1st Arrondissement, Paris
Throughout the days I hear French drifting through my consciousness - as I sit on a bench on Ponts des Arts and watch the sun set; as I walk through the crowds of people in Des Halles; as I follow Marie and her friend Paco around on Rue St. Honore as they buy meats, vegetables and breads for dinner. And I realize that I love not understanding French, as my inability to understand what people are saying has opened up a whole new world of quiet for me that I love. I'm left alone. I'm not hassled. I'm not bombarded by inane background chatter, that in the States, especially New York City, is constantly pulling on my attention as I try to navigate through the day - language as psychic assault. Here the language is a pleasant backdrop for my thoughts as opposed to an onslaught of mentally fatiguing garbage.
I'm tired of overhearing people on their phones complaining about someone at work, talking animatedly to their friend, or fighting with their boyfriend or girlfriend. I'm tired of overhearing what people want to buy or don't want to buy. I'm tired of hearing people talking about what they do and don't want. I'm tired of hearing people talking about TV and movies and actors. I'm tired of the inane chattering of people taking up my headspace.