1.5 The Blue Notes–Panic Room

December 16th

Panic Room—02h00

You still open?

Of course.

Doors down lies a packed bar. It’s where I wanted to go. Before we were sidetracked by L’Etincelle.

A caricatured overweight, black doorman hassles us.

He reels us in after a drawn out moment. Loud music. Loud people. Dirty, dark bar. Leftovers from all the other bars. 3 lagers. I find a place to sit on a dirty booth. Arcade lights from old 8-bit machines tinge the darkness.

In the corner, stairs lead downard.

A cave. Dotted rainbow lights undulate up and down the length of the ceiling. Electro music. Decent crowd, crowded at least, mostly jock boys and glam girls, guys who still flaunt their positions and wear fitted dress shirts, girls who sport heels, gold jewellery and cleavage. And the worst: Anglosaxons.

After a moment I notice mirrors on the far wall. The room is smaller than I thought.

A tall guy with a goofy haircut starts talking to us. He’s from the middle of France, works for Airbus in Germany. He talks like he’s explaining.

‘There are some girls from New York over there and you might be happy meeting them, as you are also from New York.’

Whatever’s clever.

He brings them over. They’re from Massachusetts. But they’ve been to New York. 🤦🏽‍♂️Classic mixup.

Genuinely, they seem nice. ‘Just in town for the weekend,’ they say. Like my friend.

She says that she doesn’t know him at all. Weird, he introduced them like old friends. Now he lurks over in the corner, not speaking, just watching, drinking. Either a creep, or he’s just rolling the dice. Hoping something happens.

My girlfriend has disappeared. Annoyed, perhaps. I excuse myself.

She’s in the middle of the dance floor. I wade over to her. In a sea of drunk faces. I kiss her. We’re ok. It’s time to leave. My friend joins us. Says he couldn’t keep the conversation up. We ascend the stairs. What a shit show. 

One more stop. The Photo Booth. We snap drunken, goofy photos. Forever remembering a night at this shitty little after hours club.

Out the door, up Rue Amelot. A large sculpture of a man riding a horse rests illuminated atop Oberkampf circus. Then, to République.

Marianne is bathed in Indigo, Red, and moments later, White, like an on duty policeman. But her base is tagged. It’s defiled, littered with rubbish. This is still the beginning of the story regarding the Gilets Jaune.


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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