Sunday morning coffee at the Marsee Bakery. "The Last Time I Saw Paris" is playing on the radio.

It is often rainy in Paris and Modigliani
used to walk about under a large and
very old umbrella.

A photograph of Giacometti comes to mind. Taken a six months before the sculptor died, he is crossing a rainy Parisian street with a raincoat pulled over his head like a cowl, one of the same streets on which, half a century before, an intoxicated Modigliani loved to "hear his footsteps in the sleeping silence."

In a different century, a different city, I carry a raincoat and an umbrella, neither large enough to exert facilitating influences upon motor function. It also contains the nuclei of several cranial nerves. The facial nerve and the two components of the vestibulocochlear nerve, for example, emerge from and enter the brain stem at the junction of the pons, medulla, and cerebellum. Motor nuclei for the trigeminal nerve lie in the upper pons. Located on the periphery of the pons are long ascending and descending tracts that keep me dry.


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