If our niece gets to the opening of her art show in Fort Worth , Texas , then Ada and I will take a road trip and drive over there . The artist niece lives in Paris , has a gallery in Istanbul that promotes her work , and has shows all over the world and now one in Fort Worth .
She’s quite well known in the European art world , I think , and has been written up in French publications , and Danish publications , and ………well, you get the general idea . Oh , and I’m not bragging ; I had absolutely nothing to do with it . We do have some of her paints that she left here a few years ago when she was temporarily working in the Los Angeles area . She wants them back , she told Ada , but they weigh a ton and I have to think that they are completely dried up by now ; but what do I know . We also have an electric heating device of hers too , a hotplate that I guess she used to heat the paints . Maybe she’s forgotten about that .
All I know is that I owe her $100 . Several years ago Ada and I were staying with this niece and her mother in Paris . Being the occasionally somewhat clumsy oaf that I am , I got up to use the toilet during the night and I knocked over a small bottle of perfume . It was precariously ( in my opinion ) sitting on a wobbly shelf directly under the window , and I went to open the window a bit for a little air . That was just enough to knock the thing onto the floor and shatter it .
The next morning the international financial negotiations began in spite of my suggestion that I fully intended to go out and buy a replacement . It was expensive perfume , of course , to the tune of $80 for the tiny bottle . Maybe that’s how much perfumes cost ; how would I know ! I was ready to replace it ; fair is fair . I will always wonder , nevertheless , just how full the bottle was when it broke , or how empty , but that kind of tenaciously nagging thought is what I’m good at .
Years ago a student of mine gave me a Christmas present that came from a store called Pick-n-Save where the prices didn’t go much over a dollar or two . His father was a heart surgeon and they lived in a fancy mansion in a weathy area . His previous teachers told me that his father always gifted his son’s teachers with $50 at Christmas . It didn’t bother me not to get the money , and I always appreciated any gift , no matter how small , from students. I am still using a few of the coffee cups that seemed to be the usual idea for a gift for me . The thing that nags me still , however , is the knowledge that this kid was brilliant and certainly smart enough to surreptitiously abscond with the $50 and to substitute the Pick-n-Save gift for it . I’ll always wonder about that.
That kid planned to become a surgeon , too . He outlined his entire future plans for me one day . ” Why a surgeon ?” I asked . ” Because that’s where the money is ,” he said . The scary thing for me was that he would undoubtedly achieve his goals , step by step , and be in it for the money . On the other hand , regarding the Pick-n-Save object , maybe his daddy simply took a dislike to me as his son’s teacher and that was that . I’ll never know for sure , and that’s what nags me. Maybe I’ll meet this kid in the afterlife and then I’ll ask him about it and then I’ll know .
In the morning the international negotiations began with Ada acting as my representative and advocate in the matter of the splattered fragrance . After some intensive discussion among the parties a deal was struck. It should be noted that I was not one of the parties involved in the parleying . The perfume would not be replaced but Dan would pay the damaged party $100 upon her next visit to Los Angeles . It seemed an odd deal to me , but what do I know about perfume or international finance ? Nothing.
I don’t mind going to Texas . I think we’ll take three days to get there . I’d like to check out Lordsburg, New Mexico , for a place to stop for one night . I’ve never been there , as far as I remember . I’d also like to see Truth or Consequences , New Mexico. Never been there either. I planned to take Ada there a couple of years ago . There are natural hot springs there ; in fact , I think it used to be called Hot Springs, New Mexico before the town won a contest and took on the name of the popular TV show at the time called Truth or Consequences . Unfortunatley , the pandemic interfered with our trip and we never made it there . My brother-in-law warned me that there is a deadly heat wave in Texas. My sister reminded me of wildfires we might have to deal with on the way . Another sister poo pooed a trip to Texas altogether , based mostly on her objections to recent laws and political activities in Texas these days . She told me that the least I could do would be to avoid Governor Abbott . I’m pretty sure that I can do that .
The first time that I visited London , I saw where the Lone Star Republic’s embassy was located back when Texas was no longer part of Mexico but not yet part of the USA . I drove through Texas several years ago. Much of it is vacant dry land . I reflected on the fact that people fought and died for that land way back when but it’s still vacant dry land and there’s lots of it .
We’ll head northeast along highway 20 , as far as I remember from looking at the map , toward Fort Worth . There’s an art show there somewhere and we plan to see it and then take the artist with us back to California . No offense to Texans , but I’m not even there yet but I know I’ll be happy to git out of Texas as soon as we can git .
I’m going to give the artist 100 bucks , too , and not really because I’m such a backer of the arts .