From where I sit – August 5th, 2012
Mes Amis, Bixi here!
I know it’s been a long time between vermouths and too long since my last column. I’ve spent the month since our return grappling with the story that I really wanted to write. A story about my homeland … my heartland, Paris. However, the words just won’t flow.
It’s a sadness I feel. I wanted to write about the last days of my holiday as I wandered the Boulevards, catching up on the gossip deposited around the lamp posts, contemplating the world while sitting underneath a park bench in Les Tuileries … watching children run, old men argue and lovers love.
A sadness because I saw none of this. Maybe it was the rain, I don’t know. I just couldn’t find the Paris I’ve come to love. Everywhere I wandered, I met with anger, intolerance and very sharp umbrellas. Paris was like a stranger, an unknown city. Je suis triste … but I shall not return.
Oh la la, enough of this self-indulgent nonsense. Instead, I will write about a simple man I met in an amazing city.
This man embodies the city I love now. I don’t know his name. I do know he’s a porter for a small ceramic shop. I know he has a large family and I also know that he is incredibly poor.
Try as I might, I still can’t speak his language. Yet, we communicate perfectly. He’s generous, although he has nothing to give other than generosity. He’s tolerant, inviting moi, a total outsider and stranger, to become a member of his family.
He’s old, yet still amazingly strong and agile. Although it was a bit tricky for him to lift himself out of our butterfly chairs in the courtyard! He has a wicked sense of humour even though his life is very hard. And I feel as though I’ve known him all of my life. Oui, Readers, Fes is my new home … away from Palmy, of course!
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