Sunday April 29, Monday April 30
A rainy day and the Poet’s last morning, our breakfast club still intact. Will the collegial atmosphere continue or will it wither away?
For several days, I had noticed advertisements in the neighborhood for a flea market on Rue Mouffetard beginning in the early hours of the morning maybe even by 5 a.m. After breakfast and final good-byes, I decided to explore. I must have gotten the dates mixed up as I found only a food market. A small market but interesting as are all the marches de Paris. I shyly moved up and down the aisles trying to decide where to stop.
Since all I have is a small refrigerator cubby in the kitchen on my floor, I’m limited to what I can purchase. As I perused the market, I practiced the French I would need to make my transaction. Bon Jour Monsieur or Madame. Je voudrais…. C’est combine? Good morning sir or madame. I would like…. That’s how much? I decided on a cheesemonger that looked promising, long lines and cheeses designated as award winning, for instance, a morbier touted as the best in France. Also, a large wheel of comte seemed to be popular among the customers. In front of me, a woman ordered a saucisson sec maigre. Really, a French low fat salami? Finally, it was my turn. As usual, all my practiced French went out the window. I was tongued tied but managed, and thank God, remembered to be polite first and foremost. I began successfully with “Bon Jour Monsieur. Je voudrais…” but stumbled requesting the saucisson. Immediately, Monsieur switched to English and, with great charm, educated me on the finer points of choosing. “Madame, that saucisson is a bit soft, not the best of textures. But Madame, first you must taste and then choose.” He continued to entertain me and the other customers with his practiced chit chat and gallantry towards the poor Américaine
I walked away with low fat sauccison and the gold medal morbier. He was right about the sauccison and the morbier, a gift from the gustatory Gods.
On my way out of the market, a young boy was selling bunches of lilacs. A Paris moment-a bouquet of lilacs in my hand and packages of fromage and saucisson. C’est parfait.
Monday April 30
Another poet leaves today, and another rainy day. I could see that I needed to plan my last week carefully or I might slip into a nostalgic funk.
As soon as I got back to my room, cold and wet, from the Alliance Francaise, I researched possible outings in L’Official des Spectacles, a weekly list of events in Paris. I found two excellent choices, a Marguerite Duras play, Agatha, which explores incestuous feelings between a brother and sister, something Duras experienced first hand at Théâtre de L’Eppe de Bois, tomorrow night, and Miss Nina Simone in Montparnasse, Sunday May 6.
de Marguerite Duras
Mise en scène Bertrand Marcos
Un dialogue entre un frère et une sœur. Ils s’aiment, au-delà de l’amour fraternel qui conviendrait, au-delà des frontières de ce qui est possible, de ce qui est permis. Elle lui a demandé de la retrouver dans leur villa d’enfance afin de lui annoncer son irrémédiable décision de partir, loin de lui.
I had planned to have dinner at the Irish College but the grey skies and cold room would make for a dreary meal. The remaining poet and I went to a Greek restaurant on Rue Mouffetard. Warm, cheerful, and comforting Greek food.