A Paris Journal

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris.... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, like a moveable feast. Ernest Hemingway

Location: Sonoma, California, United States

I am constantly a work in progress.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Paris Moment

A wise young friend of mine informed me in a casual conversation over lunch, that he was a prisoner of his demographic. It was one of those well crafted throwaway lines that I can fall in love with. He knew the fickle nature of his audience. But then, I have always been a sucker for Peter’s charm.

Peter is the junior partner of the Pete ‘n Al show. It is a keenly competitive crowd, I always feel my creative juices coursing and my humor on high alert in their presence. Peter is the ‘probie’ you always fall for. Al is the princess of brevity and understatement. Like all artists, her angle of orientation is slightly askew, she catches you by surprise.

Peter and Alison spent 4 days with us in Paris and we made the rounds of the usual suspects: The Pompidou Museum, The Eiffel Tower, a Seine cruise, the weekend flea markets, and a hair salon. Yes, Peter left Chicago in need of a trim and my graying locks were long overdue.

Our wives dropped us off at the Frank Provost Salon. The girls stayed long enough to see the salon staff put us in white smocks, watched us negotiate our haircut with great hand gestures and fractured French and then they left.

Peter went first and his college French and charm was carrying the day. I saw him regaling his stylist Malika, with broad arm gestures and smiling stories. I waited in back and was then delivered to the shampoo line where my meager French went begging. The woman ‘shampooee’ to my right, gratefully translated my wishes.

I was delivered to an English challenged, young woman named Gail. She very charmingly tried to communicate with her French challenged client while her boss came over to keep asking me about the proper pronunciation of American English idioms. It was a confusing day.

Peter was finally finished, he profusely thanked Malika, got a coffee and sat in the empty chair to my right, and he had a broad smile on his face. Gail was finishing up my haircut by shaping the back with a straight razor. Peter and I have been through many great and humorous experiences. I reached over and slapped his leg, Peter I said this is another of those memorable experiences to be treasured and banked in the memory account.


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