When someone asks about my favorite part of a trip, I find it hard to answer. My favorite parts are the details that loose color upon description. When I try describing them, I feel like a comedian telling a bad joke. Nevertheless, here I am, on a wonderful trip, and I’d like to share a snapshot with you. I’ll start with one I snapped this morning:
The rooftops of St. Tropez are a wrinkled cheek, dappled with sun spots. Orange clay tiles, baked and worn to peach. From the citadel, I follow a narrow street that winds downhill, to the port. Blue shutters like fading eye shadow on rose-dusted stucco lids. I come to rest on the steps of this tiny square, at the base of the bell tower. The original bell is shielded by gray netting. Pigeons call to one another from the tight rectangle of rooftops over my head. Purple bouganvillea climbs the white stucco walls at one corner. A helicopter passes overhead. A local with curly gray hair throws the end of a croissant to a gull. A tourist stops to take its picture, and the gull leaves the croissant untouched. A flower shop called Bloomy has just opened for the day, and pop music wafts through the air. A proprietor places red plastic snails in the windowsills of his gallery. Tourists creep into the veins of this fishing village uncovered by Brigit Bardot, who passed on, leaving this aging diva who still takes care to apply her maquillage. The old bell rests, but a new one tolls promptly on the hour. A madame shops for a collar for her petit chihuahua. Rooftops may fade; cobblestones may crack; bells may stop ringing; but charm does not age.