Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Tale of the Unsent Postcards

When we were in Monaco on a day trip--dragging ourselves away from a lovely Cote D'Azur beach--we bought postcards of the Grimaldis, the beaches, the casinos. By the time we'd driven to Paris, the cards were written and ready to go. But the Paris post office's normal hours start at ten--in summer, at 1:00 p.m., long after the time we'd planned to hit the road for the drive back to Northwestern Germany. Back into the white paper bag went the postcards, then deep into my copy of Philip Lopate's The Art of the Personal Essay, the only book large enough to ensure the cards wouldn't get bent around the edges. So, my husband and I said, too bad, we'll mail them when we're back in Germany. We hadn't counted on being stranded in a small Belgian city when our car's clutch died. Our insurance company went about finding a taxi and a rental car in the most dilatory way imaginable, such that we nearly had to spend the night. What we did have to do was leave a suitcase and a lot of other stuff--the wine, cookies, and Dijon mustard for the nice neighbor who looks after our guinea pigs and fish--in the car. The postcards, too. They are cooling their heels somewhere in car shop, and I hope we'll be able to mail them eventually.

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