From Georgette Delarue's journal

February 20, 2003

Paris

The sun was warmer today, warmer than the white ice that reflected off the drab, gray sides of square buildings in Berlin. Sidewalks cafes spilling out onto the street, shoppers licking at windows like thirsty mutts, panhandlers leaving the subway tunnels for a bit of fresh air, passers by j-walking across the avenues, cyclists dusting off their wheels, and teenage riff-raff bringing out the skates. A rare Winter day when the sun shines on "La Capitale" and I went out, to look at photos, drop off a FedEx and find a birthday present, crazy with errands to run in the afternoon. The subway in Paris is beautiful, like a circus might be. It is easy to use, you buy your ticket and can get to a million places. There are always some Eastern European clowns playing bad accordeon music along to a synthesizer beat blaring out of a portable speaker they carry along with them, going from car to car asking for a change for their entertainment. The occasional homeless man, sometimes selling street newsrags, gives his sob story, it tears me apart for a second and then the cynicism kicks in: how do I know he is telling the truth? You always think he might take the money and drink it off, leave his two kids and wife stranded without food for days on end. Sometimes I give, more often I don't. And then hate myself and society for it. One woman is reading a book and I peer over her shoulder to see the title, catch a few lines form the page she is reading, read the headlines of the financial paper the man next to her is perusing without passion, very detached. It's almost surreal, an absurd painting of modern society. The walls of the tunnels to get to the surface are pasted over with adposters for movies, theaters, concerts, new luxury items, electronics, furniture, internet addresses for lonely people, Madonna's got a mustache and devil's ears on this one, so does Carrie-Ann Moss. When is that Matrix Revolutions coming out? When the fuck am I getting out of this tunnel?


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