My Sabbatical Travel

When someone asks me: – What is your job? – and I reply: – I’m a writer-, usually everyone around me rolls his eyes and insists with a renewed emphasis: – No, I mean, for a living, what’s your job? – . This already explains my desire to escape and the fact I’m boarding this plane.
This is how professional writers really are: doomed souls that try to convince the other to take them seriously. Even if they have written a novel that has sold a million of copies as I have. We always need to certificate our work that everyone keeps confusing with a simple passion.
No, I am a professional writer, my money come from the pages some woman around the world is reading, unaware of my battle for affirmation. Well, I make a living from my labor, what’s wrong?

I need to go, I will take a sabbatical travel, I need to see people, to experience, to feel myself like a free citizen of the world. And then it will be the opportunity to narrate a travel diary from which it may be born a new novel. Who knows…I’m a storyteller, one of those that tells stories coming from the waist and ending only when everything has been told.
I want to enjoy Europe, I want to look for Impressionists. Yeah, I will start my travel in this way: thematically. The first one is painting.


But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful.

Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure.

Needless to say, my destination: Musée d’Orsay. I’ve decided that I’ll study a painter every day and I’m going to start with Degas. I will loose myself between the crinoline of his ballerinas. I’ve always wanted a pair of ballet shoe, even just for looking at them. I spend the whole day inside the museum and now I’m inebriated by the fumes of Art. I have an appointment for dinner with a friend of mine that curates some exhibits of modern art. She is getting a better return than mine from her personal qualities given that she adds to her bank account an amount with lots of zeros for every artwork she manages to sell. I put my thinking cap on so hard to create novels that can capture the attention of my readers until the last page, but she has only to take a piece of iron, establish that is wonderful and she is already on the road to buy another mansion. Meh…
Having said that about my Parisienne friend, I have to wear the most sensational thing I have because we are going to an exclusive dinner with annexed private party. This kind of things always manages to put me on one thread of agitation: if you are in a local and you’re getting bored, you can always go away, but if you are at an exclusive party and you don’t like your company is more complex to bolt, is like a declaration of independence: “You’re getting on my nerves, I’m changing sides”.
Anyway, better stop with my writer ramblings looking for explanations, I’m getting ready. A dress bought right for this night from an emerging stylist, totally awesome. The centerpiece: the sandal. A cross of listels going up on my ankle, extra-high heel and rhinestones everywhere. It’s just divine on me and I feel perfect. I’m a woman and when I see myself beautiful, I say so myself. I’m not waiting anymore for others to force themselves to say that to me. Gifts of maturity.
The place where Colette is waiting is right behind Place De la Concorde, an exclusive Club, she gave me only the address, not the name. I decide to go on foot, I model through the roads of the city with my wonderful dress and my sculptural sandals. That’s what dressing up is for. I reach the place, the address matches with the one I have and turns out to be an elegant and typically Parisian palace. Two handsome guys with hazel skin and black tie are waiting for guests. The surrounding is sophisticated, elitist, but not snobby. A really long table with enormous chandeliers is at the center of the huge hall. The mise en place is charming: flowers, mirrors, crystals make the table a sort of bright tabernacle. There are no more than fifty people and my outfit is really appropriate, a woman senses this kind of things as soon as she walks in a room. Goal. I have to admit that also other ladies are wonderful, women with an amazing social life, able to move on different levels, each one of them being part of the same clubhouse. I join the company, I like it, Colette was right. Fantastic music, champagne flowing, haute cuisine: this night is going to cost me a new pair of dark circles. But I’m in pause by myself and I’m going to enjoy it.
The light comes from the windows, what time is it? I’m in the bed of my hotel. I have no idea how I get here. My mind is in loop, now it’s useless looking for a logical explanation.
It’s 2 p.m., as written on my mobile, of an unspecified Friday. I try to stand up dragging myself out of the bed. I wear my jeans and a white t-shirt, a crocodile sneaker and I go out. I’m going to decode the last 12 hours. I walk in a café at Place de la Concorde, crowded, I sit at a table and I order an American coffee while I check my phone looking for some messages that can give me some clues about the recent events.
Message from Colette: – Did you recover?
Answer: – I would like to know from what.
Colette: -Is it really important?
Me: -I don’t believe. I’m having a coffee @ P.d.C, Café Gallerie
I drink my hot coffee, it’s trying to do justice to my thoughts. It can’t, never mind. Here she is. Colette walks in the café, she’s radiant (as we had two different nights), wearing a light trench with jeans and a white sneaker outlined by reptile leather. She looks really good, more than yesterday night. She smiles at me. I think she knows something I’m ignoring, but I decide to keep going on like that. She is Parisian, her mental facilities fell when she was born.
The afternoon is on and Impressionists are out there without me, who knows if they’re offended by my missing visit.
I have decided: I’m going to Le Marais. There is a great Jewish community where I can eat kosher and even the Picasso Museum. I have already changed trend. Today I’m not reliable. I’m going to buy a pair of shoes, I’m never wrong on them. A pair of brogues, yes. I’ll be in Le Marais to buy china-blue brogues…who knows.

I’m again at the check in, this four months just flew away. I had tons of fun but my next destination is Amsterdam. In the city of the canals there is a flow that wants to be discovered.