I needed to take a special train to Versailles, so I headed off early and purchased a ticket.
train stopped where the tracks ended. We all flooded out into the
street as a man in uniform said, “Versailles is two blocks to the right
and straight ahead.”
Crossing the street, I grabbed a quick Americano at Starbuck’s before heading over to the Palace.
up, I wanted to charge the palace like the peasants of the Revolution.
So I jogged up the cobblestone hill, just beyond the first statue. I put
down my Americano and tied my shoe lace. That was exhausting. How the
hell did they walk all the way from Paris and then run up this hill on
cobblestone? They must have been pissed . . . and had great shoes with a
lot of ankle support.
Got my ticket.
stopped where I wanted to along the way, staring at the art, mimicking
the substandard British actors on the audio guide, picking up my pace
because the level of opulence was growingly uncomfortable.
Napoleon: painting after painting . . .
. . . and finally, a handsome sculpture.
The intense eyes, the high cheek bones, I gazed and thought about his love letters to Josephine.
“I awake all filled with you. Your image and the intoxicating pleasures of last night, allow my senses no rest.”
my wife: the torment, joy, hope and moving which draw me close to
Nature, and with violent impulses as tumultuous as thunder. I ask of you
neither eternal love, nor fidelity, but simply...truth, unlimited
“A kiss on the heart, and one lower down, much lower!”
He is the only historical figure I masturbate to.
I broke out of the palace to wander the gardens and got an ice cream cone.
a bike and flew to all ends of the palace grounds, cheeks flushed,
skirt high, and sweat sticking to the back of my neck and legs.
through Marie Antionette’s private gardens, I ate one of the protein
bars Jeph sent with me (which kept me alive during my final days in
France), feet dipped into her pond, a swan glided along the water
looking for food. It was the perfect place for a woman; safe, charming
and blossoming in fantasy.
along the main canal, I listened to the Beatles and Bob Marley, and
thought about all the wars and blood spilled to keep this land in the
hands of rich men. Now it belonged to all of us.
That night, Aldrich and I had our nightly phone call:
He said, “I like Napoleon, too.”
spoke about America, and how he believed we waited too long before
intervening in World War II, then stole all the glory of its win. The
bickering was delicious: “I think you aren’t properly informed . . .” “I
think you Americans don’t learn truth!”
It was beginning to rain. I refused to think about leaving. I still had two days left.
George: 500 Word Count