“Chien plane complètement… les yeux vitreux… après avoir dévoré du cannabis,” selon son propriétaire.
“Dog completely stoned… eyes glazed over… after devouring cannabis,” according to his owner.
These were the headlines that greeted me when I opened my home page this morning. Yes, a French home page. And why not? If I can’t have a home in France, at least I can have a home page there. N’est-ce pas?
As for the unusual story that caught my eye – not so unusual. Well… let me be more precise. I didn’t mean that it’s not unusual that French dogs are chasing through Parisian parks gobbling up errant bags of weed. They are more likely to be found in your neighborhood bistro, enjoying a meal with Madame or Monsieur.
What I meant to say is that it’s not unusual that the strangest or silliest headline (make that “hedline”) catches our attention first. Isn’t that what they’re intended to accomplish? And do, so effectively on the internet, where so much is vying for our attention? Doesn’t a snappy phrase attract our gaze? After all, who doesn’t want to read GOOD news, funny news, stories to make us smile, and stories of dreams coming true?
When we skim, indulging in headlines and sound bites, we don’t always pay attention.
I look more closely at the article in French. They’re describing a dog who ingested a significant amount of dope, but the dog lives in Seattle. It’s an American park. An American pooch. I had to laugh… Seattle dog makes French headlines! Now that’s a hedline…
Oh, but I would like a home in France. Not just a home page. A chateau would be lovely. Just a small one. Not too ostentatious. Otherwise, it’s so much to clean and the grounds would be a bother. I’d need a gardener. Two gardeners. Oui – qui pourraient cultiver mon jardin ?
My dream home in France
No. Something cozier. Une chaumière. A little cottage made of stone, with a terrace of pea gravel and a long, worn table where lively discussions over cassoulet and pinot noir would linger into the night. Blue shutters on the windows, thrown open to the clean, crisp air as I’m doing my morning writing.
No. Paris. A loft or small flat. A narrow balcony with an iron grill. Those windows would be open, too, looking down on a side street in the bustling center of the City of Lights. Perhaps in the first arrondissement, or the third. Nearby – galleries, museums, ice cream on Ile Saint-Louis.
Three rooms would do the trick. About 600 square feet. Enough to fill with books, my favorite works of art, a low table in the salon, a few chairs, throw pillows on the floor. A day bed to sleep on, by the window. No dogs – high or otherwise – to wake me early in the morning.
FACT: We are drawn to tales that are eccentric, strange-but-true, or just plain silly. We are drawn to lottery winners, reality show celebrities, miracle cures. We dream, and we’re drawn to our dreaming. Perhaps the best miracle cure.
Nice dream, n’est-ce pas?
Yes, I would like to live in France. I have done so before, and I was happy there, which isn’t to say that I haven’t been happy in my own country. But something about the language and culture nourishes me in a way I cannot articulate, or deny.
So I cling to my vision of the little house, my thoughts of maybe, someday… And imagining the possibility keeps hope alive, and maybe even “high.”