Sunny Jones is sitting in the sun on the terrace of Le Babylone legs crossed, one foot flipping the toe of a tan suede loafer, so that when we cross the street, my first thought is – I want those shoes. Yeah, shallow, but let’s not get preachy. It’s spring. Pastel sweaters, flowy embroidered shirts, make us feel alive again. We all get a sudden interest in suede loafers, salsa, Liberty prints, whatever it is. Spring fever. Truth is, when May rolls around, I generally start coveting shoes. Oh, there was this one pair, worn by a guy (but who cares) – a pair of grass green suede loafers with small brass buckles on the side. Beautiful. On that Wednesday morning I sat worshiping his shoes for 7 metro stops.
Speaking of worship and stuff… Andrew and I went to a concert last night to see Father John Misty, kinda folk, psychedelic rock. You might know him. Andrew discovered the guy, intrigued (definitely!) by his name. As Andrew told some friends, “He brings to the stage the intensity of an ex-evangelical.” And he’s got this long hair. You should have seen how they lit him. From behind, so as he approached the stage, there was this aura, like the approach of a celestial being. What techies might call angelic or ‘Jesus lighting.’ His band is rocking. Plus, Father John’s got piercing eyes and a pensive way. And he wore his black shirt unbuttoned half-way down.
You get the picture. What I was eager to tell Sunny and Dawson cause I was still jazzed up, you know, on the after-show vibe/energy of great music. I swear I even woke up looking all glow-y. Like her name, Sunny is all glow-y. She is also 80 years old, so I’ve got to get on with this story, as she needs to go home in the afternoon for a nap. Sunny, (Sandra back in California) wears a lot of thick gold jewelry, moved to Paris after her husband, a doctor in Carmel, died and left her a small fortune and is making a new life for herself here. She is teaching me how to speak my mind. I’m no amateur. But she’s a pro. Being around her, I feel the hogwash rinse away, and the snappy lines blossom forth.
I’d brought Dawson along too. Dawson is into holistic healing and Sunny has some joint issues, so I thought they could talk thru that. Introductions. Kiss, kiss. Dawson and I smoosh into chairs around the small round table, bumping, like usual, into 4 others as we get shifted and comfy. Sunny is telling Dawson that “Thank god that couple at the next table finally left, both smoking like chimneys. The French haven’t gotten the message about lung cancer, have they?” She eyes two girls smoking up a storm, but a few tables down. Everyone else have their faces raised up to the sky. Just a little warmth, please.
“By the way, Sunny,” I say, “you’re gorgeous in those loafers.” She waves her hand, dismissing me, her gold bracelets jangle. At 80, she knows what’s what. After we’ve caught up for a minute and Dawson has suggested some herbs and soaks and some guru masseuse in the Marais, I tell them about the concert. “Last night we saw Father John Misty at the Alhambra and he’s amazing.” I pause for effect. Sunny is right with me, “Darling, you never told me you were Catholic.” She looks a bit put out. “No, no,” I laugh, “not that kind of Father, he’s this singer. But he’s got this presence…” I paint the picture. Sunny smiles. Father John’s sounding right up her alley. “Next time,” she says, “call me.”
He’s in Berlin tomorrow night, I tell them. I’d gotten kinda carried away scoping out his tour schedule, listening to his albums all day. “I mean, we could grab a train.” I let the idea float and for a free-floating minute, I do believe that Sunny considers it.