Life in Paris

Write your speech.

Write your speech.
Be thankful it’s in English.
Be thankful you’re alive.
Be thankful there’s long-life milk in the pantry.
So bake a cake.
While you’re at it, write some essays too.
Write your speech.
Essays, my love, essays.

ESSAYS!!!!!

Reluctantly yours,
The Vicki To-Do List. x

The unhappy symphony of Stabilo pen-flinging, nail biting and bundled paper-tossing hangs in the air of Paris Apartment Six. This symphony, I note, is gleefully overpowered by the layers of Pokemon X battle cries and the opening theme tunes of Scooby Doo, also emanating from the same apartment.

Hi I’m Vicki, current tenant of Paris Apartment Six, student of various Universities, self-confessed green tea junkie, and online chronicler of times spent in bored sobriety. Bored and sober, that’s me right now. Bored, sober…

And desperate.

Datelines creep into the back of my head in despair, but they are still too feeble to stir my brain cells into academic action. Bla-di-blah, it’s the same old story. You’d only need to take a one-second peep at the state of my room to lather me with looks of sympathy and concern. My room in Paris.

So Paris, gripped by autumn’s bleak hands, is often cold: it’s a fact that northerly winds are unbridled in their tenacity to dot our clammy, germ-ridden bodies with goosebumps. Our hard-earned holiday tan now fades quietly into the October mists of grey. Our Euro notes are processed by cash registers only to transform into boxes of paracetamol and Kleenex® UltraSoft. Our ice-cream tubs are doomed to expire away in the back of freezers, yes – I get it, but goosebumps!? I can never accept them. It makes you wonder how the following photographs of smooth-skinned wraith-like models in Iceland are even possible. Zoom in, and you will not find a single dot to suggest the existence of that blasted blight called goosebump.

Model in Iceland
Model in Iceland

So what does a girl do when she’s blanketed by autumnal languor and constant cravings for food?

She takes afternoon walks on artificial islands (des îles artificielles) along the River Seine, to snap pictures for a French film production class she barely attends.

Île aux Cygnes, Paris
Île aux Cygnes, Paris

She experiments with frog legs on her fast-heating stove.

Frog legs in wine sauce
Frog legs in wine sauce

She sings quite possibly the fishiest song in the history of songs in full Santa costume. ‘Les Sardines’ by Patrick Sébastien: “Ah ! Qu’est-ce qu’on est serré au fond de cette boîte ? Chantent les sardines, chantent les sardines entre l’huile et les aromates !” (Ah! We’re packed at the bottom of this box? Sing the sardines, sing the sardines between oil and spices!).

Les petites mamas Noëls at Trocadéro, Paris

She does not fall in love with any sorry lump of French testosterone, so that she would never again give in to pangs of yearning and regret. Sad as it sounds, she would find it sadder still to lose my absolute liberty to do and look the fuck as she wishes. No, she will only consider a nomad from the desert, somebody who has withstood the trials of Mother Nature and hence somebody who would probably be able to withstand her gastronomical demands for traditional, tomato-laden foods.

She falls in love with something bigger. The city of Paris. Love with her colours, her sights, the play of watercolour lights upon her streams and fountains. The city’s cold, cruel heart. Love with the knowledge that perhaps, just perhaps, her favourite celebrities from the nineties are coming to perform. Love with the very sight of the Eiffel Tower from afar, signalling to her that home is near. She loves that home is near, so near: she walks on these cobblestone streets, onwards, the phallic tower is just around the bend, onwards, she smells the waft of freshly-baked baguettes, she revels in their music-like crackle… she ignores the racist slurs of curious passers-by.

She gets home.

Home is where the heart is, and my heart is in Paris.

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