Recently, when I think about how I would rather not go to work, tomorrow, this week, for the month of February, or ever, I browse vacation rentals in the Luberon. Tonight’s pipe dream is a little studio near/in Roussillon. Humble, but a very livable love nest if you ask me.
When I was in 6th grade we wrote weekly essays that we would sometimes be called upon to read aloud in front of the class. No one believes me, but I was shy till a certain age, and feared beyond any fear having to stand and read my essay. One week, when we had been assigned to write about a vacation or far away place, I was called upon to read. My essay was about the vibrantly colored chalky hills of Roussillon–literally bright red, ochre, and sometimes purple–which I visited when staying with my grandmother in nearby Lourmarin.
My teacher accused me of lying and publicly admonished me for fabricating a fiction when the assignment was autobiography. Had it been nine or ten years later I might have argued my teacher, armed with conceptual art theory and said something like, “and what exactly do you propose is the difference?!” But since I hadn’t gotten to Marcel Duchamp and John Cage yet, I had to quietly nurse my humiliation through the weekend (essay reading was always on Friday) until Monday when I triumphantly returned to class with a postcard bearing an image of Roussillon’s hills and was vindicated.