The song is C'est moi by Rupa & the April Fishes.
For my friend Seasonn, who is moving to Paris.
I imagine your first weekend out, closing the door of your flat and stepping into the busy street. Immediately the waft of warm baguette sweeps past you like a wind-up cliché and you laugh, drawing the stare and smile from the moustachioed man who is sweeping a nearby stoop.
When you walk your hips seem to have little springs in them, like at any moment you will start to dance. You move through the city like it was a giant pop-up sketch, the life and sounds around you the manifestations of newly enchanted scribbles that are erased and redrawn with each passing moment.
I wonder if Paris is one of those cities you can just take from or whether it demands something from those who live there, like New York or London. A sacrifice of privilege, the centuries-old friction of all those subversive thoughts and grand ideologies reaching out from the stones and bubbling up from the latte foam.
There will always be an element of circus pageantry to Paris, the ribbon that is forever unfurling, the flash of red that distracts the viewer while the trick is played. It is still the place of sly grins and slight-of-hand, where strangely dressed men with lopsided faces open unnumbered doors to those who hold the right ticket, the cost of entry being the little squeeze of consciousness that will be wrung out of them in the darkness.
After too many sips at the fountain of sweet depravity, early morning in Paris becomes the tonic to the hangover of history. Each and every dawn the city is born anew, the bulging scents of pounded yeast and roasting coffee erupting from the kitchens and cafes and scrubbing us down until we can’t remember anything but the colliding dominos of simple pleasures.
I wish you long evening shadows and perfect yellow mornings. I wish for your mouth to move around the words of your second language like they are canapés. I wish you a pair of delicate, long-stemmed, round-bellied wine glasses that look perfect no matter where you set them down. I wish you feelings gratitude and relief, wrapped around you as thick as a blanket. Because every time you look out your window or step out your door, you will know that you are finally, at long last, in Paris.
The hill at Snurrom
20 hours ago