Can you guess where I was based upon the title? Père Lachaise cemetery, lost somewhere within section 57. Alone. Why? Well, Père Lachaise is a very interesting cemetery with many famous writers, musicians, and artists buried there. Why in section 57? According to the map, that’s where the famous southern French author, Alphonse Daudet is buried. I’d seen his windmill. He was born in Nîmes and I live behind a high school named for him. I have his short stories on my iPod (thanks, C!). For goodness sake, how could I not go pay him homage? Section 57 isn’t a frequented area, Daudet is the only one listed for that section on the map, and he’s not exactly the most famous person in the cemetery. That’s why I was the only person over there. Most famous people are buried along the main paths of their section, but Daudet wasn’t there. So among the graves of section 57 I wandered for at least a half hour. This is when I met the black cat who jumped in front of me and then skittered off. Then a flock of crows flew overhead (raven sounded more impressive). Then I came upon a gravestone cracked so you could look down into the grave. You could. I didn’t. But you can go to section 57 and do so if you’d like. Let me know how it goes… On second thought, don’t.
Sounds terrifying, right? Alone. In a cemetery. Lost. A black cat and a bunch of crows. A memorial cracked open so you could peer inside the grave. Only that last part was somewhat unquieting. The cat was adorable, I think black cats are the prettiest. I wish it had stayed longer. The blackbirds? They just kept flying. And me? Well, I just kept walking. It’s hard to get too lost in the sections of Père Lachaise, you keep walking, you get to a main path eventually.
What is bizarre is that as I was heading off to find the graves of Molière and Lafontaine, I stumbled upon a tour group just as the guide was saying “And Alphonse Daudet is indeed buried in this cemetery, though he is not in section 57. His grave is right HERE,” as he points to Daudet’s grave. I think Daudet’s spirit occasionally guides those as lost as poor M. Séguin’s goats. Had I not spent as much time as I did looking for his grave in the wrong spot, I would never have stumbled upon the right spot at the right moment. For future reference, his memorial is on the same street as Molière and Lafontaine, opposite from their graves.
As far as black cats go, here are some photos of Petit Chat, who’s sort of kind of like my cat except he doesn’t live with me and I don’t feed him. He is adorable and I love him, though… When he’s not trying to escape the gate as I’m running off to work so I have to scoop him up and carry him back, at least.