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1985 2 of 4

6/6/85 (12:15AM): So often does reading Blackwood do this to me: I'm reading "The Wave," which like so many of his novels tells of a man who "can't go as far with women as men" who encounters some taste of something immeasurably higher, finer, more beautiful than his or my words can express; and I feel torn and attracted to this same higher, finer thing, or place, or person, and read him while I desire to CRY OUT in the intensity of my longing for something outside myself, or within myself, that would complete and intensity both inside AND outside. I think of the SCA meeting where people were encouraged to accept themselves as they are; and yet I want to CHANGE, to GROW, to IMPROVE, and keep feeling that if I just yearn strongly enough, cry from within LOUDLY enough, that what is waiting for me WILL come to me. And not a death, as in so many of his stories, but something IN life, FOR life, for ME. Something that would echo the "Joy of Form" that I've just had; something that would make the pain of the change, as mentioned in the book, WORTH the pain, which in a form OTHER than body, would NOT be pain, and thus not WORTH as much. If that's suffer to proGRESS, then so be it. And while I read I yearn and reach, then decide that I MUST type, and then when I type I can't QUITE get into words the INTENSITY of the longing for some ONE LOVE that my soul could immerse itself into. It is NOT a compulsion of the nature that SCA advocates a 90-day abstension; it it not even the compulsion-of-the-eye that I DO sense I have when I can't even look at someone attractive on the subway without wanting to have him HOLD me, and have me hold HIM, and exchange kisses despite the dangers of AIDS fluid- exchange. It reminds me of the STRENGTH of the fantasies that I've had in the past: about what Yama would look like, about what Neil will look like (and surprisingly his photo didn't really DENY that, though he looked too military and ten pounds too heavy ALREADY---not to mention short. But then I skip back to Dennis again, and the awful feeling of exasperation I have with his inappropriate jokes (the guy passing out literature at the Gay Center did NOT want to hear that Dennis might joke about writing to Koch to SUPPORT gay prostitution, any more than Edgardo could UNDERSTAND Dennis's odd off-humor), his finger and foot drumming, his refusal to answer questions, his constant references to how much people WANT him, his repetitions---those very "charming" things that fulfilled MY prophecy of being the VERY things that attracted me to him being THOSE things that, when I see now, I can't IMAGINE how I bore them before, but I obviously DID bear them before, so that I feed the fire of my current frustration with the fuel saved from PREVIOUS years! And it's the physical DISCOMFORT of the yearning that makes it so bad: if I could just RECOGNIZE and ACKNOWLEDGE it (as I'm obviously trying to do here; trying to defuse the bomb before it explodes in my guts), and take it as a GIVEN, rather than as something to YEARN about, to CRY over---as I so often feel I want to do when reading Blackwood: just put the book down and WEEP with frustration for him and myself and everyone caught in a similar position. Except how few seem to have the SENSITIVITY to be caught in such a situation. And then there's his finding of people "he can talk with," people who are invariably masculine and handsome and strong and large-bodied and physically capable and at the HEIGHT of their energies and powers, and I constantly refer to my aging body and hair and paunch and face and decreasing chances of getting someone to love me with the intensity that I would like to reflect back to someone, yet have to agree again with the SCA members that it doesn't matter (or like in "The Sorcerer," tonight) what the age or class or racial or ANY differences there are between two people (as I so often insisted in the past, yet now I can't seem to agree that I could benefit from it), they CAN fall in love if only they can be HONEST with themselves, OPEN TO each other---and this reminds me of the fantasies I have to "taking over" the SCA group, getting them to talk about what I want to talk about, yet not even certain about feeling ONE of them---as I would not be ADMITTING to be if I RULED them, I suppose. And anyway, by now, the intensity of the feeling is diffused, the fingers have written the feelings out, and I can finish the page on this line and return to reading at 12:30AM.

6/7/85: Notes from seeing the Maya films: "Lost World of the Maya," "Sentinels of Silence" (VERY impressive helicopter shots), and "Cities of the Gods." on 5/30. How WONDERFUL to have been in DETAIL to ALL sites (except Quirigua) shown, and know of others NEWER: Coba, Kohunlich, Chicana, Xpujil. "Sentinels of Silence" would be GREAT to have if it's on video! Try Donnell? How WORTH THE EFFORT the trip was and how I WANT MORE. Man to my left slept, woman to my right NODS! I try to return to Kant and figure I've just GOT to talk to Sherryl to see if I'm not MISREADING something, or if she knows what I might read that would ANSWER and EXTEND MY critique. In to started film at 1:05, so I'm encouraged when the "2PM" film doesn't start til 2:02!

6/7/85: Notes from seeing "Iceman" on 6/2: The iceman makes it so CLEAR that we've LEARNED not to WANT: BEAUTIFUL sex partner, GOD, and IMMORTALITY! HE had to face it ALL at ONCE! There are SO MANY programs on places I've BEEN: Ceylon, Ngorongoro, Mexican ruins. The Space program had a TERRIBLE finale of armaments, killing, war, and defense budgets! All "literature" needs villains: opera, TV, movies, books. That's WRONG. It CRYSTALLIZES evil. ET and Iceman BOTH show that CIVILIZATION is evil: there's no TIME to enjoy ANYTHING, even these shows! AND everything NEW to some little bit replaces the IMPACT of something that was OLD.

6/12/85: Possibly starting with this morning's dream on DREAM-147, I get the VERY strong idea that I've recently (well, not REALLY so recently) begun looking at EVERYTHING from the negative point of view, rather than from the POSITIVE point of view. On the next page I hope to make an ENTIRE LIST of the negative and positive {or should I say the positive and negative?? though it seems better to me if the negative comes FIRST, on the LEFT, on the MAGNETIC, (and I surely WANT to get the negative OUT of my magnetic??) and the positive comes AFTER, on the RIGHT, on the DYNAMIC (and surely I want to ACT in a positive [living] rather than in a negative [dying] way!), just as in the moment NOW I want the positive-now to come AFTER, to FOLLOW, the negative-now} so that I can see how ALL-ENCOMPASSING it's become; but on THIS page I want to follow through what might be the CAUSE (and effect) of my feelings. It has to do with AGING (and I resist the temptation to start the LIST with that!) as against YOUTHING. I look at aging as NEGATIVE rather than POSITIVE. I don't look at the POSITIVE EXPERIENCE that aging has afforded me, but the NEGATIVE SIDE: the fact that death will DENY me ANY experience, which could certainly qualify as being a NEGATIVE experience. Undoubtedly this is connected with my upcoming flight on 6/29, with this tentative mechanism: when I fly I fear something might happen to the plane and I may die; so that to GO on a plane is almost to GIVE myself to death. To GIVE myself to death I have to GIVE UP life, and the only way I can make GIVING UP LIFE "positive" is to think of everything IN life as over and negative. And I've succeeded, positively, in that negative activity! As I sift through the dream, and what will be on this list, this morning, I come up with ENDLESS (crux word!) items that I'm now looking at from the UNDERSIDE, the NEGATIVE side, rather than the UP-side, the positive side. Start the list NOW, and even the first five items lead to NEW territory: including a facet I hadn't considered before: I HAVE been adding (money, experiences, entertainment, lists), but that doesn't seem to be ADDING TO ME, almost as if experience is WEARING ME DOWN, constantly giving me SOMETHING to look at the DOWN-SIDE of, as compared to the BETTER things that happened in the PAST! Get to line A. and see that DARK AND SILENCE are considered GOOD, but that's for SLEEP (or death), and in WAKING (or life) I want LIGHT and ACTIVITY. Get to line B. and remember to SPECIFY that I started MANY lists (except for movies, for sake of "DID I see that?") because I feared I wouldn't get ENOUGH of operas or ballet or restaurants. Now I've gotten to a NEW, list-less, place, and I've INTERPRETED it as a LISTLESS place! And from an early entry of WANTING change to REVIVIFY, now I've IDENTIFIED real CHANGE!!

Aging, being DONE AND OVER Living, BEING and growing
Leads to: staying the SAME CHANGING
Getting WORSE, not even remaining SAME Improving, adding, increasing
Look at the PAINS in the body Look at the POSITIVE FUNCTION of body
Clothes to be cleaned, or bought HAVING clothes and USING them
Having DONE better things before DOING better things NOW
Doing work as LABOR, UGLY-time ENJOYING work, and money from it
Air-flights worrisome and killing Traveling wonderful and thrilling
Plans will go wrong Plans will go RIGHT
Pain of hygienist this morning Teeth are doing and functioning WELL!
Morning getting up: GOTTA clean-up: Sleep WAS good BECAUSE helped:
A. Out earplugs/raise shades/make bed SILENCE good/DARK good/BED good
Computer will go wrong Computer is HELPING and WORKING
No more relationships There WILL be new, GREAT, WORKING ones!
Underside of Dennis/Arnold/Pope They're INTERESTING & DIFFERENT:ENJOYem
Dishes/groceries/haircut/vacuuming EATING/FOOD/HAIR/APARTMENT
B. Keeping lists now outdated I don't really NEED lists anymore!
LISTLESS feeling LIST-LESS life; a REAL change, NOW!
Nothing new But what IS now IS now AND growth-wise!
C. Next item (looking to FUTURE) THIS item (looking to PRESENT)

Get to line C. and find a strange twist: I've been concentrating on the FUTURE life AFTER the present that WON'T exist (after I die AFTER the present!) and the PAST life BEFORE the present that was BETTER than what happens now (before I die AFTER the present!), and not concentrating on the PRESENT---the GIFT of now, the GIFT of life and doing and living and loving, the PRESENT to be unwrapped minute-by-minute

6/15/85: Discover that one of the LSD-trip themes is from MOVIETONE NEWS:
da da da DA
de deedle de DUM de DUM de DUM de DUM de
then repeat the first two measures, followed by
daddle da DA, da DUM ta-da
daddle de DA, daddle de DA! DA DA DA!

6/21/85: I can't resist making up a LIST of the mental gyrations, rationalizations, and frustrations I feel when I'm in the grip of fear of flight.
1) I KNOW it's silly and irrational, but I'm caught in it anyway.
2) It's no help to IDENTIFY with the pilot: I KNOW he's done it lots of times, and feels great confidence, and has lived through many flights.
3) I KNOW I'm in somewhat more danger when I cross a NYC street, or WILL be driving the CAR through France, or COULD be under nuclear attack, but it doesn't help.
4) I KNOW it has to do with control, and not being in love, and having wasted my life, but that doesn't assuage the FEAR.
5) With Russell now dead UNEXPECTEDLY, I can't even rely on the teachers KNOWING when someone will die, or on nature "sparing someone who's just coming into their full power." After all, there went Morley Raeside, Remy Hizon, and Russell Schofield, so why not also ME?
6) Knowing that flights are getting better doesn't help, particularly since I read that in 1975 they had the first big NYC crash since 1965 and this is 1985! It DOES somewhat help that the worst parts are the takeoffs and landings, but that surely doesn't help the takeoff and landing times any!
7) My past experiences with BAD flights don't help at ALL, because I KNOW the sheer panic of "I think it's going down," or "Why doesn't it stay away from THIS altitude where all the previous-jet turbulence is," or "Why is it making all these twisting turns just before it lands?" and the knowledge that I survived all of them BEFORE doesn't help in the situation NOW.
8) I know that DWELLING on it time after time is making it WORSE, and that it will ALL pass, but that doesn't help my fear NOW.
9) I KNOW nothing I can do will make the time go faster or slower, and concentrating on the time WILL make it go slower, jet I (HA, look at that "Spanish yet") yet I concentrate on the time (though this time I just started counting vaguely at 10 and 9 days ahead, rather than MONTHS ahead as before). 10) I'd hoped that writing about it would help, but it's only getting the LIST off my mind. So I'm still in the middle of it, and this listing hasn't helped that much, so print it out and get on with something ELSE!

