…and Muddy Waters is playing on a small, cheap stereo. It is the sound of the Mississippi delta, a sound from far away, an imagined conch shell of a sound, and John has started the grill on the deck. It’s late spring, by all accounts early summer, judging by the light and warm afternoon breeze. We are having that Chinese pork preparation with the sharp mustard and the Rosé from the village winery, the one that tastes Spanish, that’s less than five francs a bottle (one US dollar). There is no Euro yet. No talk of “Y2K,” and Donald Trump was just referenced in a song by the Beastie Boys. I am unmarried and don’t own a car. Somehow in this remote fishing village three towns in from the Spanish border we have brought Muddy Waters via compact disc to mix with the sea salt in the air and the smells of the grill warming. There is no internet to speak of, no smart phones. We are on AOL and still use fax. Tonight I will amble back to my apartment one village over taking the path above the vineyards with the view south, to the sea. And fall asleep with the deck slide doors cracked, the sound of the surf going out. It is this time, I think to myself on the couch, that I will want to keep with me forever. And Muddy Waters, on the stereo this Sunday in our suburban home, returns me there. A conch shell, a Genie’s wish…here and out again, like a flame.