Perhaps one of the most delicious reading passages can be found in Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way. His remembrance of eating a Madeleine. A glimpse of a pleasure he can't identify.
…“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure invaded my senses”…
“Tea and Madeleine” & “Aunt Leonie's Sofa” by David Richardson
But Messieurs Proust and Swann not only found their pleasures in eating Madeleines. For the French had a bit of well established joy that was wedged between the responsibilities of work and the duties of family called five-to-seven (le cinq á sept). A little bit of lost time in the early evening hours. Alas, that bit of five-to-seven frivolity was severely shattered when a character in Françoise Sagan's 1967 novel La Chamade sighed-
“…In Paris, no one makes love in the evening any more; everyone is too tired…”
According to La Sagan it all had changed. Tant pis.
That little bit of pleasure should be revived. I'm not advocating anything untoward-as you read everyone is too tired-but I wonder if five-to-seven could be reinstated to mean a bit of stolen time.
How much more agreeable you might be if you inserted a little five-to-seven into your day?
Switching off, as far as the I-(know everything) phone knows, you could be lost in a dead zone. Perhaps a drink, or tea and Madeleines, and the company of an interesting friend? Don't take friend as a euphemism five-to-seven is most fun if the agenda is uncomplicated.
Of course every secret pleasure is heightened if it has a taste of the forbidden so it gives me great joy to know that the I-(know everything) phone thinks I’m stuck in a dreaded mobile dead zone...when all along I’ll be roaming blissfully and having un doux petit rêveur.
apropos "The Bedside Proust" ϡ