Letter from a vagabond… 03/10/2018 First day…

As I stare at the screen in front of me, I am 5 hours, 26 minutes out of Paris, having left New York two hours late due to storms raging through the region.  I am sipping a not bad white wine, ensconced in premium class on Norwegian Air, an upstart airline recently come to America after doing business as an intra-Europe air shuttle.

It’s not bad, not luxe but not bad.  The beef for dinner was quite good; the blanket provided is one of the best I’ve had on any flight, anywhere, in any class.  If there were another scrunch of room in my two bags, I would be tempted to depart the plane with it but there is not a scrunch of room in my two bags.

Most of my things are vacuum packed so that I could fit a wardrobe for five weeks in two bags, including my tuxedo and dress shoes for the crossing on the Queen Mary 2.

My great friend Larry Divney has named me “the vagabond” and so I am going to call these missives the Vagabond Letters, reports from the road as I traverse Europe, trying to decide what it is that I will be when I grow up.

And how exciting it is that I am still working out what it is that I will be when I grow up.  I’ve done many things, each one could have been the place I stopped and none of them have been.

The summer was glorious, a simple book seller in the magical kingdom of Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, though it didn’t feel simple.  It did feel good.

Watching the map in front of me, it seems that in a half an hour or so, we will have passed beyond North America and will be out over the Atlantic at 36,000 feet, headed straight into Charles De Gaulle in Paris.  The last time I was at CDG, I was walking next to Bo Derek and her husband/manager John Derek, now long, long gone.

It was a blurry moment, one of those times when it seemed every other day was another country, another set of people to meet with.  On that trip, not only did I see Bo Derek, I arrived in Paris while there was a strike on.  Who was striking and for what, I don’t know.  To get to my meeting I had to walk up 7 flights, through the strikers who were, at 9:30 in the morning, eating croissants and sipping champagne – a very civilized kind of strike, I must say.

This is five weeks when I have no real agenda except to wander where I will, when I will.  During the bookstore summer I read Nina George’s “The Little French Bistro,” which was one of the great life affirming books I have read. It is why I would like to visit Brittany, where the book is set.

A row or two in front of me, a man is asleep.  He snores for the ages.  Earlier, I thought he somehow had managed to get on the loudspeaker system, but it was just him.

It is the middle of the night, I am sleepy and will go to sleep. When I wake, we should be coasting into Paris.

When I have done all my other letters, I have done my best to be measured, thoughtful, concise, perhaps insightful.  These are going to be more free form, a stream of consciousness, notes from the road.  It is 2:35 AM in New York and 8:35 AM in Paris.

Good night from over the western Atlantic, 36,000 feet.

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