Friday, January 23, 2009

There is something about my gloves which border on the uncanny. I have had them for a couple of years now, and they are not particularly expensive; maybe I got them by mail order. But they are indestructible. Last winter during a miserably cold and snowy day in Chicago I discovered on returning to my room that I had only a single glove at hand (if you will pardon that pun). Several HOURS later I headed off to a concert and while crossing State Street I noticed a glove, covered in ice and slush and marked by the imprint of a thousand city busses and cars. It was my glove. So I picked it up, found a plastic bag, and took it along for my night on the town. I don’t know how many times over the past year I have mislaid one or both gloves, but it really has been a challenge for me in Paris.
At the Louvre Museum, an attendant tapped me on my shoulder with what appeared to be a match to the one glove I was wearing. “Why, merci,” I said. She said she had seen it on the floor several galleries away. How thoughtful of her. Outside the Pompidou Centre the other morning a woman pushing a stroller came ACROSS THE STREET with my glove which she had seen along the curb (I wonder, does it just fall off my hand?). “Merci beaucoup!” After the church concert the other night, followed by my visit to the piano bar, I returned home with no gloves. So the next day I made my way to the church for the noon mass (for heaven’s sake) and, with permission, entered and looked under all the chairs near where I had sat. No gloves. That night, I returned to the piano bar and, yes, they had found them on the floor and had set them aside. Euros all around from me to them! Last night I was gathering my belongings after the symphony: Hat? check; Coat? check; Scarf? check; Camera? check. Gloves? Oh dammit. So I waited until the hall had cleared to look around; nothing. Then I went to Lost and Found. Found nothing. A check across the street with the bartender whom I had visited turned up nothing.
I came home and, on opening the apartment door, tripped over my gloves lying on the transom. They had not gone with me to the symphony.
So today, after lunch of the Rue Mouffetard, I stopped to buy a scarf, bought blueberries, couldn’t resist a tasty pastry, carefully noting each time that I AM LAYING MY GLOVES DOWN to pay for these things. REMEMBER TO TAKE THEM ALONG. Crossing the circle at the Pantheon, I took a picture, then headed home. At some point it hit me: Oh my God, I am only wearing one glove!!! I just cannot be. No. No. No. So I hiked back to the scarf place, and the blueberry market and the patisserie. Sorry Monsieur, we have no glove for you. I even revisited a trash receptacle where I had put an empty sack. Other things had been added, so I dug deep. Nothing.
The glove is lost. Go home and buy another pair. Passing the Pantheon again I saw, way off in the center of this amazingly busy place a little brown spot in the road, being run over again and again and again. I had not even been to this place in the street, because it is not for pedestrians. And no one had noticed anything, of course. Why would anyone take note of this little piece, about the size of a credit card. People just kept driving right over it. But when the light changed, I dashed out and retrieved . . . my glove. My special little glove. I don’t know what to make of this, but I do know that my gloves now are more than apparel: they are part of my family.
I had them on as I returned tonight for a cello concert in the Eglise Saint Ephrem, just at the circle where the Pantheon looms mightily; I sat on them during a wonderful dinner of lamb shoulder and brown beans across the street, I wore them to a bistro for a late stop, and I see them as I write this.
Good to have the family together again.

1 comment:

  1. Three things happen as you get older. First you lose your memory. I can't remember the other two.