Friday, November 2, 2012

Hemingway's Paris: Bicycles to the Les Duex Magots

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  -Earnest Hemingway, Moveable Feast

I had spent much of the day holding my iPhone up to the sky watching clouds as the train rolled from Paris Gare du Nord into the city.  The night before slept on hard Edinburgh benches, I could feel the man’s broom handle poking my ribs telling me to get up which I did, swinging.  Then his eyes spoke in the language of cowards.
“Never be daunted.”  -Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

In Paris we met on a Sunday and rode bicycles into Hemingway’s Paris.  Toward the Closerie des Lilas near his apartment at 113 rue Nortre Dame des Champs and eventually stopping at Les Deux Magots to sit outside under the eaves with the street lights glowing and the cobblestones along Boulevard St. Germaine to talk and laugh and trade true stories which once were only lies. 
“Nick stood up.  He leaned his back against the weight of his pack where it rested upright on the stump and got his arms through the shoulder straps.”  -Hemingway, Big Two-Hearted River

I’ve never been to war nor been seriously injured by battle.  I’ve never been a foreign correspondent or seen the affects of nations fighting one another in heated conflict.  I have not run with the bulls in Pamplona nor shot a cigarette from the mouth of a Spaniard with a .22 caliber rifle held on pegs over the bar… but I’ve known great friends.  It’s the mythology that keeps us true. 

Postscript:  These may not be of box cars in Idaho, but certainly some of the best pictures ever taken of a guy on a bike carrying another guys pack.

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