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Sunday, January 22, 2006

scattered like a Picasso

The sky was grey and heavy.

Cool gusts of air snuck into my jacket.

Bare tree limbs stuck up into the air and over the fence of Le Jardins des Tuileries.

I snuck into WH Smith with all the other Anglophones for my fill of English literature. Stacks of shiny new books at exuberant prices caught my attention, but not the bills in my wallet. My fingers raced through cookbooks and stole quick tips, but I lef the books behind and sent myself back into the streets.

I walked le Rue Rivioli, my ears drowning in heavy American accents, my eyes tired of seeing tacky tourist sweatshirts and t-shirts with sayings like "Paris University: Sex Professor".

I made my way up into Les Marais, to admire beautiful men holding hands, and up to the Picasso museum.

I walked through quickly, only caught by one painting of a woman on a bed. I imagine her and Picasso were lovers. I imagine they'd made love all night, and while she lay half asleep, naked on his bed sheets, he felt compelled to paint her. I imagine she liked it.

I left the museum and wandered to more English bookstores, looking for a book that doesn't exist, and making a list in my head of books I might buy next time.

I walked past les bouquinistes. I tried to take a picture of a vendor, but he watched me pull out my camera so I took pictures of the Seine. He looked at me, grinning under his cap, and offered to take my picture. I blushed and said "Non merci," because I was more interested in the sights around me.

I felt like my eyelids were being pulled open and everything around me seemed to enter into my system.

And I can't help but wonder why Picasso chose to paint one woman beautifully, as she was, and the rest with their breasts at their feet and their faces in their stomachs, body parts more scattered than my mind.



Blogger Charlie said...

Hi Gillian... I was walking by the bouquinistes today too, looking for a money changing place that was open on a Sunday. It's funny because I saw a blond woman from a distance and even thought, "I wonder if that's Gillian" -- it wasn't you, but it's funny you were actually there today.

Let's get together sometime when you have the chance... Donnes-moi un email ( and we'll figure out a time that works. I'll have a cell phone soon but not as of yet.

ciao ciao

1:37 PM  
Blogger baylor said...

Glorious. I love that painting. And I love what you had to say about it.


5:46 PM  
Anonymous georgia said...

A beautiful entry.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

You still write mini-leads. I love it. Short, quick sentences to draw in the reader, nice work.
I wish I could just skip on over to the Picasso museum. That's what we have you for though. This Charlie dude used three languages in his entry. His photo looks like he starred in the Matrix.

10:00 PM  
Blogger maitresse said...

dude, I would kill for a "paris university: sex professor" sweatshirt, do you know where I could find one?

5:30 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

I have a fetish for short sentences. They do something for me. It's why I can't read Charles Dickens, his long overdrawn sentences never hold my short attention span. And maitresse I'll lend you one of mine, I bought atleast three, cause it shows people i'm a deep thinker with a crazy sense of humour, right?

11:58 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

I enjoy traveling around Paris with you! ;)

9:34 AM  

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