emma b. says

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Me voila

A misplaced sense of propriety is the only thing that prevented me from wailing as I boarded my return flight.

In hindsight, what I should have done is turned on my heel and sped down le hall, past the woman stubbornly and oh so gallicly smoking under the non fumeur sign (at 7:30AM no less), pushed through the door to the rosy cheeked dawn and fled to the hills.

If you have ever seen Manon des Sources, then it is possible that you are following my logic... Emma has designs on becoming a goat herder, and why not, just about every aspect of the thing is amenable to me, except, of course the goats themselves, and even they are OK, I will just wear a lavender nosegay.

What could be more peaceful than running through the collines, chanting "giddi, giddi, giddi", the tinkling of tiny bells on my goats preceding my gait, bathing in a deep, cool spring, being espied by a poor love sick hunter named Ugolin.

Also, the weather in the South of France suits my complexion, I am currently rather proud of my tan, and a goat herders subsistence diet is the stuff of a pleasant apero, sausage, bread and cheese, some raw, throat scorching southern wines and the occasional pain au chocolat in the village and I am a happy gastronomic camper (especially since I shall be doing much tramping after those frisky goats, I expect that it will be a matter of weeks before I cut the same silhouette as Emmanuelle Beart, perhaps afterwards I shall write a book called the South of France Beach Diet, make a boat load of Euros, surrender my beloved goats and buy myself a proper chateau)

There is a small matter of a bed, but I shall solve that by breaking with Marcel Pagnol and shacking up according to my whim with Ugolin, because it is the 21st century and even Frenchmen fix their teeth (well, some do)

You see, I hadn't remembered how much I love it there, it had been too long and the memories had gotten dusty and impressionistic, and I had forgotten all about the call of the cigale, how cobbled streets are murderous in heels, how supermarkets have entire aisles devoted to sausages, and how Frenchpeople are extremely partial to pink toilet paper.

I had forgotten all about the pink toilet paper, and the riddle perplexes me. But when I arrived at Mme. Bernadette's house and excused myself to the toilet cave and found myself confronted with incarnation of memory, all I could do was smile. And I kept smiling for another twelve days, until the airport, after le melou kissed me goodbye, after I boarded the flight and realized I should have run to the hills. If I were in the scampering through the maquis in the collines with my goats I bet I would be smiling still.