This morning I tried a new walk – circumnavigating the sixth arrondissement. It actually only took me fifty-five minutes to go south on Boulevard Saint Michel, west along Boulevard Montparnasse, then north on rue de Sevres and rue des Saint Pères, but it seemed to go on forever. I passed the Vaneau Metro station, which no one ever seems to get off at. I can see why. It is a dumpy little station. But next to it is an enormous construction project with signs [in English] warning “Last apartment for sale,” so maybe Vaneau will perk up as a Metro station. These walks are showing me parts of Paris that I would otherwise never see. Yesterday I did my walk to Place d’Italie and actually made it home without getting lost.
Yesterday at the market I bought four enormous gambas [shrimp], and this evening I am making a stew with them to serve on rice. Our little apartment is tiny – a rectangle plus bathroom 31 square meters, which is about 330 square feet – one fifth the size of our small condo in Chapel Hill. But it has a full scale kitchen, in which I will cook dinner. I love that little space. When I stand in the “kitchen,” mincing garlic and onions and mushrooms, drinking wine, chopping up some fresh basil and oregano, “adjusting the seasonings,” I feel completely at peace. When dinner is ready, I will turn down the lights, put some baroque music on the CD player, cut the baguette into pieces, pour wine for Susie and me, and sit down for a simple meal.
I have now pretty well finished preparing the table of contents for Volume III of my collected papers. Once all the permissions are in and the covers designed, all four volumes will be available on Amazon.com. Will anyone ever read the volumes? Who knows? But they will be there, eternally in the cloud. This editing work I am doing has an oddly valedictorian character to it. Somehow, it seems as though I ought to die when it is done. But I am not ready for that, so I need to find something else to do with what remains of my life. Perhaps someone reading this blog will come up with a good idea.