Palin in the middle of the Tuileries

It was 9 pm two days ago when Zack and I nestled in for a nap. A nap : we planned to wake up at 2 am and attempt to use the Velib’ bikes that appear now all over Paris, to rent, to ride, to revel on. After ten tries at two different bike stations we unhooked two bikes. But imagine first, dear reader, the credit card not being read, the group of suspicious males huddling around the automated rental machine looking angry, to be avoided – or were they, too, just trying to figure out how to work the machines, hulking as they were in their leather, how to ride daintily around town with their tough racaille egos in their baskets?

We rode south from the 18th into the 1st, to an Irish pub where the Vice Presidential debates were going to be aired on CNN. We rode along, late, like witches in the streetlight, yelling, at times, “Joe Biden, we are coming!” We sat among Americans and other anglos and Zack clapped at Biden and I laughed at Palin, there were old men circulating the bar packed with people shhh-ing and straining to hear. A strange sense of being a part of something larger than me (the political scene, the election results) yet also feeling as if I were a strange appendage to the system, on the moon watching from so far away (Parisians were sleeping, the streets were quiet).

We met a crazy old American bat of a woman while she shuffled on her ritzy 1st arrondissement coat and adjusted her huge blue glasses. I gave her my card and my phone number, told her I wanted to help her write her life story. This in response to –“I would, you know, I would I just, I just, I just don’t know how you to write it, you see.” Caught in the 50s, perhaps the last time she lived in the US, trapped in French mannerisms and very expensive clothing. She insisted that “Zachariah” was a n—-r name, crinkled her nose, tics to the left, looks around and then back at me. “Now where can I find a taxi at this hour?” It was 5:30 am. We rode back up north, our hands gripping handlebars, hearts light with Biden finally coming awake in the last half, Paris streaming along behind us in the rushing, cold air.


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