Dr. K examined me and said that I didn’t have the flu. But in French, there is no one word for “cold.” There are all kinds of viral infections hitting various parts of the body. He diagnosed me as having laryngite. This isn’t what we think of as laryngitis, but rather a viral infection of the throat that causes mucus and coughing. I asked for something strong to dry the cough and help me sleep…

Oh la la la la. I didn’t know what I was asking for.

The Frenchman made me a great dinner and gave me a glass of red wine. “It can’t hurt,” he said. I drank it and then took all my medications. An hour later, I fell down a black hole of sleep that lasted about 12 hours. Hooo! I so needed that. I feel much better, but I’m taking it easy until I have at least two more nights of nearly uninterrupted sleep.

Anyway, after I saw Dr. K, I napped in the library lounge of The Frenchman’s office until he was finished working and could take us home. Just before we left, I stood groggily and stared at the bookshelves. There’s one big bookshelf filled with books left by American university students. Front smack in the middle was a book entitled Christianity for Modern Pagans. It’s not at all what it sounds like. It’s an edited version of Pascal’s Pensees — essentially a very long, albeit complexly written love letter to Christianity. The presence of this book is problematic because The Frenchman works for the government and deals with university students all the time.

As soon as I remembered, I called The Frenchman this morning. “Did you know you have this book along with a bunch of bibles on that bookshelf?” He hadn’t noticed. It was definitely a problem, but at the same time he didn’t feel right about throwing away a book. “No, no,” I said, “Don’t throw anything out, but is there anything there to balance it?” Neither of us could recall anything. So, he asked that I choose a book to balance this one and that they’d order it from their library budget.

To my atheist and agnostic friends: What book do you recommend to counter that one? Something modern and accessible, methinks. Any suggestions? Please comment here or email me. Thanks!

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