We are in the south of France now

…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.



Categories: Memoir, prose, travel, writing

Tags: , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Now I wish I could travel through your memories for real. At least, I get to visit them in my daydreams, reading in my basement, with the space heater humming and making my toes stay above freezing. The sound of dryer tumbles in the distance and my son is upstairs getting into mischief or being perfectly good. Mostly likely it is neither, but rather, somewhere in between. And that’s okay. Now, let’s return to France and a glass of wine made down the road. I’ll raise my imaginary glass and salute, as it is the only wine I quaff any more. A fluid decanted from memory and served full-bodied and room temperature warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Love that and what a warm embrace…thanks for that Kiri and so nice to hear from you! Happy new year. I’m sure everything is just fine with your son…it’s when they get quiet you need to worry, right?! Best, Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Music is always what carries me along to all sorts of places, this reminiscence of yours courtesy of Muddy Waters is a pretty fantastic trip. I was walking today and stopped for a greasy burger, and had to keep walking miles more to settle my stomach. Somehow Chinese-style pork grilled in the salt air, with a glass of local wine, is a tad more appealing. Luckily I didn’t have headphones today, so I can forget today’s hamburger

    Liked by 1 person

    • I give ultimate thanks for music to transport like that Robert! And hope everything worked out with that there greasy burger…thanks for reading, always grateful for your comments…Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really like the voice here, and the way we’re in the past talking about the present and the future, then the present again, how the tenses swirl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks man! True story from hearing Muddy in the radio yesterday, happy it came through . I thought about one of the latter posts you did on Waltbox that you said came really easy, and that’s what I had there with that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. amazing how we can be instantly transported with just a moment of sensory memory

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this Bill. That’s what it’s all about.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. very fandastic view and content .

    Liked by 1 person

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