(originally written 2/27/08)
I went to the Notre Dame last night. I’ve been itching to get my hands on a piano, but that’s not why I went. Olivier and I split up late in the evening, both of us hoping that by separating, we’d be harder to trace.
I did stop by the café, around 9:30 by my watch, and I nearly ran into Marie. I’m under the impression she’s running the place now, and that makes me glad. She’s a smart girl, a little snappy sometimes, but you need that in a waitress and manager. I almost said hello, although on second thought I decided it was a bad idea, considering the late hour. Anyhow, I didn’t want to put her in danger.
Good old father left me something in my old hideaway. When I shifted the brick aside, I found a brief letter explaining he and mother were in hiding, and a good deal of don’t do this and don’t do that. Of course, I fully intend to ignore most of his advice; I think he knew that when he wrote it. Aside from the letter, I found a pocketknife and the Celtic knot ring, both gifts that Tonton Pierre gave me years ago except father confiscated them. The ring I’m wearing now, and the pocketknife is, of course, in my pocket. The letter doesn’t say anything particularly revealing, so I’m holding on to it for now. I can’t bear to let it go.
After the café, I followed the river for a bit until I got the idea of going to the Notre Dame. I wondered what kind of religious sanctuary the Church offered, and what kind of blasphemous heathen they’d find me, especially if they knew. As it turns out, the Notre Dame is a haven to everyone who enters, provided they agree to accept all others present. It’s a bizarre utopia there, but only utopian in the unbreakable peace and harmony. There’s no forward progress (no economic growth, so to speak, although my economics background most definitely will not help in the coming months) and the stagnation would kill me if I tried to stay there.
In the meantime, I found peace there. I could relax. Until Olivier and I figure out the police’s patrol patterns, we’ll have to lay low and stay paranoid. The church I found a welcome break. I hadn’t realized how tired I’d become until I lay down in one of the pews and promptly fell asleep until one of the priests woke me up.
I never thought much about religion until this last night. The father and I spoke for a time. By the end of it, I can’t say if either of us knew what to make of the other. Père François was exceedingly kind, and he eventually figured out what I am. Apparently he comes from the school of thought which cannot decide upon the sanctity (or lack thereof) of mages. As promised, I was not cast out, and to my surprise I was not singled out or shunned by the good père. There is so much about the church that I find I do not understand.
All I know is that there, in the Notre Dame, I felt at home again.