Adventures in Marketing: Week 75 (The Peacock’s Feathers)

Gave away one “Cheesesteak.”
“Are you Bob Levin?”
The young woman had black hair, wore black, was attractive and almond complected. Indian? I though. But her accent was not that and she pronounced my name with a familiarity that exceeded the degree of its likely recognition in Delhi or Bombay.
This familiarity, it turned out, was because my surname was hers – and her accent was French, in fact Parisian. She was part of a 14-person troupe performing a play by Camus at Zellerbach this weekend as part of a cross-country tour.
We discussed pronunciations. (There are no LE-vins in France, I learned, just LEV-ins.)
She learned I had been to France (“Once. Before you were born) and I that she had been to the states (“Once. With my parents.”) The troupe had visited Sausalito and San Francisco, at whose homelessness and drugs she shook her head and touched her heart. (“We have drugs, but mostly the a-sheesh, not…”) Their next stop was Telegraph Avenue, for which I did not offer much hope. (“Good used book store,” I said.) At this point the Rwandan panhandler who made my cafes part of his morning rounds arrived. When I introduced them, they conversed in French. (“Un bon American,” he called me. “A good American,” she translated, though my three years with Madam Malecot could have handled that.)
“You know Camus?” she asked me.
“Of course.”
“‘La Pestilance?”’
“‘The Plague?’ Yes.”
“You should come to our show.”
“Can you get us in for free?”
She had not expected that question. “I’ll try.”
So I gave her my book for the promise.
Isn’t that what this writing thing is all about?