Saturday, November 15

INTELLECTUALS

This morning I decided that I want to be an intellectual. If I lose my beauty I have to be able to compensate with intelligence. There are days that I miss being normal, being able to wake up early and feel in control of my life. At this point there are only a few things that remind me of normalcy, like brushing my hair or calling a friend or folding my clothes. I had a coffee at Hotel V. and ate two small croissants. Everything in Paris seems to be about size these days. There are mini croissants and mini pains au chocolat and mini viennoisses. The girls wear mini ballerina’s but their scarfs are big as blankets and their bodies look like skeletons. They look like life is easy and perhaps it is for them. Since I want to be an intellectual I decided it makes sense to read. The bookstores are open from twelve to midnight, so I bought Newsweek, Figaro Magazine and Paris Match. After some hesitation I also bought a book with a pink cover: “Souvenirs érotiques d’une femme vénale”. Maybe intellectuals don’t read books with pink covers, but I thought it was a start. The cashier was a young man with curly brown hair and big sad eyes. He touched my hand when he gave me my change and it felt like there was contact, right there, in a separate reality.

Thursday, November 13

BEAUTY

Met two gay men who work as technicians at La Comédie Française. For some unknown reason they seem to have grown fond of me. Today we had coffee and sandwiches at La Place Collette. It was a beautiful day, so sunny it hurt, and nothing could ruin what I felt inside. One of them asked: “Margot, have you slept with French men before?” The way he asked me sounded like he asked about some favourite dessert. Of course I lied and said no, because it didn’t feel appropriate to talk about my flings. I could hardly remember what it felt like to be part of someones victory. What would happen if I’d lose my looks, I thought, would Paris turn into a place I would avoid? At this stage, beauty was still more important than intelligence. In France beauty meant survival, unless of course you were a man.
We finished our sandwiches and a small band started playing in front of us. There was a light breeze, and for a few seconds all the paper money they had collected went flying through the air. That moment everything was perfect, there was nothing that I wished would change. I would accept the loss of beauty, provided that it stayed there, everywhere you looked.

Wednesday, November 12

DILEMMA

Waking up at Hotel V. on Boulevard Saint Germain means being faced with a daily dilemma: should I have coffee at Les deux Magots or at Café de Flore? After a few days in Paris Les Deux Magots seems a lot nicer than the neighbouring cafés. The waiters are cuter and they serve their coffee with the nicest chocolates. Back at the hotel I called my moto taxi guy, asking him how much he would charge for a trip to the main sites. He must have known it was a booty call, his voice started to quiver when he told me the price. In the end I told him I still had to think about what he was charging me.
I took a bath and used four different towels, including the one I threw on the floor. Then I thought how long I could continue to live this way, and if I would ever grow tired of casual sex. The next day I ate two strawberry pastries and the guy at the shop asked me: “Are you in love, or did you lose someone you love?” It was a joke of course, but part of his joke must have been the truth. Then I thought: was I really in love, or just in love with the idea of losing my love?