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.


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.


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?”


“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.


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.


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.



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