6/27/85: Mulling over "Love of Form" this morning in bed (when I woke at 7AM after having gone to bed at 2AM, so who's not nervous?), and realized that MY love of form HAD BEEN idealized: I WOULD idealize form if it lived forever, but it BETRAYED me by making it clear that, not only does it not LIVE forever, it doesn't even stay in a painless, flexible, attractive MANIFESTATION of form for a long time at ALL! So some of the "traumatized egos" that came up in the "conference" with Wyndee were egos traumatized by the TERROR OF KNOWING THEIR OWN IMPERMANENCE in form. So I concentrated on the "keeping on going" and "going toward better" from the session, and concentrate on GOING, now, to get thru the few days left before the flight and the delightful GOINGS in France!

FRANCE-BY-CAR, June 29 - July 29, 1985 Contents page: AWFUL TRS-80 format!

1. Contents page
1.5 through 32. Text pages
33. Kilometers and itinerary
34. Restaurants and hotels in order of expense
35. Trip summary page
37-42. Slide-summary pages

SATURDAY, JUNE 29: Bed at 12:45 AM and sleep about 1AM and up at 6:30, not BAD.
Day STARTS slow, but by the time I take indexes to post office and wait at 1:45, it's really LATE. Wolf down parts of chicken and throw out oranges and shower and call car for 3:45 at 3:15. AGAIN I pack too much, JAMMING last papers to FILL duffel bag, which is VERY hap-hazardly packed. Jam REST of stuff into packed shoulder bag (including Michelin and TWO books) and DOWNSTAIRS to put out LAST of garbage (after vacuuming, washing dishes, talking to Mom and Henry and Rita and Doctor Evans and Pope on PHONE and John Vinton and Dennis and Spartacus in PERSON) and mail LETTERS. Wait til 3:55, fussing. When it comes, he insists on taking the Belt Parkway for the same amount of money, and there's INCREDIBLE traffic jams and I get OUT of cab and RUN to desk at 5:15 to find flight is FILLED. Stand around HOPING (big tour in at 5:30, six more in at 5:45, and get told to go to gate 10 to go New York-Rome-Nice! I write in the waiting room at 6:05 for the 6:30 flight. Get through JAMMED gate with security people CALLING OUT guy with a heavy satchel. In to "woman in red" and get non-smoking seat 28H, aisle again on flight 110 to Rome, schedule 6:30 to 9 (8 1/2 hours) and then Rome-Nice flight 83, 10:50 to 11:50. Sit and write this as boarding starts at 6:38. "Woman in red" took my name for Europecar AND Neil Souther's name, AND said that ALL of us would be reported as being moved to our now flights. Let's hope so. IF so, only a 5-hour delay! This LOOKS better than the proposed flight 114 to Paris with ME paying for Paris-Nice! AND 110 is "now" full so that the late (6:05 for 6:30 flight) are told the flight is FULL. THAT'S probably why flight 82 was full in the FIRST place! On down the line: cascade effect. Asked "woman in red" about VISUAL check they'd suggested for empty seats, and she says they didn't ALLOW it since flight was delayed ANYWAY. Had NOT left by 6:10, when we trundled across newly broken hallway with new-installed security doorways (in the wake of the still- held 39 hostages on the Rome-Beirut debacle). First group called at 6:42. Sweaty palms, but mainly vague RELIEF after that FRUSTRATING ride along the construction-filled car-blocked Belt Parkway. Pity I don't know where Neil is in Nice to tell him to sleep LATE. But if he's up early we have an EARLY night, which I'll NEED. LAST group, mine, called at 6:50---we may MAKE it! Move out at 7:20. I case window-seats and CHANGE with a woman who wants to move up in the plane! Sit next to a guy going on a two-week active-duty reserve on the Nimitz. Take off at 7:35. SMOOTH takeoff over beaches, hardly ANY qualms, but some SHARP turns later give me pause.

SUNDAY, JUNE 30: First photo at 8:05, lights AGAIN flashing about cabin as we turn! Rome is ALSO six-hour difference so it's 2:05AM there! Three wines, tiny meals, French coast at 7:30, and coast of Mediterranean at 8:20. Over Corsica 8:35. A lower left TOOTH twinges as I drink tea! (AND never twinges AGAIN, thank God!) Elba is just a TINY one-hill island south of Corsica(?) Then a BIGGER one passes and I photo it. Land VERY smoothly (MORE sharp turns) at 9:05 and to LONG taxi and passport control at 9:30. To central hall with NO markings and NO one meeting the plane, and finally find International Departures and get to area to find I have to change ticket! When I get THERE, there are four others and we MISSED the group that someone met and took the EASY way! Italy is hot and muggy and CUTE bright-eyed guy in front of me on plane seemed to regret I wasn't staying in Rome! Look in TWO liquor shops but decide I'll have ENOUGH wine to need Sambuca or Cointreau or Tia Maria or Cherry Heering. Wash my face as matrons march through, startling the urinators! To ANOTHER long security line at 10 and into lounge 6 at 10:25, a RIGHT WINDOW seat on the almost empty plane. Getting tired, but views over France: hills, some forests, come craggy areas, but MISS the French alps on the LEFT. Took pictures good, I hope. How can we LEAVE at 10:50 if we're not started boarding at 10:30? Flight called at 10:45 and board at 11, again changing my seat toward the back. Start moving 11:05, ONE HOUR flight time: so we're LATE. Off at 11:16. Corsica looks VERY rugged and "untouched." Strange

(tired?) optical illusion of fluffy clouds boiling up BENEATH the rippling surface of the sea. Right side seat is WRONG seat as Nice is on the left as we land at 12:10! Out to NO Neil! Wander to TT and no one there! To information and there's a note for me from Neil: He didn't KNOW I'd missed the plane, staying at Hotel Savoie, going to La Turbie. I storm to Pan Am and she says she got message at 10:30AM! Try TT and ONLY airport office exists! Try Monday! Look at cab sign: "Tete de Station" and WALK to HEAD of station and wave at cab and get told it's back THERE. Cash $20 at 9F for 180F. Cab marks 60F and 5F supplement and 4.40F for luggage! To Savoie and am told he has one SMALL bed, so I get Room 501 for 160F. It's unmade. I phone and it's made by 1, but I nap til 4:30. Then REPACK luggage, MUCH smaller, and sort EVERYTHING out to 6:30 (and WHY didn't I leave photo mailers at HOME?), when I write this. Still no Neil. Get it ALL really together by 7:30 and STILL no Neil! Rest. Brush teeth and lie down at 7:45, no Neil. Do a longish session and begin to get antsy, setting 9PM as a deadline, and at 8:50 he knocks, saying he'd been HERE at 5PM, then went out and ate, THEN got the message from me. "It happens like that here." He's older and plumper and shorter and less attractive than photo, rather looks like Neil Simon, but pleasant to talk with though OVER- considerate. We're out to stroll Promenade des Anglais and stop into Negresco to be told "looking is forbidden" and Chantecler is enclosed and pleasant, but I'm put off by snobbery. Stroll walking areas and see a perfect seat at corner of La Coupole and have menu for 53F, poor charcuterie, good pork (ordered veal) and frites, wine and poor creme caramel when "fruit" turned into apple/orange/ banana. Back at 11 to look through and give him stuff, and bed at 11:30 to arrange to meet at 7:30. No trouble getting to sleep in cool evening.

MONDAY, JULY 1: Wake at 3:45 and can't doze back, so up at 4:45 to piss and sort more things and note SO far that I've forgotten shorts (he has none EITHER, so it's BETTER for "better" drop-in lunches), Lomotil, and SHAMPOO, which I'll buy today. Write this at 5:10, sky JUST beginning to lighten. Try to doze again but it's not working, so up at 5:35 to shower. JUST about to go OUT at 6:10 and it starts to SHOWER out of a mostly-blue sky! Out at 6:20 to walk OLD Nice, NICE, and up to Chagall which is open 10-12:30 and 2-5:30, closed TUESDAY. Back to hotel and phone Neil at 7:35, down to continental breakfast to 8; he telephones TT and we try few banks for change (one for 9.1 charges 15F and 1% FEE!) and change at airport for 9.0 EVEN. Get car quick and it handles WELL. I drive Promenade des Anglais to AWFUL directions to east Nice roads and old villas and lots of traffic to finally find castle on top being reconstructed and GREAT views to Villefranche and Nice. Lovely FLOWERS all over. Down to closed antiquities museum and hot ramble through 5th Century baths and book for 15F. To cemetery for a moment by a church and park by hotel for checkout at noon and drive AGAIN lost to Route 202 and find MY St. MArtin is NOT St. Martin on map! Up to Roquette sur Var on a whim for GREAT view but no restaurant, and down to Levens for Les Roses at 1:30 for Neil to talk them into GREAT lunch of crudites, charcuterie (BETTER than last night), ham macedoine (stuffed with mayonnaise and cold peas and carrots), decent rose wine, and GOOD pork cutlets and FABULOUS home-0grown carrots in garlic and rosemary. Out at 3 VERY pleased for 180F + 20F tip (and smiling FAT girl-help) and up Var to Duranus and Saut (LEAP) des Francais and back to bridge at St. Jean to Utelle for retable and key to Madonna and up WILD road (though the ONLY car on the one-lane stretch up we DO meet at a passing point!) to blockhouse Madonna's church and shouting kids camping nearby and LOVELY Franco-Italo peaks in snow in two directions. Mist to south but GREAT views. Up to marker and toward relay station, then I drive down to Neil's suggested overnight at Bellevue for 163.50 TOTAL for room AND meal for me (snitching bread and cheese for breakfast). Down to Utelle to return key for 100F deposit, have a beer, and wander ALL Streets for houses for sale, chicken farms, gardens, cemetery on top and prow-view of valley beyond, and back to Bellevue at 7:45 for full-stomach dinner of good quiche, OK veal cutlets and awful beignets and OK tomatoes and Neil's GREAT crudites and OK creme caramel and OK white wine--- whole bottle today. [See FRANCE-BY-CAR - 4]. Wander up road to listen to dogs bark and watch night fall ---and FIREFLIES (my first in Europe?) and back at 10:30 to shit on TOPLESS (but clean) john and go to SLEEP while Neil still has LIGHTS on after spending futile moments chasing out the ubiquitous FLIES (INFESTING lunch, dinner, and room) but NO mosquitoes. Only sheet under cool evening, bed OK for us two.

