A honeymoon in Paris
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Paris Sketchings. By P. L. George.

Day 1:

Recovering from the wedding. Nine hour flight to Paris, crammed cabin, frigid, watched the soccer movie with Will Farrell. OKAY. Landed, groggy, jet lagged, mess. Paris is full of metrosexuals, aristocratic. I’m the ideal American, rugged, individualist, crudeness as a definition in these eyes, touristy, till they know I can actually write something. With my girl naked, chain smoking cigarettes like we’ll never get another. Bliss, the tower lit like a NASA rocket burning, just outside our balcony.

Should have prepared for French. I go back to Spanish when struggling saying si…they don’t understand. Two bistros on our street. The watchers, jacketed connoisseurs of people. Too high in dress, but not intellectually, I suspect.

Two a.m.- just like home, the city coming to silence. My girl naked. Me, in my boxers, scribbling, stacked spent butts in the ashtray. Taking it all in. Slowing my mind down. Sirens bang the night, EEAW, EEAW, not like the sirens of home. I haven’t slept in forever. Don’t want to miss anything.

Ate toasted baguettes with fromage and tomatoes in bed. Watched the moon get jealous of the sparkling tower. Am I here? It seems a dream, pulled out of my body, someone else living it. Me on my stomach, Andrea’s hand on the back of my thigh, she’s the sleeper in this relationship, me the insomniac.

I was reminded, or should I say why I always loved her. She understands me, will jump everything for me, and I her. Everyone I think has picked a headstone, wrote the epitaph. Another hypocrite who wrote Bullet died in suburbia by his own hand, a pistol, marriage. No, I’m a new defender of such things, they will see. The disgruntled lovers who found no one, the truth in all things the most important- love, friend companion, crying shoulders…to love, cheers.

Louvre tomorrow, build a memory, still living…good night.

Day 2:

As I watch soccer at midnight, those melodramatic actors when fouled, as if life was ending. Yesterday walked to the Tour de Eiffel, monstrous, bounced up the street where it stood, kissing sky, brown and bronzed, videoed in ecstasy, strolled through, looked up with breathless eyes in grand wondered dizziness, Walked what seemed eternity through near accidents, lost…me and Andrea in electric Paris. Found the Champs, the Arc de Triomphe. All the stores closed, when they opened, couldn’t afford anything. Nothing caught me, like Socrates through the Athens markets. I like the dust, dirt clothes, not metrosexual feminine. Bought a burger, fries, and Coke Light (no ice) at Quick Burger. Smoked with my girl about life and love. Annoyed a little, but hell, I’m in Paris. Walked some more. Disappointed in the touristy Champs, want the old books and art and expatriates, the earth. Felt old, it’s all the bread, fat, we underdressed in Paris, even to take a shit, ragamuffins. Came home and crashed for four hours, thank God for taxis. Driver annoyed I was a five Euro fare. Slept for four, first, sipped Heineken in the hotel bar. Across from us, four Irish or German who spoke English well. The older, I imagined named Dieter, knocked over a stool, we laughed. My engine kicked, went to a café night high, fevered. Me jacketed, watching people run about, ate bruschetta (the salt cured ham I think a pizza). My girl, blonde hair in the dirty city wind, flopping like Paris Hilton, but smart and more intriguing.

Found heaven, Malone’s bar close to the Splendid. Satellite radio sucks, only it seemed Brittney Spears and hip hop, got lit, Heineken tap, then strong white Russians, when it was pulsing, me in the dionysis mood. Andrea LIT. Got courageous, bought tequila shots, loosen the Frenchies up. We tapped frosted glasses to each other, to relations. I imagine politics in this bar, understanding through liquor, we’d either kill each other or make love, its’ all how you take your alcohol, the eternal truth. Talked of writing with one who spoke English, about Jack Kerouac, he spoke On the Road, we tipped some more back. My girl, sexy, sophistication, hooker heels, stiletto dress, bliss swirl. Watched the mademoiselle dump her cleavage toward me in beauty, dirty blonde, nose pierce, I thought of rose. Andrea, sober, no children even drunk, no children, me too, spread me sad, no chained kids, next year Barcelona, the bulls calling….. but I lust for New York.

Cool bartender, whipped hair, barely 22, bought shots on the house for us, we live tonight. My girl turns drunk, but with sober words, I understand you. She doesn’t have to say. I turn up, higher cliffs of love, and it’s not just the city’s effect. Went home at twelve after boasting I’m a published writer, holy bum poet saint. Don’t remember the walk, Andrea my police made drunken phone calls to Mom and her sister. To Paris, salute, drunk as the old bards would salute. Till tomorrow… sweet hemingway

Day 3:

Hung over. The vodka is not my friend in the morning. Held Andrea’s hair over the toilet, my standard position. Oh, how she used to hold her liquor.

Ate our breakfast for twelve Euros in the dining room of the Splendid. Booked a trip to Versailles. Hung over. Tired, beat, felt all of my forty years. The tour guide, smart, petite, French, blonde boy hair, waif, pissed at the traffic, Steven, a poet friend would fall for that tongue alone Versailles took the tour, ornateness in it’s high definitions, beautiful, monstrous, went to the garden, I thought, all this for one man, the mad Louis, too much time on his dead mind, while all of Paris lived in the unwashed gutters. Marie Antoinette insane, head rightly rolling off a guillotine blade. Hoped for Claude Monet in Giverny beauty, hope, sleepy village, full now with the veins and arteries of tourist crap that leeches on once the great are silenced. Saw the Japanese garden, water lilies, wondrous, joyous, beyond the company of words.. Thought a quiet heaven had come down and found rest. Claude, that big mystic, with paradise on his fingers, carved out Shangri la, in an outpost hermitage…..saw Singer Sergeant paintings in the village, at the musee de America, the offerings of little ole America, toasting their French fathers… tired beat ragged, alive, with all my eyes taking in aesthetics in my humbled mind….. must write, lay it there on the the page, the destiny, like these star epitaphs that glisten still on the immortal mounts. Andrea slept on my shoulder on the ride back to Paris and I only thought of the love definitions, her the first word…I fall in love with her more everyday in mad Paris…..can my eyes contain much more, tomorrow the louvre…Friday the nude wild of the crazy horse, building life and memories ourvre…good night

Day 4:

Started out at the louver, passed napoleons tomb, a man important then, now just a name. Louvre, Italian saint goth paintings of mendicants staring to mute sky for forgiveness and release………a trillion of the same paintings…saw the Mona Lisa, ones eyes must fall on those black pools before expiring…. Cut it early after the French impressionist section was closed……went Pompidou, a cool market place, thug appareled frenchies, black and white frenchies slipppin sideways, mike jones ballers, just funny, clichés. I got a piercing, across from a guiness bar, appropriate for me, an eyebrow piercing, for Paris marks and memories. Bought Steven Baudelaire’s flowers of evil on the street along the seine…..Ate some pizza with shaved lamb, nasty it was baking in the glass case probably since last week…walk the streets, taking wind out of the guts of Paris, alive. Walked to St. Germaine, more shops, couldn’t get the review anywhere, the French language a barrier,, walked in circles and circles, past all the French demure stone walkers…the women beautiful, uppity, hard for us gutter blokes, but imagined them as brown porcelain with thin long noses, really cold and sedate….Ate plateu de formage, overpriced 10e chased it with a coca cola light, still 33 calories, still no ice…the piercing tweeking and stings a little, he didn’t use a piercing gun, just stabbed a scissors into it……My girl nude in bed, after we make love through our open window, the traffic turning to sleep…Put fall out boy on the cd player, makes me feel America and young as I push the lines of 40….. I found out today that a man can overdose on cultured things, to be so reserved and refined like the French with a sedative smile. I was born for the wild cliffs, jumping fun of bouncy crazy, we the uncouth, the bloody Americans….they could learn a thing or two from us….if I’m into art I must be serious and old with a concrete brow, no smile…blah blah blah….. maybe it’s the cd. Maybe it’s identity, I feel myself in the crossheres of myself, set free from the stench of haughty eyes, the morose, the bloody French Ginsberg looked east, Kerouac within and out into America, we have the answers here…. I’ll carve out an obscene corner of brilliance, wielded by my own happy obscene hand…Greg’s gonna have trouble here, when he honeymoons,,,, Galileans poets will fit, nicely..If Greg hates the people in Vox, he’ll go over sucidal thoughts here, often… the pretentious flourish, the real are pushed to the seas fortresses…oh well you live and learn, hell it’s Paris…tomorrow the crazy horse, French tits and unshaven armpits, should be brilliant, till we meet again…..

Day 5:

The day slammed sunny hot, decide to go to houseman, a kind of Sistine chapel mall at the end of the champs…all high tail bourgeoisie clothes Dior, Chanel, Louis Vitton just musing the whole time, that there is nothing in the French mind but vanity and what label they put on their olive backs…a little irritated at the quasi mall that went round and round. With mosaic heaven themes painted on the ceiling…every sale guy and girl dressed impeccably, as if they spent a thousand years in front of the mirror…Greg would hate this place. I bitched and moaned at Andrea over the metro tunnel to leave, nothing interesting to see, however, only the opera house, which we stole to build our miniscule capitol,,,,,Andrea so distracted by everything her eyes corralled only in Oklahoma and tejuana once…begged for taxis none, went to the other side immediately, caught one, onto st, Michele, more my speed, Andrea’s indecision of where to eat, again, first sitting at a pizza place, then her eyes catching the sign across the way, authentic French cuisine, ah the whims of a women, me not caring, I’ll throw anything down my throat, cold or hot. We got away from the pissed Italian waiter who brought our water, across the cobble stoned street…with the proprietor, and what I perceived a family member, or spouse running the whole joint, her older, bleached/black hair, dyed strangely, gorged split, somewhat of a peasant dress you see in a Fellini movie, older maybe on the other side of fifty, but those tits, still young and vibrant, showcasing….Imagined her open and hairy unkept, with all her European earth between her thighs….But my girl, the doe eyed special, innocent, in suffering vulnerable, I the hero to her in almost everything I am…..encouraging, bleeding love out of every gesture and emotion and breath….for what would I do without such loveliness and caring upon my perpetual suffering that recreates itself every dawn….I’m in the moods of rilke…. had fondue, with three cheeses, hadn’t had it in a long time, forgot you dip it with stale bread… decided on gluttony, had the chocolate fondue which we dipped banana, kiwi, pear, pineapple, apple and something else which I couldn’t make out…then a crepe thinly stuffed with sausage and cheese, which was good.. sat next to two german girls, rose cheeked, in that hue, with soft natural rouge, that rushed back memories of my dutch grandma. Then older men with strolling violins and accordion, French, but reminded me of Venice, like organ grinders but missing the monkey…Washed it all down with the 2nd bottle off coca cola light, about to bust….Traveled the shops, bought a french bracelet, for two euros from a russian head shop… Andrea peeking in all the shops, for what she could stuff in her suitcase, to turn our apartment into Paris… all the book stands on the cobbled street, jetting out… but the little green stands along the seine, all self contained, fastened to the cement walls that run along it, in all their simplicity, as it should be, with old books by Jules Verne, and Hugo and Cervantes and Steinbeck and Cocteau, and Celine. Old beaten binding as if they survived and thrived and made it through this bloody age, that couldn’t come up with anything… got ballsy. Then not, to put the reddirtreview on their shelves language the ugly barrier, the curse of the babel tower…I imagined I would bang literature in their ears, sipping absinthe, toasting Rimbaud and Monet and how brilliant they were… but I just sat there like some dumb American, though cultured in my small town, this at the time, a little above me…came back, watched the five channels, which was german, tell of the evacuation in Houston, where we were flying into… got ready in my only sport coat, are they called that now? My girl picking it out at Burlington, she loving me knowing just what I will go for, just above the threads of the dress code….Paid the Paris tour guide, arab, for the night, took us to de vez, a lonely but nice café bar…. Sat with my girl in the moon, eating delicately and in a slight struggle. If you peaked around the corner, the eifel was lit and vibrant, sparkling in the backdrop of the 9 o-clock black Paris sky.. The millennium was when they lit the strobes on the tower and the Parisians liked it so much that they kept it…ate sea bass, which was excellent and salad, and burned custard, which was the best thing I’d had here….sipped cheap wine, like a old American rail rider, out of expensive crystal glasses, so white the glistened off her eyes…. Made our way to the crazy horse, just one wrung below the red dog strip club back home, French style… pervert show, pervert row, red velvet was bleeding of the pillowed ceiling, and had two complimentary drinks, Andrea Heinekens me scotch like a shriner at a convention. Asian tourist, business men, howled, at the first appearances of pussy, like they’d never seen one….. my girl bangin’ dressed to the nines, black short skirt, high heels, a little prostitutey, I thought, they thought…. The show, dancing light beautiful women, red paint, darkest mascara….couldn’t smoke, paralyzed by the second scotch, close towards catatonic…. Smoked cigarettes out on the red carpet with the driver, drunk small Asians, leering, undressing my girl, barely looking away…imagined Iawo, the dancer, which was written on the back of her shirt, stealing peeks at me.. but we all think that at strip clubs but she the only one that stood out with any type of sparkle, the others concentrating zombie like on their routines, been there done that looks… but an experience, this is the anthem, try anything. All the jet lag and lack of sleep caught up with me in the three glasses of wine… wanted bed or home… the first three days crammed with the sights, the louvre, the champs, the arc the tower, Versailles nirvanic Giverney, and then all the sipping of espresso like some aloof frenchie…the contemplative cafes, the simplicity , of just life. Watching…I think I could get used to it with a little more time and practice… can’t get a read on the French women, so stoic, worshiped, by men as soon as the hit puberty, it’s all about the chase for the men in paris, it’s the way they dress, what they do for a living, everything like a gq mag, ripped into reality here… colored shoes everywhere, even the men in red adidas, and soccer jackets, and trimmed jeans, metro glorious, don’t want to be them…

