dimanche 28 septembre 2008

A note on Marilyn Monroe

Mme. Walker, our landlady, asked us to put down a rather serious security deposit on our furnished apartment, since their last tenant had moved out with a number of the Walkers’ posessions. Among the things he took was a large portrait of Marilyn Monroe. At the time, I remarked to Josh that if I ever met this prior tenant, I would thank him. We thought that was the end of our connaisance with Marilyn.

Since then, however, whenever we have been out buying things for the apartment, voila, there she is. In almost any home decor aisle in the south of France, there is at least one poster of Marilyn Monroe. Often the selection is wider, with both Warhol technicolored Marilyns and black and white photography Marilyns. I’ve seen her more often than pictures of Le Tour Eiffel.

So it was no surprise to see her staring at us out of the shop window of Bricorama. A store dedicated to bricolage (household fix-ups), it was the perfect place to find ourselves stuck on the only seriously rainy day since we arrived. After about an hour of gathering little things we needed (a hammer, nails, picture hangers, a candle that smelled like cat pee), we plunked ourselves down in the furniture section to wait out the downpour. We played 20 Questions and read cookbooks from the kitchen section while the giant red folding screen emblazoned with Marilyn had one vibrant eye toward us and one toward the sodden street. We stayed there about an hour or so before deciding to make a run to the FNAC (media superstore) down the block. A few minutes before we left, we watched one of the employees, on the phone with a customer, come over and measure the Marilyn screen and read the measurements into the phone. It sounded like he made a sale. Au revoir (until next time), Marilyn.

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