Paris Diaries: Mirror, Mirror
Disclaimer: This post contains graphic sexual content.

I ended up in Place des Vosges for dinner again. I was trying to find some restaurant recommended in the Eyewitness Guide and ended up in the least crowded restaurant I could find. The least crowded was one where I was the only customer. I didn't want to be hassled. I was tired and sore from the Louvre. I wanted to sit and write my notes without feeling like the waiters were either making fun of me or desperately trying to free my table up for some, French, customer.

So I sat alone in a French restaurant watching the sun set. Again I was haunted by the feeling that I hadn't done things right. I mean, the first time I was in Paris, I had already bagged two frenchmen by day three and fended off numerous unwanted advances. I hadn't even been hit on. Christ, I hadn't even been winked at. Maybe I was in the wrong part of town. Maybe I should have gone to Florence. Maybe the mistake was in trying to relive days of past glory. What's impressive about a magic trick isn't that you pull it off once. Anyone can do that. It's that you can repeat the same trick over and over again at will. That's the magic.

And I had been unhappy in the Louvre. And I wasn't venturing far from the hotel. I hadn't yet been to the Latin Quarter for dinner. Of course, I was exhausted when I got home, but I could have taken a cab. I had the money to spend, so why not get a cab there? Because that was admitting defeat, weakness. To whom I don't know, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But where was my sense of adventure? Where was my devil may care attitude? Where the Hell had I gone? Taking a trip is about self discovery, but what happens when you go away and discover you've vanished. There's just two footsteps in the snow where you used to be.

I ate quickly. I wanted to go home and crash. I was exhausted from all my time in the Louvre and I had to reorganize my Enforced Cultural Death March of attack for the next few days and my left ankle was throbbing.

On my way home, I noticed that two men with a baby carriage were keeping pace with me. Of course, my first thought was that even in Paris I am a hit with the fucking gays. (Me and Kathy Griffin no doubt have that in common.) And not just any gays but a gay french family. I thought this had to be some kind of rarity. They were polite and smiled. They started to chat while we were waiting for a light and after that it took me about five steps to realize that I , the great and powerful Bunni, who has honed her gaydar to razor's edge like precision had fallen victim to the gay or European conundrum. They weren't gay. One of them was a married man taking his baby for a stroll ,and his cousin was walking with him realizing what men in New York realized a long time ago about dogs: a baby is a great way to pick up chicks.

Baby or not the cousin, Luc, was gorgeous-that exotic mix of olive skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes would have had me on the verge of tossing my panties at him even with an American accent, but you add into the pot that he doesn't speak much English and has a French accent and we have entered the real of moral imperative.

The Lord only puts a man like that in my path for one reason and it isn't to be a tour guide or refresh my knowledge of the French language. It isn't to discuss the finer points of Zola's the Drinking Den or long strolls in the Luxemburg Gardens. It is to reassure me beyond a doubt that as long as I can get plane fare to Paris, I will always be able to have satisfying but incredibly questionable cheap sexual encounters with hot younger men.

Can I get an amen from the front row?

Before I left for Paris the first time, the Big Bad took me aside and gave me some advice. "Fuck lots of guys," he said to me, "I mean lots of guys. You are on vacation. No one will know. No one will care. I mean be safe. But fuck lots of men."

Who am I to argue?

We walked for a bit. The father of the child offered his services as a tour guide the next day. He was a stay at home father. I agreed to meet him early to depart for the Luxemburg Gardens. I had no intention of ever seeing him again. I take my advice on how to treat men in Paris from Madeleine Kahn in Clue, "Men should be like tissue: soft, strong and disposable." It's amazing I haven't been banned from the city yet.


The father departed, and Luc and I stayed on a bench while he tried to talk his way into my hotel room. I was torn. Normally I have an instinctive sense about people-the Bunni sense. Rarely have I been wrong. I can usually tell right away: bad news or good? Occasionally judgment gets clouded, but I wasn't really getting a sense from this guy either way.

Finally I decided I wasn't going to see him again no matter what I decided. Might as well give him a bit of a thrill before I threw him away. And since I wasn't getting a bad sense from him, where was the harm?

