Ghosts of Montparnasse
Sitting outside “Le Select” on the Boulevard Montparnasse. A cold, October night, underneath a heater. There were no heaters in 1929, when the writers and artists sat here, talking and arguing and laughing, and wringing art from nothing. Is that how they kept the cold out?
The motorbikes and cars fly past, a symphony of noise. The tourists and the locals pass by, talking and arguing and laughing. Do they feel the ghosts of Montparnasse walking in time with them? Do they hear the ghosts call to each other across the intersection? They wouldn’t rush across the street to greet each other as they did in those days, or they might end up in the back of one of the ambulances that zoom by, sirens singing through the Parisian night.
La Coupole doesn’t look the same as it did all those years ago, when its neon shone like a beacon to the hungry and starving artists. These days they would have to make do with staring through the window at the well-heeled tourists and Japanese businessmen.
And what of the waiters who flit around brandishing their trays like weapons? Do they hear the ghosts at these tables that they wait every night? Do they feel the weight of history bear down on them? Filling the footsteps of their predecessors who watered and fed the armies of men and women who would change the face of the world.
(Image: Click on pic for credits)
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