Virgile found a parking space on the Rue Gustave Larroumet and peeked through the window of La Source. No Jeremy. The café, in fact, was nearly empty. Two post-adolescent boys with tattooed arms were on barstools, sipping blond beers. Another boy was playing darts. Sprawled on a seat near the wall, a red-haired woman in a low-neck T-shirt appeared to be flirting with the bartender. Everyone seemed to be hard at work killing time. Virgile went in and sat down on a bench. at 56%
It was a rustic bed. Resting on a pine frame, the thin mattress had served for more than sleep. Lovers had coupled in the night here, and children had been birthed in white-hot pain. Under the goose-down comforter, the sheets were heavy and rough. A crucifix above the bed attested to a faith filled with incense and rosary beads. A frond secured behind it awaited Ash Wednesday, when it would be reduced to gray dust—a reminder of mortality.