Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Version Pas Originale

There's the romantic comedy version of our 24-hour trip to Paris, where a kooky pair of lovebirds hop a couple of bicycles outside Gare Austerlitz and cycle through the nearly deserted streets of Paris on a soft Sunday evening in August.

Or there's the American Express commercial version where some middle-aged couple dine on steak frites at a great little cafe in the Marais, tracked down through Chowhound and David Leibovitz's blog.

There's the Godard version where two lowlifes grab a pair of bikes and cruise the Elysee Palace and Champs Elysee at midnight, putting the guards outside the president's residence on alert and scaring the tourists by riding down the middle of the sidewalk because the bike lane is jammed with stretch hummers.

There's the political thriller where the couple spend a fretful night in a garret apartment, with the full moon through the skylight. They know the husband has an interrogation by the US government the next morning. After months of preparation his papers are there, in the suitcase. Their future hangs in the balance. The clock ticks past three AM, four AM, five. When the alarm sounds, they've barely slept. She says goodbye, not knowing if she'll ever see him again.

There's the creepy sad movie version where an old woman sits everyday from 11 AM til 1 PM at a cafe near the Madeleine. She wears the same ancient pair of jeans, ballet slippers and striped top that she's worn every day for the last twenty years. Every so often she glances at an antique cellphone that's long since stopped functioning. In her faded Brooklyn Industries messenger bag is a picture of him. The tourists ask and the waiter shakes his head sadly. "She's here every day, at this time, looking over towards that corner by the US Embassy. She thinks her husband is coming back to tell her that he's got the visa and they can go to America. It's very sad..."

Or finally the music video version (to the strains of Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go") where the woman looks up from her coffee to see the guy coming towards her, victorious. They embrace and then there's a montage of meals and cafes and Paris Plages and a whirlwind shopping spree, with the couple popping out of various dressing rooms in cute outfits. They finally collapse on the 6:30 PM train back home to the countryside.


Jon said...

Geez, Amy the suspense was killing me!
Southpaw will rock next month and this reporter can't wait.

– Jon

KudzuCarl said...

Best wishes for the most successful tour ever -- and have a safe trip.

Rosie said...

They are going to let this dangerous couple in then?

Le Tigre in France said...

That is a great blog post! I love the way you framed your trip!

Michele said...

I love this!!

F.O.T. said...

Wow, that is quite the tale(s)

amy said...

You and me both Jon. As I waited for Eric I sat there rationalizing all the reasons why it would be for the best if the visa didn't come through (no one'll show up anyway, there'll be hurricanes, the election, the recession). Now I am really getting excited to come to the US - and NY...can't wait!

thanks Carl, hope to see you in Atlanta. I'm sending a bulletin to all our cousins.

Yes Rosie, amazing isn't it? On our bio now, we have a pullquote that says Eric is an "alien of extraordinary ability." US Govt

le Tigre you probably recognized a few films? Though I felt cheap about using the Wham song, I know I could've done better...

Thanks Michele!

F.O.T.- you're back, I'm glad.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

great writing here, I keep meaning to let you know that. Pictured bits of truth in each ... also you could take any one of those and run with them for an outlandishly entertaining short story. (don't tempt me...lol)

travelling, but not in love said...

Love it. Whichever one it was, it sounds great and I hope you had a good trip.

Robert said...

Everything a blog post should be, and so rarely is.