TUESDAY, JULY 2: Wake at 2:10AM (moon bright enough to let me read watch) and back to sleep til 5:50, Neil at window. Shit and wash face and pack and write this til 6:35, Neil keeps packing repacking and fussing til 6:40. Car STARTED at km 10, drove 115 km 7/1. We must practically BREAK OUT of the place to leave, all doors locked. I drive up through mountainous passes to La Tour, passing almost no one, and the sun makes the town square look like a stage set. Sexy guys pass by, the church is open for an alter of naive quaintness and a retable of sexy postures in the crucifixion (no, this is in UTELLE). Ask a woman for the key to the Penitent's chapel and she walks me to a fly-screen door and a VERY charming woman who had two kids and takes my drivers' license as security for key and explanation. Primitive 1494 paintings of Last Judgment with plump nakedness, a reinforcement bar obliterating faces and painted in color-areas, and half-vanished Deadly Sins and Virtues. Look to my contentment at still village and photo from parapet and down to Tinia, missing abandoned Tournefort, and up river to climb front, then back, of hill to Bariols. Heights of picturesqueness, almost no one about (door to church "falling apart" and not unlockable), and I climb to hill ABOVE for woman gathering tilleul (lime blossoms) and topless mother watching child on precipices of garden. Water comes from VERY top of hill. Meet Neil at 10 and down escarpment and decide to avoid Maria (advertised) and Ilonce. Across river. Up to St. Sauveur, getting lost and see Roure way up and around spectacular cliffs and a waterfall to Roubion, decorating for their festival July 5 and 6. People casually look DOWN from parapet to their gardens and spouses 100 feet below. Up to Col de la Couillole at 1678 meters, snow fields visible around, and see Auberge du Neige Azur and sit outside in BRIGHT sun, watching motorcyclists and hikers come and go, and have three beers to allay thirst and a lovely crudites plate with anchovies and GREAT pistou: spaghetti-form with basil, olive oil, gruyere, and creme fraiche! Find HE ordered gigot for ME and I'm into kitchen to refuse it and see a mold: mousse de courgettes (zucchini) and she says it's GOOD. Have THAT and lunch goes to 1:30. 80F for goodness, pine forests, and BRIGHT sun. Down to Beuil (NOT "Benil" and down through Gorge du Cians (Magenta?), rocks and cliffs sometimes almost TOUCHING overhead to allow racing white water over brick-red rocks. Stop for views and waterfall and passing BUSSES> Great RED rocks, GREEN trees (in DRY AIR!), and BLUE sky for extravagant drama. Down to Puget-Theniers and across Var and immediately up twisting road to Col de San Raphael, Neil REALLY freaking over heights: veering WAY to LEFT to get away from cliff-edge to RIGHT and CREEPING past along edge while others impatiently wave him on. I take over driving, but it's hot and my arms are getting too much sun and steering wheel's leather-pebbled surface is eroding my palm-flesh, making me think I might get GLOVES. Road directions are characteristically poor, and we debate at crossroads at la Penne, St. Pierre, Gorge du Rioulan (all quite spectacular and west-rocky), and Sigale and les Sausses. At 3 and 4 I fear we may NEVER get back, though Nice is only 60 km AWAY. Want to FLY over last gorges. Lower ones more hazy, less rocky, not even VILLAGES to break boredom of twisting roads going up and down. No sooner do I give wheel to Neil in VALLEY that we're climbing back to 1000 meters with panic in his steering. UP Col du Castellaras, cross the Loup at Pont du Loup, up the Col de la Sine and down to St. Vallier, relieved to be on LAST route, D85. Fast to Grasse (and now he wants me to drive though TOWNS), huge and VERY busy, and get caught in 6PM traffic lines, grateful for the dozenth time for AUTOMATIC shift. [SEE FRANCE-BY-CAR - 5]. Car getting low on gas (245F to fill 43 liter tank first time), and I'm VERY hot and uncomfortable, though it's COOLER down near sea. It's all edge-to-edge city: LONG outskirts of Grasse and at Mouans-Sartoux and then all signs are of Mougins, HUGE, and NO signs for Moulin, and suddenly we're in Le Cannet, Neil directing. Go through town three times and into trunk for Relais de Campagne and OTHER books to find NO directions. Hit CANNES and return through Le Cannet to find 6 km, and we're back in Mougins, then turn AGAIN, thinking to PHONE, and at last at 6:55 there's a LARGE white sign and we dive into bushes to park, and Neil gets 600F room #7! Waiters play bocce around cars and employees arrive. Park and boy takes bags to room and up to clean hallway and rush to shower in awkward tub and nice white robe, relaxing 7:30 to 8:20, TIRED from day, but suited and look NICE to go to GARDEN for GOOD Kir Royale (dark and TINY bubbles of GOOD champagne) and Italian red/white/ green three fish/pasta/fish mousse with zappy chive garnish. Neil gets menu for 365F of lobster he gives to ME, pardoye (?)(fish), duck, and raspberry tart (there's a fly NOW in dining room as I write, but not earlier), and I ordered tiny vegetables and mushrooms for him, and loup in ENORMOUS portion of DELICIOUS tomato-base sauce (his saffroned orange lobster sauce was extraordinary), and HUGE chicken breast with four LARGE truffle-slices and great sauce and balls of carrot, turnip, and zucchini. Grapefruit sorbet-in- wine cleanser. GOOD house champagne for 180F, others mainly 300+F, some to 15000 on HUGE list. Pleasant spacious table, cute attentive waiters, Doctorish Vergé coming around after, NYC woman asking him about Montrachet ("He's very talented," he said, but he WASN'T in NYC), and cheeses pretty good and different, and my seven sherbets and creams great: sherbets of grapefruit and strawberry and raspberry and peach, creams of INCREDIBLY creamy vanilla, ZINGY mint, and what he says is CORIANDER! Mignardises pleasant and large moist strawberries are unbelievably fragrant, juicy, and perfectly textured (oh, HIS fish sauce a TREAT of thin cream and BITS of flavor bursts and textures). End at 11 and they offer tilleul and milk-tea in salon, where we linger and laugh til 11:50. Incredibly luxurious, probably 4 1/2 stars, but not REAL knockout like Eugenie les Bains. DROP into bed, unbrushed teeth, Neil makes out breakfast card for 8AM. IMMEDIATELY to sleep.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3: Wake at 5:50 and up at 6:30 to dress and down to startle concierge by asking for place to WRITE. He shows me into one of the 7-8 DINING Rooms and I do this til 7:30, bright hillside houses behind, flies buzzing, hotel still asleep. Really a tiny hotel, and right near the ROAD, so it's really the FOOD that keeps the place going. Maybe 60-70 tables for as many as 300 people! Two tables in IMMEDIATE view never taken last night, our room #7 an "annulation," or cancellation. What a RELIEF it WAS not to drive more, and they'll take CARD today; we didn't even SIGN for dinner. But I did NOT get my "etiquette" from the champagne! LOVELY breakfast for 50F comes 8:10 to 9, and bill TOTAL is 2055F, room only 422F! Record the kilometrage at 355. Eight Cezanne oils given to state recently. Carry our stuff to car and drive north to Grasse to stop for Neil's post office, maps of the area, water, and shampoo. Stocked at last! Over Cols de Pilon, Valferriere, and Clavel, none really that high, still cloudy this far inland. Through Comps and finally arrive at Balcons de la Mescla at 11:35, me driving along cliff-edge, and first lookout is fine and take pictures from VERY edge. Then look BACK to see a REAL balcony and TURN to park and down steps to SLIP on slick rock and bump right forearm, right little finger, and REALLY hurt left inside knee and scrape right knee! DAMN! Left leg can't ANTEFLEX at start, but I keep WALKING on it, and it gets better. Bandaids on right fingers get WET and keep slipping off. Along steep Falaise des Cavaliers and the Corniche Sublime (though ANYTHING in US West would dwarf it) and to Pont d'Antuby, nice views, and stop more to leap out to edge and look, lots of traffic, and around Lac de Ste. Croix to Moustiers at noon and through Riez and Valensole and the hardly noticeable "Ravin de
Vallongue," over mostly dry Durance (high-sided bridge) to miss turn at Manosque and down yellow-sided "Defile de Mirabeau" and over a canal to super- highway down toward Aix, going around town and trying Hotel St. Christophe at 3PM to find it FULL and continue down Victor Hugo to Hotel Moderne, double for 210F, and I wait while he finds it OK, takes in bags, and girl says, "Park down block, man knows us." I go to end of block, nothing. AROUND block to courtyard, but it's APARTMENTS. Out and through tunnel to be LOST. Around a bit and BACK through tunnel and decide in disgust to park in STATION parking. Ordinateur incomprehensible, I have five coins, which is 5F at 15:35 and get a ticket good until 17:35! Fume back to gal and she says guy will take CARE of it! IS no guy! NOT for the hotel!" "Yes, it's expensive," she shouts, "we HAVE no garage." But she makes me laugh, gives me coins for 50F, and I go BACK to find guy who AT LENGTH explains 15F from 17:35 to 11, then FREE from 11 to 6AM, then 9F from 6AM to 10AM, when I want to leave. Put in money and array three tickets under windscreen. MADNESS! Shower with GREAT relief, out to plaza of Four Dolphins, OK; to St. Jean of Malta for the Nave *, find the Museum Granet that has THAT Ingres portrait, OF Granet, a sexy Gericault academic nude, and a fantastic Thalia and Jupiter, VERY famous, snapping WITHOUT 10F permit, and 15F just from 5:10 to 5:40! AND a good view of eight Cezanne oils and a room AS IT WAS when Cezanne copied from it. Neat! Then to Palais de Justice for LOVELY light court, the Madeleine is locked; to NOT so great Town Hall court, to Cathedral JUST as fellow UNLOCKS the Nicola Froment "Burning Bush" of LOVELY colors and THEN unlocks the DOOR COVERS to wonderful CARVINGS. Photo all, 6:30, made with delight. Tapestries are closed, street cafes are full, and we went daft over "thunderthighs" that we followed a few blocks. FACE not great but legs to DIE for. Down through old Aix to Cave Henri IV and they'll TAKE us at 7:30 as we ARE (my chocolate-blotched white pants and all!) and we're down to fountain at Place Charles de Gaulle to sit and watch people, not MANY pretty until Legs #2 comes past when Neil is away shopping, and Neil returns and I tell him about guy and he RETURNS, FLEXES legs, STARES at me, sits ACROSS And spreads his crotch---and then his girlfriend arrives! "That's obscene," I protest, as Neil dissolves in laughter. We sit til 7:30 and up to restaurant and down to cave for both the menus: Fois gras VERY creamy and NICE vinagrette and tomatoes, then good loup in a sauce, then as a surprise THYME ice, INTENSE, to refresh palate, and then smallish portions of veal that are OK, but about one-star for the 210F menu. He has no wine and my white is poured a BIT at a time by ANOTHER cute waiter who looks me RIGHT in the eyes and smiles EACH time. Neil loves beautiful Brigitte, the owner's wife, and the dessert of melon soup is totally magnificent: melon, coulis, and MINT! Extraordinary! TEA cheesecake is nothing much, Neil AGAIN flipping over framboise dessert and another, EACH on a different plate! Pay 625F for the whole thing, perfectly OK. Out at 10:30 to find we missed the trumpets from the cathedral tower, follow someone who doesn't take us to a gay bar but to an ice-cream shop, then pass through to the Cour Mirabeau and lots of eateries and back to NOISY hotel to fall into bed at 11:30, giving Neil HIS set of earplugs!

THURSDAY, JULY 4: Up at 7:10, having dreamed of my really BEGGING Rolf to love me; I'm hard on my stomach. Down to breakfast at 7:40, OK for 30F, and walk Cour Mirabeau in light to Madeleine for PAINTED WOOD virgin from 1300 and lovely Annunciation non-tryptich (wings elsewhere) with MONKEY trying to catch "golden shower" containing a BABY JESUS from the announcing angel. Back through lots of colorful markets, flea and fruit, to leave hotel at 9:15 and get into car on CLOUDY day. North to cutoff on D543 through Ragnac and see signs for Abbey of Silvacane, too austere for my taste, with cat as roof-gargoyle. Signs for St. Anne de Goiron chapel from XIth Century lead us through the town of La Roque d'Atheron, 6 km up a pine road to turnoff, and again 6 km to Resistance monument and locked tiny chapel with pews tilted to FRANCE-BY-CAR - 7

allow someone's exit. Through Charlevant about 11 and signs are no good (absent) going through Alleins and Lamanon and Eyguises. Rains a bit. through Mourries and Maussanne, rock of castle ahead, and past parking for Les Baux and ENTRANCE signs to Ousteau but NONE LATER until an intertwined OB causes me to turn quick down lane. Into parking lot and Neil vanishes. I get out to look for him and he's back at car, being told to "drive around" to room 3. Around? Down and to left, into driveway, nothing. I'm pissed. Roar into courtyard and bump to halt on gravel, Neil SLAMS door and meets puzzled baggageman saying we go up to RIGHT, and park to unload car into LUXURIOUS suite: living room twice size of most rooms and bedroom twice THAT size---and air conditioned, to GREAT relief, FIRST so far. Settle in and I'm HUNGRY at 12:50, so decide to call desk for lunch at La Riboto de Taven, and drive down to SPECTACULAR garden and salon where we get CHARMING maitre'd and a brilliantly-smiling Audrey Hepburn faced waiter who KEEPS catching my eye and smiling, until he palls by flashing the SAME smile to his WAITER friends. The special Provencal L'Aigo de Masco (water of the [white] witch) is champagne and red fruits, and DELICIOUS, and we choose "light" lunch of terrine de lapereau aux haricots verts and aspic creation, maigret de canard with gratin dauphinoise (potatoes) all VERY good, and GOOD le Baux half-bottle of rose and an assortment-plate for dessert: floating island and raspberry mousse, that Neil had separate; chocolate cake and VERY light chocolate mousse, and a fruit and sherbet section of mint and frais and syrups. GREAT for 576F, a one-star going for 2! Up to Les Baux at 2:30 to work off food tramping through old village (mostly shops) and ENTIRELY losing my heart to BIG HANDSOME SEXY information-giver! Up into "dead town" and photo down and up and around and climb-look at moon, and at 5:15 TALK to Jean-Luc Suarz and give him my CARD and he gives PHONE number (after 10PM!) Lives with parents. My FILM seems broken after 36 and down to room to find it was a roll of 20! DRAT! SWIM and sun 6-7, write 7:7:40, bathe and down to dinner at 8:10. Sit by pool, ALL Americans around. Bread arrives late and cepes are HUGE cut from tubes (they say, I STILL think they have the starch of vegetables) of LARGE cepes and HARD, not soft like caps, and other tops NOT TAKEN OFF dishes, my riz de veau in ginger OK but NOT special: three-star going for TWO! Sancerre OK, but even NO shockingly appealing waiters! Out at 10:40, not EVEN three hours, and walk dark round below lit castles til 11:30, then fall into bed under BLANKETS in the heavy air conditioning Neil loves.