Day 6:

Andrea nude, comatose, the night, I slept six hours, feel good enough, the first grey day, the rain has softened the fever of the streets, the mood wet, subdued, tranquil, holy.. I’ll take it easy today just watch, write and sip coffee… these days have been mad the wedding, planning, Paris…running… in the sidewalk of the café,, the shaded clouds float maybe two hundred feet above, the Orleans balconies dotted with small geraniums and monet’s soft blooms…Sit next to Italians one raven haired older steals a menu from my table to see if she still has it… she does. Her husband older, beaten eyes, at how he will pay for all this to keep her happy…. Rainy foggy cold reminders of London or seattle, a sad Saturday, but not for me.. Just going to feel art today, let Paris grab me like a valium smooth, let it rest there for awhile… as I sip my second café ladoux, I watch the intermittent walkers stroll and gaze up at all of it, and I wonder if I’ve lost something, my forty years always on my mind… but hell there’s hope, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Sean Connery, age a connoisseur of experience…our street is dull with british suburbanites, I imagine from across the pond on holiday, Paris out of the dreary clouds of marriage…I’ve made the vows to her, and more importantly to myself, that we wont burn out like the rest.. keep a sense of wonder, the vibrancy. Experience keeps all things new and sunsplashed and routine and dormancy in white pickets, a three headed leviathan. I have a girl that comprehends long suffering, what I have to do, like some small Christ mission.. to write…. I take the reddirtreview across the way, to a french clerk, hopefully the owner on rue29 de tourville, who sweeps out front, and with my jagged French get it in their, this little engine that could is now in San Fran New York, and now Paris, the trifecta…And as I walk back in the thin razor breeze, I’ll see if she’s awake and she will fall on my graying chest and I will here her breathe, exhale and inhale, and everything will be good again…Good night, Paris

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