For centuries few good roads pierced the thickly forested hills of the Ardennes and Luxembourg served as a fortress against invading armies in Northern Europe. Steep cliffs surrounded the city and hundreds of troops could defend against the attack of thousands.
Militarists called the citadel the Gibraltar of the North and in the autumn of 2011 I became the pseudo-resident writer for an embassy overlooking the chasm of the Petrusse.
At the behest of Madame l'Ambassador.
We knew each other from London, Paris, and New York.
Friends warned Luxembourg was the most boring city in Europe, but the aeroport was only a 15 hour flight from my family in Thailand.
I was greeted at the aeroport by her driver and given an attic room.
For the first weeks Madame l'Ambassador and I made the rounds of parties, cultural events, and diplomatic ceremonies. She was the most beautiful women in that city and good company. I told everyone that we were just friends and that was the truth.
Every day I wrote about a hitchhiking trip in 1974.
Boston-the Rockies-Reno-Santa Cruz-Moonlight Beach-Needles-Tulsa-the White Mountains.
1974 and Cross-Country America were far away in time and distance.
The locals were cold and I repeated my daily routine with an appalling sameness.
Wake up - write - eat - drink - sleep.
I tried to enjoy myself in purgatory.