FRIDAY, JULY 5: Wake at 7:50 after LONG dream of George Hudacko being fucked by woman being fucked by man, and I'm playing with some KID, trying to excite him, and wake VERY hard. Up to turn air conditioning OFF and write to catch up to 8:35. Breakfast outside in COOLISH weather, the FIRST people down! Lovely spread of three bowls of honey, strawberry jam, and marmalade, but cup and a half of chocolate versus THREE cups at Moulin de Mougins. But juicy (and tasteless) white peach and GOOD cherries. Bill is 1190 AFTER 540F deposit of $60! They charged us 50F for two aperitifs we didn't have, and took it off. I pay usually by card, and Neil now owes ME from his stocking of cash BEFORE. Got to get to bank today! Everyone's busy cleaning and scrubbing and working on pool, but the surface is STILL fly and junk-blown. Sunnier day. Finish this at 9:40 to get to brushing teeth and packing. BEGIN day at odometer 679. Out at 10:10, photos at 10:20 over Baux. Lost route on way to St. Remy, doubling back and getting lost in PARKING lot at Information! To mausoleum and arch at 10:45, well-preserved and hardly ruined. Neil had suggested a CORRECT right turn to get to St. Remy, and then said PROBABLY Glanum would not be good. I praised him for his intuitiveness on BOTH counts. Pay 20F and find NO map or guide, so girl says, "Write it DOWN." I do, and then wander in hot sun among temples and baths and roads and very tacky mosaics. Lots of NUMBERS 1-45, but no GUIDE. Neil's Dordogne book is invaluable. Write MORE negatively in book at 11:45, and they have descriptions only in GERMAN! I say that I'll tell all my friends NOT to come. Drive toward Arles and pass the Abbey of Montmajor at

11:55, but it's closed 12-2. Into Arles, Neil directing poorly, and look for D'Artignan hotel down VERY narrow streets, but it's full. Pass squares and OLD church facade and see hotel and down road and Neil finds it full, but as we pass there are five MORE down there and he finds them ALL full. Pass Jules Verne and it's full, and he suggests we LOOK and LEAVE. OK. Check information for not much and change-booth has moved to BANKS. Find parking space at 12:30 and try to jam 5F piece into machine and it won't go, then read that parking is FREE from 12-2. Into park and around theater to find FREE entry with FILM crew inside. Wander about looking at ruins and arena in distance, and stones and people and women in provincial costumes, and over to Arena to find it CLOSED with unreadable sign of closed hours FAR inside gate. DAMN! Wander down side streets, then back up to cathedral for GREAT facade and Roman sarcophagi and HELPFUL position-map of icons and chapels and paintings inside. Photos 1:15 - 1:35 of church, cloister closed, and to car to have toast and peaches from this morning's breakfast, good, and finish the delicious bottle of water. Try again at 2:05 and 2:10 but meter STILL doesn't work, so we're around FRONT of theater, NO facade left, and to arena for 20F global ticket and climb tower to look over Rhone at 2:30 and arena set up for BULLfight to KILL tomorrow. Lots of kids galloping over roof and in seats, HOT and WET with sun. Down to baths, large and imposing and empty, and to the Reattu museum, and he was a painter of a LOVELY Jacob, and there are 80 or so Picasso heads: satyrs, harlequins, sleeper-watchers, knights from 1971. Back to square and change $300 at FIRST bank for 8.9F, or 2670F, and LATER find bank that paid 9.13F, losing 69F!! Neil says, "Next time." OK. Then to LOVELY St. Trophime cloister at 3:25 and CUTE exhibit of "sacred monsters," including GREAT stone-fleece ebony-legged SHEEP. AND cute people. Out and across to Lapidary museum for PAGAN art and lovely sarcophagi and Augustus's torsos in old church, then through flat-ceilinged City Hall to CHRISTIAN art at 4:05, and down into extraordinary Cryptoportique caves and double and triple U-shapes under OLD main city, where things were on DISPLAY as "found" there in 1968 or so. And there are levels BEHIND levels and BELOW levels and ABOVE levels: a real LABYRINTH of HUGE building capacity: these ROMANS: aqueducts and arenas and roads and theaters and amphitheaters (this is the list that I found in the amphitheater at Arles: Pouzzoles 191 x 145 meters
Le Colisee 188 x 156
Capoue 170 x 140
Milan 155 x 125
Autun 154 x 130
Verona 153 x 123
El Djem 148 x 122
Tarragon 148 x 119
Lyon 140 x 117
Poitiers 138 x 115
Limoges 137 x 113
Arles 136 x 107
Pompeii 135 x 104
Bordeaux 133 x 111
Nimes 133 x 101) and wheat storage facilities like Cryptoportique. Out exhausted and suggest a drink, but we walk to BUSY street and walk BACK to find ourselves in front of the Musee Arlesinat, founded by Henri Mistral, and place is FULL of capes and caps and the crib of Mistral on a DAIS, and paintings and sanctas (creche carvings) and RITUAL objects like pennants and stuffed animals and banners and decorations and trivia, then staged SCENES with clothing and housewares of kitchens and barns and bedrooms and balls, then reliquaries and copes and jewelry and glass and maps and documents and chairs and diplomas and model ships and trains and cars, then bicycles and toys and locks and wigs and portraits and ivory carvings and cold and coins and medals and cookware and utensils and tools and Mistral's bedroom and paintings and chests and chairs FRANCE-BY-CAR - 9

and photos and awards and books and statues and that's about 10% of it! Neil had never seen ANYTHING like it. A carriage and plaster saint and endless the junk is---a guide costs 115F. Out for me to order lait, fraise, light and warm and tasty, and we buy bottle of gassy water. Out to ticketless car at 5:15, HOT as blazes, and out of town to north via Tarascon and Beaucaire to go WRONG way around zoo-area of Pont du Gard, then RIGHT way OVER bridge UNDER it and park nearby and walk upstream to photo bathers and bridge, then climb stairs to top CHANNEL and climb ATOP channel for 6-foot wide shaky walk ATOP the bridge taking pictures, and down special stairs at north end and back up to walk UP to viewpoint, getting VERY tired, and down to 15F 37cl Pelforth dark and DELICIOUS cold beer. Neil wants DINNER at 7:15, but I say no, and we drive through hotel-less St. Bonnet and off to Ledenon, where hotel has been CLOSED (ruined chateau on hill) and to Cabius, where village roads are tiny and empty, to St. Gervez between busy A9 and busy N86, miss turnoff and go to Redesson, nothing, and find Marguerittes confusing and Neil asks someone who says "Just on road," and back to road for MOTEL, no way, and airfield with the Fuji Film blimp moored there, and I suggest we try one-star Alexandre and nearby hotel, and Neil phones from fifth gas station we try and GET dinner and room! Around Nimes and down toward Garons, AGAIN key signs missing, and to LOVELY quiet place with group eating in garden and "complet" sign for its FOUR rooms at 240F LAST year and 250F THIS year, with breakfast ALL of 25F! Neil goes IMMEDIATELY to dining room at 8:30, we order NOT 220F seven-course but 165F five-course menu du printemps. Wash hands and face gratefully, and drink all of carafe of water. He orders lovely clear red Chateauneuf-du-Pape for 85F, and we start with two white mousses, poireau (leek) fresh and light, and rascasses, which amuses her as we BOTH ask at once, "Qu'est-ce que c'est?," and she says "fish", creamy and distinct from the OTHER ball of white on white plate on LACE tablecloth and napkins. Four WONDERFULLY behaved kids across way and expert group of 6, all casual, across too. Neil has two terrines, both excellent, and I have EXTRAORDINARY juicy large sweet Cavaillon melon with EXTRA balls INSIDE PLUS jambon, GREAT. With his Contribuable of vodka and lemon and my Concorde of curacau and rum, each 25F, we're FLOATING. Citron sherbet in Muscat de Lunel and VODKA!! His chateaubriand is excellent and juicy with tender beans, and my pied du porc in cabbage with truffle strips is VERY fat, but MEAT (what little of it there is) is tasty and I have room for good scalloped potatoes and three cheeses: Chaume, not so great; soft vache Tourre de Lambier, excellent; and Vieux Pannet, good. He has St. Nectaire, OK, Chaume, and peppered goat, quite interesting. Desserts go FULL hog: he gets coffee mousse and chocolate framboise in honey coulis, then tart aux fraise and a few MORE that I FORGET! I have tart au citron, lemony, gateau aux fraises, and WONDERFUL dish of passion fruit sherbet and WONDERFUL sweet soft strawberries and raspberries in their coulis. SUPERB desserts! Dizzy with delight away from table at 11:10, FULL, cute son-waiter about 13, a TRULY MEMORABLE meal---oh, yes, there WAS a nut-bowl with cheese, and good rolls and butter, too. Excellent service from old coot who talks of Florida, GREAT evening. Bed at 11:30, stuffed.

