Contributor: Sean Crose

- -
Five minutes after we got off the boat we were back on the bus heading towards the hotel. Our last night in Paris, the city of light.
“Beautiful,” she said.
I nodded.
“It really is impressive.”
“I've never seen anything like it.”
“Washington D.C. is similar.”
“Is it?”
“Sort of,” I shrugged. “Each town has its own distinct personality, though.”
We had been on tour together the whole week. I was in my twenties at the time, she her fifties. She had a husband back home in New Zealand.
“I'll miss France,” she said.
“I'm going to miss it, too. Still, it will be good to see my family.”
“I've been missing my husband and dogs,” she smiled.
“You won't be missing them much longer.”
We drove under the Arc de Triomphe and progressed through the Champs-Élysées. People on the tour bus were snapping pictures, soaking in the city for the last time before heading to home to wherever it might be home was.
“I like traveling,” I exclaimed. “It makes the world seem that much bigger.”
She didn't respond. In fact, she didn't say a word for a good ten minutes. She just stared out the window.
“There's Montparnasse in the distance,” I exclaimed.
She still remained silent.
Fifteen minutes later we were back in La Defense, back at the hotel. I wondered if the Vietnamese joint across the plaza was still open.
“Oh Kurt,” she said suddenly, “I have cancer.”
Since that moment I've been wondering how one is to respond to such an abrupt, grave statement.
“I'm so sorry to hear that.”
“I shouldn't have brought it up.”
“Why wouldn't you?”
She shrugged.
“I'm sure it's being treated,” I offered.
She nodded.
“There's hope, then.”
She shrugged once more.
“It doesn't look good.”
“Hang in there,” I said. “Keep fighting the good fight.”
Our rooms were on the same floor. Donald Fagan sang through the speakers of the elevator as we made our way up. The two of us stood there in silence until the doors opened. I now understood why her hair was so short.
“Well,” she abruptly chirped as we stepped into the hallway, “I guess this is it.”
I wanted to say that it's never “it,” at least one should never admit to that fact. I opted, though, to nod silently.
“Take care, then,” she said.
“Have a great flight back,” I replied.
She turned and made her way down the hall. I wondered if I should call out and ask for her email address, her phone number, anything that would allow me to be kept abreast. I decided not to, though, why, I don't know.

- - -
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -