The Night of my 34th Birthday
I slept for the night on the beach;
There wasn't a bed to be had,
Since Paris was out of my reach.
It was cold, but it wasn't that bad -
I slept in a ready-made pit
And wore all the clothes that I'd brought.
The shirt on my head slipped a bit -
Using clothing as blankets is fraught,
But I slept in the end for some time
And awoke with the first light of dawn.
Washed my hands in the rippling brine
Then ran round in tight rings to get warm,
Sang some songs to the fresh rising sun
About New Orleans and Frisco.
I watched it grow higher with each one,
And bathed in its yellowing glow.
The Morning After my 34th Birthday
I walked from the beach to the street
Where a group of youths called me aside
They gave me some breakfast to eat
And some booze that would warm me inside.
'Mange!' said the drunk Portuguese
As he handed me apples and bread
And once again offered me cheese,
And demanded a song while I fed.
So I drank and I ate and I played
With my new friends who'd been up all night
While the French ones were starting to fade,
The drunk Portuguese seemed alright.
When we left they were still drinking beer
While I felt more like sleep, or else caffeine
I needed to get into gear
This small town was losing its sheen
And Paris was still hours away
If I got the first train, around nine
I should be there soon after midday,
So the timing from there should be fine.
The Afternoon After My 34th Birthday
Well I got there with three hours to spare
I had time to eat lunch and check emails
So I sat down with hardly a care
No idea my plans had been derailed
For my four o'clock lift out of town
I was early at Porte Maillot station
So I spent a while looking around
Not foreseeing the next irritation
I phoned up the man with the car
He said something about how it's 'complet'
My French wasn't getting me far
And he clearly did not parlé Anglais.
He hung up, so I called him again
Paid three euros for each new connection
I plainly was calling in vain
It was time for another direction.
I finally jumped on a train
I just barely had enough money
It was better than going insane
And I wasn't the happiest bunny
I made it out west by and by
And Brittany's lovely in summer
I laugh now, but tell you no lie:
That journey was kind of a bummer.