SATURDAY, JULY 6: I wake at 7:30 still TIRED, and get to bathe and downstairs at 8:05 for chocolate, THE SOFTEST croissant EVER, home-made apricot preserves, toasts for lunch, one soft-boiled EGG in a little pompomed bonnet (!), and goblets of FRESH orange juice on LOVELY terrace (oh, only ONE Nimes-airport plane-landing rattled the dinner crowd last night), with distant male Air Force chorus singing and a CUTE young bulldog with a SWEET face. TOTAL bill of 765F GREAT bargain, for soap and TOOTHPASTE in cabinet, cotton balls in a flask, and bottled water in an ice bucket on bidding, and a pink ribboned bunch of LAVENDER on departure, boy lugging bags for 10F each trip. Wonderful! Leave at 9:05 toward Nimes, crazy guy behind me TOOTING me through RED LIGHT at intersection. Into Nimes with Neil's poor directing, but get to central parking street and photo lost-picture fountains at 9:25. Retake the Bacchus

and climb hill to take photos in CLEARER weather than last year, at 10, then he leaves to see sights for "maybe two hours" and I laze down through pretty park to sit near grottos and fill with disgust over the ugly behavior of PEOPLE in such a beautiful SPACE. Loud-talking Germans, a family that adopted a BLACK child catching TADPOLES out of a public pool for two older daughters, a group of three dogs being encouraged to romp and yap their heads off in the silence, blacks selling phony souvenirs, young girls terrorizing pigeons by screaming and running at them, and I fantasize screaming and running at THEM to teach them what it would feel like! Move lower and write 10:30-11:15, then move near car for Neil's return, finishing there in a less-tired, more mellow mood at 11:45, looking at flowers, sexy passersby, feeling WONDERFUL cool breezes, and only MILDLY cramping fingers from writing over nine pages. See a poster for a 7/13 Berlioz Requiem in Carcassonne. Wonders! Keep forgetting to record mileage, too, but do it at least every other day so far. We have to stop Monday or Tuesday for two days to do laundry and get car checked. Neil has today pretty well mapped out with small sights in small towns. Though he REFUSES to drive in HIGH places, on HIGHWAYS, or in TOWNS, and is VERY gingerly passing ANYONE, watching for EVERYONE else, fearful of EVERYTHING: it's STILL better to be overcareful as HE is than UNDERcareful as I am, so my patience holds. He only needs six hours sleep so he's ALWAYS up ahead of me and finished in bathroom, uncomplaining in waiting for me and interested in ANY tale I tell. OK companion, and he loves spending for food and hotels as I do. Stop at 11:50AM. Check map via Camargue and walk OUT of gate at 12:05PM. Espy him in MIDDLE of park at 12:20. Wave. Photo heroes 12:35, then south to St. Giles and closed tours at 1:15, to Aigue Morts at 2:10. Drink beer while waiting for P'tit train to leave on Ramparts tour at 2:40. Ride til 3, taking photos as train goes in and out of gates. The city is flat and relatively uninteresting but for shops and tourists. We pay 10F to climb stark Constance tower, built in 1275, and look over bay and canals and river and roofs. Down to walk a few ramparts and Neil is galloping off around the perimeter. I'm back to debate waiting in car, then go to central square to listen to 94-year-old man hold forth and look at shirtless tanned tourists. Neil returns about 3:45 and we get ices and get into car along rather dreary Etang de Mauguise and toward Montpellier to look for nonexistent route A9, obviously not built yet buy only a bewildering series of signs and non-signs for Beziers and Sete. Very hot again and drivers zoom in and out unpleasantly. Neil is driving and keeps asking "Have we got past Montpellier yet?" Get off too-fast Ad at Meze for "scenic" N113, looking out over flats of OYSTER farms in the Bassin de Thau. Look over at Cap d'Agde and drive through Marseillan and get into BLAZING hot Agde to park in lot and walk to fortress-like cathedral with a modern chapel to one side. I'm wearying of non-distinctive Romanesque churches. Walk past fishermen in green and slimy Herault River and back to car to cross bridge and drive past interesting looking (lots of XII signs) St. Thiberg and into Pezenas to switch driving as Neil finds that the only hotel, tacky-outside, nice-inside, Geniys, is full. I drive around town to let him inquire in two hotels around square, all full. Around again and decide to park and LOOK at town, then leave. We walk two old streets (be buys Maalox) and we're into church about 6:55 and he whispers, "I've got to attend mass either now or tomorrow morning." DAMN! Decide NOW is best since he's HERE, and I'm out to ask tourist for directions to Syndicate d'Initiative and find it closed, but get SOME map from restaurant next door with streets and courts marked. I've FINALLY finished Spartacus's fudge (and stupidly threw the paper away!) and my fingers are sticky. Look for a place to sit and wait and at 7:15 see that mass started at 6:30, so should be over, and in to hear end of desultory singing and Neil hated sermon but shakes hands with priest anyway. Convert from Lutheranism at 22, he's more Catholic now than most. Out to find shops and courts CLOSED, so back to car, phoning Auberge de Tour to find IT full, from brochure, and decide to drive to Beziers. He puts me first in the wrong

direction, then I turn and we fly down N113, stopping at attractive place, but when I exit car to ask, I see sign for "Auberge de Tour," the one we PHONED. To outskirts of Beziers at 8 and say, "Let's phone," and we get room at Hotel Imperator on Allee and dinner at two-star L'Olivier across Allee! Wonderful! Into narrow streets of town and park in central allee across from full hotel garage. In to nice room overlooking allee, and take a REAL shower (at least SOME have STALLS!) before putting on suit pants and shoes and last clean shirt, the brown, to go across way and enter stained-glass and mirrored pleasant restaurant with English-speaking eager waiter. Choose 185F menu with delicious local Corbiere wine and I THINK it's the one I "found" last year in Lourdes! OK tastes at start (bouchee a la Reine), but his Coulibiac au Chou is too pastry-y with not enough cheese, with good sauce Aigne, GREAT appetizer of terrine of sole, with sole as "FAT" around sole MOUSSE and fois gras in center, FABULOUS; GOOD noisette d'agneau and sauce for main course, and his filet of Rougeot good. Good selection of cheeses and then a FEAST of desserts: prunes in armagnac, tart of kiwi, FABULOUS peach and brugnon in wine, mousse au fraises au coulis, chocolate cake, almond tarts, and BEST THINNEST CRISPEST tuiles d'amandes! Cheeses: battepalle FABULOUS, cour de rollat medium, and Maroilles bland, Sainte Maur creamy, Feuille de Dreux silky, and St. Marcellin YEASTY, and I have SEVEN sherbets, ALL of them: strawberry, melon, peppermint!, peach, passion fruit, pineapple, and apricot. Out at 11:15STUFFED and bop across way to fort-like cathedral and dark view over city. To hotel at 12 and sleep instantly, despite open-wide window-noise from street.

SUNDAY, JULY 7: Up still TIRED at 6:30 to worry about car, and up at 7:10 to find I parked "strictment interdite", but parking in front of HOTEL is OK on Sunday. Up to wash and down to nice garden court for breakfast and up to clean teeth and pack and BACK to cathedral at 8:40, luckily open BEFORE scheduled 9AM with service in chapel, and warm empty halls, and look at statues and lost sad girl in yellow wandering about. Over light-diminished city and walk straight back to hotel to pack and record that we're at km 1022 as we depart Beziers at 9:25AM. Very confused tricky way out of city toward Narbonne on N113 and fairly easily through Narbonne and almost tempted by Africa Safari, SAID to be open at 10AM. Onto busy N9, Neil staying behind EVERYONE, and skirt Perpignan on small roads rudely interrupted by LARGE new roads that make navigation difficult. Also move to new Michelin map. Pass Milles and look at his Pyrenees guide and see they're all open at 2, so decide to drive up the Pic de Canigou. No particular sign as we go up D24a, but road gets BAD and we're dusty ALREADY at noon when we stop to pick overripe cherries. Little traffic, thank God, but misty air prevents GREAT views. Up and around and over and around and up til 1:30, to top, too exhausted to continue up another kilometer to "hotel" 100 meters up. We stall once, and it won't start quickly, which is frightening. Bump up some stones, but the road isn't TERRIBLE, though Neil is clinging to his door. Down by 2:15, stopping to wash cherries in cold stream, and really TIRED at finish of 32 km in 160 minutes, 12 km/hr! North to Cuxa that's said to close at 5, but it closes at 6. Fast-talking skinny guy starts by saying its columns are in New York and its fountain is in Nice. Loud kid-filled group, only 3-3:30, thank god. Few slides but not really worth a French book. Then up road to Casteil, NICE village, and park in road at 4:25 and start up FAST to get to the 5PM tour. Make "45 minutes" in 25! Hot and tired at top. Have 6F Panache and go to john, then a FAR older version of fat Paul McLean takes us through 5:05 to 5:55, totally DETAILS and no SPIRIT. Get back, photo capitals, and walk around to Belvedere for more pictures and lovely forest. Walk slowly down, rain in air, and ask at Relais St. Martin for room and they HAVE it for 113F! Neil drives car up JUST as it starts to rain, and we eat in basement a LOVELY meal: he LOTS of pate, me Salade Catelan of anchovy and egg on tomato and onion and lettuce. Them MY quail and HIS entrecote are BRAIZED over hot WOOD FIRE that makes herbs LOVELY to taste. GOOD local wine

for 35F: Taichat Blanc de Rousillon. Lots of cheeses, conté and roquefort and others, and I had two lovely juicy peaches and Neil had HUGE apple tart. We went out at 8 to walk around town, pleasant woods, past duck and rabbit farm, houses selling crepes, and finally exhausted to bed at 9:50, still light out!

MONDAY, JULY 8: Wake at 6:50, surprised to have slept nine hours with NO trouble at all. I'm outside to write when the flies in the tiny upstairs dining room get too thick, but I'm back inside with ruddy-faced natives when waitress says she's alone and has to serve us inside. Only toast for first time, and out about 8:45 at km 1217 to drive down and around the little walled town of Villefranche-de-Conflent. West along N116 to photo Pont Sejourné at 9:30 and to Font-Romeu, mainly ski chalets, but pretty, and fill up with gas and photo solar collector at 10:20. Keep smelling GAS and stop to find gas DRIPPING around tank! Detour south to Bourg-Madame, just 3 km from Spain, to find leak's STOPPED and only nearby station that can handle it is at Foix. Neil drives up well-engineered Col de Puymorens to 1915 meters and then I repeat road from L'Hospitalet through Ax-les-Thermes and to Foix, lovely countryside. At Foix at 12:20 we're told to return at 2:30! I notice signs to Riviere Souterrain de Labouiche, and we get there for a HUGE pate sandwich and CONSTRUCTED Panache for $2. Down with compact muscular boatman-narrator and formations are not very good, but the "rivering" by hand along cables is interesting. Out at 3:30 and back to garage to be told it's really 1000 TO 3000 km checkup, and they'll take all day Thursday for us. No way! We make not to RESERVE station-slot in Perigueux. Dash up to Foix castle after Syndicate D'Initiative (SI) in town preparing for medieval week starting tonight with AWFUL piped-in music on EVERY street. The tour of museum is VERY crowded and I climb tower before crowd arrives. Interesting prehistoric fragments and armor, but the CROWDS are worse than the SIGHTS are worth. Up towers to photograph and down to town to wander a few of the stalls being set up, and leave at 6:20 along D117 through St. Girons to stop at one-star Eychenne. Into almost-empty dining room and move away from constant cigar-smoker to have TWO cavaillon melons with port ONLY with FIRST one as melon is TOO good to spoil with liquor! Then TWO huge sweetbreads on toast, not bad, but Neil doesn't like, and a LARGE chateaubriand on toast that I send back as being to "bleu." Ugly gay waiter flits about and Edgardo-like owner nervously informs us he doesn't know why the place is so empty. Good Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh white wine we pour ourselves and HUGE soufflé au Grand Marnier for dessert, too liquidy. Out to walk pleasant falls of river Salat through city, and UNPOPULATED Auto Electrique (dodgem) and "slide tokens to win" concession with TAWDRY gifts. Wander back EXHAUSTED to bed about 11:30.

