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Monday, September 05, 2005

meet me in montmartre

I walked along the Seine with the sun glowing in the early evening.

I sang to myself as I passed the boats, the sun reflecting in the water, people lounging on their top decks.

I walked to Les Invalides, where there are large stretches of grass, and people sprawled out everywhere. Some play soccer, some play frisbee, and many lovers lay in the grass, bodies tangled up in each other.

I sat on a bench and watched it all. Caught my breath for the first time in days. I've been overwhelmed by all the changes taking place in my life. I haven't spent more than a year in one location in a long time. Grade 11 was Ireland, grade 12 was Vancouver, first year of university was Toronto, summer was the South of France, and now I'm in Paris.

There are moments where I feel as if I'm floating somewhere above all these locations. I have lost my sense of home, of permanence, of familiarity. This is invigorating and at the same time draining. The reward is that I slowly, through nights of tears and days of walking aimlessly, become more at one with myself.

But seeking company, I took off on the metro after sitting in the sun. I went off to Montmartre, where I met my new young friend, Yeliz and her older brother. Inside their family's restaurant I feel more comfortable than anywhere in Paris. There is a strong sense of family, as the mother greets me, brings me a drink, and they treat me to a feast of lamb, rice and salad.

Afterwards we took off towards the Sacre Coeur, where we walked around with ice creams dripping into our hands and our mouths. They showed me some streets I had yet to see, streets romantic as the Paris you dream about.

Everything is quaint through these streets, strewn with restaurants, bars and tourists. In one restaurant a man and woman sat across from each other at a small table. The man played the accordian as the woman sang. The woman was dressed like a gypsy, and moved her red lips mechanically as she stared at nothing in particular. In another restaurant all the waiters wear suspenders and berets. And then there are artists that surround the a central square, painting portraits or selling paintings of Paris.

Before saying goodbye we sat on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and stared at the city lights. All the buildings are minature from this height, and look like a child's playmobile set.

Although it's only been a week since I saw this brother sister team, they tell me they've missed me, and the young girl has been longing to see me all week. They are so warm and genuine that my heart explodes somewhere underneath my tank top.

I left them with a sense of well being.

And as I was riding the metro home, there was a girl who sat across from me who kissed her boyfriend goodbye, and then sat crying, fighting back tears in the same way I had a couple nights before.

And I said Parisians didn't cry in public.

I have a lot to learn.

5 Comments:

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6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:12 AM  
Blogger The Ranter said...

Great stuff. Love your thoughts... especially your writing on solitude. I have some similar thoughts in my blog: Rant.a.ma.lism at
http://rantaramalism.blogspot.com/

Check it out.
Will drop in on you again

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I walked to Les Invalides, where there are large stretches of grass, and people sprawled out everywhere. Some play soccer, some play frisbee, and many lovers lay in the grass, bodies tangled up in each other.

This really makes me love Paris and it makes me want to go there for some days... Good to read you are doing well, keep on writing!


Love from Holland

Ps1. those commercial comments are rather annoying.
Ps2. you just taught me the word invigorating.

9:14 AM  
Blogger The Awkward Crew said...

You need to get a fucking vocabulary then.

11:38 PM  

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