Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Ménage à Trois, a Duel, and a Day for Poetry


What have I been up to since arriving in France? Well you might ask. Here is a partial list of my activities for the past 72 hours:

Snorkeling in the Caribbean with my friends Kelly Green and Forrest MacGregor (pictured below). We left Randolph, Vermont, by boat on Wednesday, returned by boat later that day, and in between, saw many fish, mostly rays, and lots of pretty blue waves. This innocent escapade inspired a torrent of rumors in the town of Randolph, all of them disappointingly false.

Dueling. My opponent was somebody male, with dark, shoulder-length locks—d’Artagnan, perhaps? Various weapons were employed, most memorably a dagger. We fought to a draw.

Working in a welding studio. My job, key grip, involved moving many large pieces of equipment around. When I got tired of this, I reminded my boss, Allan Mayer, that we had been promised time off in honor of National Poets Day.

Brokering an arms deal with the help of my friend Hank Buermann. Hank was in charge of sales; I arranged the financing, aided by my sister Martha. A large shipment of weapons was involved, for sale to the highest bidder. I made several clandestine trips to a Swiss bank, in an effort to obtain $40,000 in financing. In the end, Martha and I resorted to a bundle of personal loans from friends, who were understandably reluctant to sign an affidavit, required by federal law, stating that they had been informed of the purpose of the loan. It was all very stressful. Somehow the Hale Street Gang was involved—as investors, I believe.

Designing curtains for a friend's new store. During a lengthy consultation with my client, Nancy MacDowell, the term "sheer" came up—a term I defined as “like looking at something through the fog.” 

To backtrack: I arrived at Orly Airport on Wednesday afternoon, four hours late and suffering from a relapse of the flu. For the past three days, I have been recuperating. My chief remedy has been sleep. But a very fitful, restless sleep, filled with exhausting dreams. Maybe the local cough medicine is to blame. I have never done any of the above in real life, I promise. 
My snorkeling chum Forrest MacGregor. Photo by Jessamyn West.

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