Before the sun comes up around 4 or 5 in the morning Paris is still. Even winter’s rainy mist gets lazy and quiets it’s constant drip, drip, drip.
When the desire hits to feel self important I like to move in on a pre-dawn raid for the Jungle Gym at Parc de la Villette.
Lit by the moon and the lamposts, it’s there I like to hang, stretch the back, do a few pull ups and pretend I’m young again.
My fellow commandos every time are a group of Asian business men and women doing their thing, shooting the breeze, laughing, stretching, Tai Chi-ing and getting ready for the day.
And I’m sure, in their native tongue their going, “Hey, look at this guy…”
Mid-day brings the family and kids. Late afternoon brings young French-African males speaking French but also bonding in their native tongue. They shake hands, bro-hugging and more seriously than me, hit the Jungle Gym to work out.
Yes, we Americans are strange. Take Jack Nicholson: ‘I don’t need hair. I got personality!’ Parc de Villette is alot like him.
A smell touches the stomach.
She walks slow, laughing, talking, with eye-popping colorful attire and a gorgeous head-dress.
She pulls homemade food and drink from her caddy and sells it to her hungry young guys.
There is a great adoration for the African-American in France. Obama was almost like a Jesus figure for the Socialist Left. Black is Beautiful and Ghetto-Fabulous Chic is revered and embraced here in all walks of life.
Eventually a good ol’ American Boom Box fires up on the scene and what came out blew my mind.
Country music and Gangster Rap? I get it.
I respect it.
But both are not something that I know, enjoy or wish to explore.
Out of this boom box came American Gangster Rap I had no idea existed.
The music was extremely powerful. Bassline and bass drum were like one singular thing. It was minimal, halted, big, Gothic and dark. And the rappers were winding the most evil, misogynistic, Marilyn Manson-Nine Inch Nails times 1000, ghetto dirty, violent gang fables ever.
These African kids had no idea what they were listening to.
“When she resists anal sex I do this… I’ll slip this shit into her drink to get what I want… I got my 9 and I’ll shoot anyone that messes with me… I get it on, make her scream and then ditch the bitch the next day…”
And the N-word was triumph sprinkled like salt and pepper everywhere; throughout.
I know American Black culture. I made House Music in the 80’s. Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black mayor was The Man… I went to his funeral. Some of my best friends in the world are African American.
Yo, My French-African bros who love the American Black thing.
This is not the proper use of the N-word!
This is how I grew up.
Laughter is better 😀