A Way To Wander While You’re Stuck

Bonjour from France’s second confinement.

Yesterday we walked one kilometer to a park to eat some mandarin oranges and watch the ducks waddle around.

Then it started to rain.

Nice weather for ducks, of course, but less so for sweats and sweatshirts so we headed the one kilometer back to our apartment.

One kilometer is the limit for non-official excursions right now. One kilometer and one hour. There’s an app for it and everything.

(Though it’s hard to say how seriously people are really taking this second lockdown.)

Just before this began, we’d found ourselves at a few museums, using each trip to scout an apartment as an excuse to see a new neighborhood and to slowly but surely tackle another museum off what is an ever-growing list of museums, monuments, and out-of-the-way places we’ve been told to visit.

On our way out of L’Orangerie, we stopped by the gift shop (which was not the way to exit, incidentally).

I picked up a book about a professor who leaves his job teaching in Lyon to become a museum docent in Paris, thinking it was a true story. 

I didn’t take it with me at first but the premise stuck with me as I wandered around the gift shop, playing with a Monet-themed Rubik’s cube.

(Why a story about someone who leaves behind the life he knew to follow a passion would stick with me, I haven’t the slightest.)

I grabbed some postcards, looked at other books, then circled back to it.

Then I bought it, along with the postcards.

It ended up being a novel. It’s still nice. Something about it caught my attention, and I’m happy that I gave in to that whim. 

When I haven’t been writing, I’ve been reading it.

And I’ve been writing more than I expected.

Which, you know, is a nice surprise when the thing you say you want comes true.

But for all the writing I did the past month, I didn’t write to you.

Not even once.

These are times that ask for more connection of us, not less. So I’d like to do something about that.

Maybe you remember that I didn’t just get a novel at the gift shop that wasn’t by the exit. 

I also got some postcards.

And like giving a mouse a cookie, if you let an Alex have a postcard, he’s going to want another.

So, when we went to Mont Saint-Michel this weekend, we got some more postcards. 

And I’d like to send them to you.

Not just this once, but regularly. 

So help me give these postcards a home. 

Send me your mailing address and I’ll get you a postcard right quick.

(Quick is relative. We’re a little bit locked down right now.)

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