Thursday, August 23, 2018
lady in red
It is not a sight you see every day in San Miguel de Allende.
And never in Melaque.
Blonde. Lithe. Tall. In a tight red shift. Pink handbag. Pink scarf.
As she walked down the hill toward me, the sun lit her as if she were on stage. And she was. The eyes of every Mexican man on the street followed her every sway.
I was so entranced, I just watched her. It was not until she had turned a corner to walk up toward the jardin that I remembered I had two cameras with me. I spun the dials on my Sony and brought it up to shoot just as she darted into a boutique.
I am a patient hunter. I skulked in the street for 3 minutes. 5 minutes. 10.
I could see her in the shop. How many necklaces and scarves can one person possibly fondle?
While I waited, my attention was diverted by a street musician playing an accordion. Primarily French tunes. Lots of Edith Piaf.
For a moment, his music transported me to Aix-en-Provence. The year was 2011. My friends Roy and Nancy were with me on a cruise, and we had stopped in town for just one day.
While Nancy was shopping, Roy and I were left to kick our heels. To put my time to better use, I started shooting character sketches.
Then I saw what would be the quintessential French portrait -- a beautiful, young woman dressed as if she was on her way to a chic soirée. I tagged along behind her trying to take surreptitious shots.
She strode into a party supply shop and stopped in front of the greeting card rack. I slunk around the corner to shoot a profile. At least, I thought that was how the story was going to end. She had a different ending in mind.
As I poked my head around the corner, she ambushed me with a decent bash from her handbag. I duly retreated.
Reverie is not a hunter's ally. While musing on France, The Lady in Red sashayed across the street to a dress shop, and disappeared somewhere in its fabriced bowels.
Having failed to bag a photograph for you, I went to lunch at Nicosia -- an experience you will hear more about. Later.
Something good came of all this, though. I was spared the ignominy of being handbagged on the streets of San Miguel de Allende.
But, I did not leave empty-handed. Let me introduce you to my unindicted co-conspirator -- The Accordion Man.
And, if you are so inclined, here is Edith Piaf singing one of my favorite songs. Of course, he played it.