La Collectionneuse

by

 

I am a lousy collector.

I started my stamp collection as an adult thanks to Africa, which popped up into my life on a cold winter day. I fell in love with R, a Professeur agrégé de Sciences Naturelles who was to marry a natural scientist who did not know whom she loved best. Her husband-to-be or his best friend B, another Professeur agrégé de Sciences Naturelles.

 

People ! I’ve discovered a new Species !    loupe

 

The two guys were King One and King Two of the University of Paris. Too bad for her that the Law of Man (contrary to the Law of Nature ?) did not allow her to marry the two of them at the same time. Since each of them was only the half of the perfect whole… she kept being torn apart. I love you. No, I am not sure I love you. Her poor fiancé nearly knocked out his head with a big martello; a natural guy facing a truly natural craziness.

On a December day, I got involved in a traffic accident. My cute face swelled like a big polychromatic balloon. I looked like a huge zipper : some surgeon designed his next Spring Collection on my face. “Stay calm. Don’t laugh ! Otherwise, your wounds will open up.” I must say, there was no reason for a good laugh as I look in the mirror. The sexy girl? Gone. Instead of the stunning little creature I used to be, I saw an awful broom. On the broom, an ugly witch.

Hospital visiting hours. The undecided lady, who was my roommate, her boyfriend R, his best friend B, their acoustic guitars and some other students of the Faculté des Sciences came to admire me wearing the next Spring Collection on my face. They played guitar, they sang, breaking the silence of the hospital for some wonderful time. They told jokes to make me laugh. I tried not to. But it was hard. So many sensations for only one person : me. Pain. Joy. Cheerful moments of life.

The nurses showed up and sent all the Lebenskuenstler to hell. ‘Silence ! Hospital !” They disappeared all at the same time like a bunch of birds.

 

Ambulance    I don’t drink, I don’t smoke

 

Three days later, Prince Charming opened the door of my hospital room, a big bouquet of fleurs in his hands. R had fallen in love with me although I was looking … outrageous. He forgot about Lady Undecided. We married and he went to Africa. I started my stamp collection.

African stamps are very colorful and beautiful. I did not throw away the stamps which came along with the letters sent from Africa. Doing so would have meant that I put the paradise into the garbage. But after only three years, my sister became the curator of my stamp collection.

My best looking collection was the one with the bottles of alcoholic beverages. Rum, Gin, Cognac, Armagnac, Whiskey, Cointreau, Vodka, Ricard, Pastis, Grand Marnier, Martini blanc, Martini rouge, Pineau des Charentes, etc. The mini bottles as well as the big bottles were well represented on the shelves of my mini bar. I had about 80 big bottles and lots of tiny ones, the kind you get on airplanes. All the shapes, the colors of the liquids, the labels, each of them had a language of its own, teasing my imagination and taking me to many places of the world. It made me happy just by looking at them.

I used to cook for friends. It was no a big deal for me to cook for five or fifty people. It was such a pleasure to see them help themselves at my own bar, mixing cocktails. They had more choices than in most of bars or restaurants in town. And everything was for free ! They spent long hours having food, drinking and chatting. It was really nice and never difficult for them to make me presents! A bottle of alcohol was always welcome.

Friends were surprised to hear about my collection of alcoholic beverages, since I drink tap water on a daily basis. Otherwise, fresh fruit juices, milk, teas, soja milk, Coke and Ginger ale detain big shares. After 10 years busy collecting beverages I had to move. So I got rid of all the beverages.

The following collection was … breathtaking :

Long ago, I felt for a guy. He felt for me, too. Then our paths departed…. Many years back our paths crossed again. At first it was a great wiedersehen. Then he thought he was in love with me. In only two years, he wrote 700 (seven hundred) letters to me ! A whole heap of letters. Despite of his beautiful handwriting, I started to hate receiving his letters. My mailbox was full of his letters. Some days, 6 letters at a time, heavy as lead, fell onto my feet. I begged him : Please, don’t write so many letters. One letter a month would be fine. Don’t spend all your precious time writing long letters (some of them were 14 (!) pages long in a small and beautiful handwriting).

He did not want to hear. I could not stand him any longer. The phony relationship stopped unsmoothly. He hates me now.

I am not an autograph hunter. Nevertheless, I have two autographs that I am very proud of :

Konrad Zuse
Theodore Monod

Since I am not good at collecting things, don’t look for money bills in my pockets. I have many pockets. Unfortunately, there is no cash inside. Either I gave away a stack of bills, or I lost some, or I bought futile things just to be happy a brief moment.

 

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