pour me another
That being said, sometimes I feel the need to get absolutely wasted and unleash my inner lush.
Sometimes I feel the need to let go.
Saturday night I was running late for a rendez vous. I was literally running, at full speed down the small streets of Les Marais, in heels, not quite sure where I was going, with a very heavy bottle of vodka weighing down my purse. The streets were crowded and the bars were glowing.
Eventually I found Lauren in La Belle Hortense, a cozy bar for the literary crowd, with book lined walls and a long wine menu.
We sat down in the intimate back room and had great conversation to go with our drinks. In an hour we covered most taboo topics and were laughing like schoolgirls. I didn't want to leave her, but we both had dinner plans, so I took off when her friend arrived.
Leaving the bar, I was once again late for another rendez vous. There would be no time for the metro. I flagged down a taxi, and startled the driver by hopping in the front seat. We quickly became friends. He swerved around other cars and sped down the street so that I wouldn't be late.
Dinner was at Charlie's, with a lovely crowd of young Americans and Charlie's handsome Parisian lover.
Straight from the bar, I continued drinking, coming up with a cocktail named "Bloody Gillian", as dinner was prepared in the kitchen.
We feasted elegantly with a hearty meal that came with hearty debates. We covered politics, racism, and religion. I got in an argument with the Parisian, who wouldn't agree that the French is more beautiful than English or Quebecois French. In the end I thanked him for putting up a fight, because it's always more interesting when someone disagrees.
After a dancing around the living room, the rest of the night is a bit of a blur. I think we took the metro. I'm pretty sure we went to la Bastille. I know we went to a few bars. And I remember climbing into a taxi at four in the morning, and tumbling into bed sometime after.
I woke up with a miserable headache, much less money, and my cardigan missing.
I hadn't had a hangover that bad since highschool.
Somehow I found this all quite amusing, and a great excuse to lie in bed all day. When the slothfulness became too much for me, I got dressed, and made my way up to Montmartre to see my young Turkish friend Yeliz at her family's restaurant.
Yeliz treats me like a gift from heaven. She practically jumps in excitement when I walk in the door. And when I pulled out a small gift for her, it turned out she had bought me one as well. I left after a couple of hours, well fed and warmed by her company.
It was a weekend of indulgence. I suffered the head throbbing consequences, but still came out feeling satisfied.
Sometimes I have to let go. That way I can compose myself for Monday, strap on my au pair responsibilities, and face the week without grudge.
I maybe didn't practice moderation, but I found a sense of balance.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.