The sun is setting here in Somerville.
I am drinking a gin & tonic and listening to some r&b and country music. There is an inconsistent breeze blowing through the smaller window, but strangely I haven't minded the sweat at all today. It could be that suddenly its August and I am resigned to it as long as I do not have to work too hard.
Nevermind that just now, but the sun is still setting and looking at it I can't help but imagine that this is exactly the cliche I've always wanted, which is what cliches do. I felt that earlier this year when confronted suddenly with the "reality" of the Eiffel Tower. "Reality" in that last sentence is in scare quotes because going to Paris to see it was an honest-to-God joke. Traveling to France alone was a practical joke I played on myself. The Eiffel Tower is better understood to me now more as an absurdity than anything plausible. It is a picture, a postcard that I walked in on and ruined forever after I blew its cover as a physical entity existing in three and not just two dimensions. Walking in on the Eiffel Tower was embarrassing.
When I arrived in the Parc du Champ de Mars, in front of the Ecole Militaire, I reached around in my bag for my Pentax K1000, only to find that it had its lens cap compacted into the glass, the whole thing was goddam busted. Damaged during my flight! All this way traveled, at wonderful expense, I'm standing literally in front of Planet Earth's number one greatest hit, and my camera will not right now do what I brought it all the way here to do. More or less that is, to validate my parking.
But the truth is I was attracted to Paris, I still am. It was a lifestyle aspiration that I had encountered before, in the Eurocentric home decor of acquaintances here or there. Eiffel Tower framed posters, dish towels, coasters, decorative luggage tags, keychains, pictures of Audrey Hepburn, calendars featuring sepia-toned children kissing in France, sometimes wearing clothes that somewhat do not make them look like miniature adults. What shit. But I went, didn't I? I fell for it, I'm implicated, I had a wonderful time and I saw sights. I went into tourist shops and bought a lot of funny knick-knacks pretending to know what the French were talking about. And now I am going to paint the Eiffel Tower. At sunset, probably.