Friday, October 5, 2012

jim morrison paris apartment


 Our hostel in Paris is owned by a a charming gay gentleman so it is decently clean and we see no punched-out  holes in the plaster and nothing is growing on the toilet seat and there are dishes and silverware in the cupboard all neatly stacked. We only need to learn to love the bright magenta walls and the grape-colored chairs and I am willing to reconsider the sexual photos of overly ripe orchids on the walls because the bathroom doesn't reek of anything.


Today we will hoof it down to the Seine where all the really interesting stuff is located. It is our second day in this city and I am prepared to do some serious sight-seeing. Yesterday was laundry and groceries and our first taste of a truly good piece of bread but today I will rub up against some of the world's most renowned architecture.


We have walked a couple of hours and it is raining and we are huddled around a table in a brasserie, me with my cafe au chocolat and the boy with his little cup of espresso. We are trying to avoid going back out into that gloomy crappy weather but our snobby garcon is giving us those up-down looks as he takes in our hostel-inspired wardrobe, cargo pants with bulging pockets, windbreaker hoods tied low on our foreheads, and Jason's backpack has a couple of handmade patches. Hey, it works, comprendez-vous? Jesus, these people are rude.

I can practically smell the Louvre from here but I take one last look at my Lonely Planet book and I see a small dot on the map and it says, "house where Jim Morrison died." "Well, now isn't that interesting?" I say to my son who is clearly eyeing the remains of my chocolat. "Let's take a quick shortcut here and check out this little rock and roll tidbit and then we'll hit the heavy stuff."

That was four rain-soaked hours ago.

Let me explain how Paris works. Imagine your living room carpet is the landscape of the city. Take a large garbage can and fill it with marbles. Throw those marbles on the rug and after they land take a felt pen and draw lines connecting them and these would be the streets of Paris. There was no prearranged plan here, no blueprint or meetings with a zoning committee, just a cramming of avenues and alleys into every available space.

This was my idea and my desperation to maintain face leads me to look for odd little signs. I see a Rolling Stone lips and tongue logo, a sticker high up on one side of a building and then there are several French words scribbled on a sidewalk and one of them is l'guitare. Gotta mean something, gotta be close. I hear two gentleman conversing on the corner and they have English accents. I question them and they know nothing but "there is a record store around the corner," the younger one says," and there is a poster of the Doors in the window. Maybe they would know."


Hope renewed but we never find the record shop. We turn into an alley and then another one and then another and then there it is.
 17 Rue Beautreillis. There is no identifying plaque or marker or rotten carnations or shrine or gate around the door, nothing and I am doubting what I see and wonder if I may have wasted a precious afternoon on my Paris clock.

Or have I? When I return to the purple room I google image 'jim morrison paris apartment'' and mon Dieu, there it is, the same featureless door whose threshold I had dripped all over earlier in the day. Jim was there just like I was staring up at the strip of sky between the narrow buildings, walking those crazy wraparound streets, dodging the bicycles and marveling at the beauty of this ancient lady of a city until he wandered home one day, imbibed too much and died in his bathtub. That's too bad. This one's for you, Amy.  


3 comments:

Jason said...

Nice interesting post, I do like Paris, a fine and dandy city. It is always nice to hear different views of the place.

However, you've got me intrigued by the 'sexual' photos of orchids....I've never thought of an orchid as sexual!

BrightenedBoy said...

If you're going to visit a city then brief subletting is the way to go.

I know a couple in New York who rent out their apartment to tourists and make decent money doing it.

AmySueRose said...

And I thank you! I'm glad to see that they haven't made a circus of his home.