Come Visit the Père Lachaise Cemetery with Me!

SURPRISE, SURPRISE

Work. I’ve got to keep on working. I still need to prepare and finalize all the plans for the company in January. I have so much…

My assistant knocked on my door and walked in my office.

“What is it Jessica?”

“A couple of people are here to see you.”

Hmmm… She seems a little nervous. Huh. “Do they have an appointment?”

“No, but -”

I cut her off. “No ‘buts’ Jessica. If they do not have an appointment then they can’t come see me. Besides, I’m busy so tell them to schedule an appointment next time.”

“They’re your parents Ms. Malitz.”

Great. Well, that explains everything. Not to mention, the rest of my afternoon will be gone and completely overtaken by their visit. I sighed. “Go ahead and let them in.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents. It’s just… let’s just say we live our lives very,very differently. My parents are free. They do what they want and enjoy everything that life has to offer. I, on the other hand, confess that work is all I do but I take great pride in being productive.

I hear loud shuffling noises and a couple of excited chuckles. They’re here. I rise from my seat and squint my eyes as I prepare for the worst.

My parents slam the door wide open with a loud bang and ram through the opening way faster than usual. Goodness, I wish they would be more careful with the door. This only happens when something big is about to occur like announcing that they have trip to Africa coming up or how they bought a new vacation house in Hawaii. I guess I’ll find out what the big thing for today is soon enough.

“Heeellloooooo there sugarpuff,” my mom and dad gush.

My mom comes and attacks me on my left while my dad does so on my right. Here comes the…

“Bear hug!” They both exclaim.

My mom and dad rock me back and forth for a couple of minutes while I stay still so they can get their I-love-my-little-daughter fix.

They finally let me go and I take a deep breath.

“Sweetie, dad and I have a big surprise for you!”

“And what could it possibly be? Are you guys going to Greece for the third time this year or are you guys finally planning to volunteer in one of those third world countries under Doctors Without Borders?”

“How did you know? Did Uncle Frank tell you?” my mom asked me eagerly.

My dad puts a hand on my mom’s shoulder and gently moves her aside, “Honey, that’s besides the point!” He turns his head to look at me and grins, “Mommy and daddy bought you a ticket to France! You, little missy, are leaving in three days!”

They both swing their arms wildly, jump up and down continuously in excitement as I just stand there in intense shock. Then, the wave of panic sets in.

“WHAT? Mom. Dad. I still have a lot of work to do! I can’t just leave!”

My dad gently grabs me on the shoulders and looks me in the eye. “I know, that’s why we gave you a couple to days to finish things up around here. Now let me ask you a question. What work needs to be done exactly?”

“I mean- I- I have to make sure all the January events are all set.”

“Muffin, it’s only August and you’re already planning for next year’s events?! Go take a break! All you do is work, work, work!”

“Bu- the company- I…” All the sudden I see Uncle Frank’s apparition standing beside my dad with his arms crossed and his right foot tapping impatiently. His face is stern but softens when he says, “You know they’re right Clarissa. It’s time to give yourself a chance to relax. I’m tired of seeing you like this,” and just like that his wispy, white figure disappears. Ah, well, shoot. If my dead uncle tells me I have to go then why am I still trying to fight against my parents? “Fine, I’ll go.”

THE TRIP

Well, here I am in Paris not knowing what to do… again. I take my last sip of coffee and prepare to leave the cafe. As I walk out, I scramble to get the travel guide out of my bag and I stop on the side of the pathway to consider my options on what to do next. I’ve been in this city for a few of days now. So far I’ve admired the famous works of art at the Louvre and I took a relaxing walk along the Seine River the following day. I’ll admit it’s nice but I’m out of my comfort zone. I hover my finger over the list of places and run it down the list. Blah-blah-Notre Dame Cathedral-blah-blah-Sacre Coeur-blah-hmm… the Père Lachaise Cemetery sounds interesting. It’s only a twenty minute drive from here. Eh, why not? I make a couple steps towards the street and wave my hand for a taxi.

The main entrance of the cemetery is huge and you can tell how old the place is just by looking at it.

The Main Entrance

I slowly make my way to the cemetery and take a look around. I thought there would be more people here. I guess all the tourists decided to spend their day at a less gloomy location. I don’t mind though. This just means I have less people to deal with on my exploration around the area.

As I wander through the cemetery, it was so interesting to me to see so many different resting places and names of people that these graves belong to.

Cemetery 1

Cemetery 2

There are newer ones.

Marcel Proust

General

Older ones.

Kellermann

Hahnemann

Ordinary and bare ones.

Turf

Ken Sazaki

Intricately and elaborately designed ones.

Monument

Silence

Noir

Rodenbach

Not so famous ones.

Lovers

Angel

Artist

Famous ones.

