Walking on the streets of the 14th, fifty feet ahead I saw three guys. Two of them were tall and one shorter, all well dressed almost preppy professor-style. The shorter guy was holding a movie-like video recorder, and one of the tall guys with brown hair held a microphone. Before we came in contact I had noticed during that distance apart that the shorter guy was making eye contact. He kept looking, but I averted my eyes. I had a feeling they were going to approach us. When we got closer they spoke French, closing in on us. The shorter guy dominated; he did most of the talking.
“No, no, no,” Nick said. His response had sparked something. I saw the panic on these guys’ faces. They didn’t want us to leave.
“Je ne comprend pas,” I said.
The guys discussed amongst each other.
“You don’t understand Francais?” The shorter guy asked. “English?”
“English,” I answered, nodding.
The shorter guy was cut off before he had a chance to explain. Nick continued. “No, no, no,” he said, as he was doing the hand wave motion of nos.
“Am I going to be on TV?” Nick asked.
“Oh, no no. This is not for TV. This is for school. A film for school,” the shorter fellow said. “We just have one question and we’d like your thought on it—just answer if it’s okay or not. We just need one answer, short. That’s it.”
They seemed so desperate; I was compelled to help answer whatever question it was they wanted.
“Okay,” I said.
“Okay. What do you think of the drug room?” Shorter guy asked.
“What’s the drug room?” Nick asked. We both were confused.
“It’s a café. A place where kids can go take drugs.”
Still confused. “Drag room? Or drug room?” I asked. Maybe I had heard incorrectly — not that a drag room would make any more sense…
“It’s a place where people can go do drugs? Like marijuana?” Nick asked.
“Yes! Marijuana,” he said, sounding excited that maybe we were beginning to understand. “The government is going to fund a café where young people can go and take drugs. It’s going to be legalized. It’s called drug room.”
“Okay—“ Nick said. He thought he understood.
“Okay, you go ahead and answer the question,” I told Nick.
The shorter guy turned on the recorder and pointed it at Nick, while the taller guy with brown hair raised the microphone to Nick’s mouth.
“What do you think of the drug room?” The shorter guy asked again.
Nick was on the spotlight. All eyes honed in on him and he started to speak. I chuckled at him.
“Ah, we’ve been here for several weeks, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I’m from Seattle. And they just legalized marijuana there. And so far there hasn’t been any problems since, so I guess it might be okay here.”
There was a pause, silence of a couple of seconds.
“Okay, good. That’s it,” shorter guy said, his face lightened.
“Thank you,” the three guys said, smiling. They were grateful for our cooperation.
We left still unsure if we understood right. We discussed what just happened and wondered if the room is indeed just for marijuana use or if it is for all kinds of drug use, too. I thought maybe it was meant for everything, but we weren’t entirely sure. What we are sure of is that Nick had “okayed” the use of drugs. They must think Seattleites are a bunch of druggies now. We laughed.
So, watch out … you may see Nick in a French documentary about the drug room—coming out soon!