mercredi 20 octobre 2010

This little boy

One of the unexpected highlights of my stay in Paris last summer was the famous défilé du 14 juillet. July 14th is what we Americans call Bastille Day, and what is officially La Fête Nationale in France. Some Americans call it the French Fourth of July, which it kind of is, though I don't like to hear it referred to in this patrio-centric way.

Anyway, I used to watch the military parade on television when I lived in Paris, even when I lived on rue de Courcelles, which is right next to the Champs Elysées (the focal point for the parade). Since everything was closed on the morning of the parade and since all of my friends were out of town for the holiday, I decided to actually go to the parade. Without my umbrella, although I knew the forecast called for rain. And it poured. I ducked into a café at one point, just before it began to really come down. I drank an espresso and watched the parade on television for awhile. This little boy was in the café and kept running out every time the television indicated that the planes were flying overhead. He was so excited. Jumping up and down. Unable to contain himself. I had to take a picture of him. But I didn't want to be obvious about it. I always feel like I am invading someone's privacy when I take a picture of a stranger (as opposed to a group of strangers, which seems okay). I tried to be discreet. I had forgotten about this photo until I came across it this morning as part of a work avoidance exercise. I hadn't noticed that the photo also contains an arm and a hand of an unseen passerby, who is smoking a cigarette. Mais oui, bien sûr. This is France, after all.