I’ve been writing. Furiously, frequently, and often snippets in my notebook or in an email draft on my phone if I’m not near a pen. This will please my mom to no end, as she’s been encouraging me to get back to writing for years. And Boyfriend, too, who is convinced that I will write a bestseller and my millions will float us around the world on lavish vacations. Or maybe that’s me.
Either way, this whole My Inner French Girl series has sparked something inside of me and I’m feeling really inspired to delve into it further and flush it out. Unfortunately for you, that means the details I’ll be sharing in each post will be more limited going forward, so I’m not giving everything away up front, and saving some story lines for off-line. That being said…
Sylvie closes the gallery for the last 3 weeks in August to take her annual vacation (all of the prominent art dealers and buyers are gone from Paris at the end of the summer), and for the first week Mirette sat around her apartment feeling sorry for herself and avoiding the back windows, lest she catch a glimpse of Matthieu practicing in his apartment across the alley. Seemingly, all of her girlfriends are away on their own vacations, so when her mobile rang and Sylvie’s number flashed across the screen, Mirette accepted the invitation to spend a week with her boss and her husband at their summer home in La Ciotat without hesitation.
She packed quickly and lightly, planning for the coastal heat, before heading to the train station. She stops at a flower shop to pick up a bouquet for her hosts, so as not to show up empty handed. Sylvie’s offer is kind and much-needed. It’s about a three hour train ride from Paris to Marseille, where Sylvie and Andrés (her Spanish husband and her gallery’s most exhibited artist) will meet her in their vintage red convertible. They’ll ride with the top down, Sylvie curling around her seat to talk to Mirette over the noise of the wind and the highway. Sylvie doesn’t want to bring it up, but Mirette can tell from the crease of her eyebrows that all of her questions as to the state of Mirette’s well-being revolve around Matthieu. Mirette doesn’t want to talk about it, she just wants to patter around their house, feel the cool stone tile against her feet and the hear ocean out the windows. And enjoy the company of Antoine, a close friend of Andrès and Sylvie’s and the best man at their wedding, who is staying at their summer home indefinitely, and who is seemingly fascinated by Mirette.
(I’m actually reading Irène Némirovsky’s “Dimanche” now and can’t recommend it enough. Though if you haven’t read “Suite Francaise” pick up that one first. Her writing is incredible, and so is her story. She was born in Kiev and fled with her family to Paris to escape the Russian Revolution, only to get swept up in WWII and, because she was Jewish and married to a Jew, ended up dying in Auschwitz. “Suite Francaise” wasn’t published until the early 2000s after the manuscript was discovered by her daughter. “Dimanche” is a collection of short stories. It’s beautiful.)
What are you guys up to this weekend? I’m not doing a damn thing other than laundry and napping. Just the way nature intended it. Also, I’m beyond relieved those shorts are sold out, because I was so close to buying 10 pairs of them. Trés adorable.