TUESDAY, JULY 9: Up about 7:30 and bathe and breakfast on TINY table at 8 with SAME waiter, then out at 8:45 at 1446 km. Clear day and skirt St. Gaudens and through Valcabrere to spectacularly sited St. Bertrand de Comminges at 10AM, fantastic "corner organ." Good fellow guides tiny tour through interesting artifacts and down at 11:30 to tiny old church from tenth century with polychrome entranceway and back to see TREASURY at 12:20 tour, nice guide letting us in and out FIRST. South at 12:40 to Bagnieres de Luchon under strange HAZE that came up as we toured treasury, and Neil says he'll stay in town and shop as I look at his good Pyrenees guide and set out at 3 toward Bourg d'Oueil. LOVELY sunny-shady pine-leafy rolling valley dotted with goats, and up "interdite" highway with about 30 other cars to get lost a few times and scoot back and forth to lac Borderes, nice mountain walk with lots of picnicking families, and then climb Mont Né in about half an hour, gasping for breath and energy, but GREAT Massif de Maladeta in distance striped with snow (and will save the two-star Lake O!o for NEXT time!). FABULOUS triumph at top at 5:15 and DOWN to SNOW (not glacier) slowly melting, still WHITE with moss-flecks, in JULY sun. Down quickly, trying NOT to break through front of

my sneakers, and pass two LOVELY daddies with SUPERBLY muscled thighs and calves. Run through goats on way down at 6 and meet Neil on town-square bench as rain starts to fall about 6:20. Drive back north and phone at 7:30 from Montrejeu to get Neil's "no room" at Hotel France in Auch. Skirt Lannemazan and drive QUICKLY north on straight D929 and I phone to find we CAN have DINNER in restaurant. Have hard time finding Relais de Gascogne and find THREE beds in the room after parking in the 40F garage. Walk quickly to Hotel France, passing folk dancers in square, and in about 8:30 for us to each take the choice of the 220F menu, the 360F being MUCH too rich. I have Oeufs de Caille @a la coque aux trois ar!omes (parsley, black pepper, and tomato) for VERY large eggs!, le Daube de Taureau in croute in what looks like half a VOLLEYBALL of almost inedible dough and VERY tough and gristly DARK meat that's VERY gamy in a dark wine that makes it taste like a SPOILED coq au vin. Then a salad au fritons vinaigre is not that good either---SECOND time this place has been VERY questionable---though the Le Bouchy (cabernet) de André Daguin is tasty, and then uninteresting fromage des Pyrenees, and two soufflés glacées noted ONLY for DELICIOUS chocolate on one, NOT for store-bought ice cream or tasteless soggy dough-cups. I started with Pousse Rapier, good with madiran, and he had Madiran Madiron, not as good. Expensive two-star meal with QUESTIONABLE value. To walk back EXHAUSTED to traffic-loud room and FALL into bed about midnight.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10. Up just before 8 to take bath in steamy room and shave and down to Neil for breakfast as he tries without success to phone Laurent, his former exchange pupil from May in North Dakota. Out at 9:15 to garage (he had to MOVE car at 8:10) to start at 1709 km. Mileages get longer EVERY day: 5000 km is 3000 miles, about NY-SF in a MONTH. OK! Park by cathedral to resee MARVELOUS Auch choir stalls til 10, then the Maison de Gascogne, buy a comb for 19.8F! Drive north along D930 to St. Flour abbey, VERY like the Cloisters, at 11:40-12, then phone Table des Cordeliers in Condom for 12:30 lunch, a LOVELY place. Stained glass colors the tables set elegantly in a 13th Century chapel: just STUNNING. And fabulous HOT bacon wrapped around prunes is equally spectacular. Cocktail Monluc Cassis Fraise delicious and he brings a Jura&con Sec as a great choice. I have a spectacular LOOKING (but it falls apart and the tastes are too CRISP to meld) terrine des legumes au foie gras au coulis de tomate, which last is VERY good. Rognons de veau de Buzet aux échalottes roti are good (Neil hates them) and of baby-flesh texture, and shallot insides pushed out phallically are tasty. The assortment of desserts includes a citron tart with raspberry coulis, and Neil's mousse au m!ures (blackberries), a crunchy almond daiquoise with Creme Anglais and a clafouti of prunes that is a SENSATION of taste and custardy texture; all this followed by LOVELY chocolate and marzipan amuse-bouches. Out at 2:30 VERY pleased. Had gotten a GOOD map from Maison de Gascogne in Auch and go at 2:30 to a LOVELY light Condom cathedral, at 3:30 to tiny fortress of Larresingle for tiny church inside LARGE exterior, and tourists, then at 4 to tiny Seviac for Gallo-Roman mosaics of the 4th Century, not even NEAR Piazza Amerina in quality; then at 4:30 to Fourcés, BEAUTIFUL round-centered fortress LOADED with charm and flowers and ordinary shirtless men working away; then to OTHER side of Condom for la Romieu at 5:30, where we join a HOLLANDAISE tour for local kids, and climb up UNDER roof and OVER tower for fascinating views to 6:20. then Neil GETS Laurent and we're up to Nerac, Lavardac, and Barbaste to see hairy-legged Laurent waiting for us. He's got LOVELY eyes and we go to his place to find they're from his mother; his father André is rather dour. Chat and laugh and talk of trip and North Dakota, look at pleasant house on breezy hill and garden, then Pineau de Charentes in INFERIOR version after Panache for thirst, and melon and confit de canard DELICIOUS dark and greasy and burnt and tender. Fries and ice cream for dessert. Talk and listen to music and get VERY tired before bedding down in older daughter's room after brushing teeth at midnight.FRANCE-BY-CAR - 14

THURSDAY, JULY 11. Up at 7 and laze til 8, then down to toast for breakfast with NEAT jar-rim catches on sides of spoons! Pack and thank them and out at 9AM with 1849 km on car. Told to go to fort-town of Vianne, then to cathedral-museum in Nerac at 10, archeology below and modern art above. OH, forgot to mention towns like His and Eux we passed along the way. Drive D656 to Agen and park in parking lot to get to two-star museum that doesn't have very much: the Venus of Mas, thin-breasted, an iron Minotaur from 1970, quite poor Goyas, a decent Picabia, and lots of prehistoric rocks in the prison- basements. Buy a book and wind through narrow streets, through the covered market, to the oddly-built and agglomerated cathedral, turned back and forth and back again, its choir dug down to Roman roots. Out at 12 and get to L'Aubergade. Two sets of amuse-bouches: one with my champagne-and-fruit-syrup cocktail, including another great bacon-wrapped prune and other WARM goodies, then the white Domaine de Ferrant Cotes de Duvas sec. Lots of WONDERFUL tastes but we're the ONLY customers in a six-table lovely umbrella-canopied garden (on rickety iron-bottomed chairs on flagstones!) and take pictures of food and place. Persilles de poisson HEAVENLY in a lovely coulis and THIS terrine holds TOGETHER. Oh, this is the 220F "Menu Surprise" of the daily market. Filets of Rougeot (FABULOUS) avec conserve de courgettes en fleur, in a cream sauce, and the little green plumes give zucchini a DIFFERENT taste. A delicate sorbet de l'eau de vie de prunes is WHITE and refreshing in the heating-up garden. Red Cotes de Buzet (like last night's wine!) with one of the BEST dishes I've EVER eaten: le g!ateau de canard aux cerises as round circlets on a round bed of spinach and shallots, INTENSE cherry-rich sauce, EXQUISITELY done and tasty duck, superb spinach, a HEAVEN dish! A surprising "yolk" of chevre cheese in a "white" of gruyere on a multi-leafed salad and then HE has a cold soufflé of mangoes and a bitter chocolate cake while I have the feuilletés of chocolate (like polar-bear slabs) separated by turd-balls of RICH dark chocolate AND a second dessert I forget. Go to john and they turn the pissoir water on as I STAND there, and lights go on then too. Out FLOATING at 2:30; having looked at bastard-remodeled church earlier. Through Tayrac to Valence (oh, yes, there was a big EXPLOSION around noon south of Agen, and I feared it might have been from the AIRPORT, but there was nothing in the papers about it) and Moissac, which Neil raves about: "Oh, I'm so EXCITED," like the end of the world, and it IS rather impressive: enormous, well-preserved, with fabulously elongated Sts. Peter and Paul INSIDE the one-piece central pillar. Church itself is not much but for some capitals. Church at 4:15 and cloister at 4:35 and outside of eglise at 5:35 after climbing around and taking pictures and looking at Neil load up on sundials and tympanums and posters and columns. Round the edge of Montaubon and seem to MISS Montricoux and Bruniquel but enjoy gorges of Aveyron and THEN find D115bis that sweeps us up and around St. Antonine at 7:15 and up to the Roc d'Anglais for misty valley into sun. Down narrow winding D19 and stop for great picture of Cordes on a hill. Up steep cobblestones and he stops at 8 while I find they DO have a room at the one-star Hotel Grand Ecuyer. Into "Rouge" room with ENORMOUS fireplace, overlooking GOOD view, huge double bed, and into bubblebath for a lovely relaxed half-hour, TRYING to digest ALL the food from a two-star lunch before a one-star DINNER. Down at 8:45 into luxurious dining room and I just CAN'T resist the 260F nine-course dinner, starting with TWO sets of amuse-bouches with my 30F Fantome gaillacois drink that tastes like the REAL Pineau de Charentes. Wine list is huge and he suggests some white Bordeaux but I say Sancerre for 65F, and he brings out a Graves 1966, dusty from the bin. I pause and Neil asks and he says it's 80F. I sure HOPE so! I ask for and GET a copy of the menu, but EACH dish brought out covered, removed with a flourish, and Neil LOVES the earringed waiter. Music is so nice I ask what it IS and the sophisticated waiter gives me the LABEL of Robert Hamilton's "Bilitis." Neil has four courses and I have nine, but he gets SOME extras, although he doesn't eat ANY of the unlisted rognons he gets. I switch dishes with him. Lobster succeeds fish succeeds more fish, and

finally sweetbreads proclaim start of meat, a FANTASTIC gratin of lapereau of white and dark meat, just GREAT---dramatic in dark sauce on dark plate on a larger dark plate. M. Yves Theile comes out in culottes and white sneakers to beam at us and finally we get OUR sugar-presentation piece on the table. the last two meats are AGONY to finish with all the cepes and pear mousse and other side glories, but FINALLY my two desserts are gone, not-so-good chocolate, and THEN he brings out four ducklings of passion fruit, citron, and cassis sherbet and DELICATE chocolate ice cream AND a plate of DIFFERENT mignardises, of which I eat MOST. ABSOLUTELY stuffed. Out at 11:45 to walk darkened town looking at rest of restaurants and garish gabbling kids and down to the dark to look at the SWEEP of stars, and back to room at 12:30 to find Neil reading. Fall into bed beside him and go INSTANTLY to DEEPEST sleep.

FRIDAY, JULY 12: Wake at 7:30 and doze til 8, asking Neil for LAST possible breakfast time, and he says 10:30. Fine! I doze BACK after routing him from bathroom to shit richly, and up at 8:30 to sort through all stuff AGAIN, giving NEIL lots to throw away, cutting the "future" bag down to VERY little, and "size" the past bag so that it fits more COMPACTLY. Then start writing Monday and Tuesday from 9:15 to 10:15, photo room at 10:30, then dress for breakfast and they have to go BACK for my chocolate, almost three cupsful. Tender croissants, tough brioches, awful purple "fruit" and good apricot jam, and shortbread cookies I'm too full to touch. Scan newspapers in English and French. Back to room at 11:05 while Neil shops and goes to bank MORE (franc DOWN to 8.8!) and I write through Wednesday to yesterday noon at 11:20, and brush teeth and pack and pay bill for 1122F with Visa, then to SI to find NO help, and back to hotel who calls the Cité in Carcassone and gets us a room for 580F for TWO BIGGEST nights: 7/13 for Berlioz Requiem (also two tickets!) and 7/14 for fireworks! Incredible! Back to drink 5F water with pills and down hill in hot weather at 2040 km leaving Cordes at 11:40AM. Drive misguidedly through St. Sernan-les-Mailhoc and Cagnac-les-Mines before finding Notre-Dame-de-la-Dreche at 1PM to "knock up" monk to let us see our FIRST of three painted churches today. Down into Albi and park in main square and into INCREDIBLE high, decorated, painted, Last Judgmented cathedral. Buy books and slides and out at 2:30 to Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, which I like less that I should, and see this awful stuff (except for a Magritte and a Delvaux) at the Belgian surrealism show and JUST plain awful stuff on the "contemporary" floor EXCEPT for a great look at the formal garden below at 3:20. Down for another photo and look at destroyed Cloister St. Salvy with rock music playing, then stop for an eclair and cider, throw away a summons for not paying in the parking lot, phone Realmont for a room and meal, then drive straight down after AWFUL time getting OUT of Albi at 4. Into Noel Hotel at 5, out to see ANOTHER painted church (third of day) in town and stop at SI for LOTS of local folders and tours by car (written by hand: REAL initiative!). To public park and back to hotel at 5:50 to start Thursday and Friday and wash socks and wash shorts and shoo flies out and shower and write this by 8:05, up to date at last. Neil pointedly announces he's hungry, and I simply say, "I've been ready." Try to eat indoors, away from the flies, but clearly it's all set up OUTSIDE. Get kir that looks like cherry pop (and is about as alcoholic) and the flies LOVE it, as many as four or five settling around each glass. I finally drink it down just to get it out of the way. Neil's liver salad, salted, is hugely livered (not so tasty, and not so good cold) and HUGELY salted. We finish three carafes of water by the end. My Pascade de Roquefort has too little roquefort (as opposed to the nice four half-sandwiches of roquefort and minced olives as amuse-bouches), but the puffed soufflé is wheaty on one edge and very EGGY on the other edge. Neil's cassoulet capitoul is simply immense: double leg of goose confit, whole thick sausage, hunk of tough mutton, a huge bowl of fava beans. My ecrevisse flambé aux herbes are five-inch long monsters (why flambee meat in a shell?) absolutely uncleaned. I eat ONLY the tails and only

one of the largest claws of the 7-8 critters and say "Beaucoup de travail" to madame, who agrees. Neil touches not. Neil's steak is underdone and large, but he finishes the dark-sauced hunk. My sweetbreads are TWO totally uncleaned hunks in a not-much citron strips and orange slice sauce. White gaillac "perle" and red gaillac not so great. My crepes Jaqueline come out looking dead, and flaming with cognac and Grand Marnier doesn't help all that much, but his assortment isn't bad, just isn't super. We groan to room at 10, getting away from flies and still screaming and running kids. He reads, then falls asleep, and I wake later and turn lights out.

