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9:28 a.m. - 2012-02-24
What a shitty week. The sewage pump died, Matt forgot to pay the power bill and the power got shut off for 24 hours, merde, merde, merde. I took the kids to the McDonalds playplace this morning and sat there not reading Le Sang Des Autres, because somehow reading a novel (in French) set in WWII-era Paris made me incredibly sad. Last night when I was reading (by candlelight) I realized that I don't remember anymore the stories that Mme. Bernard told me about being a child in WWII and being sent from Paris to the countryside. Mme. Bernard was the grandmother of the kids I was a part-time nanny for, the mother of Jean-Pierre who was one of my English students and from whom I rented my house. I remember her telling me the stories, but I don't remember what she told me. I loved those stories when she told me; I had read stories about Parisian children sent to the country during the war but the children, Paris and the war itself seemed like fables to me, as they probably do to most American children. Losing those stories is like losing my grandmother's college class ring -- something precious, priceless, irreplaceable. So I felt sad at MagDo's -- that is what French people call McDonald's, MagDo -- and I do not know anyone at all who would understand that if I were to try to tell someone. It made me sad about Matt, too, and my failed attempt at marrying my own kind (by that I mean another American) -- Matt and Paris are mutually exclusive, I have realized. And I have loved both of them. Somehow the fact that Matt will never learn French or any other language (and I have accepted, after years of optimism, that that is a fact) or live or work in a third-world country, or voluntarily rough it or face unpredictablity or danger in any way, is much more final and unsurmountable than the fact that he's moved out and is screwing other women. I could, if I really wanted to, get him back from the other women. At least I think I could; he's a sex addict and he has always (and very recently) claimed to be more attracted to me than anyone else. But I have no desire to be a sex slave, slave master, or even sex object, and having him living physically under my roof is not going to get me back the man I thought I married, the man I thought loved me, or the apparently nonexistant man I loved. Oh well, poor me. I'm going to give myself (again) the best counseling I never got from a shrink: "Your kids aren't starving to death and you didn't lose your husband because he was hacked up with a machete. Get over yourself."

Tonight's French listening-comprehension exercise on youtube (hee-hee) is about a woman who chopped up another female friend and roasted her head in the oven at 300 degrees fahrenheit. Tonight's new vocab includes the words for crowns (of teeth), the traps that catch the hair, etc., that drains from your bathtub, and the word for a large, heavy, rectangular chef's chopping knife. Parisians used to tell me my accent sounded like I was from the south of France (not like I was American!! a source of great pride) -- but if I don't stop watching Faites Entrer L'Accuse I'm going to go back sounding like a serial killer (from the south of france) ... because although I probably don't know how to say "make a soup" anymore, I do know how to say "boil the flesh off the bones..."



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