A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
Tempus Fugit / Time Flies
Ever opened your eyes to find that 18 years have passed in "no time"?
"No Time": it must be that other dimension, such as the one we're sometimes in when driving. We arrive at Point B and wonder how we got there: as if automatically! We don't remember turning left, after the redundant ramshackle shed, and we don't remember passing the monotonous maple tree. (We did pass them, didn't we?)
Grenoble. A birthday celebration. In the living room of longtime friends, I stood looking up at their son, who'd not yet been born when...
Have 18 years gone by since I moved to France, on the fly?
The bearded boy looked down at me. Just how, I wondered, did time flee? (Can time flee? Or are two decades of Frenglish taking a toll? See?)
Champagne on the buffet, cake on trays... The guests gathered round with gifts. Jean-Marc offered a dusty, cobwebbed magnum of his uncle's Domaine du Banneret 1992. I wondered, did we pick those grapes, too? It was the year Jean-Marc and I shacked up. The year the bearded boy was brand-new!
I stared at the magnum and imagined... this bottle... on a shelf... twenty years from now. A treasured keepsake of a former boy, now a journalist (and was that a thread of gray in his barbe?). I could just picture the bottle, next to the framed awards. Two decades from now....
"J'aurais trente-huit ans," added the birthday boy. Yes, he would then. He would be 38 years old one day. And I'd be sixty-two. I could see it as clearly as I could see the freckles on the back of my own hand as I clutched the pen and stared at the wine label inked over with signatures.
Pen in hand, I hesitated. What to say? Hopefully not something outdated!
I drew a tiny heart so as not to take up too much space. I'd already taken up a bit of time....
Domaine du Banneret = an award winning wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape
la barbe = beard
j'aurais trente-huit ans = I would be thirty-eight
Smokey playing "Tug of Ear" with Mama Braise. Photo by Braden.
On the way home from Grenoble, entering the Drôme.
Still reading? Check out Jean-Marc's cork story at the Southern Fried French blog
Ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue this French word journal, now in its 18th year! If you enjoy these posts and would like to keep this site going, please know your donation makes a difference! A contribution by check (click here) or via PayPal (below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
♥ Give $10
♥ Give $25
♥ Give the amount of your choice
To purchase our book-in-progress, click here.