We played in the medieval cave at La Petite Fontaine Saturday night and, as could have been predicted, the acoustics were…challenging. But it was a nice place and a good crowd of people, many English and some French including two women in their seventies who’d gotten all dressed up and sat there bobbing to the noise, until one of them rose to do a little dancing. I was losing my voice but it was uplifting to play again – it was the first gig we’d done since the Kevin Coyne shows in December.
Driving home through the snowy, moonlit countryside, bundled up and starting to come down with a monstrous cold and sore throat, I imagined we were Omar Sharif and Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago, the ambulance a sleigh gliding across the frozen steppes. I was clearly getting delirious.
Yesterday I felt awful and then the heating stopped working again. This is the third time this winter we’ve run out of fuel. I crawled out to the barn to get some logs for the fire wearing hideous sweatpants, clogs, bathrobe, quilted down vest, scarf, hat and then collapsed back into bed, leaving it to Eric to take care of me for the rest of the day.
There were icicles on the awning out back, and in one way they looked beautiful and in another like the bars on a prison window. I was miserably ill. Emmanuel came over bearing a nice bag of Portugese figs and the first season of Twin Peaks. And then, desperate for cold medicine, I rummaged through an old bag of toiletries and found a box of slightly out of date nighttime sinus medication. How many times back in the US have I cursed those Walgreens stores that are on every corner – but the familiar logo was like a wave hello from a dear old friend.
Today, I feel like I want to live. I’ve been very caught up in “Madame Bovary”. I’d started it last year but the type was too small, I needed to wait until I had a better pair of glasses. Then I read Tom Perotta’s “Little Children” and there’s a book group in there who read the book – I knew I had to get back to it.
And in my fever yesterday, I wondered how I could go so long in life without reading it? It was some consolation, thinking that if we weren’t here, at this moment, in the French countryside, me sick in bed, I might not be reading the book.
A fuel delivery is coming tomorrow. And another gig on Saturday. I hope we’ll be en forme by then. Right now we’re possibly more Ratso Rizzo and Joe Buck than Sharif/Christie.