09 January 2011

Listening to Django Reinhardt

Sitting here at the kitchen table, listening to that blessed Gypsy, another week is due to get underway in about twelve hours, and I think, as I often do when listening to him, that in some cases two fingers were better than four.  I can't imagine going through life with only two functioning fingers, but I can hardly imagine Django Reinhardt with four.  Do you know what I mean?  Just listen to the guy rip along in a fast number and you can hardly imagine it at all.  Crazy.

How many of us are limping through life on all four fingers, while we watch others create true art and achieve great success with only two digits?  I have watched people that I really thought were really quite hampered by some grave handicap, and I have watched them as they made life look easy.  Then some simp like me comes onto the scene, having what I thought were all of my ducks in a row, and I manage to screw things up royally - it does not matter that I have all four fingers, existentially speaking...I have been unable to even play the scales of life on some days.  Never the matter, however.  There is always Paris...and we always have a cocktail mixer in the freezer.

Truth be known, I have only been to Paris once and I did not enjoy myself.


Paris looked a lot like any other city in the late December snows - a lot more French, obviously, but it could have passed for a city in Quebec or, if you squinted, New York.   Tell that to a Parisian and he will be livid, but he will get over it in a short while.  Anyhow, Paris looked a lot like any other city, but it had a rather distinct smell - one I did not care for, and one I do not wish to experience again anytime soon.  The impression (and the smell) that I took away was framed by riding on a too-full car in the Metro, surrounded by sweaty Frenchmen.  It was hot.  God, was it hot.  The outside temperature could have been thirty below zero for all I cared (although it was a lot more temperate than that), as I was only concerned with the humid, smelly interior of a subway car that was rising steadily to match or surpass body temperature, and smelled like a junior high school locker room.  I nearly threw a stomach full of madeleines and espresso all over the floor of the Metro station when I exited at Gare du Nord.  Mind you, the exquisite aroma of madeleines, espresso and bile might be a fair improvement for Paris.

Yeah...we'll always have Paris.  You can keep it, frankly.

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