Un printemps / été à Paris.
Riding the metropole by bike.
Attracted by its astonishing light and its turning sky.
Searching for the most suspended,
sometimes oracular atmospheres of this "ville Monde",
that continuosly redefines the edges of its magic.
Every year a boulangerie in Paris wins Le Grand Prix de la meilleure baguette,
the prize for the best baguette.
Today I think that I have taken the worst one.
I've found it in the 10th arrondissement.
The boulangerie was empty, I had to imagine it.
It tastes like polystyrene.
However, it is nice to be outside today with a sandwich.
I stuffed it with cherry tomatoes and I bite it sitted near to some construction sites,
where they are working also today, even if it is Sunday.
A Falcon jet sails light in the sky. Perhaps a CEO coming back from Corsica.
Sunday evening is probably the most dangerous moment for pedestrians:
people do not want to prepare their dinner.
So the streets are sawed wildly by the scooters of the takeaways.
They appear just preceded by their chainsaw noise.
Underground, in the metro grid, other phenomena take place. Underground I don't take photos,
but sometimes I note something on a paper.
I close my eyes for a moment: in this way you can feel so much better the fluctuations of the metro,
taking curves, even if on the map they let you believe that it runs in a straight line.
Before resurfacing, I drop on the tracks what remains of my sandwich: just a crumb of bread.
Immediately some rats emerge from a black hole behind the cables.
A couple of girls in the opposite quai jump terrified.
It is better to stay outside, definitely.
The air is clean.
The evening sun snaps the metallic sheets of the roofs.
In the signs complexity offered by Paris there are terraces or things just a few meters above your head,
things that you notice only when a telescopic crane touches them, I realize.
Like that one: a kind of metal arm pointing like an arrow to something that otherwise I would not see.
Look at the clouds, they are dark today, fat and low.
Their speed it's impressive, it's emphatized by the roofs profiles, behind which they disappear.
Yes, here comes a storm.
The summer, finally... "
We sit in the small studio in front of the open window.
The train passes snorting, in the circular line that wraps Paris. It seems to move through an elastic ether
in an elastic atmosphere, which is the same on pylons and deep in the lungs.
An atmosphere that includes everything: just as difficult for the locomotive to the human lungs.
The city throbs in the summer heat. We feel the hot breath of the city.
Here I am, in a room with old friends. I hear everything nearby, permeable, tangible, living, breathing.
I feel the same friendship, his essence slowly flies from the bottle closed.
I feel the sympathy of wine and of the inlaid saber resting upright in a corner near the window.
Now I say one thing that in America I did not say never: I feel a deep contentment.
(Henry Miller, Paris-New York round trip)