Past Squares 2: Prague, May 2019

This is only self’s third round of participation in Life of B’s Squares Challenge, so instead of choosing favorites from her previous rounds, in April and July 2021, she’ll focus on past trips. She used to be quite the traveler! Everything came to a screeching halt in 2020.

May 2019: Self’s niece was going to Prague and asked if she wanted to come along. Self had never been to Prague. Of course she wanted to come along!

Dinner the first night was in the hotel’s rooftop restaurant. All the surrounding buildings were lit. The view was stunning! The next day, at Prague Castle, we stumbled on a wedding photo shoot. Self was able to squeeze off a quick candid photo.

Cyrano de Bergerac on the Moon!

Self is on p. 38 of Moon Palace (btw, what a book. Auster’s lonely narrator is such a fabulist, especially when he opens his mouth at a party):

  • Then I began to describe Cyrano’s voyage to the moon, and someone interrupted me. Cyrano de Bergerac wasn’t real, the person said, he was a character in a play, a make-believe man. I couldn’t let this error go uncorrected, and so I made a short digression to tell them the story of Cyrano’s life. I sketched out his early days as a soldier, discussed his career as a philosopher and poet, and then dwelled at some length on the various hardships he encountered over the years: financial troubles, an agonizing bout with syphilis, his battles with the authorities over his radical views. I told them how he had finally found a protector in the Duc d’Arpajon, and then, just three years later, how he had been killed on a Paris street when a building stone fell from a rooftop and landed on his head. I paused dramatically to allow the grotesqueness and humor of this tragedy to sink in. “He was only thirty-six at the time,” I said, “and to this day no one knows if it was an accident or not.”

The Enigmatic Kathy Wu, First Mention

“Is something wrong? I’m just wondering if you’re a friend of Kitty.”

“Kitty?” I said. “I don’t know anyone named Kitty in my life.”

“You’re wearing the same shirt she is. It made me think you must be connected to her somehow.”

“I looked down at my chest and saw that I had a Mets T-shirt on. I had bought it at a rummage sale earlier in the year for ten cents. “I don’t even like the Mets,” I said. “The Cubs are the team I root for.”

“It’s a weird coincidence … Katy is going to love it. She loves things like that.

Moon Palace, p,35

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