— Elaine Dundy American journalist, actress 1921 - 2008
Part One, One
The Dud Avocado (1958)
Contexto: It was a hot, peaceful, optimistic sort of day in September. It was around eleven in the morning, I remember, and I was drifting down the boulevard St. Michel, thoughts rising in my head like little puffs of smoke, when suddenly a voice bellowed into my ear: "Sally Jay Gorce! What the hell? Well, for Christ’s sake, can this really be our own little Sally Jay Gorce?” I felt a hand ruffling my hair and I swung around, furious at being so rudely awakened.
Who should be standing there in front of me, in what I immediately spotted as the Left Bank uniform of the day, dark wool shirt and a pair of old Army suntans, but my old friend Larry Keevil. He was staring down at me with some alarm.
I said hello to him and added that he had frightened me, to cover any bad-tempered expression that might have been lingering on my face, but he just kept on staring dumbly at me.
"What have you been up to since … since … when the hell was it that I last saw you?” he asked finally.
Curiously enough I remembered exactly.