Beau Geste

      Beau Geste



“This hour I tell things in confidence;

I might not tell everyone, but I will tell you.”                 

-Walt Whitman


Somewhere in Paris there are long, wide boulevards, hemmed by stone walls which protect important looking buildings. Trees without leaves arched their branches over the avenue as if crossing swords for a wedding; even the blades of grass stood at attention in their thin white coats of ice. All the gates in the walls were closed down the length of that endless corridor, and bit by bit, I noticed that I was the only person on the street. Not even cars were driving by.

I was lost…which was not unusual for me. I would pick a destination in the city and walk in that general direction, so the likelihood of my wandering astray was high. It was this wayward bone that led me down these broad avenues, I had a plan to go from here to there, but impulse was the rule. By this method, I discovered many places I didn’t know I was searching for. One was St. Sulpice, which I entered only to sit. As I passed through the dark vestibule, the chapel to my immediate right was flooded with light from the stained glass windows. Painted on the wall and perfectly illuminated was the Delacroix mural “Jacob wrestling with the angel”.

But this day, I kept walking; marveling at the stately surroundings until I noticed that all along the boulevard were flags…not just French ones: every other flag was American. As this began to sink in, one of the large gates along the boulevard opened wide, and gendarmes poured out to take positions outside. I stopped, and heard behind me, a caravan of vehicles approaching. First came the motorcycles, two abreast, perhaps ten altogether…and after they passed, and blocked the street ahead, along came several black limousines. As the second or third vehicle came slowly beside me, I could barely make out a figure sitting in the back. Then, through the window, I saw the peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter, smile and wave at me.

I, crowd of one, waved back at my president, and smiled as well.

We were like two boys on passing ships.

He looked a little lonely…


                                                                       “ I’m a Southerner. “

                                                                                                          -Jimmy Carter




~ by theoxherd on February 11, 2017.

2 Responses to “Beau Geste”

  1. As always, after first chuckling about your tendencies you so humorously describe and that I know well after decades of knowing you, I marveled at your ability to paint a memorable scene with words, instead of paintbrushes and in my head instead of on canvas.


  2. That is a cool story/memory.

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