Evening Constitutional

by

This is my last evening in Chambourcy, France.

I decided to take Rusty out for another walk after dinner.  The sun had come out and was lancing through the trees and despite the chilly air it actually looked like Spring outside.

I went for two long walks today.

I read a lot.

Finished the Jeffrey Eugenides book, Middlesex, good read.  Much better than I remember.  As I was completing the 500 + page work I realized I was not sober when I read it the first time and was allowing myself to suffer from writer’s envy.

No longer.

Part of that stems from the fact that I am a writer now.

Perhaps not as well-known as Eugenides, slight understatement.

Yet, a writer nonetheless.

I wrote my four pages in the morning after breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee, then did a meditation before the dog got noisy and excited to be outside, then went for the first of my walks.

After returning I made a heaping salad–baby spinach, mache, tomato, miniature artichoke hearts, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, avocado, and garbanzo beans.  Dressed with some olive oil and balsamic, little fresh ground pepper, and sea salt.

Divine.

I down loaded some photographs after and checked my e-mails.

I conferred with the room-mate and made plans for tomorrow.

Despite the family being back tonight, they are in the kitchen having a late dinner, they requested I stay the night so they would not have to drive back to the train station.

I acquiesced.

Tomorrow I will go back to Paris, back to the apartment and break down the bike and box her up.  I was contemplating taking one last ride, but I will probably not.  I have a late afternoon tea date with my friend from French class–need to return her guide-book on Rome.

Then an early dinner and off, one last time to the American Church on quai D’Orsay.

I have some last good byes to make.

In the mean time I am also making contact with folks in the Bay.

I am seeing Beth on Friday night, staying over and having lunch the next day with Tanya somewhere in the Mission.

Wow.

That still feels very strange to say.

I will be having lunch in the Mission.

Getting in on Wednesday, Action Girl will be picking me up, living up to her moniker!

I am excited to see her, possibly get a hit of Junebug love as well.

I contacted the master of the house at Graceland, confirmed my get in time and prepared myself for the onslaught of the kittens.  Of whom, I am delighted to get to see again.

I e-mailed some ladies in Oakland about possibly getting out to meet with some folks that evening.  I have nothing planned for Thursday, recovering from the jet lag, maybe grocery shopping.

Friday before I head into San Francisco I will be making my way over to the Burning Man folks, meeting with them to discuss the nannying and then meeting with their next door neighbors to check in about the house sitting needs.

One dog.

One cat.

I then re-focused on being here, today, in the moment.

Made some tea.

Got off the computer.

Did some writing.

Did some reading.

I wrote for a while and wrapped up the first chapter of “Mother” in rough draft.

I then read through to the end of my first draft manuscript “The Iowa Waltz” and was quite happy to read it.  So much better than I had recalled and I was actually surprised at how the ending went.  I had forgotten!

My friend yesterday had suggested I work on a new piece, and he’s correct, new work needs working on, which I did.  Yet, the call of taking “The Iowa Waltz” further was very alluring.

Since I have read the hand written manuscript, I may just do the typing to take it out of my notebook.  I am not making any plans.

Nope.

None at all.

Although the previous 600 words may belie that.

“What are your plans?” Asked John Ater this evening when I skype called him.

“I don’t have any,” I said, “whenever I make plans the Universe laughs.”

“Are you wearing mascara?” He asked.

“Yes, but its waterproof and I am not wearing eyeliner,” I replied.

The eyeliner is what usually is the mess.

We had a really good check in, one in which I did mention that I was pre-anxious about other people’s judgement, me coming back after I said I was gone for good.

“Fuck what other people think of you,” he said.

God damn it’s nice to hear that.

Despite knowing that he’s entirely correct and I need no shame, I came here, I had an incredible learning experience and I did something really grand.

I shot the fantasy in the fucking foot.

Living in Paris was a dream and I went after my dream and I realized it and then I went, “oh shit,” this is not at all what I thought it would be.

Oh my God.

This is 1800 times harder.

“Good for you for knowing when to get out,” she said to me tonight as the dog pranced happily about.  “Paris is hard for French people to live in and they have the support of their country and a system to fall back on when things go wrong.”

Paris, I love you, I adore you, I think you are the bees knees.

I got stung hard though.

It hurt, having that dream popped.

Yet, on the other hand, it was well worth it.

“You had a learning experience,” he said templing his fingers together, his eyebrow lifting up in an arch.

“Yes, yes, I did.” I responded.

“What did you learn?” He asked leaning forward on California time and adjusting the lapel of his bathrobe–it’s morning in San Francisco.

“I learned I am very mean to myself, that I do not treat myself well,” I said, and there went the tears.

“What else?”

“I learned that people really want to help me when I let them help me, when I let down the guard and let them in.”

“Good, and,” his chin lifted.

“And I don’t want to live like this anymore,” tears overflowing, “I don’t want to live like this, I want to change,” I finished.

“Excellent, we will have us a sit down when you get back, but not right away, let’s let you get unjetlagged before we go there.” He said with a gentle smile.

“Oh!” I said, smiling, “I learned one other thing!”

“Yes.”

“I will work any fucking job there is to work, I am done with not having a job.” I finished.

“Great! We will talk about that too, now just get yourself back.” He twinkled at me, “I can’t wait to see you.”

“You too,” I said and yes, a few more tears slid down my face.

“Are those tears!  Yes! seven thousand miles away, I’ve still got it.” He exclaimed.

“Yes, ugh.” I said, “good-bye.”

“Good bye sugar, I’ll see you soon.” He tossed me a kiss and a wave and signed off.

Yes, yes you will.

In San Francisco.

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