The air of Saint Jean de Luz has been on round-about my lungs and following le petit Renault through a thousand little forests back inland. I haven’t shaken the sand out of my bag.
“In Cannes,” he said, “they import sand for their beaches just before the festival. Really, truly, Cannes doesn’t have any sand.”
“Ah bon? From which beach are they lifting all that sand?”
“Some other nook in France I’d imagine.”
“Pas le Caribbean? ”
“Je ne crois pas.”
“Well that’s a relief anyway. Yet maybe they should simply move the festival to that French nook with the right sand.”
“That’d never go down.”
“No. Yet. You never can say for certain.”
“I can say that this sand is Saint-Jean de Luz-iane.”
“Ah oui. Tout à fait.”
And I sat down in front of the mirror to survey the sun damage proudly noting the golden burn on my upper half, at least, was line free. Hell yes France and her topless beaches. Happier still to find I’d never undo what the sun has done here. He served me little salt cakes on a semi-glacial current that was so Wes Anderson bluey-blue I could have bottled its color to make some sweet cream icing later.
I walked into the sea slowly with an idea that I might acclimate painlessly. C’est folle. Here, round about my breasts, I realized that you simply have to turn off the mind and dive. Les vagues, tout frais, m’ont embrassé. Oh that smell. And that taste. It’s salt… won’t let me sink.
In every restaurant so close to the sea, if say, said restaurant does things the Basque way, oysters are served in their shells still gasping for air. You take them like tequila, with lemon, head cutting back to take it clean.
“Ils sont encore vivant?”
“N’y pense pas.”
(And lick your fingers when you’re done.)