SATURDAY, JULY 13: Wake about 2 and 4 with food slopping from stomach into throat. Awful feeling, and I bring up pillows to raise head. Loud noises outside and streetlight blazes into open window. Wake at 7AM, still not quite rested, and watch first one, then three flies making slow then fast triangular geometric chase-passes under the chandelier, new recruits for the dance waiting by the dozen on the bedsheets. Up at 7:40 and shit hard pebbles like petrified sweetbreads and shave and put shorts out to dry better, socks OK. Write til 8:15. Breakfast OK (flies) and pack and out at 9:15 (flattered that they charged "menu at 180F" for MUCH more in food price) at 2141 km. To Castres and AWFUL Cathedral St. Bernard: dim, dirty, stained, smelly. Then to museum and memorial room of Jean Jaures, defender of Dreyfus and the people, assassinated by Mr. VILLAIN of Ibiza with a GUN, and oddly in the NEXT room, amid paintings, they have two DISPLAY CASES of guns!! (and swords and rifles). Can't resist taking a photo at 10:35 of the VERY homoerotic "Vision of Dying Cain" of a languid Abel. Out and find the Information has moved to the theatre, and find the Sidobre is a SMALLISH area of strewn rocks, and get a tour of fountains and rocks. Into car (walking through church) and try to find "bourne" for fountains, but have to turn back to Sidobre signs. Along Agout River to Berlats, and I remark "to see the rapids you need a canoe." Try to find DEFINITE road on map IN town and it's just NOT THERE, but park in lot then down side road to park by path leading to VERY wooded Saut de la Truite at 11:40, VERY hot and humid in woods thick with unbroken spiders' webs. Neil's back to car and I return soon, unable to get UNSHADED photo of falls as postcard did. Down to La Ferriere and find road BLOCKED, and guy INSISTS we'll meet a "20-30% slope." I'm sure he's lying and we drive back, me fuming that these lunks don't DESERVE to have famous landmarks in their midst---only slightly torn by the fact that they ARE THEIR landmarks! Back to Larringette and lose way again and find Peyro Glabado at 12:40 at last above tasteless granite (sphinx) exhibit, via stone of Carbot, a featureless six-foot menhir. Peyro impressive, but adjoining cross of graniters not good for anything except view, depressingly pinko-gray under a real smage of smoke and haze. Buy great-tasting licorice at shop there. Can't find "private" road woman says La Verdier is on, and Lac Mache echoes with families picnicking and girl scouts screaming like Indians. Pass, return to Ousclet road, pass tavern, down rocky road to ANOTHER mine (that I remark is probably cutting up a famous boulder right NOW), then back to spot an old iron stairway, and rock is ABOVE it, CHAINED to be unmovable, almost unphotographable, at 1:40. Down D110 with some disgust at not finding marks on ROAD to point to rocks clearly marked on MAP, and wind through pretty woods (as on Sidobre plateau) back around Castres and down toward Carcassone, up winding hill for GREAT views over Mezemet, then stop at Robinson Lake at 2:45 after taking 2:35 photo of Gorge de l'Arnette! Good paté and great beer by pretty lake, angered by stupid blonde in red strapless jumpsuit arguing with cop forbidding her to let her dog swim in the reservoirs just under a sign forbidding dogs swimming. Take two pictures I don't remember. Through Carcassone at 3:55, knowing reservations will lapse at 4, and get lost, telling Neil to go into a tabac to phone, and she says "go toward Narbonne." Get lost AGAIN at 4:15 and Neil gets ELABORATE directions in gas station that turn out to be WRONG and we turn back to LOVELY south approach to

the Cité, through mass of traffic at gate to give my name to gatekeeper and GET ADMITTED! Drive through THRONGS of amazed people shouting "Sonnez," but I don't blow form and slowly make my way up ALL the streets to the Cité Hotel and around to garage gate (RIGHT below our window) and into HUGE garden and garage almost empty! Astounding experience! Into hotel at 5 to find we CAN leave clothes to return 9AM Monday. I give three shirts and two pants and Neil gives six shirts and two pants, and we're down and out of walls for photos of old city from new city, first over new bridge then over old bridge. Then into center square to have a 40F Formidable that's DELICIOUS and watch GOOD Inca-pipe band that I give 10F to, and back to hotel at 7:10 to wash and ready for dinner. Enter SPECTACULAR medieval dining room that is later ruined by echoes of squally four-month old child of harried parents of two OTHER children, and MARVEL how such people TRAVEL. Ah, JUST remember that the two "missing" photos were of the WEDDING in the church outside our WINDOW. Meal good: Chateau Helene Corbieres white good, terrine de Lapereau aux confit des oignons is GOOD, feuilleté d'asperge aux morilles is GREAT, and Neil's omelette de fromage made up for his thin and tasteless potage de legumes mixte. My tournedos aux morilles is WELL done and tender and tasty, and PILES of delicious morels. Ask for my small salad, just lettuce, but pass up cheese at 9:10 for two pairs of shared desserts, the genoise of chocolate best of all. We're rushed near 9:30 concert start. Take jacket and camera and get into a LOVELY amphitheater and get seated in fourth row on EXTREME side for 120F. Still light over impressive walls and church towers as it starts at 9:53, and though some of the voluntaries from our side were nice, the DISTANCE between the extreme left and OUR side made instruments sound out of synch. The only LIFTING singer was the "Gloria Tua" sung by an angel-voice from the BACK that filled aLL ears equally effectively. He got the most applause, too. There was no real VOLUME of instruments (except from the basses above our heads) and no real INTEREST from the scattered-sounding choir. Wind blew music sheets down, it got chilly, and side spots blinked off and then half of them back on. Over at 11:18, 85 minutes normal? Two polite ovations for orchestra and choir and much MORE for the blond tenor. I say "Let's go," and the nodding Neil agrees, so we manage to sweep across the first aisle before people start leaving and get to our hall window to see people still filing out. A real KICK getting ready for bed under ice-blue canopy with people exiting concert staring in our window. Neil's playing "Traviata" on his radio as I fall RIGHT asleep just before midnight in SHORT bed.

SUNDAY, JULY 14: Wake at 6:45 and he had AT LEAST drawn drapes, and it was cool and moist as I dozed til 8:10, Neil STILL snoring. Up to shit and back to bed, then up to write through our arrival as Neil gets up at 8:50 and we get down to breakfast at 9:10. Orange juice, raisin bran cereal, SHOUTING American pairs, us, chocolate, hard-boiled egg, fresh apricots, cake and croissant and butter and jam and yogurt! AND an apple for LUNCH. AND lots of people come in AFTER 9:30, obviously unable to read sign saying buffet breakfast 7-9:30. Back up to sit in wicker armchair and write this framed in diamond-paned casement windows open under cream-white drapes, overlooking the people (mostly in jackets and shorts on this looking-like-rain-any-minute cool morning) gathering (and sometimes leaving) for the 10AM Mass Neil's attending in the next-door church. Bells bong just now as my watch says 10:01. The loud-from-breakfast American couple leaves in their cursed "nonautomatic non-air conditioned" Renault---they didn't talk of PLACES, only highways and entrances and exits to confusing cities and air conditioning. This, the MIDDLE day of my trip. Neil and I are working out OK, not as good as fantasized, not as bad as feared. He prefers driving to my superior navigation, but waits SO long at intersections or on passing for something to happen that something usually DOES happen and he has to wait and fear and anticipate LONGER. I just zip through and get PAST it! Every time he grips the door at fear at MY speed, another car will tear

around us as if we were standing still. He's almost TOTALLY helpless (and angry, though not with me) with maps when the signs IN towns aren't there, witness our HOUR yesterday getting lost around admittedly complex Carcassone. Local group of red-jacketed French boy scouts below irritate me and I feel like moving. Sun's starting to pierce overcast and my undershirt starts to feel overwarm. Then, mercifully, the troupe hoists packs and leaves bikes and moves off. People, particularly kids, look so LISTLESS traveling, even in cool 10:15AM. The, one by one, the bicycles leave; an older tour group plods across the court, and organ sonorities break through the stone walls. Interesting how sex has not been a problem, even when faced with tall, sexy, white-shirted Germanic tourists in square yesterday. Haven't jerked off once and haven't FELT like it, even today with Neil safely in church. Just age, I guess, which explains the panting in climbing the SHORTEST hills and steps that before would have been effortless. AND the twinge in my left knee: will bumping it THIS trip produce arthritis THERE as the left thumb-joint did on the Africa trip? Plan to buy and write ALL postcards today, only two-night stay before Chamonix? Mess around lazily til 11, taking shirt off to enjoy breeze, gazing at tanned legs under short shorts, getting out mailing list and even a BOOK to read! Out delighted at 11:35. Just before noon I wander to entrance gate, then cemetery, resisting prankish urge to move ALL the "Regrets" "Remembrances" and "A Mon Peres" and ceramic flowers to ONE grave. They'd NEVER be able to sort them out! Photo "the entrance" from 1-1:40, standing watching legs and arms and BEAUTIFUL chest from Netherlands (with his girl) pass. Bought 14 cards (plus three for me) of 14 Juillet and write them in room 1:45-2:45. Neil in and out, room not made yet. I take the book downstairs to read at 2:55. LAZY DAY! We go to square for AWFUL 15F Croque Monsieur and 8F OK beer, and I sit til 4:30 and I'm DROPPING to sleep. Back to nap til 6:30, then SOAK in bath til 8 and eat in Donjon, pretty bad, til 9:30, and find we MUST go back to town: shutters closed and hotel electricity is shut off. Neil goes BACK to Donjon to get his jacket at 9:35, fireworks from 10-10:30. Go down CENTRAL exit and firemen say to go around to Main Gate! I say they're crazy, and he directs us to way we went yesterday! To cathedral and theater and down steps at 9:45, and to old bridge which is TOTALLY jammed with people, as is NEW bridge. Neil suggests Pieton's way to Cité and I go one level HIGHER at 10 to write this, take picture of lit city, and watch firemen spraying dry greenery! This MUST be the place: a few villagers and lots of kids. Wave to Neil and he stays where he is. Write this frantically to 10:05. Then a sweet volunteer fireman who's watched for 15 years says that fires are set every year, this is the best place, and he works for Air France and flies to Amsterdam and NYC and loves our trip. It starts at 10:30 and is FABULOUS, exploding RIGHT overhead and showering us with ash, girl next screaming in fear, me taking LOTS of pictures, and firemen rushing up slope to put out fires. Some GREAT bombs from walls sound like MISTAKES, and fire cascade of white and somber glow of red is very impressive. Goes til 10:50, and I thank fireman and we climb back up to watch fire smoldering inside castle wall. "Last year it was US," says girl (English) at desk. I order bottle of Evian and we both drink and read and listen to opera (Ravel?) on radio at 11:40. Stop at 11:50.

