God bless Paris for Clutter. Thank you man in the wine shop containing nothing but piled up white boxes with wine inside the boxes and the boxes on top of other boxes and a tiny gap in between for us to walk down, not to peruse the bottles, but to try to get out of your way, only to realise that your only chance of making it around to the register is if I follow you all the way back out the door into the freezing cold street and then back in again. A queue was gathering outside in the cold. They knew the rules. Bless you for your lack of concern over whether customers can find stuff or not – who cares – you know your clientele and what they want and you know your products and exactly where to reach for the bottle you’re looking for.
And your wine is wonderful.
Thanks depot-vente lady behind your pile of scarves and hats and piles of shoes and coats and slacks and old umbrellas and dusty fur stoles and stacks of brooch boxes and old mannequin heads. Thanks for the hidden chest of drawers with a hundred cashmere scarves inside from Hermes and Dior and Cacharel in all different awful colours and prints and thank you for not having the right thing for us but not minding, as though we had come to your house and it was all yours anyway and you didn’t really mind if you got to hold on to it a bit longer.
Thanks lady. Thanks for directing us to the shop a few doors down with the uptight cigarette-drenched lady with her miniature, silky black rat-dog curled up in its regal bed. Thanks madame behind your counter peeking your pin-nose out from your mountains of disorganised piles of jumpers and cardigans and dresses and hats and for your snooty attitude for every single person walking in and for sniggering at that man who questioned the price,
‘Beh, cachemire c’est le cachemire, hein?’
Thank you for kicking your pointy foot through the boxes of rubble to find the perfect scarf for our friend and for raising your eyebrows and tutting your head back and forth saying Of Course, it’s Beautiful as though we were naughty for even commenting.
Thank you butcher lady with all your piled up meats and rambling stories about your little girls we can’t understand and thank you Kaiss for the potatoes and the rocket and the overwhelm-ment of all the colours and delights of your overstuffed fruit shop and for the stories and for the piece of sticky Algerian nougat. Now there’s always a present at the end. A caramel. A rambutan. And you can never, ever go back.
Thanks for the chaos, Paris, and the feeling and the abundance.
I’m fat on you. And bedraggled.And guess what? There’s snow tomorrow.