PART II : Have a cigarette with me
Photo from L'Amour l'après-midi (1972)
Stumbled upon a Parisian Cafe, the lovely Cafe Le Burnci, and couldn't help but stop here for a rest. I am not a smoker, but something in the Parisian air convinced me to have a cigarette. People-watching seems to be a Parisian past time. Cafe sitters observe those passing through, and I immerse myself in this culture, a culture so far and so foreign to New York.
Classically known for their croissants and perfume, smoking is another signature Parisian act. Smoking seems to be second nature. The Parisian air we breath is half-filled with the air of cigarettes. With a cigarette in one hand and a glass of red in the other, it got me thinking,
“ what is it about smoking that Parisians love so much? ”
As an attempt to get in the headspace of a Parisian, I continued smoking my cigarette. Maybe it was the smoke filling my head, combined with the pleasantly dizzying feeling that good wine gives you, I felt that I had reached a conclusion to this question.
What is it about the symbolic notion of the cigarette, and the calm which nicotine provides? Can smoking be akin to acts of art, an art form that manifested in the city of love? A self-expression, perhaps of rebellion, of innovation; silent protests towards the world?
Cigarettes are obviously bad for your health and the addiction is a difficult one to kick, but so are most things in life. Smoking is among one of our many tempting vices.
- From Flora