Snapshot: Town Center

 

“Le FN est le pire ennemi du peuple.”  A cardboard sign, painted roughly and taped to a stick, then stuck into a traffic cone.  On the steps of the theatre behind the sign, a ragtag-looking group of about 20 young people sit, chilling in small groups.  Rolling cigarettes with clumsy fingers and quietly existing.  An older, grumpy-looking woman wearing a bath robe stops to point a finger at them and yell.  Me, I lift up my sunglasses to peek at their sign, look at them, and simply nod my head.

In a café, in a seat facing the outside terrace.  On the other side of the glass, a trio of stylish people in their 40’s smoke cigarettes, sip rosé, and chat, all done coolly.  Meanwhile, a trio of police officers on bikes stand and watch the center of town, paying particular attention to the ragtag group of peaceful demonstrators.  Minutes later, they ride away, backs flat and butts up in the air.

Tramways worm through the wide-open central plaza, back and forth, crawling along.  Sliding noses intersecting every 9 minutes.

Wind’s picking up.  Parasols ruffle, fountain jets spit haphazardly in all directions.  Hoods drawn, feet hasten, scarves are clutched to necks.  A woman dressed in bold primary colors walks by, covering her head with a large scarf that billows and waves behind her.  Her head and face are completely covered, like a colorblock ghost.

Fat raindrops descend.

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