Something odd happened at Kitty’s party, afterwards too, but first things first:
We described our ecstatic cheese experience at La Cave Voltaire. Gigi exclaimed that she had studied cheese-making in France for years, in college, no less. She had just returned from a year in Wisconsin as a cheese marketer, teaching cheese makers the concept of terroir. Terroir, she said, was both an agricultural region, and a practice of combining wines, cheese and other foods from the same earth that “go together” harmoniously.
At Kitty’s house, Porter stands in the courtyard in a barbeque apron, greeting friends, radiating his native Birmingham, Alabama charm. Louise is in the living room in a sleeveless, low-cut long dress, bright flowers against a black background, pale Irish skin, orange hair tied in a chignon, looking more beautiful than I’ve ever seen her. Nothing like a wedding to bring forth Aphroditean splendor.
I talk for a while with David, Porter’s oldest friend at the party, an Andover classmate. David, in black tee-shirt and jeans, a red bandanna around his forehead, has a strong nose and a way of getting straight to the truth. He had made a short film while he and Porter were in boarding school, based on Crime and Punishment. Porter had played the part of the policeman, and he was very good.
The four of us talk about a possible swap with their apartment in Manhattan. Do they like cats? We can’t swap places with anyone who doesn’t want to live with Marley. They have three cats. Erana shows us pictures. Perfect. And after the kids have grown they’re thinking about moving to Paris.
Mora and Ludovic join us. They’ve just driven from Paris to Bréhémont. Ludovic is a tall slender Frenchman; Mora is Venezuelan, refreshingly ample-bodied after all the skinny minnies in Paris.
We wax eloquent about our love for this city. The first six new people we’ve met at this party, by some quirk, all gathered by the fireplace—from NYC and Greece, Ireland and Russia, Venezuela and France—all have a passion in common, a conviction that there’s no better place on earth to live than Paris.
Louise does a dramatic reading about tooth decay in the persona of an ancient hag, folding her lips over her teeth to create the impression of empty gums.