“Les Photos! Les Photos!”

23 Mar

17 March 2011:

A married man hops aboard the train, eyes cast downward, fingers battling a stuck zipper. I watch. His eyes dart up and down. Quick scan. Nobody’s watching. Up again. Oh. That woman is watching. He thrusts a yellow-stained book in front of the zipper. Takes a deep breath in. Then out. Clenched fingers tussle with the zipper. Sigh. He surrenders. Undoes his coat from behind the book. Pretends to read for the rest of the journey while casting periodic glances at the device that fails him.

12 March 2011:

A woman on Upper Street plays her flute as my mate and I hobble toward her. She plays her flute.
“She’s good,” he says.
“Yes,” I say.
She layers a long red skirt atop a yellow one. Together they act as a cushion from the ground. On her head rests fabric that I assume must once have resembled a hat. I look at her. He looks at her. She plays.
She stops. With no warning. Her head falls down, meeting her knees, which curl up toward her. And she stays like that. Doesn’t pick up her flute. Again.

3 March 2011:

A child tightens his grip on his father’s hand. He’s in the Louvre, in the Egyptian section. It’s full of mummies, what every child loves—dead people wrapped in bandages. He uses his father’s hand to stabilise himself as he jumps up and down. Not very high but he manages to bounce a few inches off the ground.

“Les photos! Les photos!” he yelps.

This image keeps me smiling for the rest of the day. I don’t know why.


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