A Frenchman Saves My Life...Again
Whatever you must say about the French, they have saved my life. Twice now. Now whether that's good or bad, well, you be the judge.

While the boy posse may be good for something, coping with my heartbreak isn't one of them. "You're depression is boring," the Doberman told me last night.

Now we know why he didn't pursue that alternative career in armchair psychology.

But one of the more recent additions to the viscious circle is Ariel-who is such a character that he defies synopsis. But he certainly deserves his ethereal name.

And while the boy posse complains and tries to rouse me with tough love. ("You are the master of your own destiny" How is this possible when I am not even the master of my own body? When even mounting a flight of stairs is a daunting task?) Ariel is simple and comforting. Perhaps because he is a storyteller.

So I sit on the loveseat with him, hidden from the rest, and he holds my hand and I tell him the story. "You don't have to tell me if it bothers you," he says. "No, no you won't understand any other way."

And so I tell him the whole story. The whole thing.

And Ariel listens and then he tells me a story." It's nothing like yours, but maybe it will help," he begins.

"When I was young, just a little boy, there was this Jewish-Persian girl I was in love with. I remember, there would be birthday parties, and I would always make sure she sat next to me. And so all the kids made fun of me. Even she did. But you know, I loved her. In fact, my grandfather told a story to my mother. I don't remember this, but she's insists that he told her this story. That one day after school my grandfather went to pick me up. And as I was walking, I saw her waiting for her bus. And me, this little five year old boy, I forced my grandfather, 6 feet tall, to get on this bus. Going the wrong way! So after some nudging, I go and sit next to her. We didn't say a word, but we rode hand in hand. Then she got off, and we went home. Well, we went to different schools. After a while, in high school, she writes me a letter apologizing for being so cruel to me. I couldn't believe I was reading this letter. I called her. She wasn't there, but I spoke to her mother. They were so happy to hear from me! I promised to call back. But then my grandmother had a fit-the girl was Persian! Why was I calling her? And I got angry and stormed out, but I didn't call her. Then after a while I called her again. She was in the hospital. I didn't know how sick she was or what was wrong. But I wrote her a letter, about all she meant to me, about what happened, that I was coming. She read the letter and cried. Her parents read the letter and cried."

He falls silent.

"Did you see her?" I asked.

"In her coffin. For the first time in years. But I am grateful. I am grateful that I was able to tell her. That she was able to know before she died."

And this is why I love Ariel because only he could find something to be grateful for in that story. We sit in silence. He holds my hand.

"You are a remarkable woman" he says in French.

"Why am I surrounded by men who think that, yet have no one?"

"Bad timing, cherie. But trust me, you think I do not feel alone because I am married? No, I will tell you this. I can remember times, dates, places, exactly when I felt such intimacy with my wife. This tells you how often it is."

We sit there. Hand in hand. In silence.

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