Monday, August 16, 2010

Method Writing

It's Monday again. Which means an article written at this time last year. And thus...the continuing saga of Crazy Emmanuelle...and her goofy friends. For the beginning of this story, click here.

I have been told several times that I should write a book about my later-in-life adventures. The idea rolls around in the back of my head but I have never been sure that what I have to say is interesting enough or if these times would really be considered adventures. I've changed my mind. My life became a novel this week when Crazy Emmanuelle (see last week's article) sent a brut named Bruno after me.

It began with a voicemail message on Tuesday. The man behind the ominous and heavily accented voice identified himself as Bruno, a friend of Emmanuelle's and he said it would be "interesting" that we meet. I'm always a little suspicious of the word "interesting" (as when someone tells you your soup is "interesting" or your newly acquired painting is "interesting") and even more suspicious of anyone who describes themselves as a friend of CE. I texted him back to ask why he thought we should meet. He replied that it was "of course about the house" and he wanted to talk to me about the missing items before he went to the police. Apparently the tally has gone up and I've now stolen 20,000 Euros worth of antique family jewels and other valuable and items. After a couple of texts back and forth and some very forceful threats from him, I stopped answering. He, however, continued. Incessantly.   He proceeded to threaten me and my family, we would all go through much trauma and pain, I would never again receive a Carte de Sejour, I'm a stranger in a foreign country and this will be so difficult for me.... and so on and so forth. He demanded that I meet him before Saturday at noon, or else.  He did not specify that we meet at the OK Corral but it was beginning to feel like he would say something like that. He continued non-stop and as we got closer to the deadline, he became more and more prolific.

By Thursday afternoon, I became really afraid and went to the police, even though I knew I could never explain in French what was going on. I just needed to be in the police station so I felt safe. While there, I finally reached my friend, Gérald, who agreed to come down and together we explained the situation to the officer. As it turned out, CE had already been to the police the week before. So I filed my complaint against her and some special document that basically says the charges against me are false. The consensus among my friends and acquaintances is that what she and Bruno really wanted was to extort money because, in fact, they have no case. Or else! "Or else" as Bruno so eloquently put it, means my "life would become even more frightening".

I am not kidding, this all really happened! I deduced through all of this that Unbalanced Bruno is the man Crazy Emmanuelle lived with while she was in Paris and judging from the timetable he set for me to respond, I figured he would be back on a train to Paris by Saturday afternoon. All I had to do was wear sunglasses and a hat, walk only on the backstreets, and turn off my phone at night so he wouldn't continue to wake me up.  Saturday afternoon, after "the deadline” he sent a text, which said, "done. You, your mother, and your son for stealing, voluntary degradation and moral prejudice. Congratulations silly woman". And sure enough, he disappeared. Saturday night I slept like a baby.  However, whenever that phone beeps telling me I have a text, I behave a little like Pavlov's dog with the bell. I don't salivate but my stomach drops somewhere down near my knees and I feel sick.

I'm not sure what is going to happen now. This is France, after all, and I've learned that any bureaucracy here is slow moving at best. But apparently a formal complaint has been filed against me. All I can do is hope for the best. I did not steal anything, but of course, I made some serious errors in judgment. As far as I know, these errors aren't illegal and I'll have to wait this out. My only hope is that by the time my case actually comes around, I'll have some idea of how to defend myself in French. Or at least understand what the charges are! My mother is worried and has images in her head of her 50- year- old daughter rotting away in some cold, dark cell in the deepest depths of a third world country but I'm sure French jails are comfortable and probably bigger than most of the apartments I've lived in here (I've lived in 5). Somebody probably even does your laundry and cooking. On top of that, a friend has kindly offered to bring me oranges from the "outside" to fend off the inevitable scurvy. And I will certainly have plenty of time to write my book. I'm looking for suggestions for a title.

And so Mr. Neuske, the bacon is still welcome, but it might be searched before it arrives in my cell. Please do not include a file in the package. I don't need any more trouble!




  1. Oh my goodness. And you're still just carrying on because there is little else you can do.

    Keeping your sense of humor seems key to coping.

  2. It's not just because I am a lawyer that I say this but you should not be dealing with this without representation. First, because the police will take it more seriously if they know there is a French lawyer involved. Second, because the legal system in France is totally different than the US system and your rights are therefore different. Third, you may have a counterclaim and certainly a claim for extortion if what you are saying proves out. In short, don't mess around. Get representation.

  3. Wow, this is terrible. Amazing that you can even write about it. Then again, we've all read enough about the pretty lavender and yummy food in Provence. This is good stuff! Still, it's scary and I wish you good luck as things progress. My guess is that this will be the end of it. Fingers crossed.

  4. Dear Delana,

    How frightened you must feel!

    I agree with Jacqui, you should have a lawyer to help you through this.

    Take care and caution.

  5. Well, a year down the line and you're still on the outside and can buy your own oranges...but what a dreadful experience.

    I could second what Jacqui says..being another lawyer...but you need to be careful whom you choose if ever you find yourself with problems again.

    Go to a civil rights group for suggestions...then you won't get the usual lickspittles.

  6. Lisa: Sometimes it feels like your sense of humor is all you've got. But it's a powerful thing that!

    Jacqui-welcome to my blog. Or at least to the comments section. New people are always a lovely surprise. In fact, the story took place a year ago and I probably would have gotten a lawyer if it had gone any further. It didn't ...and I will write about that soon.

    Julie: you guessed correctly. But every thing that happens that ain't lavender and fois a story. Right?

    Joanna- I'm all right. It's over now. At least I think it is.

    Fly-you're a lawyer too? You never cease to surprise me! Please, please, please...can I use the word lickspittle somewhere. I've never heard it and I love saying it. Lickspittle....lickspittle....lickspittle!

  7. Dear Delana,

    Another way to look at this, after the smoke has cleared and you feel safe, is that it is a novel way to start a novel.

  8. Lickspittle lawyers has a certain 'je ne sais quoi', I feel.
    I stopped being a lawyer years ago, but the law never ceases to fascinate me.


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