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Nov. 20th, 2007 08:58 pm

"If the person is a lone male in a wrecked car and an empty stare and burnt out eyes with an axe in the back maybe wait for the next car" - tom

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Nov. 19th, 2007 09:59 pm

I leave before sunrise - my new favorite phrase is "coucher de soleil" but i don't know the opposit. "Endormir de soleil" perhaps. The worst time is in the alley, seconds away from the bus stop knowing if it comes now I'll miss it. And especially the past couple days when 40% de trafic assuré en moyenne...which means 40% of bus traffis is assured - on average. So not assured at all and 40% means nothing. In this case the one near my house is 0% de trafic assure. I watch people hitchhike and try to work up the courage to do so. I hate my lack of language. Finally I do - I get a ride to Chateau de Vincenne which is where I needed to go for the metro. I'm realizing people think I understand more than i do and understand what i say more or less. This is good but if they'd speak slower I'd understand more. I am still almost an hour late to class. After class I have Chinese food with C-a and then go home - at this hour (2ish) getting around is much easier. I pick up the 2 little ones from school - i missed them this weekend. I need their oblivious carefree energy. I had a wonderful weekend of totally relaxing and doing exactly what I want and going back to reality, vaacuming, ironing shirts (my husband will iron his own shirts), takes a little adjustment but by evening i'm back in "social" mode and it feels pretty good. I read the kids a bedtime story, Just-so Stories. I vaguely remember them from being little.
Tomorrow I must get a cell phone - I think i miss out on stuff because I dont have a number to give people. Must go to bed - last night slept very little.

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Nov. 19th, 2007 09:55 pm dream

H-y on a motor bike - she said i could drive it - ride first and I was flattered and then drive - but i did a bad job getting over bridges. Gather dogs for winter for D-a's home. Grocery store with C-m. D-y met us there. Thank you M-L- or she'll think i wasn't thinking of her...

Current Mood: groggygroggy

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Nov. 16th, 2007 09:46 pm

So many of my relationships were just wastes of time. Though i learned from them, they really were just protecting me from something else. So now it feels good to say I probably won't get into another one at least for the whole time I am here. And it's the first time I've said something like that and felt peaceful instead of frantic. I still believe in love and that is more than quite a few people can say.
This is the first entry I am writing directly. All my others have been copied out of my purse journal or bedside journal. This feels more intamate although I am not sure who I am talking to -- blogging really is quite impersonal - sending out your thoughts to the world hoping someone will listen or not caring if someone will listen but needing to feel that theres the possibility of someone listening. Sheesh. I really prefer journaling because then i know its just me. Me and whomever i choose. But right now i need something to do.
I am drinking coffee with the grounds waiting at the bottom of the cup (i didn't have filters) and eating a breakfast of crackers with peanut butter and jam on crackers. I have never been so grateful for peanut butter as when it is rare. Today I think i will go to the market. I wanted to buy christmas presents and have something in mind, but shipping is so expensive mom told me to wait until July when i go home. Either than, or i was thinking to ask dad to send them from Indi when he comes in Feb.

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Nov. 15th, 2007 06:03 pm la greve

15 November 2007
- when the bus comes, only one person makes it on by pressing themselves into the crowd. The next bus comes and a few of us press ourselves in. I get the place by the door and as it closes, my foot gets crushed. But i learn that bus doors will not break bones - a safety feature for situations like these. I take the bus until past Porte Juene and then get out to walk, along with quite a few other people. The bus is, at this point, moving only a hundred feet per ten minutes or so. Walking is faster and it's a crisp sunny morning. Vincenne glows pink in the distance and I am still warm from sleep.
I get a spot on the Metro because Vincenne is the first stop, but by the second stop, we are just as crammed in as the bus was. People generally take it well. In fact, it seems to cheer some up. I only see a couple people looking annoyed. I am not too bothered - I enjoy having only the choice of think or be, not do.
There is such a crowd for line 4 in Chatlet les Halles that I know whether I walk or wait I'll be late for class, so I walk with my map in hand. I pass saint germain and the bookstore i spent hours one day looking for. I get to class an hour late but am grateful I found it at all with my sense of direction. The way home I feel feverish and nearly pass out in the heat and from hunger. I ate lunch with C-a but it was a tiny tiny quiche and I don't know how anybody's hunger can be satisfied by that.

