Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bastille

I helped save a man’s life tonight.

I was out at the Bastille celebrations at Trocodero- the big square overlooking the Eiffel Tower.  It was a clusterfuck of people.  Packed but okay. 

The fireworks show was not the most impressive I have ever seen, but definitely the closest.  It was exploding right overhead.

The show was surprisingly a big love fest for America.  Amid the techno, and the sotto voce calls of liberté, égalité, fraternité, was a slew of American music.  James Brown (“Living in America”), Michael Jackson and that Canadian Neil Young singing “Keep on rocking in the Free World.”  MLK declaring Free at Last. Nirvana too.  And a giant blow up doll of the Statute of Liberty.  It was surreal, to say the least.  Whoever said France doesn’t love America doesn’t know what they are talking about; this was American soft power on display.

After the firework show, I was ambling back home.  Then I saw an old man fall over, clutching his chest- repeating some newfound word.  I quickly surmised this meant heart attack, so I ran back to the square (Cours, Paul, Cours) to grab the gendarme—repeating my newfound French word.

I ran, leading them back to the man lying on the ground.  I may not be Jesse Owens, but I ran faster than those soldiers (I almost gave myself a heart attack).  They brought the medics in tow, and did all the necessary CPR and other medical biz to help save him. 

All in a night’s work.  I have earned my wine for the evening.  Vive la France; vive l'amitié Française-Américaine; vive la vie.  Good night, and good luck. 

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