One advantage of living in this fake-ass movie set town is that no one is ever on the back streets. This allows me the luxury of having a super secret bench I like to go to when I need to clear my head – kind of like meditating outside. It is framed by four trees and is across from en ecole maternelle, so the block is a ghost town when school is not in session.
Teachers are one group that goes on strike at the drop of a hat. They’re always furious at something. There is a commie-red banner hanging on the fence in the school’s yard with the phrase ECOLE EN DANGER on it in black paint. I always wonder what the little girls who attend the school think about being greeted with this harrowing statement after they kiss their mamans goodbye every morning. I would think it would put a damper on their day.
The other day I was sitting on my super secret bench when a van drove up and a man got out. He walked over to a hammer-and-sickle graffito on the school’s wall and took a picture of it with some sort of high-tech gizmo, and then used a stylus to tap in some other information.
He then opened the back doors of the van to reveal the entire color palette of Montpellier arranged in tall plastic vats. He took one more look at the wall before selecting the correct paint, and then went about covering up the graffito in a careful and efficient manner. In the middle of his task he received a phone call, and took it while finishing up the job.
He put everything back into the van, took a picture of his newly completed work, and drove off. The van read ENELVEMENT TAGS – Graffiti Removal.
It occurred to me that I would love to have this job.