samedi 22 août 2009

A fine filament tugs

Japanese Horsetail in the basin

There is a cane of the Japanese Horsetail that leans on a perfectly still summer morning. I walked over to greet the fish -- they race over in a clump of frantic activity anytime I approach, thinking "Here comes the food!"; I feel like a fraud when I show up empty-handed, which I do all but once in the morning --, and I notice a single fine filament of spider web suspended over the water and its residents, the tadpoles, frogs, water lilies and fish. I followed it down to the spent geraniums in one of the the three pots, and back up again to where it connected to the tip of the bent cane of the Japanese Horsetail. A single filament of spider web strong enough to bend the cane, but not enough to pull this carefully balanced potted plant, its pot attached with garden wire to a brick, set precariously on a stone in the bottom of the basin. It sways in any movement, toppling easily. The fish and the frogs aren't even surprised anymore. Not even when I have to grab it and move it around until I get it into the one position where it won't fall over again immediately. They sort of gather around to watch. Not the frogs. They are too wary even now.

There is such a filament that connects me to my husband. He has been with his family and my son at his parents' home in the Périgord since early this week. I am slightly bent, too.

Yesterday, I decided I'd stop waiting for deliveries and workers promised, but that never come, and drive down to surprise him. I imagined gliding silently up in the car (not possible) and walking from where we park our cars to the lunch table under the au vent and kissing him on the cheek. Everyone else would have seen me, except those whose backs, like his, were turned in my fantasy. He would smile with pleasure and give me a big hug.

That's when I realized it was a fantasy of my own imagination. What would he really do? He'd say, "Mais, qu'est ce que tu fais là? Je pensais que tu ne voulais pas venir. Pourquoi tu viens quand je vais bientôt partir?"

Sreeeeech. Fantasy comes to a grinding halt.

Indeed, he called last night and in the midst of chit chat about wood, his new circular and some other kind of electric saw we call "une scie sauteuse" -- you've seen them -- , he mentioned coming back home early in the week.

"Lundi ou mardi, probablement mardi, je pense."

"Oh! Mais -- pourquoi si vite?" I knew very well, actually that he wanted to drive back up early in the week, Monday or Tuesday, and I knew very well why, too, but I asked anyway.

"Pour travailler sur la maison lorsque j'ai le temps." It's true that he has two more weeks of vacation and wants to make use of them on the house, but --

"Mais, le bois ne sera même pas prêt pour le balcon jusqu'à la fin de la semaine." That deflated him. He knew that the wood wouldn't be cut and ready until the end of the week because I had already told him that when we talked about the quote; 779 euros for the Iroko to match the big balcony, cut into lengths for him to turn into the pieces of the balcony.

That introduced, however, all the doubt I needed to wonder should I stay or should I go now?

I only have a few more morning tasks I'd have to do anyway to go now before I have to decide whether to pack my bags and get ready to go, cause I'd be leaving, in a Beamer; don't know exactly when I'd be home again. I'm not so lonesome I can't take it anymore, but I'm leaning towards leaving in an old Beamer.

PS: I heard sirens go by and wondered where the fire was. Then, there were voices and the motors, I realized, weren't racing. The fire was nearby. I went out to the gate to look, and there was a caravan of American army jeeps and guys dressed in combat fatigues rolling past.

It was the army encampment I had discovered yesterday evening when I took the neighbors' house keys to her mother up by the soccer field behind the village social hall, Canadian, British and American flags floating in the evening breeze, men standing around like a pre-combat cocktail party, a little boy dressed in navy blue shorts, a light blue shirt and high socks, some kind of beret set on his head. He tugged at his proud father's hand and then set off at a trot.

The Second World War is still big here in France, especially so in Normandy, which we neighbor.
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