As you weave through the stalls, you’ll grow ravenous from the smell of roasting, herbed chicken. You’ll lean into the peonies and wonder how flowers could possibly be so pink. You’ll witness vendors arranging their wares much like designers in an atelier drape garments over lithe mannequins, with care and passion. You might see a duck. You’ll dab a bit of lavender oil on the undersides of your wrists. You wonder where’s kale until you realize it’s not in season. You’ll pause in front of the wine and wish you could have a sip without all the three-piece luggage. You’ll wrap a scarf around your neck but it’s never the way the Parisians do it. You’ll see a man holding a sign that reads: dog for sale. He’s homeless, an interloper, and this is the last hand he can play. You feel the tears well up and don’t know why, but you notice that most of the homeless have pets, companions who are loyal and sleep by their side, and this kills you in ways you never imagined. You’ll realize that fleur del sel is cheaper in Paris. You’ll realize that you were once a girl who bought chickens and cigarettes in bodegas, so how is it that you know the word, fleur del sel? You’ll see men arrange flowers. Women arrange fish heads. Children arranging themselves around one another. You’ll hear, Ça va? over and over again. You’ll suck on an orange rind, and then wonder if it’s dangerous, but you do it anyway. You notice no one thinks you’re American. You leave. You can’t figure out where a certain street is located on your iPhone map until a girl unfolds an accordion map and shows you the way. You think that sometimes it’s good to have something to hold on to.
The Batignolles Biologique Market, 17 éme, is on Saturdays along Boulevard de Batignolles. Metro: Rome or Place de Clichy.