Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 23:17:03 -0800 (PDT)
Subject: Hello from Paris
Dear Dr. Balis,
I thought that you might me wondering about me so I decided to send you this e-mail from the library at "La Cite Universitaire." Chester sent me a round-trip ticket to Paris and so here I am.
I took a two week vacation from work. Jake or whoever is in charge now at the Gallery probably is pretty upset with me because I only arranged for a replacement for two weeks and now it's going on a month. I must have had a premonition because I put most of my stuff in storage before I left except for the twenty-five paintings that I left at the gallery for that show I told you about that has been postponed and changed several times; so I don't know where I really stand with that but it doesn't really matter to me right now. That surprises me. I mean to hear myself talk so. My life keeps getting more and more interesting.
I've been sitting Zazen every morning. Chester turned me on to the place. He's still doing the Christian thing but he's unbelievably open and loving. He really has been transformed. What a blessing! Wow! I'm talking like him. That's really funny because we really disagree about most things but about our relationship we are solidly together.
There's a gallery here in the Bastille area of Paris that is very interested in me and my work. I fell into a job teaching English and I thought it was best to get my own place. I can't explain it but I'm here for at least three months. Because it's a school, Ecole D'Etranger, I've been able to live in the student dormitories for less than twenty dollars a day, including discounts on food. I cashed in my return ticket, after I got permission from the French Government to stay with a limited work permit. I'm trying to convince Me to take a year and study in Paris. She has taken upper division French classes. I can't believe how my French is improving since I only had it in high school. Everyone said that it would take a long time and that it's so hard to get a working visa let alone a job. Chester is helping out enormously.
I know that I'm just running on and on but I wonder if we could correspond? I don't know how I could pay you but our meetings have been very helpful and, well, I'd really appreciate it if you could consider how we might still be able to work together. I probably will be back in three months but I don't know how that's going to affect my insurance status. Is there any way that you or your office could help me with that matter?
Getting around here in Paris is really easy and very cheap, especially since I got this Carte D'Orange which gives me unlimited use of the metro and buses for a month for about $12. The school pays me 9500 francs a month, which is a little less than $1600 per month. It is for six days but we get about an hour and a half for lunch. Have you ever had a pate sandwich? I hope this letter is not too casual. I am feeling a lot better in this new environment which is another surprise. I hope to hear from you soon.
With great respect,