12 November 2009

Western Union

I was in the boulangerie in town this afternoon. Unlike a Frenchman, I do not have a compulsion to eat bread each day. For them, its certainly an essential part of the meal (le repas) unconscious or not. But today I found myself in one of the two boulangeries which count. A third one, nobody I know goes into it. Anne, the owner was taking care of an older woman who had many questions. I listened and watched the scene with fascination. It went on for 5 minutes, and I am not kidding (plaisanter). Mostly I was fascinated with myself I confess. Watching me in the mirrors, and wondering to myself: How is it possible that you have such patience tonight? Normally, I would be like a thoroughbred, my hooves grinding the floor, but tonight I stood watching, and listening, as if on heroin (le cam). I must have been smitten with a rare case of intense appreciation for living in such a civilized little town where such encounters (rencontres) are frequent. A million boulangeries scattered around France, and usually the same marvelous banter and patience. I have watched Anne in action many times before. She runs a tight ship, even when lines of clients recede into the street, she is forever the friendly nun  (la soeur).

Tonight, I got a call from my friend Melanie in Paris. She was quite upset  (bouleversĂ©e) due to a problem at work (au travail). She works for a very successful woman who runs her own gallery. A tough bitch (salope), as Melanie puts it. This evening, she was chewed out  (engueulĂ©e) by  a famous 'feminist' artist who is opening in a few weeks. Especially upsetting, was that it took place in front of lots of other people as they were installing the show. Between her anger and her tears I understood that her boss stood by and watched. Ouch!

Tonight, I flicked on the television and Arte was showing a program about a  show of Feminist Art at Pompidou. Timely, I smiled. It was pretty interesting (assez interessant). All the heavyweights were showing. I don't know if its a current show or has already taken place. Its a foreign world to me but I try to stay open to it all. I couldn't  help thinking however of that expression: 

"If you want to send a message, use Western Union"

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