Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Midsummer Miette

No, I haven't disappeared. I've been involved in mounting a huge project -- on spec, of course -- which means that I've been waking up, having breakfast, and then sitting down to write for two or three hours each day. There's no end in sight yet, although it will, trust me, end. Then I'll pack it all together, send it to my agent, and hope this time I've got an idea he can sell.

Along the way, there's been very little paying work, a lot of hungry evenings, and hardly any leaving the house. Not good, that not leaving the house. But, if this thing's ever going to get done, necessary. And writing 2000 words a day can wear you out.

Where I sit, though, I get to hear what's going on outside. Not just upstairs, where, now that the windows are open, Madame Merde can be heard in full cry, as can her kids, also crying when they're not making other noise. The oldest has taken to throwing stuff out the window, resulting in two broken windows in the apartments across the way and a lot of toys scattered in the courtyard where they're collected by the kids of the violin-makers. As for the baby, I'm wondering if her second word (she already says "Maman") will be merde, dépêche, or arrête, all repeated endlessly each day.

So without leaving the house, I got to hear Montpellier take the Champions' League title, which, if I'm not mistaken, means they represent France in the international competition. The roaring and the post-game noise was astounding. There's something about football songs, anyway, that unnerves me. Americans don't sing. (Imagine, for a second, what the Dallas Cowboys song would be). The first time I heard a football song, I was walking back to my hotel in Brussels and a tavern I passed was in full roar. Visions of Nazis came to my psyche. Then I realized I was in Brussels, for heaven's sake. There could hardly have been a safer place at that point in history. And then I heard them in Germany.

The next weekend was the Pride Parade, now known as the Diversity Parade, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade (in English!). I have no idea why the name was changed, other than now it can be called Parade de Diversité and safely back in French, although I understand it's not just about gender identification any more. At any rate, I was dreading that, but the Big Event was evidently not on the Place de la Comédie this year, so hurray, no bad disco music.

But nights have been getting loud as the students drink and yell, the windows have been open, it's been getting warmer outside, and a sign of summer appeared the other day.

The geckos are back. Actually, unless they do that skin-color-changing thing that anoles do, there were two on this particular afternoon. One was running up the pipe, and when my computer printer turned on, it scampered off. Later, this one, much lighter, appeared and hung out.

I'm not sure what happened next, because it got dark and I was elsewhere, but that evening, I turned on the light in the bathroom and a large waterbug ran and hid. Last year, I had maybe two geckos in the house. (I say "maybe" because who can tell them apart?) One was in the office here, and the other I saw darting around the plumbing by the toilet. Both windows are open a lot, so there are lots of chances for dinner to fly in for an enterprising gecko. They're supposed to be good luck. Exactly what I need.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that with the windows open now you have to endure those objectionable neighbors.

    You may get some comfort reading Georges Simenon's novel "The Engagement" since it has a somewhat similar setup to your situation, but with a much more diabolical ending. It was made into a film titled "Monsieur Hire."


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