On a flea market outing I bought some old photos of a young fellow named Jean Paul. I made up a story about him in my mind. It was very detailed. I’m having trouble now remembering what I made up and what is the truth. I decided that my travel journal needed a patron saint. Jean Paul is it! I stayed up v.v. late one night searching online for my saint. Found the small town in France he came from. Then I found something remarkable.
We share a birthday! Both of us born on January 8th 10 years apart. Of course, he’s gone now. Died in a terrible fire at sea. He was a merchant marine. While all the other sailors pushed past him away from the smoke and flames he displayed a rash, uncommon bravery and ran toward the fire! Always putting the needs of others before himself. In other words, the most perfectly fabulous patron saint anyone could want for their travel journal. sigh.
Of course no one will ever know whether it was due to heroics or smoke induced confusion. But I know. I know. I also found some letters he wrote his dear grandmother. Chrissy translated them for me.
“Father has calmed us by telling us that the STRANGLER has been arrested – his first name is Lucien. He has an easy name and I hope that the law will punish him severely.”
Um. Excuse me, but that’s only the bestest letter a person could ever hope to find! Especially this person who is always on the look out for crimes that need solving.
Dear Jean Paul,
Wherever in this big wide world you are (or aren’t.) I thank you for your imaginative contributions to my journal. It wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t found you! I’m sorry your photos ended up at the flea market. But I’m awfully glad I was the one to gobble them up. Also I like your shorts and your little dog. You look very happy on the day this photo was taken.
love & air kisses all around,
p.s. about the tragedy at sea. you did the right thing.
another letter I found at another flea market…who knows what I’ll find in there!