Fête nationale

I can’t seem to shake the eastern standard time zone. Still going to bed very late and getting up VERY late for me. Yesterday we played musical chairs with all of the furniture in the studio, moving everything around and around until it stopped and made some kind of sense. The space is pretty small and oddly divided with ten chairs and four tables and two single cots. At the entrance, there is a huge closet, or a tiny room with no shelves overstuffed with all the remainders of all the previous residents. Sorry to everyone who hoped to come back someday and reclaim that big bucket of sidewalk chalk and those table napkins marked with all those happy memories. They’re gone. The two cots ended up side-by-side opposite the windows. After three nights of sleeping alongside the windows, my body was beginning to hum like an extension of the boulevard. I at last slept long and fully, except…

This morning we were dragged out of our slow waking by a giant rumble. The trafffic noise here is so amazingly constant and loud that this at first seemed like just another amplification. But, it continued and at measured intervals. I got up and pulled back the heavy blackness of drapes to catch the rumble of a giant shadow crossing the row of maples outside our windows. La fête nationale, yes the storming of the Bastille celebrated today with a show of air force. It looks like we won’t even have to move outside our room today to watch the French parade on Champs Elysée; it comes down our road that hugs the Seine first. Next came the helicopters shaking with sound and just now the cavalry: a three deep, half-mile long, clip-clop of horses with checkered patterns groomed on their upper rump and golden-helmeted passengers. Yesterday morning must have been reward and preparation day for the military as boat after boat – the tourist kind that plys the river constantly went by filled with the cheers and song of soldiers.

Now the road is back to its normal full-bodied flow. Time for breakfast.