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Sunday, June 11, 2006

delicious days

Since the sun has come out, it’s been nothing but delicious days.

Early in the morning the sun is already warming the streets, and I’m the first at the patisserie, buying the warmest pain au raisin or viennoise au chocolat with tired and hungry eyes.

The parks are covered in people stripping down, sleeping, smoking, drinking and browning their skin. In the Bois de Boulogne I found a place in the grass, hiked up my long skirt, took my top off, and gave myself to my old lover: the sunshine.

But the sunshine wasn't the only old lover to come back to me. Last year's summer lover from the South was in Paris for the weekend. It all started at the art exhibit on orgasms, where his aunt had a series of paintings. The surroundings were suggestive and his bottomless brown eyes let me know there was still something there.

By the end of the night we were one again. But by the end of the weekend we were saying goodbye, knowing that other than a week in August, being together isn't a possibility.

Luckily there are many men in Paris. Friday night I sped along the Seine, perched on the back of a scooter, my skirt hiked up to my knees. A single tear made it’s way out of my eye, the wind in my face, my eyes trying to take in the city glowing in the setting sun. My chauffeur, a young Parisian man working in high fashion, took me to Café de Flore, where a waiter poured us long glasses of Kir, and the sun danced across the café tables.

When we split ways I joined another young woman for dinner. A bottle of wine and well-priced food left us happy, wandering the streets, taking the night bus, popping into bars, and eventually hailing a cab from place de Concorde.

The feast is everywhere right now, free for the taking. My Turkish friends up in Monrmartre have set up tables outside their restaurant, and the kids run around with water guns.

Cafes everywhere are full of people, woman dressed beautifully in flowing skirts and linen pants.

The Seine is littered with the young at night, scattered around with bottles of wine, grocery store dinners, strong cigarettes and stronger sex drives.

My feet are cut up from trotting around in flip flops and I can already see a sandal tan.

This is my time of year. Under the sunshine Paris is mine, and for many more hours, the sun lasting late in the night and daring me to stay out longer.

And as long as it lasts, I will, because you can't hide from beauty, and this apartment is turning into a toaster oven.

je me balladais
a day in the park
the big bad moon
cafe tables
les filles a montmartre
shady lady
can you see the light?


Blogger eurobrat said...

Beautiful photographs.

I'm reading this on a freezing night in Toronto and counting down the days until that experience of 'Summer in Paris' can be mine again!

8:55 PM  
Blogger La Page Française said...

Utterly beautiful post! Your description of Paris in the summer is amazing. I love your writing.
Gorgeous photos too

4:20 AM  
Blogger tatiana said...

Gorgeous photos! I am so happy that you are enjoying every single ounce of paris before heading back home (when is that, excatly?) - you are a beautiful girl & there is no doubt that all the french (and other!) men flock to you! Continue to enjoy yourself.... I remember my days in france (and greece & spain) after graduating from college (this was back in 1994!) we were uninhibited, travelling & meeting the most amazing men (and people in general) I only wish my trip was longer than 6 weeks! Cherish your memories.......certain smells, sounds, stories take me back to different travels I have expereinces over my lifetime.... there is no better feeling than reminiscing about past travels, especially when these memories are triggered unexpectedly!!!

5:15 AM  
Blogger Ari said...

I miss Paris.

The sun sets to early here. People care about where I am and what I do. Life without a car is considerably harder. Public transportation is really expensive and everyone dressed is their pajamas or raggedly comfortable clothes. I'm at work with a black skirt and a cute new top and heels and I feel painfully overdressed for just about anything I could do in this city. It's nice on one hand, but god... paris has made me such a snob and I wish people knew the loveliness of drinking all the time and with ceremony and smoking cigs! I can't smoke without gettiung dirty looks and no one mixed their weed with tobacco. How are you going to smoke 5 joints when you don't mix it with tobacco?

Oh man. Everyone is abstaining from things to be healthy and live long, but I'd rather die if I can't do exactly what I want all the time and not feel so damn guilty.

Drinks are cheap, though. And people are friendly, though I find myself hating them and ignoring their smiles as I walk by, my head facing straight ahead.

You'd understand. Oh how I miss Europe.


12:16 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Gillian, you write beautifully. I love your blog and I'm already hooked. Glad to hear you've been hitting up the patisserie - I'm living vicariously through you! When you get on MSN, I'll have to send you the link to my you can see just how far I went on my Baked Goods Fest that last day in Paris. lol

6:13 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

eurobrat- I thought it would be roasting in Toronto by now! Are you coming to Paris?

la page francaise- Merci! Merci! I've been swept away by summer and find it hard to write out half of what I'm seeing!

tatiana- It is amazing, finally letting myself be uninhibited and really enjoying Paris, especially with leaving. I'll be heading back home mid-August, after a quick visit to the South of France. And yes, I will cherish these memories, that I'm already grasping onto for the future.

Ari- I miss you. Come back. I'm going to have the same problem when I go home, and will probably be sent directly to an AA meeting. How am I going to fit in at university when I want wine and a three course meal over pizza? Cigarettes over air? It won't be easy. And yes, I do understand, and love you so.

Jen- I will dedicate my next pastry to you.

5:10 AM  
Blogger The Writer said...

Lovely pictures! I enjoy reading your blog.

2:00 PM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

Oui! I am coming to Paris in August- am literally counting down the days! I've been doodling croissant and the Seine in my notebook rather than taking notes during my night classes.

When will you be in TO?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

I'll be back in TO in September! We'll have to meet up over pastries or dinner at a French restaurant!

7:55 PM  

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