It's late on Sunday evening and I am sitting at my desk writing a list of things to do in the coming week, listening to Joni Mitchell. The volume is turned up very loud to hide the sound of Luis throwing stones at the tightly closed shutters and ringing the door bell, my phone and my mobile, which he has been doing non-stop for half an hour. It's a wonder the neighbours haven't called the gendarmes.
I've been ignoring his calls since 7.30pm this evening, having decided, while standing outside his apartment in a snow flurry on Saturday afternoon waiting forever for him to open the door - which he didn't - that it was time to call it a day.
Suddenly, the doorbell stops ringing and I hear a plaintive voice, that sounds very close indeed. 'Mimi, ma chérie...' he is saying. 'Je t'aime. Je t'aime beacoup.'
It sounds like he is on the other side of the (very thin) partition wall that separates my bathroom from the apartment next door, now inhabited by his friends Sergio and Luigi.
I turn up the Joni Mitchell even louder but his voice sounds even closer - like he is in the same room. I turn around from my computer screen and find that he is. 'Ma chérie,' he says, holding out his arms and looking very pleased with himself.
I am shocked, alarmed and mystified at how he has managed to gain entry to my house.
'How did you get in?' I demand.
'Love let me in,' he replies, before changing his story to: 'it was Biff who let me in. He opened the door with his paws. Biff loves me.' (I'm not sure about this: Biff, like me, does not quite know what to make of him; and he's been hiding under the bed for the last thirty minutes, wide-eyed at the sound of the stones hitting the shutters and the rest of the racket.)
I am almost tempted to believe Luis that he managed to let himself in through the front door. But the open skylight in the bathroom and the large big black footprints on top of the loo however, suggest that he arrived by rather less conventional means. Yes, he dropped in in SAS style through the skylight. (I swear to god, I am not making this up.) It's no mean feat as he has had to climb onto a roof that is three stories high; and he has also had to open the skylight from the outside.
'You are mad,' I say. 'That was a really mad thing to do.'
'I know chérie,' he replies, before telling me to pack my things and come and live with him. 'You are mad too. That's why I love you.'
I'm beginning to wonder if there is some truth in this. I know that dropping in unannounced through someone's roof is not normal behaviour, but after the initial shock has worn off, I cannot help but find it funny. It's also a little ironic. When Travis told me some time ago that the love of my life would arrive when I least expected it, I replied: 'well, since I spend most of my time home alone working, he'll have to drop in through the roof.' As indeed Luis has done.
Who said that life in rural France was boring?