March 1871: Alcohol, Anarchism, Art

Gabriel Fauré walks from Paris to Rambouillet – some sixty miles, some eleven hours, to the southwest.  His forged passport convinces the various checkpoint guards of varying loyalty to let him pass. He walks all night to Rambouillet and meets his brother there, his future there.

Paul Verlaine, drunk no doubt, hunkers down to work in the Hotel de Ville. A press officer, reluctantly – a poet. Maybe he twitches at the thought of what approaches, who approaches – the first flinch of the many that motivate his later life.

Louise Michel smiles, her eyes afire. She talks, nobly, quickly, with a passion maybe disconcerting. Ready to commit, ready to fall behind a barricade. Ready to go the distance, to take the first steps of the distance she cannot but go.


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