Friday, 24 October 2008

Ma Sœur, la Proustienne Involontaire

It felt almost like a pilgrimage. Strapping on my most serious and anticipatory navy-blue expression (and yet, being distracted by hedgehog chestnut shells), we trekked up the cobblestone path of La Père Lachaise. All of his twisting wine-bottle words and his swirling bedroom and his greatcoat and his folds of blankets like meringues and his coffee and his madeleines and his distant cathedral spires and his coach-seat meditations and the seeing of familiar faces in strangers… all of these things wove around the rain-stained headstones, pointing with silk-gloved fingers towards – of all things – a number. Plot 85.

One back from the road, in a shiny rectangular box, lay Proust. I stood there, awaiting the teaspoons and thimbles and buckets of melancholic satisfaction sure to hit me like a chestnut out of a Parisian tree.

I felt a vibration. But it was not the awaited chestnut. It was not the inner rumbling of a pilgrim’s joy. It was my Sony Ericsson W200i announcing an incoming call.

‘Hi, it’s Laura!’
‘Hi Laura! Where are you? You sound tired.’
‘I’m in bed.’

The seriousness fell off me like a liquid dress. There was a puddle of sentences at my feet. I could see my sister, phone to ear, lying in her absolute favourite place to be: her bed.

Proust would definitely have approved!


Loz said...


Rebecca said...

'Navy blue expression', oh my Sarah, you are a literary genius! I feel ashamed that you should have to read the rubbish on my blog when you yourself are able to...oh blahblahblah, it is a VERY good blog, a very good blog indeed!

I am drinking Olvatine.Or is it Ovatine?

Rebecca said...

Doesn't matter, anyway, it makes me sleepy.

Sarah said...

Your blog is not rubbish, Rebecca! Mine is a pretentious pack of Ovalteenies (little chocolate sweets based on the drink Ovaltine), but thank you for your warm drink of compliments.

I especially liked your bit about how two people walked by your window that day. I think it actually made me laugh out loud.

Rebecca said...

Why thank you Sarah, it almost made me cry. You rarely realize just how empty the street is until that one little girl on a tricycle comes pedaling by you while singing an eerie tune and holding a red helium balloon in her tiny,clenched fist.