Fr Cn De Es Pt It

Prologue

Elisa searched high and low for a place with a special sort of energy, the space of a generation bursting with ideas. A place filled with friendship, twists of fate, unexpected plots, improbable encounters, unique visions and generosity.

A place of daily poetry and affinities, where she would finally feel at home.

The very first time she walked up to Montmartre, she was overcome by an indescribable sensation, an exhilaration in which life took on intense colours and everything seemed possible.

She tried to pinpoint this sublime emotion, bordering on love… without being able to give it a name… other than MONTMARTRE.


I - The News-Bookstore of The Place Des Abbesses


Painting by Jean-Marc Guéroux

Just as she prepared coffee every morning without drinking it, for the simple pleasure of its fragrance, Elisa also had the habit of going down to Abbesses to buy the morning paper.

She rarely read it, but the kindness of the shop owner started her day off on the right note. With his caustic sense of humour, he made her laugh in the morning for the price of a newspaper. Now, that’s real luxury.

At any rate, she would read Le Parisien at her second breakfast at 11 a.m. in one of the cafés on the Butte. At Le Vrai Paris for its amazing croissants or the Rendez-Vous des Amis because she might run into Raf* there, or the Divette du Moulin because that’s where everyone kissed the barwoman with the sexy voice on the cheeks as they entered.

The Parisian café tradition of offering Le Parisien at the bar was well worth maintaining, even if you had Le Monde in your pocket.

Today, she asked the man who so sweetly called her “young girl” to change the nib of her Caran d’Ache** pen. The queue of neighbourhood residents who came here for their daily paper was already long, but Monsieur Moatti treated her as if she was his only customer. “Do you write right?” he asked her, which got a few smiles from the people in the queue, which had easily tripled since he had started removing the nib. Noticing, despite the importance of the subject, that certain people were showing signs of impatience (it’s never wise to be impatient in Monsieur Moatti’s shop), he cracked: “If you don’t write right, you’ll never get it right !”

Elisa assured him several times that she wasn’t in a hurry and encouraged him to help the growing crowd in the store. “It’s always the ones who have nothing to do who are in a rush,” responded the man behind the counter made of piles of newspapersand magazines, in reference to the time-management amateurs.

The store was packed and everyone watched the owner repairing Elisa’s pen, the pen offered by a boy she’d lost sight of, engraved with the words “To eternity”.

After finally removing the nib and showing it to the crowd, Monsieur Moatti declared that this pen would never write right again...

To the relief of the onlookers, the Master of Time advised Elisa to buy a pen with a new, high-quality nib.

“To eternity”. An eternity of exchange. A second chance to write the story of her life.


* The jungle Bar of Montmartre
** Swiss pen

Les studios de Paris
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