A while back we were riding on the metro and my oldest daughter was sitting with her friend, both gazing out the window, their commute home on a Tuesday afternoon. I listened to them complain of this or that, things about their day, the school, the other kids. We were on the elevated line, line 6, that cruises high above the 15th arrondissement and crosses the Seine on the high tracks looking down on the busy streets and into windows of facing buildings and halfway across the river, looking back on the opening vista of the city, my daughters friend turns and says, “even though I’ve lived here all my life, I never get tired of looking out these windows.”
Yesterday walking down rue Dragon, there is this noise, unusual, some avant-garde sound that grows louder. As a man nears, I realize it’s him whistling. My dog is perplexed, she prances on her hind legs the more to figure it out. The whistler notices. I say, “she must think you are whistling for her.” He says, “she must think I am speaking her language.”
On the narrow sidewalk, a girl on a unicycle is riding toward me early Sunday morning so casually you’d think everyone was up doing it.
There is a guy singing in the metro. We’re down a few halls but I can hear him. Strong rich voice growing stronger as we near. A song about love. He’s giving it all there in the La Motte Pic metro on a dark and rainy morning at 8:10am. And I remember him. I’ve heard him before and been impressed before. I want to stop and take out a few coins but we pass swiftly like everyone else needing to get where we are going.
I’m in Darty ordering a washing machine, but it’s a complicated transaction. Someone overhears me, asks if she can help, this stunning British girl like she walked out of 60’s London. She orders my machine, my vacuum, then later we run into each other again at a cafe around the corner. We laugh about her saving my domestic life.
In the G20 grocery, a French woman crowds me in the produce section, I make my space, then at the avocado bin, she sees me pinching the avos. At the moment I think she might reprimand me, she asks me how I choose good ones. In French I say, not too soft, not too hard, look for the darker skins. She finds two and puts them in her basket.
When the dog needs to go out or when we are suddenly out of milk or when someone must be walked to the library, it always seems such a pain to… do it all once again, to put on everything, to freshen up, face it and look decent, and get out the door.
But once out the door: All those stunning little moments of engagement.
“Remember how we used to love, baby, Love like it was everything… Baby you and me, we’ll change the game.” DM