Thursday, July 15, 2010

Far From the 8th

One of my favorite films, Paris, Je T'Aime, is comprised of 18 different stories, one of which is particularly poignant; it's titled "Loin du 16e" ("Far from the 16th") and tells the story of a young spanish-speaking immigrant woman who leaves her working-class apartment -- and her infant daughter, to whom she sings a sad little lullaby before depositing her in daycare -- in the gray Paris suburbs and takes a gruelingly long train ride to her job in the ritzy, bourgeois 16th arrondissement. There, in the home of a wealthy family, she cares for their infant daughter, to whom she sings sad little lullabies. I relate to this story whenever I report for work in the chi-chi 8th to care for Junior (aka "Junes" or "Joonynoots"), the spoiled springer spaniel whose young, soft-spoken and extremely goodlooking Greek dad is clearly a millionaire, and then some.

While I walk this friendly, old (he's 12) beast up the Champs Elysee and around the grassy park areas sandwiching the Seine, trying to yank him away from every dead pigeon, dirty napkin, random fish head, and pile of human excrement (he loves the stuff) he drags the two of us toward, my terrificly well-behaved little Fanny sits home in her tiny, temporary 11th arrondissement abode, dreaming of the Snausages and Pupperonis she rarely-to-never gets to eat (she's supposed to be vegan, too). Well, I make up for the neglect with praise when I get home, telling her what a good girl she is for not being equipped with coprophagic tendencies, and for not nearly yanking my arm off whenever she smells something tasty hiding in the bushes.

Saturday is my last day caring for Junes. His regular dog walker comes back from vacation then. I think I'll be ready for a vacation of my own come Saturday. (Or at least a massage for my over-yanked shoulder. There are lots of Chinese massage places in Paris, so I think I might have to spring for one, since I'll have the cash in hand to indulge.)

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