At this moment, disappointment is gnawing at me like a dog on a bone. One instant I can look away from it, but it’s scent lingers right under my nose. I’ve taken the day to be good to myself. In the village of Cucuron, I weave in and out of the crowd. Old women are inspecting fruit at the open market as if it were something to wear. Men lazily repeat “d’ accord” meaning “agreed” as they lean up against olive stands and tables of fromage. The lovely greeting of a semi kiss on each cheek and the singing of “bonjour” are everywhere as people carry on with great animation. It stops me, and I wait for a moment. I love to listen to the language, as well as the great pauses followed by breathless laughter.
I see a table full of costly sweets as the merchant cries out, “Nougat, nougat!” If they catch your curiosity, you’re their next customer!
In a blink of an eye, I find myself back to the gnawing of that bone. There was a phrase in America when something bugged you someone would say, “Shake it off!” Not so easy today. What sweetens the blow of unexpected, uninvited news?
I decide to go to the next village to treat myself to a long, leisurely, lovely lunch. I’m quick to order and start to enjoy a slow cooked luscious, melt-in-your-mouth lamb. I chuckle as the waiter walks away shaking his head because I refused the bread. Every Frenchman knows you sop up what’s left on your plate at the end of the meal, right?
My attention is now turned once again to the bone under my nose. It makes me frown until I imagine the bone manifesting then I would happily give it to the dog.
Earlier in Cucuron, I ran into familiar faces. They were enjoying the sunny café while a hip, Renaissance, new age couple played the guitar and violin. She swung her leg bringing attention to the bells on the hem of her skirt as she kept time with the music.
Ah, the Labrador dog scores at a table, where the woman, unimpressed with her dinner selection feeds it to the dog. Satisfied, the woman enjoys watching the dog lick her plate clean and leave.
My heart moves in an unexpected manner as a woman walks by with a Yorkie, holding it just like I used to hold our little Thunder. “Nice touch,” I say to myself.
I order a café gourmand…quite decadent! A small espresso served with tiny bite sized dessert fit for a queen! But as I bite into the sweetness of the dessert, I get a whiff of disappointment. Time to dismantle it.
Dis – defined is the absence of. Yes indeed, the appointment is now absent, and I do not feel connected, so I am DISAPPOINTED! I say to myself, “You’re in France, get over it!” I realize you can be anywhere on the face of the earth, but if your gift is not connected to something, you’re in disconnect.
I look up and recognize a familiar satisfaction resting on the American couples faces…victory. They have had their lunch and paid their bill – a huge accomplishment in this French-speaking environment! They look at each other, smile, nod and leave the table walking off into the next adventure around the corner.
A toddler on a two-wheel bike comes flying down the street as her grandfather earnestly jogs after her. I wonder what gift is in her!
“Where have I been?” I ask myself. I look around to discover dirty dishes and glasses have replaced the couples and friends I was chatting with earlier.
At the table across the street, two Japanese couples sound excitedly gleeful as their lunch arrives. One immediately stands to take an overhead shot of all four plates. The Labrador walks over to them. There is rigorous conversation. They poke and smell the morsels on the end of their forks, then pop them into their mouths squealing with great delight in Japanese. One woman flaps her arms as if she’s ready to take off.
Ah, but my gift is still in me. And though it may not be connected to an outlet, it is nonetheless who I am and who I will remain to be or become. Nothing will change that. Tired of smelling this bone, I decide to disengage from this disappointment. Enough.
I drop my bone of disappointment on the ground as I notice the dog heading home. “L’addition s’il vous plait!” I merrily sing asking for the bill. I stand up and instead of continuing to kick my bone around I decide to crush it under the heel of my foot. Making sure it is crushed completely, I turn and walk away. I experienced disappointment today, but in the future I will be reappointed to something new.
I chose to end this beautiful day with no disappointment.