It was Monday, March 27th, just after 7 p.m., and in the streets and in the cafes, the inhabitants of Paris exalted at the arrival of spring weather, the setting forward of the clocks, the first illuminated evening we’d seen since October. It was plain to see: from the Parisians shedding their top layers to the good-natured waiter in the place Saint Sulpice, from the man on the parked scooter embracing the woman in the short tight skirt, to my messy topknot and sunglasses propped jauntily up on my head: everyone was happier than any of us had been in six months.
Remy and I strolled into Les Editeurs to meet Jessica for a drink, and there she was. Not our petite blonde American girlfriend, but a petite blonde Frenchwoman clad entirely in purple: purple blazer, purple chemise, purple pants, purple bag, and even, when she left the café and we watched her cross the Carrefour de l’Odéon, bright purple socks.
And la pièce de résistance: her hair. A swirled, hairsprayed concoction of springtime joy, it was the shape that the color purple would take if it were to take shape.
It had a life of its own; it was a work of art. The picture I furtively snapped does not do it justice.
She had a manuscript in front of her and worked diligently correcting it, occasionally raising her eyes up in front of her and pursing her lips (see above). I tried to imagine what she was working on and why, and finally decided she had to be a romance novelist. I think she was correcting the draft of Elle ne connaissait pas son nom or Bras de fer, bras d’amour. Any other guesses?