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Sunday, March 19, 2006

this is my favorite scene

Early Friday night I’m sitting at the dinner table with the kids having a singing contest. I keep losing and apparently don’t take the singing seriously enough. I run out the door after dinner, and promise the young girl I’ll practice all weekend.

A couple of hours later two friends are in my shoebox apartment as I attempt my first cramped dinner party. We sit side by side on my pull out couch, plates on our laps, and dig into the sweet salmon, baked zucchini, and feta salad I’ve prepared. They smoke Lucky Strike through the bars of my window, and I make hot whiskey in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

Saturday afternoon and I’m walking the rue de Passy admiring store windows and the summer fashions that have finally come our way. I try on flowing tops and light jackets, buy nothing, and dream of the hotter days to come.

Saturday evening and I’m walking up a street in Montmartre with a bag full of avocados, tortilla chips and wine. The sun has just set and all the small restaurants are setting their tables. Waiters smoke outside, and a chef walks out of a restaurant and up the street in checkered pants. I try not to smile at the young men who hiss at me as I work my way up the hill.

Soon after I’m making guacamole in Lauren’s kitchen. Her and her Italian roommate are throwing a party for their new apartment, which is soon filled to the brim with Americans, Italians, British and French. I fill myself with white wine and guacamole as I go from French to English, describing life as an au pair to strangers throughout the room. I finally get to meet Coquette-the charming celebrity blogger and fashion journalist-as I try and teach a Frenchman to say “Corkscrew”. “Where is zee cork scru?!” He screams.

Later Saturday night and I’m trying to catch the last metro home. I get half way there and it closes. Soon I’m standing with a bunch of young teenage boys in straw hats. One has a portable ghetto blaster, playing a catchy song that feels like background music to the movie of my life. He tries to show me where the nearest night bus is, while his friend force feeds him gin and tells me I’m “magnifique”.

It's turning into Sunday morning and there's no night bus. Every taxi is taken. I find a ritzy hotel and eventually steal a cab. My driver is kind and takes me home under a large moon, and I have enough to give him a small tip.

Sunday afternoon and young boys are skateboarding at Place du Trocadero, the Eiffel tower glowing behind them. Music starts playing from two large speakers behind me, and I continue walking aimlessly, then sun holding me all the way.

Sunday night and I’m in my friend’s Turkish restaurant in Montmartre. A rowdy group of men sit at another table and stare me down. When I get up to leave, so do they. I sit back down, and so do they. My friend’s father insists he’ll drive me to my metro so that they don’t follow me. He tells me they won’t eat there again. “We only like good people in our restaurant,” he says, “I have no problem kicking people out if I don’t like them.” His face is intelligent, honest, and he tells me he’ll send me to Turkey with his wife and daughter next summer.

The scenes keep unfolding and I can’t tell if I’m taking part or just observing. Life feels unreal these days, and my whole body feels lighter as the air starts to warm up. I walk these streets knowing my life here isn't permanent, and with this in mind, the romance comes back. The scenes unfold, foreign, unreal, and everything glows under that sudden sun.

light
eyes locked on the sky
trocadero
trocadero skaters
how many clues tell you we're in Paris?
Eiffel by night

6 Comments:

Blogger Raj said...

Gillian,

Once again, beautiful writing coupled with breathtaking pictures. You know how to make a scenery picture so much more-your words give them atmosphere and emotion.

Raj

6:12 PM  
Blogger K said...

Very good post--I can imagine just what you feel with your prose.

The bit about the lightness of your body because of the air's warmth was wonderful.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

baby!!!!

I am so fucking excited that you are coming to Van for a bit!!! We're going to PARTY it up!!!! Can't wait to see you!!

love

Lucy

9:24 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

K and Raj- Thanks you, I love that I can write out random thoughts and have them be appreciated. It means a lot to me.

Lucy- Yeeeaaah!! So I guess that means you're coming to my dinner party and getting liquored up with me?

10:32 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

*Thank you

10:33 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

WOW - the magic of the city is back, and you are happy! yesssssss

3:26 PM  

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