At breakfast, I met a poet who arrived yesterday as I did. We discussed what we were doing in Paris as like me he was here for a month. I tried to explain but found I even confused myself.
I went looking for Agnes and found Rue Daguerre, but no Agnes. Strange that I’m looking for her when I was not more than two feet away from her a few months ago. The IFC cinema was showing Faces/Places and advertised that she might show up: she did not disappoint-so alive, so engaging. The theater is small and as she talked in the lobby, I hung about and took a photo.
I almost followed an elderly woman comme Sophie Calle but decided to stick to my goal looking for Agnes and signs of the street she honored in her film Rue Daguerre. There weren’t many.
At a real estate agents’ there was a photo of an alley that looked very much like a photo I remember seeing where she was outside talking or was that in The Beaches of Agnes?
I gave up the search and made my way to the Le Cimetiere du Montparnasse. On the corner of Rue Daguerre and Rue Gassendi was a shop of collectibles leading the way.
In the cemetery, a map located where the famous are buried. Samuel Beckett, being Irish like part of me and sometimes confusing as I seem to be, could do for a visit as well as Jean Seberg. She sold Herald Tribunes in the film Au Bout de Souffle: I sold them for real. Like her, my route was the Champs Elysees.
On the way to Beckett’s grave, I passed Serge Gainsbourg’s: it is festooned with flowers. Looks “a bit cheesy, but nicely displayed” as Frank Zappa might say.
Maybe he’d like it.
Beckett’s grave is unadorned and austere much like his work. No fans with flowers for him.
Lastly, I found Jean Seberg. Her’s is honored similarly to Gainsbourg. Hard to know what she would make of it, just as it was hard for her to figure out her own life. Are we in the same boat?
Walked to Le Select on Blvd. Montparnasse where I spent most nights that summer I sold newspapers. We were a noisy bunch of young French, English, Scandinavian, and American students. Each night I went to the Alliance Francaise for French class, then to the Jacky Bar around the corner where the bartender, a cranky Canadian, would give us free drinks if we passed out Jacky Bar flyers to unwilling pedestrians.
We would end the night at the Select flirting with each other, shouting at each other about politics, teasing each other, and leaving just in time to catch the last metro.
Today, I sit with a pot of camomile tea and look over to the corner where on my last day in Paris as rain streaked the window, I said good bye to my French boyfriend.
“Il pleure dans mon coeur…” Paul Verlaine.
Afterwards, I walked back through the cemetery, seredipitously coming across Baudlaire. His grave depicts a man strapped in place, all tied up, as I seem to be.