Saturday, March 22, 2008
Un Soir dans Paris
Evenings in Paris aren't what they used to be.
On a moonlit evening years ago, lovers held mittened hands, laughing as they shook the snow from their hair, gently spending an unhurried evening.
It doesn't snow anymore, and people spend most of their time inside. When it's 36 degrees Celsius, no one spends more time outside than they have to.
The workers sit outside in the daytime, though, because they can't afford anything better. In the daytime, everything is sepia because that's just the color it should be in the heat. That's what the French say.
The French were always poets.
That's the joke now. The government and the workers call the class that can afford to stay inside Poets. The poets, it is said, comment on everything but never accomplish anything, and would stay inside and write poetry and sip brandy if they didn't have to step into the alley to smoke a cigarette every half-hour.
The poets sometimes refer to the government as the army. That's their joke. They're convinced that the only way the government knows how to solve problems is with guns.
It's not hard to see why the poets call the government the army, especially with a police sniper at the end of every street, in bulletproof glass cubes with a hole for their gun, covering the street in front of them for any workers looking suspicious.
Something had to be done, anyway, what with all the windows that were getting broken.
The poets didn't really care for the workers, but the workers hated the poets. The poets never really understood that the enemy of your enemy is still your friend, even if they're shooting at you. The workers liked progress.
The workers liked progress even when it was sepia-toned outside, and everything inside was fluorescent, and police snipers were using you for target practice.
It's hot now, and that makes people sad.