Gonna Stop by France

Well, I’m back from France, and everything here is blooming and it is raining.  I have no plans.  I am like a flat gray sky: it could be any time of day. This is called jet lag and it hurts my stomach.

France was stone canyons of city, and gardeners in green suits trimming trim hedges.  In France, in Paris, on rainy days in April, no one wears color.   It is just blacks and grays and denim blues.  If they have anything colorful — a scarf, a shoelace — than for sure every other stitch of clothes on them is black.  The clothing stores, however, are full of color. Everyone wears scarves.  Men, women, dogs: scarves. If a scarf was walking down the street, it would also wear a scarf.

In Paris, I walked and walked, mostly in zigzaggy circles, not because I was trying to shake pursuit, and not because I was lost, just because I could.  I could walk in circles all day if I wanted to.  I could go up this street and down that one and who knew what I’d find and when I got hungry: bread and cheese and ridiculous pastries, and when it got dark, I could go home and pet a cat and pretty soon my friend Palash would come back from running the internet and we would go get dinner.

One night we had hot chocolate in a street cafe by the river, while an accordion played on a bridge, and I was like, yep, I’m in Paris.  One night we waited in a crepe line behind two British kids who goddamn better have had a room nearby because they wanted each other so bad they were shaking and the line went on and on and I don’t know if they actually finished their crepes or not but they better have because they were going to need some energy.  One night we ate pizza with crazy things like tartine chicken on it and it was good, but not as good as Biga Pizza in Missoula, sorry Paris, France.  One night we ate Moroccan food and Palash drew up the plans on the tablecloth for the house in the San Juans where he’s going to move to build electric cats. One night we walked by the Pont Neuf, which isn’t new at all, but has a statue on it of this king known by some as the Gay Blade who was stabbed to death by a priest and then the crowd killed the priest and ate him.  Oh, civilization.

One other night, I sort of forgot to come home because I’d met these Tunisian Parisians (say that with me, Tunisian Parisians) who were as awesome as that sounds and we were drinking beer on the bank of the Seine.  I can’t spell their names because I can’t spell in French and they couldn’t spell in English, and no one thought to write them down, but I’d drink with them again.

That night, I peed behind one of these trees. 

Then I took this dazzling photo of my foot.

One day I met a street artist who bought me an aperitif and said things like “You have so much light in your eyes.” You, said Palash, are having a different experience of Paris than I am.  Post-modernism coughs into its hand and says, obviously, but I knew what he meant.

Then we went to Italy for the weekend.


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