LastTrainToParis

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LAST TRAIN TO PARIS: AN EXCERPT

Some days, I’m too angry for words. Those are the days when I can’t get to my writing table. When I don’t bother to dress. When I stay in my ratty blue chenille bathrobe and shuffle around the house in my slippers. Those days I eat yogurt out of the container, and drink too much coffee – sometimes too much whiskey. I read the newspaper and carry on conversations with myself about the dismal state of the universe. Over the years people have tried to assure me that as I grow older I will become less angry, more accepting of the stupidity I see on our planet. This has not proved true. Sometimes, to ease the tension, I’ll read a mystery, hoping to be fooled; often I waste time daydreaming. But I have a job to do, a column to compose, so eventually I’ll hunker down and begin writing. Then it gets interesting. There is a shift in my mind and my body. Love takes over. My pen begins to tickle my passion for words and I squirm with pleasure. I still love to use a fountain pen – love the way the smoothed nib pushes the stream of blue ink across the paper, making letters, making words – trying to make sense of the world. I write for a short time and then remove my pen from the paper, put on the cap, and place my fingers on the keys of the typewriter. As if by magic, I write my weekly column for the New York Courier. But, really, it’s not magic. It’s a facility with rhythm, language, and ideas that comes with age and hard work. And I do have to admit that I still get a thrill when I turn a newsprint page and find my byline: “R. B. Manon.”