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Sunday, August 21, 2005

the city lights are blinding

The city is invigoration and suffocating all at once.

I’m always surrounded by people. They push, they jab, they talk overme, and half the time I am invisible. But they’re always there. And the men that do see me, approach me aggressively, overly insistent, and I mutter a few words before taking off in the other direction.

I spend half my days on the metro. I love the metro. It feels like life. People get on, people get off; people sit in extremely close quarters and easily ignore each other. You go from location to location, and as soon as you think you know where you are you’re off to another.

And you never know what to expect in the metro. I didn’t expect to find a man at one station, singing Elvis at the top of his lungs and beating away at his guitar. This tall, thin, awkward white man with white sneakers, hit all the high notes. I moved closer. Closer. I smiled at the air, smiled at him, and smiled for the love of music.

Later while I sat daydreaming on the metro, a man came in with a large bag. He pulled out a long black cloth with strings on each side and tied them to two opposite poles, creating a curtain that hid him from the rest of the metro crowd. He then proceeded to pump a Spanish salsa song on his ghetto blaster, and then pulled out two large headed puppets which he made sing along to the lyrics. It was pretty poorly done, and all I could do was laugh and look away. But moments this random are priceless.

The city is filled with priceless moments. Like moments with a stranger. Whether on the metro, or on the streets, eyes connect, communicate with each other; flirt with one another. It’s easier than conversation, more intimate than words, and fleeting in the most wonderful way. Some take it to the next level, but it’s best kept as a moment.

And at every moment there is so much around me that I’m overwhelmed. I walk down as many streets as I can, knowing I’ve missed a million others. There are so many enticing restaurants to try that I often just eat at home, with a cheap meal of bread and jam. There are so many people to talk to that I often remain speechless, but engage in playful small talk with salespeople, cashiers and waiters.

It’s hard to close your eyes in Paris. I’m afraid if I blink I’ll miss something. And then at night, the city’s still living, breathing, and lit up with lights. I’m tired but I can’t close my eyes when it’s still so bright out. And even though it sometimes feels like a dream, I’m walking with my eyes wide open.


Blogger euro_aimee said...

Gigs - you're writing is so intoxicating. I have to stop and remind myself that this young, intricate woman, bareing her soul is real and not some romantic fictional character. I'm so proud of you. x aimes

10:15 AM  
Blogger duotone said...

WOW. great log!
Interesting story und so easy so read!
take care!

5:00 AM  

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