Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Star Trek '12: 1712 AD - Chez Sandrine

The doors of Chez Sandrine were due to be opened, but its proprietor hesitated, for just a moment.  In moments the culmination of her dream was about to be fulfilled.  She had envisioned a hangout where it wouldn’t matter where you came from, who you were, but rather that you could just have a good time.  It was certainly a time in French history where everything seemed possible, and that there would never be an end to it…but the proprietor wondered.

Chez Sandrine had nothing to do with the rest of the country, the rest of the empire, but the proprietor knew that it had only been possible because of these wild, unabashed, and unprecedented successes, the culmination of other dreams and an unconquerable belief that France was the center of the world.

But was it really?

There was that endless feud with England, a rivalry that seemed to stretch far beyond the horizon and used every excuse to continue (and God only knew how it would expand in the New World).  Would an Englishmen be welcomed in Chez Sandrine?  The proprietor, now that she supposed, hadn’t really thought of that.  But hadn’t her vision been all-inclusive?  Had she really considered qualifiers, even if exceptions would include Englishmen?  And if she allowed that, how many more compromises?

That’s why she now hesitated.  For so many months she had pursued her vision, her dream, with a single-mindedness that had surprised even her, but she had once been told that this was the only way to succeed.  But it was also the only way to fail.

Was it really just an ill-advised mistake?  Should she close the doors before they were even opened?  And really, what would be the difference?  Who would even remember Chez Sandrine, in the grand scheme?  It was one silly little girl’s folly, probably wouldn’t even last a year, and if it did, it would be in corrupted form, no longer holding fast to her ideals, the necessary blight that all victories must bear.  Utopias only exist in the past, in someone’s imagination, where they belong.

She was about to walk away, turn her back on the whole enterprise, ignore the journey that had brought her to this moment, when she heard something just on the other side of the door.  Curious, she looked outside the window, and was surprised to see a crowd waiting.  One of the impatient would-be patrons had thrown a rock, and she could only guess how seriously.  It had caused no damage that she could see from the inside.  To further investigate, she would have to go outside.  And, effectively, open Chez Sandrine.

Curiosity got the best of her.

She graciously bowed to her customers, remaining silent, a fairly curious greeting for a passion project, and let each of them enter, closing the door behind them.  There were waiters to take orders, after all, so it wouldn’t be considered too rude, and games to pass the time, including a pool table that seemed to sit at the center of the floor.  She heard the tell-tale crack in moments, while she stooped to examine the building for a ding.  She saw nothing.

She stepped back in minutes later, after catching her breath, pretending that everything was fine, and maybe it was.  She let her worries evaporate in the smoky air being filled by all those who were enjoying Chez Sandrine, as if nothing at all had just occurred, just another moment in a long series of them, and her dream had always existed.

And maybe it had.

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