My father never shut-up when I brought a French film over to my parents' house to watch with them.
He’d talk throughout the movie.
“Those French people, they really know to live.” Dad would bark out to no one in particular.
I think to his mind, he was declaring a fact.
Sometimes his comments had something to do with the film, and other times he appeared to be so moved that he felt compelled to say something out loud.
He’d speak about the French like they were a different species.
Somehow separate from the rest of the Human Race.
And if a scene in the movie came up that had anything to do with French people eating or drinking, that was it; Dad went off for at least the next 10 minutes.
“Would you look at that, Frankie. Look at their kitchen.”
I’d have to nod if I wanted to see the end of the film.
“They don’t even give a shit about doing the dishes. They’re living a real life.”
Mom or I would have to put the film on pause until he got out of his system.
“That’s what life should be. Drinking, smoking, talking about politics, the importance of philosophy, not this crap we do here.”
“We can do that too, Dad. I can get us a few cigars and make some drinks.” I’d say, hoping we could have some fun while watching a European film.
Mom would sit there quietly, waiting for the dance to finish between Dad and me.
She knew how it ended.
“Don’t be stupid, Frankie, it’s just a movie. Put it back on.
And I would.
I’d sit there. Quietly watching the rest of the film with my parent’s wondering why Dad never thought he could pretend to be French, if only for an afternoon.