The Final Final Final Conclusion to Paris Deux
The Baite Posted by Hello
Come live with mee, and bee my love,
And wee will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and christall brookes,
With silken lines, and silver hookes.
There will the river whisper runne
Warm'd by thy eyes, more than the Sunne.
And there th'inamor'd fish will stray,
Begging themselves they may betray.
When thou wilt swimme in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channell hath,
Will amorously to thee swimme,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.
If thou, to be so seene, beest loath,
By Sunne, or Moone, thou darknest both,
And if my selfe have leave to see,
I need not their light, having thee.
Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legges, with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poore fish beset,
With strangling snare, or windowie net:
Let coarse bold hands, from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,
Or curious traitors, sleavesilke flies
Bewitch poore fishes wandring eyes.
For thee, thou needst no such deceit,
For thou thy selfe art thine owne bait;
That fish, that is not catch'd thereby,
Alas, is wiser farre than I.
-John Donne
Part of going away is the rediscovery of missed pleasures. Sitting on the couch with my cat as purrs so loudly her whole head vibrates. Staying so late after hours at F's that Scott, the bartender, orders breakfast from Viande and we all sit there silently munching on cheeseburgers and omelettes. Even lying on my couch watching my latest selection from Netflix (currently: The Big Lebowski, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Red Dragon). Often times in the midst of these moments, I wonder could I give all this up? Could I be happy without my movies and books, my familiar bars, my usual suspects? If I left all this behind, even my dexterity with language, would I be happy?
My mother reminds me on the phone that "Paris is a place for vacation, not a place to live." I myself have said that it would not be a good place for a disabled person to live. And New York is? In idle moments I think that my fantasies of running away to Paris are better as fantasies. The reality of living in paris would be disappointing and harsh. In the Wild Duck, Ibsen put forth the idea that each person has a lie that is essential to his/her being. He called it, predictably, the life lie. For me, I have so few illusions left. That I will ever be loved, nope. That I will someday make it out of this job, not really. That what I do actually matters, no way. That I would be happy if only I could live in Paris. Perhaps this is the dream I need to live.
But I hate going home to that apartment filled only with books and movies. I drink and read and talk to my cat not because I really enjoy it, but to ignore my loneliness. In the dark alone at night, I put on one of the t-shirts Henri gave and I try to imagine what it would be like to be on Henri's boat. There would be the sun, and I could swim all day. In the morning we would drink good coffee from bowls and at night we would be rocked to sleep by the waves.
"And I know that I could happy be,
if it was just fish, Henri, and me."

Lost in Translation
I switched my MSN home page to French to help me develop my vocabulary. Today I open up my browser and there are the usual articles on in French not English. How to know if he's cheating. How to deal with nosy neighbors. And then I came across "Un extrait de Fuck them all de Mylène Farmer." I wonder what the Academie Francaise has to say about that?
My colleague the Bad Buddhist reminded me of the line in the Matrix II about cursing in French. "I love cursing in French. It is like wiping your ass with silk."
Apparently not.

Eye of the Storm Posted by Hello
Well I have pissed off someone in the universe management department. You would think the disability and the putting up with incompetent twits on a daily basis would pay off whatever karmic debt I might have earned.
Apparently not.
I thought the dead friend and the closed bar was the low point for the year, until I found out that my gay husband is in the hospital with a bacterial infection (FYI the very same thing which killed my friend-although I should specify that the problem was not the infection, but that my friend was elderly and his immune system, ie white blood cells, refused to RESPOND to the infection) and my little British friend (who I alternatively refer to as the monchichi or the muppet) , the one I can ALWAYS count on for a drink, has developed some horrifying stomach disorder. He finally dragged himself to the ER yesterday, and is not in the hosp. but is convalescing. I have offered him snootfuls of Earl Grey tea, but I'm fairly sure he is going to be spending a great deal of time pondering American television on his couch.
So after discovering the fate of my gay husband and my favorite stuffed animal with an accent, well, let's just say that staying home and watching Se7en was not enough to elevate my mood. The above picture is actually me at the bar where I had a martini with a guy, I kid you not, who introduced himself as Captain Ron. Fortunately it was not Kurt Russell with an eye patch, but a deranged former Caltech biologist who now teaches earth science to inner city kids. "I'm the only white guy they know" he slurred to me. Obviously he is not going to help ease racial tension.
The odd part for me here is that I am actually physically ok. That's kind of the karmic joke. Especially when you consider that I am disabled. But I really wish the universe would lay off of my friends. I kind of feel like the cop who offers himself as a hostage "Take me. I'm the one you really want."
The high point of yesterday: I rank number 3 on a google search for "MarriageProposal Gone Bad" videos and I got my first search for "gay husband blogs."

"You bitch, you cheated on me when I had cancer."
I know I promised you a post about the end of Paris, but one of my very close friends, one of the people responsible for that first trip to Paris, died on friday morning. I found out when some pompous twit pontificating in my favorite coffee shop at the top of his lungs about my friend's medical history casually announced that my friend had passed away. When the person I was having coffee with told him that maybe this wasn't the best way for me to find out, his defense was "Oh I thought you already knew." Friends, if and when I end up in the hospital please do me the favor of discussing the details of my medical history sotto voce in public. I do not want the entire hearing community to know about when I was on dialysis or taken off a ventilator.
And while I was still reeling from this news, I was also told that my favorite bar, let me say this again, MY FAVORITE BAR, which is something akin to saying my favorite thing to breathe, suddenly closes. People I am a delicate creature. Much like tropical fish, I do not tolerate major changes to my environment. Don't change the temperature. Don't bang on the glass. Leave that wierd little faux scuba guy right where he is.
And this is the long long long way of saying that I am not quite in the right place to do the Paris finale. On top of everything else, my friend's death has created a lot of other work for me to do this week and I want to give the final Paris post the attention it deserves. I'm aiming for wednesday.
Needless to say this is not the way I wanted to spend my Valentine's Day. Sorting through a dead man's papers so that when his daughters, who never bothered to visit him while he was in the hospital for three months, finally arrive, they will not have to deal with a mess. I don't even have the consolation of a drink at my favorite watering hole. I mean knew it wasn't going to be a good day, but I wasn't prepared for it be quite this bad of a day.
My general attitude towards love and romance could be summed up by an incident that happened this weekend. Saturday night, when all of us were having a last hurrah at F's, a fight broke out on the street. A girl was pushing her boyfriend. Finally the man hauled off and shoved her into the street. "You bitch," he said, "you cheated on me when I had cancer." This is what I was thinking of today.
Still, there are moments when I become reassured that there actually is something vaguely ressembling the love that poets and novelists promise. Not for me, but at least it's out there. My dear friend Teresa has a new man. I took a picture of them together saturday night. When she went to the bathroom, he turned to me and said "It's a good thing I can make her laugh as much as I do."
If my friend were still alive, I'm sure we would sit in our coffee place and he would draw pictures of the people there and I would offer my sarcastic criticism of love, I would narrow my eyes at men bearing roses and balloons, I would secretly wish for them to burst or wilt on the spot, and he would go on, acting like he is ignoring the whole rant, perhaps he would play a game of chess with bland lawyer. And in the end, he would tell me to go back to Paris where the men will throw themselves into the Seine for the love of me. He will tell me that perhaps my problem is that my expectations are too high. And then, with his light Alabama accent, he would put his hand on my shoulder and say "I understand. Surely Darius the Great would sympathize."

Posted by Hello

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