Friday, April 08, 2016

A lazy Friday morning in my neighborhood cafe, greeting friends, reading, scrolling through tumblr and catching up on blogs. A weekend out of town is in the offering with a few GFs, life is good again.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

"You're still a courtesan?"

It was my second lunch of the week with Francis, we had finalized the launch of Kim & Co II. It will start small myself and a brilliant mathematician with a bent for finance who is currently buried working for one of a big bank and would like to join a startup where she can become a partner. Francis found her through a friend and I interviewed here earlier in the week. Mimi will join us in the fall, she will be free of her golden handcuffs and wants to take a few months off.

I couldn't look at him and moved the remaining food around on my plate, "Is that a question or an accusation?" "The question," he replied, "is why?" I wanted to be anywhere else than at that table having this conversation with him, "I enjoy it, can't I do things that I enjoy?" I asked. "Besides it's my kink, can't I feed that?"

"It limits you," he replied. "That's true," I admitted, "and I've long conceded that I'll never marry well in Paris and some may choose not to do business with me. Finally able to look him in the eye, I continued, "But being a courtesan got me here, hasn't it?" His face reddened slightly, I had begun to rub his leg and moved my foot to the hollow just above his knee. "We all have our kinks and fetishes, don't we Francis? His color turning scarlet. "Why can your fetishes be satisfied and mine denied?"

"You will need to excuse me now, I have a spa appointment in preparation for a new gentleman that I'm seeing this evening."


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Word of the Brussels attacks gave me flashbacks to 13, November. It wasn't the first time that this has happened. One morning in January, I was walking past a construction site where several workers were using a fastener system, that creates a noise like a gun, memories of that Friday night came flooding back and I sank to the ground in tears. A couple stopped to help me, they had been at the Bataclan that night and also are suffering from PTSD.

When I learned of Tuesday's bombings, I stopped and stared at my phone reading and re-reading the report. Thinking of what those present went through and will go through. 


Monday, March 28, 2016

Tuesday morning following my arrival in the village, there was an email from Francis, he wanted me to review a business case. "Bill me your normal consulting rate, but I need your report before Monday," he wrote. There was a link to a lock box that contained dozens of documents and that afternoon a box arrived containing hundreds of additional pages. I began to look at the material as I sipped coffee in my robe and it was after midnight and I would probably still been in my robe but for needing to take Wags out.

Sunday night I hit send to and email with a summary of my findings and a link to the hundred or so pages of supporting documents that I  added to the pile. Monday afternoon he called asking if I had my passport with me, I did, why I asked? He wanted me to join him in NY for meetings Wednesday and Thursday, there would be a plane waiting for me at 6AM at Nantes Atlantique. 

After we hung up, I thought, "do I have anything to wear?" The house in the village is about relaxing and when I have had business meetings there, they've been business casual, but a look in my closet turned up a couple of suits that I'd taken out of my rotation of Paris duds and brought to the house just in case. Mirelle volunteered to take Wags and I decided to take a hotel near the airport to reduce the drama in getting there so early.

The flight was a NetJet charter that landed at JFK with a helicopter connection to Manhattan, where an aid met me and brought me to his hotel. A breakfast meeting of Francis' NY staff was in progress when I arrived. After introductions, I was asked to summarize my report and Francis gave me my instructions for the meeting, observe and note inconsistencies. A large conference room had been retained and each side had a small battalion of bankers and attorneys with the battle engaged precisely at 10AM. I took a seat at the far end of the table, enabling me to observe both the other team and our people. Around 11:30 I closed the door to my room and collapsed into sleep, still dressed.

Thursday evening, I sank into the leather of the plush seat of Francis's plane, watching the waters of Long Island Sound below, Manhattan behind us and the coming dark from the east ahead. The attendant poured us each a Cognac, his straight-up, mine over ice.  He proposed a toast, I thought it was to the still prospective deal, but it was for me. "To you Kim, you're back." "Do you think so," I asked? He nodded, you've lacked the confidence you had in yourself, but you should have it back." It was my turn to nod and placed the glass on the tray, closed my eyes not to awaken till we made our approach to Nantes.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Friday I came to the village and plan to stay a couple of weeks. The quiet of winter in the village has given way to preparations for spring. The boatyards are active, the thrifty owners were here pulling back the covers, scraping and painting. For those with more money or less time, the professional yard crews have a production line going with a a few boats already floating on the moorings.

The owner of one of the yards is a gruff, former bayman who each summer hires 2-3 high school age boys to assist around the yard in a quasi apprenticeship program, those who work hard and want to learn are invited back the following summer with the others left to look other work. The last couple of summers I've cajoled him into hiring teen girls, he harrumphs and changes the subject, but this year I noticed that among the boatwrights on his crew is a young woman.


Monday, March 07, 2016

Saturday, I crossed the Seine to go to Shakespeare & Company browsing the books and after finding a few, I went next door to the café. Dmitri was there having coffee and reading a magazine. It has been a few years since I'd seen him, but he looked the same, with some grey finding its way into his hair and crows feet along his eyes when he smiled. He invited me to join him.

I knew he was living in Paris again, from his sister and when I was released from the hospital, there was a card and a note at my apartment wishing me a speedy recovery with a Paris postmark. We talked, bringing ourselves up-to-date on the generalities of our lives. He no longer teaches and is working for an NGO that assists developing countries in setting up schools. He says he loves the work and the regular and sometimes extended travel to Africa is a benefit. Our time was short as we both had other engagements, but I was happy to see him and I believe he felt the same about me. We walked out together and he bussed me on the cheek as we parted on our separate ways.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

No, I'm not dead.

I'm recovering, a little at a time, a slip now and again, then a side step, but I'm better. I've been working at the REIT, at first doing mostly busy work and the stuff that never gets done. It was tiring at first and I'd go home exhausted, but lately I've begun to wonder why my partners comment about being so busy, the pace is much more relaxed than Kim & Co.

With regards to the REIT's business, I've mostly focused on our investments outside France, but in the last few weeks I've begun doing data analysis on our Paris holdings and I'm coming up with lots of questions and causing discomfort.

A friend owns a flower shop that she runs by herself with a high school girl who comes in after school as a part timer/apprentice. My friend's mother was hospitalized for several days and on her release needed pretty much constant care, but wouldn't go to a rehab facility as she fears she would never leave. My friend is an only child and faced the unsavory choice of closing her shop for a week or hiring a full time nurse. A visiting nurse is available for giving meds and changing dressing, but someone needed to be there almost all the time. Having the time I volunteered to run the shop, I enjoyed it more that I expected.

One thing that I've been working on with my therapist is issues related to PSTD and a couple of weeks ago I had a major anxiety attack brought on by activities at a construction site that I was walking past. The workers were using a 'gun' that shoots fastening into concrete, hearing those 'shots,' I flashed back to that Friday and collapsed to the ground in quivering, blubbering heap. A couple assisted me and as we talked the told me they are facing similar issues as they were at the Bataclan Theater on that night. We're keeping in touch.

I've been staying in Paris on the recommendation of my therapist, to build a strong routine, but I pining to go to the village for the quiet and slow pace.

Mimi and I had lunch the other day, it has been months since I've seen her. She has an app running on her phone that counts down the days and seconds till she is released from her golden handcuffs. Only a few more months.

Good new to share, Anne Marie and Hannah will be returning to France, if not Paris, or maybe Belgium or Spain. They could comeback now, but Hannah is finishing a graduate program. Where AM will be assigned is still to be decided. If it is at one of the company's premier properties it will be as the senior assistant general manager and if it is at one of the smaller properties, she'll be a GM.