It was morning. I was on the road to Houston. The radio was on. Where was I? Ellinger? That sounds right. NPR was still on the radio -- Morning Edition.
They broke in.
They reported the story as best they could.
I broke down behind the wheel and pulled off the road to find a pay-phone.
Should I still come? I asked.
I did, but nothing was accomplished.
We were all too numb to work.
Perhaps they did it for the shock value -- as a PR stunt. If so, they accomplished their objective. Perhaps they did it to knock this economy out. If so, I suspect they were disappointed. Perhaps they did it to rally their brothers to their sides. If so, they seem (from my uninformed eye) to have accomplished their objective. Perhaps they did it to signal the beginning of a new era. It was.
So what will this new era be? As I remember, as I look about me, I cannot say I am optimistic.
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Isn't it funny how we remember things? I walked out of Le Soufflé unimpressed, and my memory of the place was correspondingly bleak. But I took a look again at a photo we took that night, and in that picture there is none of the bleakness that my memory paints.
There was artwork on the walls: schematics of the Louvre, impressionist lookalikes, a large piece extending to the ceiling which depicted a gate opening into a garden with walkways and flowers and grass. The tables that evening were covered in white linen (ok, maybe not linen). There were flowers on the table and flowers in the corner (ok, maybe not real -- but work with me, here). And there were dessert soufflés in front of each of us.
There were smiles on our faces. There were carafes of water and a bottle
of wine. The furniture was elegant looking. There were drapes tied
gracefully back at the end of the room against a mirrored wall that gave
the place a larger feel than the non-smoking room it was. And, unlike the
room at the front of the restaurant (the room I would later remember as
the one with character), there was no smoke.
We were with friends whom we had met for that one evening in the middle of the three vacations that we had each independently planned. And although the purpose of vacations is to get away (not necessarily to meet up with colleagues from work), we were all happy to intersect that night. You can see it in our faces.
Funny how we remember things.
Trip to France - Day 12
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