Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Bastille day. I adopted this holiday as one to take note of, way back when. Some thirty years ago, I did what I thought was the full French deal: I’d buy an American French baguette and a cheap Brie and a bottle of bubbly (of the alcoholic kind) and I would think – life is good.

Of course I liked Bastille Day. It was, for me, the default holiday. The Polish July 22nd was nothing to be proud of, the American July 4th wasn’t yet part of my identity. The French national day was a wonderful compromise. Smack between the two.

And now? Well, I’m American. July 4th is no longer someone else’s barbeque. Still, I have a weak spot for France’s big day. Does this translate to a celebration? On the one hand, I worried about food. I made a point of stopping by the Fabian’s team on my way home. They were in town to peddle the fish and shellfish they’d hauled up, fresh from the Gulf.


I consider it. Really I do. But I let the fish go. I can’t quite work up French enthusiasm for a fresh and honest dinner for one, and I’m eating alone tonight.

I buy some shellfish and freeze it.

The day pulls toward early evening. I’m to meet a friend for coffee. Except we don’t have coffee.


Things are looking pink now. Allons enfants de la patire…

At home, I put on a French movie. The DVD is warped. I turn to the Tour de France. No baguette, no cheese. But still, I have a little boxed rose left from Paris.

Le jour de gloire est arrive…

It’s not my holiday. I just don’t think I was meant to embrace a July holiday. They’re for people who have a blood commitment to their land. Me, I’m a floater. Commitment to people? Yes. To land? Not so much.