Decision Making


“You make the decision based on the information you have,” she said with a slight look of far away in her face, searching for the right words.

English is not her first language, yet we speak volumes to each other, it seems.

“My father said that to me when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next month, next year, next five years,”  she looked to me and smiled, “good advice, no?”

Awesome advice.

I have only so much information to proceed forward with.  I go into the breach knowing only a little.

I go nonetheless.

I have to say it is not without doubt or fear or absolute incredulity that I go into that breach, but away I go.

“Stay here, stay here, stay here, stay here,”  I chatted to myself as I rumbled down the hill from 36 Rue Bellefond (total freaking aside!  What a great name for a piece, a book, I don’t know, it’s nowhere near being anything but a tiny atom of thought in the brain, but I love it.  36 Rue Bellefond, that has some legs) to Cadet.

It was not a chant of desire to stay in Paris, it was a chant of acknowledgement, be here, be present, stay here, be in the moment, see things.

Damn it.

Carmen see things.

Get your head out of the future where you are cold and homeless and hungry.

Really, you are not hungry you just had a lovely lunch that you cooked in your kitchen, a kitchen you have paid rent for the month, stop with the crazy making.

Speaking of cooked a lovely lunch, I had chicken, there is a Boucherie with a chicken rotisserie outside of it on my way to and from Metro Cadet.  The cost of un poulet roti?

6 Euro.

The cost of a chicken sandwich half a block down at the McDonald’s by the Metro stop?

6 Euro.

I think I have the better deal.  That chicken can net me four meals.  I usually have it with a few potatoes that I saute up in the pan with olive oil and garlic, that and a cafe au lait and I am ready to head off to French class.

I keep an apple in my bag for after French class, then I am usually good to go until I get home in the evening.

I had gotten up this morning and did the one thing that I always tell myself to not do before starting my day–I checked my phone.

Bad news bears.

Or so my head would like to tell me, frankly it will take anything, any source of information and go like wild-fire.

Damn it.

I chastised myself.  No looking at the phone.  No going on-line, none of that until you have eaten a breakfast, gotten on your knees, said a few words to the atmosphere, made my bed, and written three pages longhand and meditated and had coffee.

Add to that list of things, no phone or internet until you have finished your French homework.  I had a load of it to take care of before class plus a quiz to study for.

That being said, that knowledge already being there, I went ahead and looked at my phone.

There was a text message about house cleaning and baby sitting.

My brain pitched a hissy fit.

I don’t want to be a house cleaner.

I do not want to be a babysitter.


“Do you want to stay in Paris?”  I asked myself.

Heaving a sigh.

I do not have to make any decision about it right now, do I?  I took a pause.  I sunk myself into my routine.  I ended up writing most of my three pages long hand about not wanting to be a nanny or a house keeper and letting myself get rid of it.

It makes me sad, I feel this awful strangulation when I say those words.


House cleaner.

Menial labor.

“You are not your job,” John Ater’s voice floated into my head.

I am not my job.

I am what I do.

I am some one who has a daily reprieve and a daily routine.  I know what my primary purpose is, I do it every day.  That is who I am.

That and a writer.

An artist.

I make art every day.

I write every day.

Sometimes it is helter skelter art.  Crazy no good art, but it is mine and I go out and I do it.  I get my camera out.  I get my notebook out.

I watch. I walk.  I look–the things I get to see!

I eat some damn tasty chicken and I tell myself, you are not your job you are your actions and you can just respond to the text and if it does fit you at least took a suggestion, you took someone else’s suggestion.  Take the suggestions, do the actions, let go of the results.

Nothing came of it, but a few self-pity tears later in the day as I had a moment of trying to explain to someone what I am doing.

I mean, it sounds crazy.

My fellow classmate looked at me like I was/am crazy.


I am.

“You came to Paris without a job to write?”  The look of absolutely incredulousness, I was horrified, almost as horrified as when I listen to her bad French accent in class, whoa man.  I tried to explain, I sounded crazier.  I tried to express that I did not know what was going to happen and that I was ok with it, I have faith in what I am doing.

She did not get it.

My other friend did.

“You don’t need to know right now, do you?”  She said with a quiet smile.

“Nope.”  I just keep doing this.

Creating, making pictures with words.

Editing–which I am beginning to see is another way of making pictures with words, or better yet, cleaning the smudges off the veiwfinder so that the reader can see the image better.  I don’t want smudged fingerprinted windowpanes, I want you to see clearly.  The editing makes for a clearer picture and you don’t get distracted by my paw prints manhandling the material.

I am getting the book edited.  I worked on it more today.  I will work on it more tomorrow.  I have a routine, I have places I sit and work on the book and when it gets too much I write a poem or I write a short story.

That’s it.


Today a little chicken, a few potatoes, a hot cup of tea.  I am entirely wonderfully taken care of and I am doing exactly what I am capable of doing making the best decisions I can with the information I have.

I do not have to know anything past what is happening right now.

I made a decision and I am living with the consequences of it.

In Paris.

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2 Responses to “Decision Making”

  1. AlexJB Says:

    You are not a housecleaner! But you may clean a house to pay your rent. You are not a babysitter! But you may watch over children to pay for your poulet. 🙂

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