MONDAY, July 15: Up at 7:15 and out of bed at 7:35 and breakfast fully by 8:10, when laundry at INCREDIBLE prices (shirts 35F, pants 40F, for 105 + 185 or 290F, over $33!!) is returned. Pay and pack and brush teeth and leave from garage at 9:15AM at 2295 km. Down through deserted town to wait for red light after driving down ALL the wrong streets. To Narbonne route by DISREGARDING Neil's FEELING and going by MAP. Through smoggy countryside, then Olensac, St. Pons, and St. Affrique and lovely green piny road (past hare and grouse) and up and down to ALMOST run out of gas (indicator goes WAY down going uphill and LIGHT comes on), so we'd passed 5.78 and MUST get at TINY station at 6.01! See Grand Hotel at 12:40 and park. Have Blanc de blanc creme framboise, two caviar

and one roquefort and one meat amuse-bouche, then Paté Pintadau aux Cepes is VERY cool and delicious. Omelette au Roquefort is HEAVY! La canette au poireau has GOOD meat and I leave the fat. Then there's roquefort in a SMALL piece (Neil's SALAD was really the BEST DISH for WORKING with Roquefort), and a dessert of fruit, and I'm STUFFED! LOVELY bearded daddy and girlish mommy of a tit-budding older daughter, spoiled beautiful younger daughter, and LOVELY youngest son, about 9, form a WONDERFUL tableau of jokes and affection and discipline and laughter to look at through the meal, grand contrast to squabbling brats with ugly parents at OTHER tables. VERY good waiter and INCREDIBLY cheap good meal. Ask hostess about Roquefort caves, and she directs us uphill to Societé. Park in illegal spot and get a slip saying "Next time it's going to be bad." Up stairs to top of city for LOVELY 45-minute tour through sweet-smelling cellars of cheese-ripening, from MUSHROOMS found in cave in 1400's. Hundreds of thousands of rolls per week, 1/3 of production is sent to the United States! Ten-minute TV tape of region and sheep (brebis), and then slides of microspores. Two grams to make thousands of wheels. They test EACH ONE and put it back if it needs more. Sad we can't take photographs. Out about 3:30 to HOT day and drive ENDLESS small roads up to Millau and start of Tarn escarpments, then across roads fast until trucks or deux chevals or hay wagons slow things. Drive through Rodez and see that the clock-tower has three stars, so we stop in just the START of rain and park illegally at 5:15 and DASH inside the dark gray-glassed but enormous space, taking pictures of towers and facade. Then drive more rock- and farm-lined roads, past signs to La-Cirq-la- Popee, which Neil decides not to see, and into CAhors about 8PM, amazed at lack of traffic and people compared to last year. He directs me to the France Hotel, past Wilson Hotel from 11 months ago, and block driveway until Neil comes out BACK door to guide me into a narrow parking place and we're up to room 131. Wash and take jacket and down to bridge, which they've BLOCKED direct access to since last year. Photo and through center of new town to north portal of cathedral, which I remember, and remembering awful "production" in the cloister last year lets me remember doorway to old cloister, more decrepit than ever WITHOUT the play's accoutrements. Starts to rain slightly. Look down old narrow roads and La Tavern is PINK rather than farmhouse-blue- wood decor of last year, and I have Red Quercy Aperitif, GOOD melon and ham on SALAD, then onglet (beef flank) under sweet onion confit, tough and gristly but very tasty. Then suited guy at end eats stiffly, "Michelin" until he starts smoking, and Swedish couple next to us ask if we're Canadian and Neil talks of his upcoming visit to Lund and Upsala, and they're from Goteborg, where I trained through to Oslo and got a fir in the train window. Oh, Neil and I SHARED Dr. James T. Glennon as a FRENCH teacher! (I check NOW and it's James W. Glennon, in my yearbook for 1954 and 1955.) He was NEW in Grand Forks 1959-1960 and played kneesies with Neil at dinner in his apartment! I have strawberry-raspberry tart and Neil a chocolate gateau and we're out at 10:30 to go DIRECTLY back to hotel to sleep at 10:45.

TUESDAY, JULY 16: Up at 6:45, disturbed til I realize it IS eight hours' sleep, and to john at 7 (after DREAM [And I remember dream of 7/14AM when I was ending a vacation in ROME {hearing song "Arrividerci Roma" and thinking on awakening "But I'm in FRANCE,"} and then sitting on a STABLE plane looking out left window and seeing ANOTHER plane heading toward us (without ANY apparent forward-motion on OUR part), then banking sharply counterclockwise and diving BELOW us, and I watch in fascinated horror, thinking "Is this IT; is this IT?" and then the wingtip dips BELOW my view and a moment later comes the sickening LURCH and mushy CRUNCH as the wingtip rips a gash in our under-fuselage, cascading fragments (luggage? people?) in a fanwise spray through the air as my mind clutches in agony, "It IS it; it IS it!" Nothing beyond that but the puzzled awakening with "But I'm in FRANCE," letting me off the plane-crash hook.] about that dark-faced, short-haired long-cocked guy from the gym trying

to entice me into sex by caressing me from the rear with soft warmth, while having procured a cute young sexy blond with a smiling faun-face who comes out of the shadows to my left as I reach for his crotch and he flirtatiously bends with my fondling fingers. Sexy dream, and before or after that was a DETAILED segment with Joe Easter visiting some hotel under construction or reconstruction, and there are elaborate places to go and things to do and patterns to remember, but I wake early with memory of a LOUD clap of thunder during the night followed later by some lesser rumbles. I closed the plastic- metal shutters because the road and railroad noise was too loud from outside.) and to breakfast about 7:20 after bathing and putting on CLEAN jeans and blue shirt, getting coffee I had to return after asking for chocolate, and back to brush teeth and pack and pay bill for both for SECOND leg of Neil's "no money," and leave Cahors at 8AM with 403 km for the day at 2698. Drive north past Barbicane and up small routes behind more hay wagons to Villefranche-du- Perigord and la Buisson, weather going from almost-raining to almost-clear, Neil loving the yellow stone of the farmhouses, I like the clear roads and well-engineered turns. He takes over driving and I lazily look over countryside and transfer from one map to another as we start worrying about gas (checking items to be cared for on a list), and we get to route to Limoges and go west a bit to make sure LITTLE Renault station isn't it, then east PAST Trelissan to a HUGE Renault place at 10:15 at km 2828. Neil takes in list, I look for my pen and find my COMB. I check that my slowing on descent in low gear is OK EVEN with backfiring; you flick windshield switch to LEFT to get spray; I point out where plastic fell from behind left-front tire before Aigues-Mort, and she says it'll be 5:30 or 6. No cars rentable, no one GOING to Perigueux, no BUSSES close by, so he calls a taxi and I start notes for a bit and we leave at 10:45 for 34F drive to Cathedral at 11AM. He goes to get change and I write more and we look at trilingual signs and enter DOMED cathedral with gray-block walls and GREAT chandeliers (created for Notre Dame for Napoleon III's marriage and brought here in 1901 by Abside for redoing) and retable lit for 1F and not worth it. Out to Eglise St. Etienne de la Cité: the CATHEDRAL of Perigueux is LARGE and domed, the Cité is SMALL and two-domed, with a LARGER dusty wooden retable. Not much to look at. This plain domed space is along a LOUD highway, and we see entrance to arenas and I glance at Michelin to see one-star L'Ousin restaurant, and we walk blocks to find PHONE, then walk back to NICE kiddy-fountain and smaller and larger remains of Roman arenas. Then through BUSY old streets and market areas (seeing "onglet" as second-highest price beef-cut) and to ill-people old-peopled L'Ousin for GOOD meal: BAD Bergerac rosé, melon ball and ham strip, paté crackers, terrine aux foie gras is GOOD; panaché de poisson is of salmon, sole, and morue (cod), and confit de canard is salty, with strips of legumes, petite pois, and grand dessert plate of mousse, citron sorbet, cheese, strawberries, and other things I can't read now, along with THIN spanish-lace tuiles. In at 12:45 and out at 2:45. We look at maps and Neil pays his bill of 1500F. I'm RICH! Across to museum to find it CLOSED Tuesdays. And Odilon Redon is in BORDEAUX Beaux Arts museum. Back to Cathedral at 3 to relax in garden and take tour of cloister and chapel with recent copy of "Last Supper" of da Vinci and "Seals" from old towers, from 3:15 to 3:45. Neil wants to see some tower, so I point to market on map to meet, and get there at 4 to find it CLOSED, but a lone white chair in the shade invites and I sit and write til 5, watching VERY sexy people pass, one with broken foot, one shirtless, one even sexier than the Dutch guy in Carcassone, some in those SKIN-tight jeans. Others pass and shop in front of which I'm sitting opens at 5 as Neil strolls in for an orangina. I bought two black bics for 2.40F, Neil phoned for dinner and hotel nearby tonight after we find in Michelin that Brantome is CLOSED tonight and tomorrow lunch, and we've GOT to plan AHEAD. Very pleasant day with LOW humidity and rush and noise. Finish this as bells ring at 5:03. Phone, OK but NO speedometer. Pay 161F for OIL. Out by cab 5:20 -5:30 for 41F, 2846 km on car. On road with

full tank (5.78F/liter for 215F total). To Sevignac-les-Eglises in 20 km, to Parc, and rest valises right next to our intended room 12. Into lovely room and Neil wants to go to la Prirot and I decide to go back through park at 6:30. Apotheosis! The magic, it seems to me, of walking through an unknown wild terrain is that of finding something completely new, even magical. The sense that tasting something (as the second-growth grains of wheat on which I nibbled) or smelling something (like the blue-blossomed cactus or the Queen Anne's Lace or the myriad other blooming weeds) or looking at something (the sheen of sun on gray-gold wheat, the sheeny greens of various trees, the shows of old roads and paths through woods, or touching grass or spider webs suspended from impossibly separated trees, or hearing a secret signal from a cricket or locust or bird, will be THE signal or "click" that throws you a hundred thousand years into the past, to be puzzled over for your watch and flip-up sunglasses by Neanderthals who owned the region before maps were made; or thrown into a DIFFERENT place and time with no connection to present in time OR space. the urge to recapture the magic of Alice, drinking and shrinking, eating and growing, falling to other levels or being grabbed and led in a run "to stay in the same place." I cross two stalks to locate the less-awful path through ground webs and spikes and thorns and stickers, but go to left and left through fields cultivated and overgrown, then see a road below and debate blasting through, but it seems TOO thick. I keep on and on to an old tire-rutted ROAD past tumuli of houses or graves (?) and stone WALLS holding up embankments, and finally come out 1/2 km out of town on main road! See a sign for Jardin Public and walk trail to cows and CLEAR running stream, and people camped in tents beyond. Back to road, measuring my stride at 8% SHORT of 100 paces in 100 meters. Back at 7:30 and find that dinner-start ENDS at 8:15. Shower and dress all in elegant CLEAN white, and down to be FIRST seated at 8:15. Order 1/2 bottle Sancerre Domaine du Roy, which is OK; Soupe Glacée du melon et pamplemousse au Ratafia (wine) de Champagne which is OK, but it doesn't MIX; Salade tiede de langustine (there's LOTS of langustines that taste "overripe") et ecrivisses (head-pieces still on and unpleasantly blue) au beurre d'orange (which is ODD on lettuce); sorbet de pamplemousse au Noilly, delicious; Chartreuse de riz de veau avec legumes, which is SILLY PALISADES around LITTLE riz; framboise gateau and fraises with fraise sorbet, which we exchange; and I'm FULL, but it's a two-star TENDING toward ONE. People start past 9PM, until all but one table is filled. Slow service by industrious, but too few, servers, and one British-type who carefully pronounces ALL the french words before pulling off the silver covers with a quick flick. End eating at 10:35. To bed about 11, totally stuffed.