My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

she makes love to her vodka and cigarette

When he starts to sing, I feel like the only person in the Bar. Two young men sit together playing the guitar, perched on stools, and one sings with a flawless false American accent, never missing a note.

I sit a few tables away, hidden in dim lighting, vodka in hand, and grind my teeth every time a particular note or the lyric make me want to cry.

Music has this effect on me. It says everything I can’t. Guitar notes give voice to everything going on in my mind, everything that can’t be put into words.

I try not to look at the singer; he makes me weak. Any man with the voice of an angel, and hands that seem to find their way naturally onto guitar strings, makes me weak.

It’s near midnight in this bar somewhere in the Latin Quarter. It’s within a grouping of small streets and alleyways, packed tight with bars and restaurants. There’s a large amount of Greek restaurants, many with men standing by the door with menus asking: “You want to eat Greek tonight?” I smile and whisper “Non, merci,” and move along.

I sit in this bar, staring at nothing in particular, caught somewhere between ecstasy and loneliness. It’s like this every day. Sometimes I go to bed deep in depression, and wake up with a huge smile on my face.

I lean over to the booth of older men beside me and ask for a cigarette. I don’t smoke, but drinking in a bar alone, listening to music, in Paris, goes hand in hand with smoking. So I smoke my cigarette slowly, and sip on my pure vodka with ice, and wonder if I hold onto both so strongly because I have no breathing human being to hold. I guess not; I probably drink and smoke twice as much when I’m with someone, just to take the edge off.

I pray that I don’t appear on the prowl, a single girl, alone in a booth, gazing at the walls as she sips her stiff drink. I share smiles with an older bartender, who exudes warmth towards me. This warmth isn’t always easy to find with Parisians, and I return it as best as I know how.

I leave half hoping the lead singer will run after me. He really had me when he started singing “Sitting on the dock of the bay.” But I think only his gaze ran after me, as I walked out the door, exchanged goodbyes with my friendly bartender, and headed back out into the night.

Down in the metro I’m approached by three young men that urge me to go to a club, where ladies enter free of charge, drinks included. I refuse, but one makes me take his number, and I promise with lying eyes that I’ll call him tomorrow.

On my way back to the apartment I give my mother a call. I need a familiar voice. Her voice. I need to know I have someone in this big, strange, open world. Her loving words take me back to the apartment smiling, and my loneliness fades into the sidewalk.


Post a Comment

<< Home