To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.
Chapter Three: My Life of Decadent Sensualism in Paris (Continued)
Previously: After fantasizing about a beautiful stranger, the Fool arrived in Paris–alone.
The train was all done.
It was like a live birth,
with hundreds of dewy, wet little things
crawling out on shaky legs
and blinking into the foggy, grey early morning sun.
I remember her as “Yvette”–
smiled and walked out of my life,
apparently never having had any idea
that we were in love.
Ah, well. Love is like that.
That was one of the better relationships I’ve had, actually.
I remember I was in love once
and it was pretty nice,
but after awhile my skin began to wrinkle.
That was when I knew I’d been in too long.
So I got out and dried off and acted indifferent.
But that got dull, too,
so I threw off my towel and dove in again.
I mean, what else was there to do?
Love is like that.
Was it going to be like that now?
“No. No!” I thought. “Give lust a chance to do its stuff.”
So I shook off the rain and went walking.
But the Louvre was closed and Jaques Brel was dead–
he was no longer alive or well or living in Paris–
and the business of romance had slowed considerably.
I hung around in the rain for hours,
not really wanting to go inside anywhere,
but finally decided on a little café just off the “Boulevarde de Maupassant,”
I think (I felt like such a Yank).
After staring at the menu for a long time
I ordered the one thing I recognized,
“poulet et frites” (chicken and french fries),
and some red wine.
My gaze happened upon the oil and vinegar cruets
on the table in front of me.
It was funny. It made me laugh.
They looked like two feisty French roosters
collared together, back to back, ready to make war.
Ten paces, and then,
Splash! Lettuce flying; tomato seeds spilt
over the honour of some mademoiselle poulet!
I was getting drunk.
To read Fool’s Odyssey 13, click here.