Massif Central

First stop the graveyard, Montaigut le Blanc, to see if my dear friend Jean- Pierre Bezaux is there; he's not. It must be true then that he's gone to the moon, the place he told his grandson he was going when he first got sick and was told by the doctors he would die. I'll see Francoise, Jean-Pierre's widow, later-she still lives in the house in the village-and ask her where he is; she'll know.

Walking along the path toward Chazoux, a petit village we used to joke about, I try to think about things. Chazoux might as well be in The Himalaya's it's so remote: Seven stupid little homes at the end of the road, perched on the side of a hill overlooking the equally remote village of Grandyrolles across the valley. One thought: do flies have souls? Another thought: that when you think about death one way it's not so bad, and when you think about it another way it's terrible.

The day's heating up, as it likes to do in the summer in south-central France. The insects walk right along with me on to road toward Olloix, threatening to put me up against the wall to have me shot. There are lots of trees-lindens and beech and wild cherry-but the sun's a big hot beast and shade is sparse. 

It's after 4 p. m., time to head back to San Julien, the village where I'm staying. My new friends have a house there, a big old stone 'ruin ancien' they've made almost new. They have a huge garden and a chicken that lays an egg every day.

Tomorrow I'll ask Francoise where Jean-Pierre is, and then go visit him. Wherever he is, I hope I can walk there. It's good for me to walk places whenever I can.