I needed a kite. My pale (faded) green Chinese silk dragonfly, the one I use to cover the window that stares into my neighbours' living room is too torn to filter the view.
There's a kite store in the 12th arrondissement between the Bastille and the Gare de Lyon. Yesterday afternoon I set out on foot: Place St Michel to Notre Dame, where Monsigneur Lustiger was expected for a street naming ceremony--I didn't hang around--along the Ile St Louis on the shady northern quai, across the Pont de Sully into the 4th and 12th arrondissements. I stumbled on the rue Cremieux, a cul-de-sac of small houses painted all colours, the street lined with potted trees. In front of one a motorcycle with a cat curled up, dozing, in the sun, on the baggage rack. I found 2 kite stores, one for people who really fly kites, though it had three beautiful, round, paper Guatamalan kites, but not for sale, and next door, a store with chinoiseries, including silk kites, but too big or too small for me. I bought, in the first shop, a primary coloured parrot kite.
I was beginning to wake up. It was morning in California. I walked to the Bastille, where they were setting up an "Alzheimer's Village" for this weekend. I tried to imagine an Alzheimer's Village. This was simultaneously comic and depressing. I walked through the Marais, ending up at the Centre Pompidou where I wandered into the Brancusi Atelier. I could live there, I thought. I traversed the Ile de la Cité. I got home, I hung my kite, knotting the tail, which dragged on the floor. It beats the stained glass across the street. It reminds me of Apollinaire's poem "Windows":
From red to green all the yellow dies
When parrots sing in their native forests..."