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Anna Stone Smith (@annastonesmith) Instagram Profile Photo

Anna Stone Smith

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France

Monsieur R. loved his yellow scarf and burgundy, velvet trousers almost as much as his motor-scooter. They would escort him to the shop on a near-daily basis. The scooter would be parked on the sidewalk in front of the shop, like a puppy you didn’t want to let out of your sight. The scarf and trousers? I assume he had other clothing, but for the life of me I can’t remember any. Middle-aged and of taller than average build, Monsieur managed to both present himself as groomed and unkempt. An eye for the aesthetic but rather gruff in a hermit, I-haven’t-seen-the-sun-in-awhile, sort of manner. We saw each other regularly and a solid five months passed until I was acknowledged with a curt nod or muffled bonjour. I took his acknowledgement as a great compliment, for he had just the week prior, engaged in a riotous shouting-match with a local shop-keeper who had brought him an espresso.. . Monsieur B., on the other-hand, was of a retired age, portly, and dressed in dark colors that highlighted evidence of past meals. His eyes were jovial and unconcerned; a perfect contrast to a beard and head of hair that preferred their autonomy. He never seemed to stay long at the shop. When he was present, he preferred to spend most of his time near the front entry, as a self-appointed warden of the walk. He would smoke and ponder life, either leaning against the stone doorframe or jumping out of the way of passersby, with surprising agility. In contrast to Monsieur R., he was quite friendly and one day suggested we spend some time together, perhaps starting with lunch. (This provided me with an excellent opportunity to employ my well-cultivated, “I don’t speak French very well and aren’t you funny,” routine before scuttling off to the école for after-school pick up. Once honed, this performance has myriad applications.) . *excerpt*

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