1.2 The Blue Notes – Le Cinquante

December 15th

Le Cinquante—h0030

Down Rue de Lancry we walk. A car passes. People hover outside of a bar. People always hover outside of this bar. We enter. Foggy. Cramped. Everyone’s dressed in black. Bunch of late to the party beatniks, Hip boys and girls, probably design majors, who now work at bars and coffee shops in newly gentrified neighbourhoods. I love it.

The bartender is a woman who doesn’t wear makeup, and she dresses in faded button down shirts like she’s in a rock band. 3 Caipis—the special—they’re terrible—but they’re strong af. 

 The whole neighbourhood is here. People bump every goddamn time they pass. I’m starting to feel it, feel the Caipi

I look to my girlfriend. She smiles back. 

My friend returns from the bathroom. 

We chat a bit more; about what? I can’t say.

We order another Caipi and two beers. My friend wants to smoke a cigarette. Two extremely large men with hoop earrings and black beanies look like they’d have some. 

“Want me to ask?”

“No thanks. My parents.”

He comments on my girlfriend’s coat, says it must weigh 20 pounds. Definitely doesn’t help the claustrophobia. It’s big, it’s green and it’s plushy. 

A man drunkenly bumps her. Her drink spills onto the coat. ‘Putain!’ she yells, wanting him to notice.

The guy looks over, blasé—casualties of war

My friend steps in—he speaks in English to the culprit.

The culprit doesn’t like that. They begin arguing in a comedic way. ‘We saved your asses in WW2. If it wasn’t for us, you’d be speaking German.’ ‘Il n’a pas de nuance.’ The insults fall flat. Neither can understand the other. Therefore, it’s a draw. 

The man buys us shots of brown liquid. As a sorry. We Shoot. Low-grade Whiskey, disgusting and unnecessary. 

We call it a night. Buzzed.

A terrible taste lingers.

Fin

Published by AlexanderGittleman

Alexander Gittleman aka Mr. Cohiba is the writer, editor, and creator of the cocktail blog African Bowtie. He has lived in Seattle, New York, and currently lives in Paris where he covers the burgeoning cocktail scene.

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