Tuesday, October 4, 2005

A String of Diamonds, Pearls on Sunday

I keep dreaming about Paris—St. Germain, really. The Left Bank and Café de Flore… a nicoise and a pernod in the shadow of the eglise…A cliché—yes. But, I’m all right with that. The fantasy is of me and an older man…

“You have a princess neck,” he says, trying to roll his tongue around the “r’s,” soften them up to suit my American ear.

“I do?” I demur, trying for a moment to be the good Southern girl of years past. At present, I’m very busy being maudlin and analyzing my big city life across the pond.

“One meant for a string of diamonds. Pearls on Sundays.” A slow sip of the Calvados and he continues staring.

It is some weeknight in October and I am stroking the blonde hairs on my neck and the old, tanned Frenchman next to me is thankful for the breeze off the Seine and his Cubano cigar and the forgiving light cast by Flore’s awning. The golden hue takes ten years off and he knows it. Without a pause, he asks me to write my phone number on his crisp, linen kerchief.

“Ahh, but you won’t answer your phone,” he says, suddenly coy.

“Of course I will.”

The Frenchman and I continue exchanging lies.

Why not? Joan Didion told me that, “I could stay up all night and make mistakes and none of it would count.”

Paris begs for mistakes… and then for all to be forgotten over a café au lait and croissant in the morning.

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