After my first night in the apartment I discovered an envelope on the bedside table with my name on it. Inside was a Five Hundred Euro note, pale purple, funny color after a life time of using green currency. The pale green 100 notes look equally unconvincing, like play money, only with more serious consequences. This sense of them was enhanced by watching UG handle these peculiar pieces of paper like toys. I remember him walking through an airport in Italy actually, where I find myself today, flourishing a bundle in his hand. There he was, a frail-looking old man, waving the cash in someone’s face as a joke. Most people hide money, conceal it carefully in a pocket or a purse. There he was showing it off, waving it around like a lunatic. He was fearless about money along with everything else. More than once he handed a child a 50 euro note in a cafe by the side of the road just because he was moved to. The child’s mother flew into a panic for some reason and had to be assured that UG only wanted to give the money, he didn’t expect anything in return.
This apartment is large and elegant like the set of a an Italian movie. I am here because of someone who read the book I wrote about him. They needed a cat watcher. How fortuitous. Now I’m here for a couple months, trying to write another book. People ask me all the time about sales, but I hate to think about it. Seems like this is the kind of doors that book has opened, the unexpected opportunities to interact with other people interested in him. Its richer than cash flow, although there is no doubt that is essential. Used to be I couldnt get anything to work in my life, now things fall into place despite what I do or do not do. The less effort I make the easier life is.
I took my new friends up to Gstaad before coming here in order to show them where I met UG and also so they could meet some other friends of his. We talked to them about UG for a total of 17 hours 0ut of 20. The Chalet where I met UG all those years has been demolished, “a great big hole in the ground” was the way he described the sight of the Grand Canyon. I would describe him that too way but it’s to simplistic. Anyway, there goes one more item of sentimental value checked off the list. What remains is life. That’s something so big since meeting him that the house is a moot point. It was weird to see that hole, but the space he cleared in my life has more than made up for the loss of some building where things happened a long time ago. As a matter of fact, the memory of all those events is entered into the computer already, so the outside reference is irrelevant now.