rlbourges

The Case of the Disappearing Miracle

In A post to keep afloat, Contes d'Exil, Dante Alighieri, En français dans le texte on December 7, 2014 at 8:09 am

I stay under the blankets for as long as I can because dealing with the cold apartment puts me in a bad mood. The joke, of course: one of the reasons for leaving Canada was I couldn’t stand the winters any more.  Laughing? No, not while I sneeze and wipe a runny nose.

Pause for a dash into the even colder kitchen to grab the coffee. Hot. In a bowl to warm the hands.

I have nice people around me. They invite me to their homes. Nice of them, and thank you, thank you. But visiting people should be for the pleasure of their company. Not because you’re cold and kvetchy. Winters are short over here. Still. Cold days are long.

Story? The main character struggles on as best she can – which isn’t all that well.She’s forced to live truthfully in the circumstances i.e. bad mood in which the writer struggles at the moment. She’s doing what she can – the character, that is, and the writer too. Moving fingers across the keys, watching the little black signs show up on the screen. Not the greatest way to achieve lift-off.

The dream was funny. I’d come back from a Sunday lecture with a despondent teacher. He had good reason to be despondent, having sacrificed his Sunday morning, only to discover three dispirited students giving him the vacant eye. He moaned the way parents do: what am I going to do with you? How can I get this across to you, if you won’t even listen, and so on. I felt for him, what with the feeling being so familiar and all.  I walked home. There was a crowd at the door. People lined up to visit “the miraculous apartment”. You guessed it: none other than mine. The landlord was letting them in. The throng snaked in  while I stood in the hallway.  (The landlord happened to be the despondent teacher who also happened to be the director of the local college over here). The landlord wasn’t happy about the throng of visitors. I sensed the distinct possibility he was about to throw me out. I didn’t recall saying anything to suggest miracles happened inside my apartment, yet I was responsible for the mix-up – that goes without saying.

Ah yes. I still have it. The slip of paper with which I first set out, fourteen years ago. It’s framed now. It starts with “O vous qui êtes en une petite barque…” and ends with

“Minerve souffle, Apollon me conduit et Neuf Muses me montrent les Ourses” – Dante Alighieri – La Divine Comédie – Paradis, Chant II.

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