On the wall of the room by the bed, quite close to the bed in fact, was a floor to ceiling mirror. I can't imagine why one would put a full length mirror there, but there it was.

I've always had a thing about mirrors. My first boyfriend and I were involved in the theater in school. Most of the dressing rooms had walls that were lined entirely with cracked, streaked, floor to ceiling mirrors. We would be making out on the couch and I could look and see us-his hand under my shirt, his face buried in my neck, my thigh raised against his torso urging him further. There was something arousing about being able to see us from a different point of view, an outside point of view, as if someone was watching us. Utterly safe exhibitionism, if you will.

I didn't intend to be naked so quickly, but this guy was not about foreplay. He was about ripping off clothes and taking me. I put up no resistance. A simple turn of the head and I could see him-lean, tan, arching. I was almost invisible beneath-reduced to a glimpse of elbow-an ankle-a flash of hand. There was nothing sensual about this, nothing less brutal animal desire, which ended quickly.

Luckily, because he was young, he also recovered quickly. As I dozed for a moment against his chest, he threw me onto my back, "Are you tired?" he asked sliding into me. "Are you tired?" he repeated. I could barely breathe I was so surprised, although I don't think either answer would have stopped him.

As Harry Burns remarked in When Harry Met Sally, "Your problem is somewhere between thirty seconds and all night." Afterwards, he took a shower while I pondered how to get him out of my room. I mean, I couldn't quite say, "Yes well that was great now get out." This is why one goes to HIS house. So that afterwards one can remember an early morning meeting. "Love to stay baby doll, but my Life Coach wants to meet at seven." Or you left your copy of I Ching on your bedside table and lord knows you can't go through a single day without that. Worse case scenario you can reveal that you have an emotionally needy cat who will pee in your Ferragamos if you don't get home soon. Sure you don't have Ferragamos and your cat, emotionally disturbed as she may be, would never dream of pissing anywhere but the litterbox, but HE doesn't know that and he never will.

But in my wanton French lust, I have forgotten one of the key rules to being Une Petite Americaine Coquine: Never take them to your place.

And so now I have to think up some excuse to get him out of my room so I can peacefully sleep without this, well gorgeous, but only functional lover. Because pure lust is not what I am after, and what I need, tenderness and sweetness, this youngster can not offer. Time release him back into the Bull Pen.

But my mind, addled as it is from sex, exhaustion, wine, and butter, can not function properly. I come up with nothing while he showers. He comes back to the bed and puts the television on.

"Are you a Christian or a Jew?" he asks me in French.

I could tell the truth. The French are apparently famously antisemitic. But when I think about his complexion I know where he is going with this. I wonder what is less offensive to a French Muslim, an American Christian or a Jew?

"Christian, and you?"


It seems I have made a hobby, if not a second career, of fucking men that would my father would have killed me rather than suffer the idea that these men had ever touched me.

Another notch on the bedpost for World Peace.

or something like that.

He lies there quietly for a minute. Then he recalls that he left his metrocard at home. I have a flicker of hope. "Oh well," he shrugs, "It's not serious." Then he remembers that he has to get up early for work. He fidgets. The list of things he forgot seems to exponentially multiply. "Why don't you just go home?" I finally said to him exasperated he was still here and damn near infuriated he didn't even have the balls to say he has to leave. "You're not mad?"

Mad. I was practically overjoyed.

"Of course not." He was full of apologies and promises for the next night. The next night he would stay over. He would take me to dinner. He would give me a massage. Whether these were empty promises were of no interest to me. As I said, he had served his purpose, but he wasn't worth the effort of a repeat performance. He's Just Not That Into You meet He Fucking Wishes.

He promises to meet me at six o'clock at the corner. He says it a few times insistent that repeat back the time and place before he leaves. I go to the window and light a cigarette. I watch him walk down the street distant and disinterested. As my friend from college would say, "He's just another cheap piece of ass that you won." Still I wonder if that's all that Paris has left to offer me-bad museum experiences and tolerable sex. Because if that's it, well I can walk five blocks to the Met save a ton on airfare and not bother having to pack a suitcase and get the same damn thing.

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