Dimitri's First Car

photo: martin, painting, dimitri

Martin, Dimitri's first peddle-car and Dimitri,
somwhat older

Wet Sunday Café Life

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Sunday, 1. December 2002:- After all my cable work yesterday to get the old hifi pieces working again, I did not feel like sitting down and running through the maze of the 'Scene' events column. Even though it was dark and damp I felt like going outside.

There was more than just the 'cabling.' I had a horrible puzzle putting a three-wire cable together. One of the plugs had been engineered by people who would never have to hook little wires into it and it took about 90 minutes of intense concentration to get it right.

Then I had to move furniture around a bit to get enough room to wire the components together. In all, it probably took about three hours. The FM radio part still needs some sort of an antenna, but it does get a weak signal, so I know it works.

So then, having to 'go out,' I found myself on Daguerre and surprised at how early it was. I stopped for a minute in the second café and then decided to go all the way down to Boulard on the off chance somebody would be in the Bouquet.

Going past, I saw that some of the chairs were stacked up already. But I saw Dimitri sitting at a table, across from a guy who was waving his arms all over the place.

He took a camel's load of baggage off a chair so I could sit down. The introduction to one of Dimitri'sphoto: cafe in rain 3748 oldest friends was somewhat wild because, from what I could gather, Martin Vaughn-James had just landed from a flight from Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

This was Sunday in the 10th arrondissement.

I am supposed to be used to jetlagged people because I meet some nearly every week, but Martin had just come back from a painting peddling trip to have a one-day exhibition in Paris, before going on to another adventure, possibly in Belgium.

He had first met Dimitri shortly after Dimitri's mother had met Dimitri for the first time, so he was one of Dimitri's longer-standing acquaintances.

Martin, between asking me a lot of questions, rattled off a lot of autobiography, which included Canada, Toronto, Australia, a wife, Wales, Scotland, the United States, deportations, and Belgium, but not necessarily in this or any order.

The Bouquet was closing and we walked up Daguerre together. At Dimitri's corner Martin offered wine and whisky, but I declined. I was left with an invitation to this exhibition, and a tentative agreement with Dimitri to go to it.

This morning it is not raining much, but it is trying harder by the time I get back from having a café in the Rendez-Vous at Denfert. When Dimitri calls I decide to go. Outside it is raining harder, but he lives right around the corner, almost behind my building.

Dimitri lives in an antique shop without a cash register. This is another story, so when Fabienne arrives we more or less leave right away because she says she has another thing to do to later.

Walking down to Denfert it is rainingphoto: dimitri harder. It is very respectable rain, modelled on Seattle or Vancouver. When we get out of the métro it is raining even harder, pretty near the Paris maximum without it being a storm.

Dimitri, with the detail of his peddle-car just above his lid.

I want to go one way, but Fabienne wants to go the right way, to the Rue de Paradis. Where we're going turns out to be a high number so there is a lot of slosh. It is very gloomy going past all the fancy porcelain places, on a nearly dead street.

The building's door in big and old and before we can find the hidden buzzer some ladies exit and we find 'escalier A' and up half a landing, an elevator - modelled after he one in my building.


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