January 9, 2016

I guess I’m outlining my calm plan/plan for calm.

This week, I was introduced to a French man. From force of habit I stuck out my hand, while he leaned in for a kiss. It ended up being arguably the limpest handshake of my life, albeit with two kisses. The next time we met, I got both handshake and another couple of kisses. I suppose he was applying cross-cultural sensitivity.

Every morning, I drink earl grey tea from a bowl and hanker to have it with milk. I did get milk today. Afternoons, after lunch, I’m served some fruity tea and these ones I get with milk. Which is not something I’m accustomed to, but I guess it does tame the fruitiness of whatever tea it is I imbibe. I don’t even drink fruit tea, normally.

But not much is normal. The French bar windows and doors at night with exterior equivalent wooden versions and every time I lean out to swing my wooden barricades in I tell myself not to fall out of the second story entirely. French windows are long.

The world is dark when my alarm rings at seven and only lightens three quarters past eight. The French count afternoon hours literally “x hours past noon” and any day now I will dream in French.

I’ve dreamt of giant dogs, urgent searches, and my own end this past week. Regarding the latter: I was a Chinese girl out on a date with Wushou (my man) and we were cycling out to see a natural attraction that was vast underground caravans formed of sand. There, the ground beneath me gave way and I plunged for too long, into an abyss. I fell looking up, the sand covered me; I felt the worst sadness.

Many things I can say and recount, but my calm plan: if, I arrive at the train station tomorrow and there is no one, and multiple phone calls go unanswered, I can: reply letters. Walk to purchase half a dozen large oysters and remember to ask to have them shucked. Search for future workaways. Reply messages.

What’s the worst that could happen? That I wait on the streets till it gets dark; surely anyone hangover has to wake by five in the evening. At least, I hope. I don’t even want to wait that long though. The coast southwest of France is a cold place in winter, and wet. Being damp at the feet is not fun. Also, rather downheartening.

But it wouldn’t be the worst that has happened. Just.. lonely.

I am trying to take heart.

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