J’ai besoin d’une cigarette

Une orange sur la table
Ta robe sur le tapis
Et toi dans mon lit
Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie

An orange on the table
Your dress on the carpet
And you in my bed
Sweet present from the present
Freshness of the night
Warmth of my life

Jacques Prévert

I spent the past two weeks in France. I stayed with Coralie, a nice, beautiful French girl who lives in a small town just outside Geneva, Switzerland. What could be better than staying two weeks with a girl who reads me Rimbaud and Prévert? It changed my life, just simple things like having a beautiful poem read to me in French. Every morning as I sat on her balcony, I looked down the street where I could see the breathtaking mountains. I drank my coffee, ate my baguette or croissant, and had time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like oranges on tables, dresses on carpets, and beds.

Coralie introduced me to the nicest people — humble and simple, but I could tell their education far surpassed mine. We went to the mountains and hiked. At the highest points you could look down on old French villages at the base of the mountain. The colors were incredible. The green grass, blue sky, and the mountains! Oh, I couldn’t get enough of the mountains.

We walked around old 10th-century cities. Annecy was one of my favorites. It had so much history everywhere I looked. The old houses, walls, and canals — I couldn’t get enough. There were bars everywhere. The weather was perfect for a drink. I would try to ask for a red beer: “Je voudrais une bière ambré s’il vous plaît.” My French was bad, but by the end of my trip I could introduce myself, order a baguette or beer, and understand when someone needed a cigarette. They smoke a lot of cigarettes.

I have to mention the crazy, cross-dressing French punk band, Les Suprêmes Dindes. The crowd was so into their music they put the Art Brut mosh pit to shame.

I learned so much about food, culture, history … and passion. It was hard coming back to New York. When I stepped on the A train, all I could think was, “It really does smell like urine.”

2 responses to “J’ai besoin d’une cigarette”

  1. Rachel says:

    The Supreme Turkeys? Great band name!

  2. celia says:

    It’s interesting, I think most people who’ve never been to NY want to go there to learn more about/experience food, culture, history and passion. I guess those who live in NY need to go elsewhere for more…