Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Pinch me, I'm dreaming

I'm having the best time here in Paris! Saturday night I met a new friend in front of the Theatre Athenee and saw a fabulous play in a gorgeous theatre. The play was Les Negres by Jean Genet. Genet was my kind of guy, locked up in prison for cleptomania, but because of his "free time" he was able to write a great deal. Sartre discovered Genet and his work and then helped him get out of prison and enter a new life as an author.

Les Negres is a remarkable commentary of the concepts of race and identity. The presentation of the play was outragious, most of it delivered the way Genet called for (accoring to my new friend L.), including the intermittent wearing of various partial masks and simple costumes which really added a dramatic effect. The 25 year old director added a 21st century element, that of a loud helicopter going by overhead with search lights that shone on the audience; an effectively chilling mood was set. It's showing until the 20th for you locals.

We then had a late dinner at L'Entreacte where we were served by a super friendly older waiter. As he took my order, he kind of nudged my arm with his elbow. This is something I do to people, and I laughed and thought he was mocking me because I must have done it to him, but he wasn't. He said I hadn't "nudged him" with my elbow, it's something he does. It's something I do, I said, too, and then we laughed and elbowed each other a little more. It was totally queer and fun. Our elbows said goodbye to each other after paying the bill. I walked down the street amazed that I am lucky enough to live in Paris (for a while).

I was in such fine humour that as I passed the C&A with homeless people sleeping on pads in sleeping bags at the entrances, I thought, "that kind of looks cozy and fun. A big sleepover on a nice evening." I know homelessness is not a party, but on a beautiful night in Paris, even the most disadvantaged were cast in a warm glow.

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