Morrison

Jim Morrison (The lead singer of The Doors): “Light My Fire”

Piaf

Edith Piaf (Singer): “La Vie En Rose”

Chopin

Frédéric Chopin (Composer): Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor Op. 21

Spouses

Yves Montand (Singer): “Les Feuilles Mortes”

Simone Signoret (Actress): “Room at the Top”

Wilde

Wilde 2

Oscar Wilde (Writer): “The Importance of Being Earnest” (1986)

I take a longer look at Oscar Wilde’s grave. It’s such a shame that his descendants decided to put this silly glass wall up. I can’t even believe they decided to erase all those years of kisses accumulated on the tomb by Wilde’s admirers (Tagliabue). Ah,  but what can you do? Ooo, maybe I should join everyone else and kiss the glass! I swing my purse around and search inside it to find my red lipstick. Once I do, I slap on one layer on my lips and press my lips against the cold glass. I smile at my work and draw a heart around my kiss. Perfect.

“I’m guessing you’re one of Oscar Wilde’s admirers as well?”

I jump at the sound of the man’s voice. How can people be so quiet these days? I turn around to see a tall, young man with luscious dark locks and a cute set of dimples. Wow, he’s gorgeous. I sure hope he’s real.

“I’m sorry did I frighten you?”

“Oh no, not at all! Don’t worry about it!”

He stretched out his hand for a handshake. “My name’s Jacque and yours?”

“Clarissa. My name’s Clarissa.”

A NEW BEGINNING

I continue to walk in rhythm with Jacque’s steps and turn towards him to gaze into his pale blue eyes. “So that’s how I ended up in France,” I told him.

He smiled charmingly and said, “You’re parents seem like wonderful people. I would love to meet them one day”.

Well, this is moving along pretty fast but I’m not complaining. “I’m sure they would love to meet you as well.” Heck, they’ll probably want you to propose to me the second they see you but there’s no way I’m telling you that. Wait a minute…

What are you guys doing still following me? Go ahead and keep on looking around the rest of the cemetery! 

CITATIONS

Tagliabue, John. “Walling Off Oscar Wilde’s Tomb From Admirers’ Kisses.” New York Times. 16 December. 2011. New York ed.: A6. Print.

PICTURES

1) Coyau. Français : vue axiale. 2012. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

2) julia&keld. Cimetière du Père Lachaise. 2005. Find a Grave. JPG file.

3) Loving Apartments. pere-lachaise. 2011. Loving Apartments. JPG file.

4) Kymmell-Harvey, Samantha. Hill overlooking the graveyard. 2012. Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Folklore. JPG file.

5) Louis, Paul. Marcel Proust’s grave, Père-Lachaise Cemetery. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

6) Evergreen68. Grave site of the Armenian military leader and resistance fighter Ozanian Andranik on the cemetery Père Lachaise in Paris. 2012. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

7) Rama. Kellermann. 2005. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

8) Beaudouin, Pierre-Yves. Français : Vue d’ensemble. 2012. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

9) Ackerman. Monuments covered with astro-turf. 2012. Ackerman Antics. JPG file.

10) Nagan, Jeff. Ken Sazaki gravestone. 2011. Equivocality. JPG file.

11) JHvW. Buchenwald-Dora Memorial. n.d. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

12) 9jules9. Tomb of Jacob Roblès. 2009. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

13) Zeunert, Sally. Grave of Monsieur Noir, Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, Paris. 2013. Follow Your Dream. JPG file.

14) Wp82. Tomb of Georges Rodenbach. 2009. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

15) Abelard and Heloise Burial. n.d. Philosophy and Philosophers in Art. JPG file.

16) Kymmell-Harvey, Samantha. Paris: Père Lachaise Cemetery. 2012. Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Folklore. JPG file.

17) Loving Apartments. pere-lachaise-2. 2011. Loving Apartments. JPG file.

18) Dredge, Seattle. Jim Morrison’s Grave. 2013. Seattle’s Travels. JPG file.

19) Pingstone, Adrian. The grave of Edith Piaf (1915-1963) in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. 2001. Wikimedia Commons. JPG file.

20) Nagan, Jeff. Frédéric Chopin. 2011. Equivocality. JPG file.

21) Nagan, Jeff. Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. 2011. Equivocality. JPG file.

22) Kymmell-Harvey, Samantha. Tomb of Oscar Wilde. 2012. Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Folklore. JPG file.

23) Ackerman. Oscar Wilde’s tombstone. 2012. Ackerman Antics. JPG file.

VIDEOS

1) memocalzada. “the doors live light my fire hollywood bowl 1968.” YouTube. YouTube. March 13, 2009. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

2) madonnafan112. “Edith Piaf- La Vie En Rose.” YouTube. YouTube. January 19, 2008. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

3) berlinzerberus. “FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN – PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 IN F MINOR OP. 21 – ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN [HD].” YouTube. YouTube. October 25, 2010. Web. 03 Nov. 2013

4) paccaggicco. “Yves Montand – Les Feuilles Mortes.” YouTube. YouTube. November 3, 2007. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

5) TheSuppActress. “Simone Signoret in ‘Room At The Top’.” YouTube. YouTube. May 16, 2010. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

6) amargaleja. “The Importance of Being Earnest (1986). Part 1 of 11.” YouTube. YouTube. November 23, 2008. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

7) Mxsmanic. “Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France.” YouTube. YouTube. May 30, 2012. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. 

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  1. Pingback: Art is Original, but Not Unique: Woman (Elevation) Sculpture by Gaston Lachaise in Chicago, IL | Web Bloggers Red Design 2.0+

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