Merry Christmas my friends, family, and fellows.

Peace and prosperity.

Serenity and grace.

Love.

Love.

Love.

May you be blessed with that same knowledge this Christmas Eve, you, just like I, are never alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Time Visitor

December 23, 2012

I was not happy to get up this morning at 7 a.m.

But I was happy to go meet Kellie at the Eurolines bus stop.

She came in today at 9a.m. on an overnight bus from London.

Funny, that, Barnaby headed out this morning at 10 a.m. to London to stay with his aunt and uncle and cousins for Christmas.

I got a swap!

Kellie and I actually know each other from San Francisco.

It is truly a small world.

When we discovered that we would be in Europe at the same time we made plans to meet up.  She got transferred with her job to London and I got transferred with my dream to Paris.

We hatched wee plans on Valencia Street.

It seems so far away, Valencia Street, San Francisco.

Another time, another place, another set of dreams.

It was wonderful, too, to share my progress with the book (worked on it some more today, handy when a guest is weary from traveling, they take a nap.  I concluded to work on the book instead of rest, it was tempting,the looks my bed was sending, but I wanted to take advantage of her down time to work), with my move, with Paris.

The crazy.

The faith.

Keeping the faith.

That has been really positive.

Of course, this morning on the Metro coming back into the city from the Periphery, it was challenging to remember that.  I was tired, a little cold, and a little turned around.

Kellie was tired too and excited and I wanted to share my Paris with her and also get to Maison Pairossale in time for my Sunday commitment.

We made it back to the 9th, hopped off Metro Cadet, trundled up the hill to 36 Rue Bellefond, grabbed a couple of apples and headed back out the door.

We not only got there on time, we had a few extra minutes to spare.  Kellie was hungry and we were both in need of caffeine, deux creme s’il vous plait.

To stand up at the copper topped bar in the cafe, the same cafe I had come to three and a half years ago after I got off my plane, with Kellie, from San Francisco, via London, and order two coffees.

I cannot quite express how lovely.

Lovely it was, be assured.

We went off into the neighborhood to do the deal then headed out toward that infamous of infamous sights, the Eiffel Tower.

It was the busiest I have seen the site since I have been in town.

It is Christmas time and there are loads of people who left the city, but there are also a lot of people in celebrating as well.

I noticed, too, that more stores were open than normal.

Sunday in the city is not usually so busy.

The Carrefour on my street was open today.

As was the boucherie and a number of boutique stores.  Overall, it was still a Sunday in Paris and the L’Unversitie Cafe I promised to Kellie was closed.

We could only take some much tower, before it was discovered that we were both really hungry, it was after two and time to get.

We ended up just down the “rue” at another cafe I had recently been turned on to, the oh so aptly named, original, no? A La Tour Eiffel.

I had a tartare prepare, my go to now, and Kellie had a nice salade and les pommes frites.

And we had a scammer waitress.

Nice try lady.

The l’addition, the bill, was 26 Euro, Kellie put 30 on the plate and the waitress said rapidly, “pas de change?  Merci, Joyeux Noel.”

Kellie nodded and she headed blithely off with a 4 Euro tip in her pocket.

Salope.

Madame, pardon, le change s’il vous plait.

I demanded.

She muttered under her breath and came snappily back to the table digging furiously in her apron.  Just because my friend doesn’t speak French does not mean you get to keep a humongous tip, you gave shit service anyhow.

The waitress was not pleased to be caught out, tried for a moment to say something, and I just interrupted, shook my head, asked again and got the change back.

Seriously?

Not going back to your establishment any time soon.

I mean, I doubt you’re concerned, but bite me, Merry Christmas my ass lady.

After that we headed over to Pont d’Ilena to cross from the Left Bank to the Right and hop onto the Metro.

It was time for a nap.

Time for me to work on my book.

Time to be mellow.

Do a little research and yes, Virginia, down load a Christmas movie or two.

Not the one you’re thinking either.

Although, I am sure y’all could figure it out rather quickly, there are only so many Christmas movies I like.

My favorite?

Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, and Virginia Dale.

I also like the copy cat one, really, I bet they used the same sets and costumes, for White Christmas, but I believe Holiday Inn came first.

I will never forget the first time I saw it, at the house in Windsor, on PBS, by myself, on a little black and white television (remember those?).

Yes, I am dating myself, but no, I am not that old, trying maybe instead, I am classifying my self, as in we were damn poor and had not a real color tv but some little tiny portable thing that we would huddle around.

I did not care.

I was enrapt.

The dancing, the singing.  There was something sweet, innocent, even in the little scandoulousness of the mood, that I was taken with.

So, I have me some Bing to sing to and yes, I also down loaded “Love Actually”.

Seemed apropos considering my guest here from London.

Perhaps I should try to find a French Christmas movie.

Although, if you want a French Christmas movie, you could just read my blog.

I’ll tell you all about Christmas in Paris.

Starting with a dinner in the Montmartre with my new Paris friends and my old San Francisco, via London, friend Kellie, finishing with midnight mass at Sacre Couer.

I think that could make for some interesting viewing, no?

