The Village that Eats its Own Tail

May 20

Eguisheim is the village that eats its own tail, the Ouroboros, the alchemist’s emblem, the ring on my index finger. Fashioned from two concentric circles, Eguisheim is a memory of infinity mortared to last forever and a day. Already Eguisheim has been devouring itself for a thousand years, washing down the dusty centuries with sips of the local sparkling wine.

The infinite village has already dressed for its immortality: thick as a death-mask, plaster cakes the façades, and they’ve all been given a makeover in Chanel’s spring palette. Like corpses contorted with rigor mortis, the homes lean against one another at uneasy angles. Vigils of marigolds fill window-boxes and climbing roses embalm balconies.

I could hunt infinity through these circling streets all evening, but then I meet the cat. He is a streetking, this cat. Though it’s only seven and the sunlight has hardly started slanting eveningward, he is frocked out in his tuxedo. He struts it up on the fender of a yellow cruiser for a few glamour shots, but then he lets me get intimate.

When I shut my eyes, he feels like my homecat after one of her ruthless summer shedding. This French charmer even lets me indulge my fetish for feline bellies. As Calvin says: “Nuzzling tiger tummies is one of the greatest pleasures of life.” The alchemists hunted eternal life through arcane symbologies and the periodic table, but all I need is a cat’s true love to feel immortal as a god.

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