Listening to acoustic country music is like listening to Jingle Bells in a sultry whisper. It’s all God! The flag! My cheating significant other! But completely understated to match the soft guitar. This Parisian bistro music station is playing acoustic English and it’s the best pop experience of my life.
I stopped here because there was a seat in the sun and stayed because the waiter- who is clearly a rogue and only submissive for short intervals and to his tattoo artist- casually blew his cigarette toward the road, shot me a curled-lip grin more at home in a “bad boy on campus” chick flick, and flung the sidewalk sandwich board menu at my feet. Utterly cowed by the smirk and his silence, I was stunned into my own… which gave me a chance to hear the tinkling background music of Flo Rida’s “Whistle”, sung ballad-style by a woman who maybe didn’t know it was about a dude rapper asking for a blow job.
I laughed a lot, pointed at stuff, and waited for my food. It’s goat cheese season and whatever came out was amazing. Adam Levine was straight falsetto singing a lullaby “Animal” as I ate, and I think it was to soothe the goats- who I assume were frolicking in the kitchen to ensure optimal freshness- into producing. Good job, goats!
After lunch I resumed my stroll Louvre-ward. The air quality was mediocre (said the sign) but the art quality fantastique, and I was humming an acoustic Thinking Out Loud when the Hotel de Ville dropped to the block out of nowhere and stopped me in my tracks. I am continually awash with awe for artistry here. How can so many buildings be so magnificent? Parisians sure do love the beautiful- in their statues and in their people. Actually, the statues probably inspire the people. If I had to look at perfectly proportioned, well muscled nakeds all the time, I might do things a little differently, too.
The Louvre is another gape-fest. It’s intimidating on a scale I have reserved heretofore solely for the Grand Canyon, and it’s hard to look at with any sense of reality. Once, Amy and I spent all morning driving nails into a piece of wood that we then painted the word “Plinko” on, and it seemed like the sort of day we could have a satisfied beer over, like we’d earned it. The Louvre is another thing altogether. Your liver would spurt like the Fontaine de la Pyramide if you tried to celebrate its completion with an appropriate drink. If I were a character in The Da Vinci Code and you asked me to find a body there, I’d laugh condescendingly at you and go find a goat cheese omelette.
The Tuileries were quiet and peaceful, too, so I read a quick book there before ambling on to the Arc de Triomphe. That one was my least favorite landmark so far because of the thronginess, but I didn’t give it much of a chance because I was thinking about my long walk home.
A solid nine miles ought to have gotten me more statuesque. Except… garçon?