Wednesday, May 28, 2008


 8 am. I was rushing out the door. The concierge was ardently sweeping the courtyard, as she has done for the last twelve years.

The exchange as always was  “Bon jour.” Not looking up.Then.

“Il fait beau.” or “Il fait pas beau.” or  one of us says “Do you think it’s going to rain?”

Today, it was that, overheard by an office worker dashing out from bâtiment B. He responded, “Oui.” She said, “Oui.”

I said, “I don’t think so.”

I had already taken Nina for a walk and I didn’t feel rain coming. I was almost hoping it would not be sunny. The first part of my day  was full of appointments. I was dying to be back on my street corner to finish a painting I had begun three weeks ago.

I took the 85 bus down to La Quartier Latin. Crossing the Seine, the clouds seemed thicker but, when I got out of my doctor’s appointment next to The Pantheon, there were patches of blue and the clouds were white.

Now, I was off to Securité Sociale to update my card. I expected a two-hour wait. I took a number, sat down and opened my new New Yorker. There was a big window behind the consultants’ booths.  I saw that the sky was clearing. It was mountain air blue.  The fellow next to me explained that was because it had poured all night. That clears the pollution.

I had slept through it all so just replied. “à bon?”

I went back to my New Yorker. “Hey”, he said. “Aren’t you 97.” My number was on the screen. Where’s cubical F?

Ten minutes later, I was on my way home.

My friend Douglas was to come by around 1 o’clock to help me with some computer problems. He is really an expert, but gets annoyed when Kiki walks on my keyboard. I prepared some lunch and looked out the window.  The light was so beautiful.

He taught me some new maneuvers for my blog, which he had helped me install. I was very pleased, and now was ready to paint. I walked him out with Nina.

There was a TV interview on MY corner. Douglas knew the

camera man, a Rasta Ian who lived in the neighborhood. We went over to say “hi”.

“Do you know that this is my spot.” I said cheerfully.

They laughed. “Mary’s an artist.” Douglas explained.

“Look.” I continued. “See all those smudges down there pointing to the concrete. They’re mine”

They laughed again.

I said good-bye to Douglas and thanked him for his great help.

Then, took Nina back to the house, thought about it for five seconds and packed up my gear.

I set up my easel so not to be in view of the correspondent who seemed dressed for a funeral.

I asked if I was bothering them, but not with an interrogative intonation. I set up my easel and began to paint.

The interview was a clip for Senegal TV announcing an opening art exhibition for one of their most famous artists. I don’t know if this happens on real TV but, there were about twenty takes.  I was beginning to know the spheal by heart. “Bon jour mes amis. Nous sommes à Paris to celebrate the Opening of …

I thought it was a little ironic, but it sounded interesting. Perhaps I could get an invitation. When they finally finished.

I asked them where it was.

They laughed again. “Oh, it was last week.” 

1 comment:

  1. This blog is truly delightful -- wonderful images and stories to match. Bravo, Mary!



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