Two days ago in the Berry region of France, I gleefully played George Sand. In this game of pretend, my lover Frederick Chopin has just arrived and I have polished the piano keys till they mirror the black filling of my pastoral eyes.
Tonight I am in Portugal. A Lisboan matron, hair wound up in curlers, paces in the street bellowing into her cell. Wronged and out for reparation, she has been spewing invective for twenty minutes. Might someone, perchance, have stolen her hairnet?
Two days ago I dreamed up bonnes bouches to make for my darling Chopin. Mon cher Fred, veux tu de mes œufs pochés au vin rouge ? Would you like your eggs poached in wine astride a garlic-rubbed toast or would you rather an omelette with cèpes and Espelette spice from the Basquelands? For my toilette I douse myself it vetyver and pull on pressed pantaloons. I am ready for Fred.
The woman continues her shoutfest because her hairnet is being held hostage. A breeze fingers a bikini hanging on the clothesline outside my window, making it pink with maiden modesty.
Two days ago, holding my plume George Sand style, tilted extravagantly to the east, I copied a line from her Le Géant Yeous in my notebook:
“Il n’y a pas d’abîme qui ne soit pas la propriété de quelqu’un, et d’ailleurs, au fond de tout abîme il y a une eau courante qui est la propriété de tout le monde… » (roughly: “There’s no abyss that is not the property of someone; moreover, at the bottom of every abyss is running water, the property of all.”
Tonight, here in Lisbon, I will be overseeing an Abyss-Holders Meeting. On the agenda: the terms of a provisional budget covering costs of damages in the event of a fall.
Two days ago I tweezed a tick out of dear Frederick’s bottom. Mon cher Fred, est-ce que je te fais mal? Pardonne moi, mon amour. If Fred contracts Lyme’s disease I will never forgive myself. He is my guest, my lover; I disinfect the tick bites with cognac and band-aid them so gently he thinks an angel hums at his bum.
The matron has finally shut up after forty minutes, her rant culminating in a resounding va te faire enculer – in Portuguese. I feel such relief. She had my nerves pulled as tightly as the white granny panties (adjacent to the bikini) on the clothes line. Time now for the Abyss-Holders Reunion. Then, boa noite, to all of you, wherever you are.