I was in Villefranche. I was in Paris. I was at home. I was walking through Los Angeles. I was thriving and having something of a spiritual moment as the music washed over me. My eyes got all watery — probably some kind of allergic reaction to the curtains, you know? — and it was magic. I always forget how profound an impact music and stories make on us. This one has been in my life for so many years, and I had grown accustomed to the idea of never having this chance. So to be in that audience having this rare opportunity was a delirious delight. I did not take it lightly at all.
The blizzard was not nearly as severe as all the weather forecasters had predicted, but the fact that I had to suffer in this insufferable way was simply too much for me. Forlornly, I made my way to the little cafe in the lobby of the Jane Hotel. I glowered at the freshly painted walls, signed wistfully at the memory of the Café Gitane’s lost nearness, scowled when I was told that they didn’t have an espresso machine, haughtily accepted drip coffee, and took a seat beside the windows whilst waiting for overpriced avocado toast to arrive. I was insufferable. The toast was actually great. I love a seedy bread.
She said something profound right then, after tutting dismissively at me, “You just live, Ben! Don’t listen to anybody, and if they ask what’s wrong, say that you fell in a damn ditch and you hurt your knee. OH! And always talk to the bartender; he has all the right answers and you don’t have to take him home.”
“Queen!” I muttered, but I don’t think she understood.
I encountered an absurd number of machine guns on this trip. There were the patrolling guards around the Osireion, then the bodyguards of the Minister of the Interior, and then […]
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