PARIS, the last time…
Paris, my heart is breaking. My heart was young and gay… so was yours. Will it ever be again? I think mine will not. It’s aching for your terrible bloodbath, one that never should have happened.
The magical city of my teens has erupted, perhaps the ripple down from a long-ago (1830) far-reaching contretemps between Hussein Dey of the Ottoman outreach empire, and the French Consul. A naval blockade ensued. France puffed up its pride and breached the blockade, and went on to eventually eliminate the Ottoman threat, capturing and colonizing Algiers. (The Barbary Pirates had been such a plague.) Then eventually gave house to all the denizens of Algiers. They flooded the nicer country of France, set up shops and mosques.
And here we are.
“Sous les Ponts de Paris” – under the bridges of Paris. In my youthful Paris, lovers strolled and canoodled in peace, deep in their shadows under heavy arches. There, also, the occasional dreaming wino curled up with his comfort. Will lovers ever again see the Seine shimmer in moonlight, arms folded around each other? Will the homeless man find his bench place again? Homeless – but the whole of Paris has been his home.
“Where do you live, monsieur?” – “Moi? Chez Paris.”
Our hearts are breaking.