Le jour de l’an, 2017
No meat, no milk, no eggs.
Daily meditation, exercise and water. Lots of water. Lots of breathing, C——–. No more rage. Oh, just let it go, let it all go! Be kind. Be silent. Smile.
First, I take a brisk walk to and through Bercy Park. It seems smaller than I remember it, though still so pretty, despite the chill and grey of winter. Fifty-six minutes. Then I just amble, this street, that street, all in my arrondissement. I buy a few treats from an open boulangerie patisserie: a little mushroom pizza bread, a three-chocolate-mousse-cream creation, and a custard and chocolate chip pain that I devour on the short walk home. I don’t normally have a sweet tooth but I have very much been craving something sweet these past two days. I originally wanted to buy only the little pizza bread, but to pay carte bleue, it is a minimum of a five Euro purchase. I am happy for the forced indulgence.
The meditation consists of, at least begins with, a short daily podcast I found last night. I am reminded of a time, back in ninety-eight or ninety-nine or two thousand. I was working at Christina’s Restaurant. Everything was pissing me right the hell off. I was really trapped in an inexplicable anger, agitation, annoyance. A rage. Someone suggested I read “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.” I went out and bought it immediately. As I began to read it, I scoffed at the blatant and obvious little pieces of advice and wisdom it was offering, nothing of rocket science. This was going to be a pointless and unhelpful read, clearly. But I decided to read on, finish the book. A little miracle happened. In the end, I felt better, something healed. Sometimes we just need a little reminder. A few simple words, heard at the right time, can be so powerful. I haven’t felt that mysterious, nagging rage since, until now, these past few months. Life is cyclical, who knows when or how or why the big wheel turns, but turn, it does. This podcast reminds me of that book. Heck, maybe I’ll re-read the book, too, when I get home. This podcast is simple, you just listen to this guy say a few wise, helpful things, you just pause, you just listen.
I have a fun and wonderful day of inner peace and childish joy, hopping on and off buses, riding around, and walking, walking, walking. I go to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. I visit Oscar Wilde’s grave, I visit Édith Piaf’s grave. Two women from Texas ask me if I know where Jim Morrison’s grave is. I love being helpful. I remember the kind, old lady, sitting in her car at the dead end I came to en route to Oka National Park during my bike ride last summer. When I told her I was lost and where I was going, she simply said: “Suivez-moi.” Following in her beautiful footsteps, I tell the two women: “Follow me.” I take them to his grave.
I hop on another bus. I get off at Canal Saint-Martin. I walk and I walk. I visit Café Bataclan and the memorial that still remains in the parkette juste en face. Oh, this world! Let’s just love each other, let fear not be oppressive, let it be an awakening! What a day, what a day.
I take the metro to Daumesnil. Au Va et Vient is still closed. I was hoping it might be open this evening. I don’t want to go back to Au Métro, I didn’t love it there, my waiter wasn’t smiley. So here I am, at Félix Café. I like it here until my waiter forgets to bring me a third glass of wine and bids me good night in English. Adieu. Still, I like the twelfth. My bus ride earlier today brought me through the twentieth, it also intrigued me. I could live here, but this visiting stuff is over. And being alone, I’m done with it, too. I’m ready for an adventure, a journey, an exploration with and of someone. But not just anyone.Yes, I’m thinking of, dreaming of M—–. I have proven time and time again, in so many ways and places and situations, too, I can make it by myself in this world. Now, the scariest adventure of them all, can I make it in this world with someone, can I venture deeply into the world inside, with lovely company? Oh, if a hypocrite could pray…