Perhaps when you are in a place so beautiful, you believe there is a god. You pray to him/her, you plead, and give thanks, and you stand up and walk away. We sat in the Notre Dame cathedral for a long time, unperturbed by time or thoughts; two ladies in front of us snapping photos and talking. About 5 minutes walk from here along the river Seine are street vendors selling books (sadly in French, if not I would have gone on a book shopping frenzy- which I actually did, throughout the trip) and old film and music posters. Further down, would be Shakespeare and Co., an English bookstore where (let me indulge) Jesse and Celine first met in Before Sunset. I love the movie, so it was nice being there, running my fingers along the spines, punching my fingers on the faulty typewriter, picking up notes left by strangers from a cosy booth.

Perhaps the best memory I had from this place was when I was playing chess with my friend upstairs, and two men, stranger to each other decided on a whim to play the piano together. One plays a running blues bass line while the other does the improvisation and the whole place is filled with sweet, damn sweet music. They shook hands, thanked each other and one left, leaving the other to himself to play the piano on his own while singing. I remember that I was on the verge of crying because everything at that moment in time was beautiful and I wanted so badly to crystallize it, not in words because they are insufficient, but in some sort of visual, perceptival way (and I wished you were there with me).

It was raining quite heavily while we took shelter in Shakespeare and Co. From the piano blues, we sat in another corner on a dark green couch, listening to some Appalachian blues from outside (for a moment, I forgot I was in Paris), with the cold wind on my skin.

I’m so intrigued by the cube shaped trees!

This is at Montparnasse cemetery. I made it a point to come here just for Jean Paul Sartre and I quote a friend: Visiting his grave and not care. Among the dried flowers and cigarettes, I left a note.

More soon.


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