We're still in Switzerland, up on the alm, at 1,600 meters, where the air is thin---as are the pretexts needed for posting yet another post.
Pretext no. 1...
...which is bound to inspire Pretext no. 2...a fragment from our recently finished short story Le Trayas Station. The narrator, a certain Michael, has unexpectedly happened upon a pretty youth, who's stepped off at the wrong train station and is now in need of a ride to the venue of an exam he's obliged to take. So Michael takes the pretty youth, Muhammed, to the venue, knowing already that they will arrive hopelessly late:
We arrived at the school short of 11 o’clock. I stopped at the main gate in the NO-NO-traffic-zone. He shouldered his satchel and dropped off and reappeared 10 minutes later, a wistful smile on his lips.
“Your career is in shambles now,” I said---which---I shouldn’t have said. I should have said: ‘Let’s find a hotel,’ or ‘let’s find a hotel now, you must be tired’---it would have worked, there and then. Anyhow, he climbed back onto the SUV and explained that he had to wait another year, although it wasn’t the end of the world. We entered a conversation about his future and his family until I had to ask where he lived. He studied marketing, what else. The father worked in Paris, hopefully, and his brother ran the show.
He lived in Nice, in the Ariane quarter, on the rue Darius Milhaud. “The composer?” I asked. He wouldn’t know. “Ariane?” I asked. It’s the neighborhood next to the power station, he explained, exit Nice-est on the A8: you can see it from the motorway when you are coming from the other side, from Monaco—yes, I remembered now.
I had never been inside an immigrant housing project---eight-story structures this one, mostly, although they looked better from the inside than coming-from-Monaco. And the narrow kitchen balconies where the aboriginals keep goats and hang their laundry, they weren’t so narrow and there were no goats. Wouldn’t be easy to find a parking space, Muhammed said. I parsed this briefly, inhaled, and replied: “I, just, drop you off.”
You're still there? Then you may like Michael's Lambda-Literary nominated book: