Mysti likes to assign me “quests” when I am in Paris without her.
I don’t think that is why I enjoy being here so much more when she is here with me (no quests) but it might contribute to that ambience.
The current assigned quest is for nightgowns.
She bought some when we were here a year ago that she really likes and she would like me to buy some more of them.
And where I should make that purchase has been, “you know; on rue de Fleurus”.
I haven’t known, and I have been pretty sure that it wasn’t on rue de Fleurus.
Today I walked rue de Fleurus’ whole length and the shop wasn’t there.
But I got to see the plaque at Gertrude Stein’s old building, so I guess all wasn’t lost.
27 rue de Fleurus, if I’m not mistaken.
Gertrude’s old address.
On the plaque.
I have walked rue de Fleurus more times than I can count – it gives me a great excuse to circumnavigate le Jardin de Luxembourg - and I was absolutely sure that the place Mysti wanted me to go to, which I remembered, isn’t on rue de Fleurus.
So the fact that I walked it again was only an act of loyalty, not an act of fulfillment.
I also walked most of rue du Cherche Midi.
I gave serious thought to flailing my way down rue Bonaparte.
But it was after 1500 and Le Départ, in the distance, was calling.
So I went home to Le Départ.
After getting home to the apartment from Le Départ I had some olives from le marché de Maubert Mutalité, read some Patrick O’Brien and took a nap.
Awakening refreshed and dangerous I made some salad dressing with a secret recipe that I have concocted, but – I will divulge its most secret ingredient – includes miel de bruyere, and decided to turn on my ThinkPad.
I had texted Mysti from Le Départ advising what I have already posted here.
So I opened email with some hope of having more guidance on my quest.
That hope was, of course, given a negative cant by the always present possibility that Comcast – worst company in the world – nobody is in second place – would have figured out how to not have service again.
But there was service.
I guess I should be grateful for Brian Roberts’ marginal service business model: there sometimes is service.
And it only costs twice or more as much as it would in the rest of the advanced world.
But one needs to remember that the American free enterprise system is vastly superior to all other alternatives – except when measured by results, and when measured against other advanced economies’ prices and results.
But we don’t do that in America.
We have learned that asserting things to be true with no blinking and no backing down makes them true.
In the minds of Americans.
Top of the email stack was Mysti’s answer to where is this place, or at least, what is its name.
Sure enough the shop is not on rue de Fleurus.
Sure enough, the quest would come to fruition on rue Vavin.
I never would have come up with that one.
Rue Vavin wasn’t even on the list.
So I responded with thanks to her with my return email.
And that ends up to be the whole reason I have written the rest of all of this boring prose.
I think what follows has – marginal – merit as history.
Here is what I said in that email:
I did a Google search but I either missed it or - something.
I would never have thought of rue Vavin; I almost did a third trek down rue
Bonaparte and decided to head back to Le Départ instead.
You are about to be associated with a 73 year old man.
I hear it really does come.
As I walked out of Le Départ this afternoon - limped might be better said -
I stopped to yield way to an old man who would have bumped into me if I had
Seemed the christian thing to do.
As I fell in behind him and we both limped on down the quais - he slowly,
and I slowlier so I would stay behind (something made me not want to pass
him) I had an out of body revelation.
And I mean it was really a revelation, and I mean that it was really out of body.
He was me in some not too distant future.
And he was still trudging the quais here in Paris, and lurking near Le
What a pre-birthday gift.