Le Grand Voyage — Day 19

Father’s Day! The day started with a gift- Dorinna had snuck back to a store I had looked at earlier in the trip and bought me a scarf that liked. After that, it was a bit ironic that I spent very little time being a dad. Daddy-Nate day was the day before; today I was solo.

I started by going back to the Musée d’Orsay. The last time I had felt rushed, and this was my chance to make up for that. I got the audioguide and listened to it so much I ran the batteries down and had to get a new one. And that was just listening to the commentary for the works that I liked. I spent hours there, really soaking it all in. Tres enjoyable.

I go to the best museum in Paris and take pictures of the ceiling beams

I came out starved and exhausted. Where to go next? Now, while I was in Paris, I was reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. This is a collection of essays that he had written while living in Paris, and it seemed appropriate to read it while I was living here too. The night before I had read a chapter where he wrote about La Closerie de Lilas. This was the café where he worked, not socialized. He had cafés for socializing of course, and a lot of them. This was where he worked. And it seemed like a worthy destination.

I found it without too much trouble, wandered in, and found a small table in the bar. Some of the seats had little metal plates on them with names. I sat next to Jean-Paul Sartre. I had an outrageously expensive Gin Fizz and wrote in my journal. It felt very good to be writing in the same spot as Hemingway. I reflected on the trip, wrote some more, got another Gin Fizz and some food, and wrote some more. I had struggled for months prior to the trip with my artistic pursuits, finally breaking through a few weeks befor leaving. In the spot where Hemingway worked on his artistic pursuits, I resolved to do the same. It was one of the most chill and relaxing moments of the entire vacation.

I asked the waiter if Hemingway had a favorite spot. He very smartly and formerly pointed out “he sat here” directly in front of me. I got chills. I don’t idolize Hemingway; he had some unsavory character flaws, and I’m not a fan of suicide. But I admire his work, and after reading A Moveable Feast, I admire his work ethic. I thought, only briefly, about sitting in his chair. But I decided that when it comes to writing- I’m not worthy.

I left feeling happy (and honestly- buzzed). A few more Metro stops and I met Dorinna and Nate in the park for a short walk home.