2.1 The Blue Notes – La Patache

January 4th

La Patache 21h00

Two weeks later. The Gilets Jaune have given us all a break over the holidays. Paris is calm, for the moment.

We traverse the river once again, to La Patache, the same bar that we’ve been several times already. The long, narrow dive is packed. Every seat occupied. The table runner with the cap and the moustache sees us, winks: he’s going to hook us up.

Wait at the bar.

Three beers and a nice glass of white wine.

One of our friends, a Londoner, has given up beer for white wine. Every time he orders; he says, thick as molasses accent, I’ll have a nice glass of white wine.

It’s hilarious really.

We’re seated.

Planche Mixte in the mix. One of my favourites in the city. A Truffle Gruyere. It melts in your mouth. Nothing more delightful. House-made Paté too. Cornichons. A plate for 4–17 Euros.

Elbow to elbow tonight, service is slow.

Parisiennes, elegant women of lore brush passed me. Sometimes they step on my feet. I’m too large for my chair. Either way, I glance upwards.

I notice regulars. We’re regulars now, so we can spot other regulars. Like a sixth sense. A one-sided admiration. They’re much cooler looking than us. A Lennon shades guy with long black hair, another with a blonde buzz, a flowing black trench, and a neck tattoo. A well-groomed black dude with a designer button down and a cutting smile. Ragtag artistic bedfellows surround them.

The Parisian landscape is immersive yet alienating. Within reach, I could tap 15 people on the shoulder, but that wouldn’t be polite,
would it?

La Patache, at times, feels like a dystopian dive bar where all people must meet a certain threshold to enter. If your trench isn’t long or grey enough and your nose isn’t distinguished enough, if your parole isn’t witty enough, you must vacate your table.

A cat perches above, on the high shelf, sleeping. Yawning. Opening its eyes slightly and closing them. Sleeping again.

Who cares what us humans do, or think, or see, or feel, or wear, or drink to try and separate ourselves from the jungle. To you, we’re all. well. Illiterate.

Another beer and we finish the Planche mixte. The boys are overwhelmed tonight, so we’ll cut it short. Head somewhere else.

It’s rude to scarf and leave, so I nod my gf to put in a nice word for us. They’ll remember we were there, amongst the others, in the wildlife.

Fin.

@lapatach

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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