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Nov. 14th, 2007 07:05 am

13 nov
Rollerblade home with two bagetts. Bike with friend sidesaddle on back wheel. Tomorrow will be even moreso. Every bike will be rented out I'm sure. Today the train stopped in the tunnel for minutes at a time and no one talked, continuted reading, elbows touching elbows touching backs, sides, butts stomaches. Just two girls talked, giggled and whooped each time we lurched. Hardly a need for a hand hold, we would all fall like dominoes but for the walls. All walls, all doors sealed. It would be eerie, the silence. Maybe it was eerie. I close my eyes and try to feel the people. Try to feel the people gone. If i wanted, I'd be able to convince the blood to drain from my head down to my feet. Three people read over one woman's shoulder - her magazine is different than the others' - the free ones handed out at the entrance. I cannot read, don't understand how they can. I cant even listen to music- i'm more likely to fall down into someone and apologize in the wrong language.

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Nov. 12th, 2007 10:18 pm sacre couer

Sunday 11 nov
It rained a lot after i got there and i got totally soaked. But i
walked around sacre couer until i couldnt stand it. I made it time
for mass (that's what its called?) and then walked around. It is a
very very cute place... like you are inside but outside. Especially
if its raining, outside. Very intamate. I got off the subway in a
not so cute place but found a closer subway for the way back. I will
have to go back to see the vinyard and lapin agile another time.
I got another student today.

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Nov. 11th, 2007 10:37 am

3 November 2007
There was a rose at every table and we rose on may flights of escelators through glass tunnels to get there. C-a took pictures in the night with the flash on. She said, "it's like NASA" in her heavily accented English, but it's better than my Spanish (which is nonexistant.)
Two of the girls wore heels - the kind you must avoid the grates in the sidewalk when wearing. The men marched ahead, as men do, peering at maps and discussing in Spanish. A-- walked with them, her shoes practical, her hair messy and I stayed to "help" the other girls down the cement hill, as I'm used to helping my sister.
We let A-- take care of discussing reservations with the hostess, a doll dressed in doll clothes and I wished I'd worn nicer clothes. But I hadn't known and I didn't really have any here. Just skirts the girl I worked with at the cocktail bar in G-g called "Puritanical." A--'s ability to interact being in just one level past me gave me hope that I will improve quickly.
We were late so we'd have to wait or sit outside. Outside was much nicer, with Paris all around you, silence and the roses glowing on the table, so we tried it. But it had begun to drizzel - a light condensing of fog - so we headed back in where the DJ played a constant stream of French rap and hip hop, which i worried at first would be annoying but soon did exactly what it does for me at clubs and frat parties: sets you in a world of constant movement and no worrysome thought.
O--r ordered wine - a Chardonay. During dinner the food was good but I hardly ate until it was poined out I was the only one with food left on my plate. I've had plenty of food last week - it was good conversation I was hungry for. Everyone except S---a will be leaving in a month. I will have to get used to letting go of the friends I meet.
On the way home, I caught the last RER but it was the wrong one. So i took a night bus and found myself back in Paris at Gare de Lyon. I asked the driver how to get to Nogent sur Marne and he said "trente trois" so I took that one and finally got home at 330am. But this will be good to know - bus 33 from Gare de Lyon goes all night to Nogent.

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Nov. 10th, 2007 12:11 pm poem - work with the light

work with the light here:

angle all the doors just so, so that the main source
is blocked, so the street-lamps don't shine
through the window making a square
that i won't understand later on when I'm not
quite awake but no longer sleeping. Set up the fan so
it still pulls the air from the attached
room of windows, despite the nearly
closed door. Turn it to point air
at both of us where we sleep.
But it's still hot in here:

I can't put on a sheet, i sleep
nearly naked, i sleep next to a body that's too
hot to touch unless i can't stand not touching.
I sleep next to him and wonder if he sniffles
from allergies and if he prefers the doors
wide open anyway. I don't sleep:

I turn my small lamp on and moths fly
by looking for where light comes from.
Moths on the wall, looking for the source
of the light. Moths on the green shade, looking
for light. Moths on the bulb,

end of poem
Miranda Steffens
All Rights Reserved ©

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Nov. 10th, 2007 12:00 am Poem Wire


I’ve let the other in now. The ignored
and unreturned phone call I waited
all morning for, the boots pressing
painfully, worn for their power, feeling taller
but not tougher than any stranger. The children
chasing the pigeons, not to capture just scare - lure
with bread, then terrorize. The couples, kissing.
The hunger, dissatisfaction, pants getting tighter.
The call she wants that I don't want to make,
her desperate need for it. The child sprawled
on her mother’s lap, sleeping, the mother,
sleeping or hiding, forehead lowered
to hand. The sign: “s’il vous plait.”
Just please. The fake whine
of a spoiled child wanting more - of what,
he doesn’t know. The girl who tries
to feed them, but they don’t trust
anymore and she only has leaves
on her palm. The difficulty
in reading a map, getting lost
again. The lobster displayed
on a plate outside a restaurant,
alongside an artichoke and potatoes.
Still alive. Claws closed with wire.
The muzzled dogs.
Poem ends.

Miranda Steffens

All Rights Reserved ©

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