My blog has moved! Redirecting...

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

Friday, October 07, 2005

beyond the eiffel tower

A young man sits across from me with styled dark hair and a black blazer. His eyes flicker. His face is handsome, young, and very French.

"What do you want to drink?" He asks. "What are you having?" "A coke." He answers. I pause. Weren't we going out "for drinks"? I was looking forward to having my head float around a bit.

He explains to me that he doesn't drink. That he quit smoking a few years ago. That he eats only healthy food-no Mcdonalds-because he is an athlete and likes to keep a clear conscience. He is a photographer's assistant, but is also heavily into sports, mostly rugby.

I order a vodka tonic. It doesn't seem appropriate to order my usual straight vodka or whiskey tonight.

It was another Parisian dissapointment. Didn't all French men drink, smoke, and seduce women with the raise of an eyebrow?

I met this young man one day when I was walking along the Seine. He ran across the street to speak to me, and as he pleased me, we exchanged numbers and planned to meet again.

This could be it, I thought. My first Parisian fling. Someone that could excite me.

But there was nothing there, as we sat in the bar, talking about all the subjects your supposed to, his eyes flickering as he sipped his Coca Cola. I love men who make me laugh, who chain smoke, who drink too much, who are random and hard to understand.

I also love traditional French culture. Long meals, an appreciation of good food, a love for everything rich, sexual and romantic.

But I work for a family who orders pizza hut. Who prepares frozen foods. Who doesn't embrace me or kiss my cheeks.

The Paris I dreamt of is being overcome by a city slick reality. "Paris is not the rest of France," the young man tells me. "You're meant for France though, aren't you?" He says, after I've gone over all my interest and passions. "Yes..I thought so..I think so."

For a while I was letting Paris drain me. One child's scream after another. One more trip to the discount grocery store. One more trip in the crammed metro.

But it's up to me what I make of it. Even a bad day, that starts at 7:30 in the morning with three metro trips to a French class, can be made good if you want it to.

And god, I want it to.

So I make good meals. I enjoy them if no one else does. I'm planning different activities I want to take on, sights I want to see, tastes I want to touch my tongue. I'm making conversation with strangers. I'm keeping my mind open. And I'm taking very deep breaths.

I choose my own reality.


Blogger baylor said...

You ARE making something great out of it. And I am so proud of you!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Josh Wingrove said...

I've just found your blog again, Gill, and I must say — there is merit in Pizza Hut. Take solace in the fact that Ryerson blows. We all miss you. Have an awesome time.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Mirella said...

Hi Gill, I've been reading your blog for weeks, at office, during my boring working time. But at the office I couldn't get to the 'comments window'.
I really enjoy it. I'm a foreigner living in Paris, and I agree with many of your points of view. It makes me go back to the first months I was here, and the impressions I had.
You seem like a really fine baby sitter to me, and I am also a mother (I have a son who's 1 year old).
Well, just wanted to say, its nice reading you.

11:26 AM  
Blogger schuey said...

I drink a lot and cook quite well, and am very hard to understand. Can I apply for the parisian flirt ?

12:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home