Christmas in Paris.

I am here, in Paris, on Christmas.

Really?

How lucky am I?

Beyond.

Christmas Trimmings

Christmas Trimmings

Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Christmas Tree

Oh, Christmas Tree

 

 

 

Hey, What Do You Want Me to Do?

December 22, 2012

Ask the Universe, God, what ever you want to call it, and see what happens.

Ok.

I shall.

Ok.

I did.

Now I just wait for the results and keep doing what I know how to do with the information I have in front of me.

The information in front of me says keep writing kiddo, so that is something I keep doing.

I was going to go for long walk today, but it was down pouring.  Not drizzling, not misting, down pouring, and I did not want to put on my boots and take a long walk.

I have an awkward confession to make.

I bought a pair of boots my first week here in Paris, nice boots, not crazy nice, but nice.  And they are too small.

I hate that I did this.

Hate.

I thought when I was trying them on, they are too small, you really should not buy them, but the words of my room-mate rang in my head, cold, rain, cold, rain, and having had one day of walking around in soaked Converse, I listened to the fear instead of the intuition.

I bought the boots.

I hate the boots.

They squish my toes.

They hurt.

I have weird little bruises on the side of my toes and a callous that is tender to touch.

I have done this before, went with the fear of not being able to find what I need, settle for something that will do in a pinch, then, I am pinched.

Sigh.

Another lesson for me.

I even looked into re-selling them.  Where?  How?  No idea.

I googled and craigslist and nada.

Oh well.

I may again mash my feet into them and they are leather, so they will likely stretch.  I am sure there is a Youtube somewhere on how to stretch leather.  There is, but I don’t have a freezer big enough for the task, I have to research further.

I digress.

It was too rainy to walk the walk I wanted to do and also I wanted to put some time in on the book, so I took a mini walk, mini, mini, and went to Odette & Aime.

I finished the chapter I started yesterday.

I got half way through the next chapter.

I got overwhelmed.

It is emotional stuff looking back.  Looking at the events.

“What is your book about,” she asked me tonight on the phone.

“It is a memoir,” I replied.  It could be construed as a little awkward to tell a prospective employer that it is a story about my crack cocaine usage, sex, loss, homelessness, abuse, and running away from home.

Nobody wants to think of their prospective nanny as a crack head.

Even a retired one.

Bad enough I have tattoos.

There was an awkward pause, “it’s about my life when I was younger and some of the challenges I faced,” I finished.

“Oh, sounds lovely, would you be available to interview in the next week?”  She asked.

Yes.  We nailed down a date, the 29th, in between the gigs I am doing for the new folks in the 7th Arrondissement.  I have a part-time gig on the 27th, the 28th, 31st, and the 3rd of January.

The book is almost done.

I have one and a half chapters left to edit.

The end is hard and not hard.

Hard.

I have to use a strong editing hand on these last few chapters.  I believe at some point either in the 2nd or 3rd draft that I did, I embellished.

It was not a lot.

It was not exactly lying.

Or so I thought.

I was just making the story stronger.

I realized going back in that it did nothing for the story. I was explaining and not showing.  I was telling not painting the picture.

I went and cut.

The chapters are stronger for it.  I also added some, but it was painting, it was imagery, it was showing and not telling.

The book is almost done.

As I look back at what my life was, where I was, and what I was doing, I am amazed to be where I am now.

The chapter that I got into was scary and violent.  The man I was with was scary and violent.  To be editing a chapter in a cafe in Paris about a time in my life when I was young, living out of a hotel room in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, working at a gas station and trying to not get murdered by the boyfriend.

Is surreal.

To say the least.

I got overwhelmed.

I had to stop.

I was not at my hour and twelve minutes on my timer.  But I had edited far faster than I had realized.

I breathed.

I am not there, I am here, at Odette & Aime.

That day that I ran out the door, fleeing for my life, with a canvas bag with one change of clothes and no money, a hair brush and a half-pack of cigarettes, is no more.

I could not have expressed to that young girl that it would be all ok.

One day you will be in Paris writing a story about your life.

She was too busy crying and sticking out her thumb, hitchhiking for the first time is really scary.

So, I put away the book.

I finished the coffee.

I used the W.C.

I pulled out my John Fowles book and I read for the rest of the time that I had set aside to work on the book.

Which, I am finally acknowledging is important to the writing.  I know that I have always known that, it is important to read, but I am finally letting myself enjoy it again.

Reading was what I thought of as a sneaky escape.

Now, I see that it is another way to see things, to accumulate experiences and to also enrich my writing.

I need to be influenced.

Sometimes I just need a reprieve from what I am doing and a book is a good way to do that.  I really do think that it is time I get Stephen King’s “On Writing”.

I have had just enough snippets from it to be tantalized and just enough people suggest it to me that I feel like it is a good idea.

That and perhaps a writers group as well.

Who knows, I put the carriage ahead of the horse.

I am still trying to figure it out, here, even now, even as I type.

I forget, it is not exactly up to me.

It is.

But it is not.

So, hey, God, what do you want me to do?

Make it obvious, please.

Thanks.


%d bloggers like this: