Cui Bono


“You’re wrong,” is what I wanted to tell her.  “You don’t give people a chance.  You’re just a spoiled snobbish whining brat without the slightest concern for someone else’s problems.”  That’s what I wanted to say. Instead I shook my head, grinned, and pretended to sympathize with the Irish girl—the ridiculous things she said.

In the cool departing daylight of late summer’s afternoon, seated outside at a corner café, I wanted it sweet.  I was swirling a third cognac, getting ‘up to speed’ as Parisians flew past, allegro ma non troppo, moving like the Métro.  I had dubbed this motion the Paris Sidewalk Surge. Even our café crowd raced, running their rapid chatter of demi-tasse and cigarette ash, making the Paris al fresco experience feel like bathing with an immersed electrical appliance.

I sat with a young cousin who, for no valid reason, resented this stimulated city.  Paris was…

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