Christine in a cafe with the boulevardiers…

Christine in Paris

 

He met her in a cafe near Montmartre. But he knew her slightly from back home; she’d been in one of his classes. He’d never talked to her, but he’d often noticed her, usually laughing at the center of a knot of young men.

At first, he didn’t recognize her, only saw the back of her head in the cafe, barely noticing the jet black bob of shiny hair. But one of the three men with her at the table kept staring at him. For a while he thought there would be trouble — the young man’s gaze was so intent. Finally, the man walked over.

“You’re from New York?”

“No,” he said, trying to size the guy up. Suddenly, he realized the man was probably gay. He spoke English with the adopted cadence of someone signaling a certain delicacy of spirit.

“My friend,” the man continued, “She thinks she knows you.”

The girl had turned around, a faint, quizzical smile on her face. Then he knew who it was. “I’m not from New York. But I do know your friend, I think. We went to college together.”

He joined them at their table and, after a while, the men left, and he was alone with her.

It was Paris. And she was beautiful.

Neither of them were what you would call free, it turned out, but with their encumbrances half a world away, it was easy enough to give in to the moment.

And the moment gave way to a series of afternoons and evenings and long nights talking and drinking and walking through the streets and along the river. Paris can draw out a moment like that… draw it out into reveries and dreams…

Instead of renting a car and driving by himself to Italy, as he’d long planned, he found himself with the girl, driving along the northern coast.

When they got to St. Malo a series of storms blew in off the North Atlantic, rolling in over the dark walls of the old city and hammering the ancient, rippled windows of the tiny upstairs room in the pension they found, keeping them there for days.

Or maybe they kept each other there. The first morning, he walked out during a break in the rain and bought a small bag of groceries, a loaf of bread, cheese, two bottles of local wine.

He told himself he wasn’t falling in love.

Back home, back on the job after his first real vacation from his first real, career job… he found himself daydreaming about her constantly. She was still in France, in a graduate program oriented to rich Americans, studying post-deconstructionalist, neo-Marxist film criticism. Or something. It seemed to change with every letter.

He dreamed of her and walking by the Seine… or the long days in the little pension in St. Malo.

But she wrote of school, gossiped about her gay male friends and their businessmen boyfriends, made small talk.

He could feel the distance grow. With every letter, she drew farther away.

A lot farther than just the distance from L.A. to Paris…

 

Too Much Trouble Christine

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previous versions
Monday, October 17, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

new ‘studio’ recording

lyrics
Too Much Trouble Christine

You’re too much trouble, Christine
You’re too much trouble, Christine
You’re too much trouble, Christine
So Why do I love you, Christine

You’re too much trouble, Christine

Christine on a beach, Christine on a plane
Christine in a cafe with the boulevardiers
Christine on the set Christine in my head
Christine in my heart and tearing up my bed

You’re too much trouble, Christine…

Christine I’m terrified just holding your hand
Christine you twist me up like no one else can
Christine you’re crazy but you got a plan
world domination begins with one man

You’re too much trouble, Christine
You’re too much trouble, Christine
You’re too much trouble, Christine
So Why do I love you, Christine

You’re too much trouble, Christine

(C)2008, TK Major

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