But the threads running through the story, the souls of the story, have been People that I feel I've come to know through reading their words and words about them. A handful are special to me - Marie Antoinette, of course, and Louis XVI, their families, the Princess de Lamballe, Charlotte Corday - a few Revolutionaries - Danton, Camille Desmoulins and his wife, Lucile. Of them all, there's been one person who has been most intriguing, most compelling, and the one I'd most like to talk to. Actually, as good as he was, he probably wouldn't have taken the time to talk to me, so talking to his representative about him would've been my first choice.
I don't want to make this person feel weird with my over-the-top recitation of how much it meant to me, but I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours discussing history and, to an extent, life, with Axel Fersen's descendant. Thank God it's over, though, because the anticipation almost robbed me of my sanity. He's probably crossing his fingers that it's over and that the continuing trickle of emails with last minute questions and comments will eventually evaporate and disappear.
I realize that my readership is minuscule and made up of only benevolent friends and family unwilling to go public by commenting, but if anyone happens upon this who knows who Count Axel Fersen is, you will surely exclaim, "Oh, my God, that's exactly what Axel Fersen's great-great-great-great-great nephew should look like!"
Those of you who know me personally, and know my family, will also exclaim, "I bet Michael made this dream come true!" and, of course, you'd be absolutely right.
I'll tell the story later. Right now, I need to make reservations at the restaurant that my new friend, Fabian, and I think it's okay to call him friend - "discussing history and to an extent, life" can only result in friendship - recommended. The restaurant, 1728, is located in Lafayette's former home, on the Place de Concorde, mere yards from the spot on which the guillotine was located during the French Revolution. Hallowed ground.
And, I have to go to sleep, if I can, because tomorrow at 8:15, I'm going to Vaux-le-Vicomte and Fontainebleau.
Tomorrow, I shall return (like Hector P. Valenti, Star of Stage and Screen) and (like Paul Harvey) tell you "the rest of the story."
Why must I include all of those parenthetical mental detours like Hector P. Valenti and Paul Harvey references? No wonder my readership is minuscule! Because, it's important to me, that's why. I've got to get it all out of my head.