What day is it?
Well, as it turned out, your interenet situation here sucks, so you are going to have to make the best of your opportunity here for a quick briefing…
After parting from Ed’s place, you found yourself in Orleans, the center of France. Plat, plain, boring. But, it turned out you did not wind up on a “farm,” but rather, a nice little home shared by Jean-Luc and Michelle… two “friends?” that lived together. You are totally unclear on their relationship. Do they share the same bedroom? Have you ever seen them show affection? Doesn’t matter.
The work was rather light activity. Turning the incredibly dense soil, planting strawberries, clearing weeds, digging a pond, and chopping down a couple trees. Yes, trees. You are not exactly a lumberjack, but you will say you felt pretty gay. Almost as gay as when you climed a tree with a chainsaw in the south of France.
JL and Michelle were fantastic hosts. Everything was very relaxed, they did not force you to finish food the way Ronna did, and they let you keep to yourself, as you were overcome with the need to WRITE. And write you did. YOu wrote so much that your forearm started getting a little tendonitis. NO joke. Anyway, these two folks were very kind. They took you to see teh Chateaux Chambord as well as a little garden exhibit. And by little, you mean big. Some annual festival involving a theme (this year’s theme was PARTAGER, which means to parcel or share). SO you entered twenty something distinct little gardens, each trying to convey the idea of shared space. Each garden, an elaborate work of art.
The best part of your week really, besides all the writing, was dinner conversation. JL and Michelle are both rather intellectualy people, great friends, but with vastly differing opinions on everything. So you would sit back, ask them some vague philosophical question, and listen to them hash it out.
JL: “Fidelity is like slavery. There is a possessor and a possessee.”
M: “Great love demands two people who do not need each other. Who, by themselvs, are sound and happy, but together have a happiness by multiplication, rather than by mere addition.”
JL: “You cannot be in love with two people at the same time. Have you ever seen a dog with two masters?”
You wish you had more time… aaarg.
You and JL decided that writing at a computer was human regression. Everyone has seen the cartoon of man turning from and ape into an erect hulan being, and then returning to a bent over shape as he is confined to his desk and his computer. Same thing goes for the opposable thum, JL said. The opposable thumb was a superiour tool, anabling man to grasp things. But at a keyboard, one’s hands are fanned out. The thumb is treated as a finger, and man loses his connection with objects. He forgets what it is to GRASP something.
Anyway, you are at a new location. A farm in Belgium. VERY AWESOME. Will update more on this place next time, but you would like to devote a moment to how you got here. Hitchhiking, or course. A very long distance. YOu climbed into seven cars two days ago.
1) A 20-something, mean looking kid, whom you could not understand at all. Said something about money. YOu pretended to continue not understanding.
2) Big fat Spaniard. Very assertive, talked quickly, gave you food.
3) Nice guy named Damien. Drove a half hour out of his way to help you pass Paris, the roads around which are a nightmare. HE said he had hitch hiked in his day, and had to pick you up. Super sweet, very helpful, gave you his card in case you ran into troub-le.
4) Two HILARIOUS Scotsmen on their way to a football game. They made y ou laugh so hard you though you would wet your pants. There was a terrible accident in front of your car… overturned trailed. YOu had to hang out with them on the side of the highway for about an hour, listening to the whine about not being about to arrive at the game with enough time to get hammered.
5) French trucker who pulled over on the autoroute to pick you up, even though it is illegal for him to do so. Said you were too attractive to pass… he kept whitling and fanning himself. You thought he was a dim-witted chauvenist, but he later went on at length about how he has been married for twenty years and that he and his wife are successful together because they respect each other as equals. Refreshing and adorable.
6) Middle-aged man. Saw you, said you looked harmless. Drove you a few miles. Quick and painless.
7) two boys in their early twnties pulled over on the side of the road in a rapist van. Oh god, you thought. This is it. This is the ride that is going to kill le. They said they just had to drop off their company van, swap cars, and then they could tak eyou to your next stop. So they pull up to a warehouse. They open a shed door. You thought, this is where you would be killed. But in fact it was all legit. YOu met their boss, his wife, another worker. The boys work in installing mirrors, window, and stained glass. YOu got to learn all about how they make stained glass windows for churches. Pretty cool. One of the boys wen tot his house… the other one decided he was going to drive you clear into Belgium and up to the front door of your farm.
Fucking amazing. People are good.
More on the farm later.