Paris Diaries: Vengeance, Thy Name is Bunni
"Through me enter the population of loss" Canto 3 Dante's Inferno

"Everyone lies, good guys lose, and love does not triumph over all" Swimming With Sharks

After midnight, Nana was ushered to bed. While far from well, I was much stronger and more aware than the night before. I got into bed, the Sauvage took off his clothes and tried to seduce me. "Not tonight," I said, "I'm sick." "You said no last night too" he responded. This was the same man who hours earlier was joking about burning his fingers on my skin my fever was so high. "I was sick last night too." He tried to push forward, but I was strong enough to push back. "I need my rest," I said to him, "I'll make love tomorrow." "It's difficult for me, you understand," he said, "I've been waiting for so long."

If I had enough French, I would have said "If you've waited so long, one more day won't matter. What about during our vacation in August when you weren't in the mood for four days in a row? Wasn't I supposed to be understanding? Hadn't I been? But now when I am sick, I am still supposed to be une putain respectueuse?" 1. Had I not been furious about the night before, I was certainly enraged about this. I'm all about Quid Pro Quo. If I respect your health issues, then you damn well better respect mine or I'll give you some health issues to respect.

After I made it clear I could not be reasoned with or forced, he fell asleep as did I. I woke at 2:11 to an empty bed. The Sauvage had gone to sleep with Nana in her room and meticulously closed all the doors between him and me. I went back into the living room ambivalent about what he had done. Was this a punishment for denying him sex? Was he really playing his love for his daughter to make me jealous? And why did I feel both relieved and insulted at the same time?

I returned to the bedroom and slept uneasily. I woke at 8:15 and waited for signs of life in the other room. In the past ,Nana was an early riser, but by 10:45 they still weren't awake. I sat and read 40 pages of In Ruins. Then I made a pot of tea.

Finally, I contemplated my options. I wrote them down in my journal as follows:

1. stay here and hope things change
2. find a hotel in Paris and convalesce there until my return state side
3. book a flight to Florence, Venice, or Edinburgh
4. see if I can change my ticket for an earlier flight

I looked at the clock and thought "Christ, if I was home, I would just be stumbling back from some bar or party about now." I assessed my current health condition in terms of traveling-I still had a fever, my body ached, and my throat was sore-not a good condition for a plane, but certainly well enough to get to a hotel. I looked out at Paris and thought, "I just want to go home. I want to curl up with my cat and some theraflu. If I can't do that I want a nice lush hotel with clean sheets and fluffy covers. Someplace safe. Someplace where I can be sick in my own way and not have to fend off advances or choke down dinner. Someplace where I can be alone."

I knew one thing-staying with the Sauvage was not an option.

As I sat reading and waiting and planning and contemplating, I realized what he was doing. He was trying to give me a taste of my own medicine. I spent yesterday sleeping because I was horribly ill-so now he was holing up with his daughter to teach me a lesson. And I began to realize what kind of person I was dealing with. As I said, language can only protect you for so long-sooner or later character comes through . What he didn't realize was that he just making my decision easier and giving me more time to plan how to escape.

At 11:30, he finally surfaced, and I discovered that I had no voice, literally. He was affectionate with me acting as if he hadn't gotten up in the middle of the night leaving me sick alone in bed. When I asked him why he changed beds, he claimed the bed hurt his back. Funny how that never happened before. He asked if I want to see a doctor. I reflected on this option, but what good would it do? Would the doctor even be able to understand me? And if he could, would I be able to understand him. And even so, it was just a bad flu. All I needed was rest and some tea with honey and to get my ass back to the land of martinis and manicures.

The Sauvage lit up a cigarette. His constant smoking certainly hadn't helped my recovery. I sat at the table with Nana preparing to suffer through another meal as the Sauvage fussing in the kitcheb. I told myself that as soon as the meal is over I could excuse myself to use his computer and begin to investigate my options, contact Air France or American Express, comparison shop on travelocity and If the meals weren't hard enough to bear, Nana is a mouth breather and chews with her mouth open all the time. She reminds me of Jim Carey's comment that when an elderly person eats a sandwich it doesn't sound like a meal, it sounds like a fight for life. It's a production of lip smacks, snuffles, and more views of semi masticated food than I ever wanted to see that if you were to listen to it would make you think of someone fighting off being smothered with a pillow rather than trying to consume food-and I remind you I used to accompany my father on rounds at the hospital often. I saw pictures of operations in progress on the cover of my father's medical journals while I was eating dinner. I'm far from squemish, but something about this girl's eating habits was worse than watching a tracheotomy while eating pasta with marinara. 2

After lunch, I vanished into the computer room. I searched through flights, tried to contact Air France, instructed Bakerina to contact my mother to see if she could help with my flight plans from that side. I discovered that going anywhere else was cheaper than staying in Paris. I pondered the story to give to the Sauvage. I could have told him it was a family emergency. He had to drive me to Charles de Gaulle because my grandmother is dying. While I'm online, he came in a few times to check on me and attempted to kiss and cuddle. I resisted. I instinctively shrank from his touch. And this is how I knew it was over. I knew that I never wanted him to touch me again, and I was willing to leave the country to avoid it.

The only question was how I was going to tell him.

In typical Bunni fashion, while I was pondering this very issue, he came in again. There is a time for thought, and there is a time for action. While I hadn't planned what to say to him, never mind bothered to translate it, or write it down since I couldn't talk, I found myself telling him that I couldn't be his lover anymore.

You may not need language for love, but you do need it to break up.

I tried to explain in French with my choked voice, and he looked at me like a dog that had just been shown a card trick. I pulled up altavista's babelfish and began to type into the translator. "I can't stay here. When I'm sick, I need to be alone. I'm sorry. It's not your fault." He asked me in French, "Why did you come here?" "Because of you" I told him. He explained that he changed his entire vacation for me as if I hadn't FLOWN ACROSS A FUCKING OCEAN FOR HIM...THREE TIMES. What indiginity had I not suffered for this man and he had the balls to tell me he changed his vacation for me? Pardon me while I call the entire string section of the Boston Pops to play MoonRiver just for him. But even in the face of all this I controlled my rage, partially because I still needed him to get wherever the fuck I was going, but also because I didn't have the energy to translate my anger.

I typed into the translator "This is not how I wanted things to go. I did not plan this, but I can not stay with you." He asked me what I want to do. I explained that I was going to go to Venice or Florence. "All I need is a ride to Charles de Gaulle" I typed into the translator. "Why not stay here?"he asked me. "Because" I typed "it would make me sad to stay in Paris without you." He offered the following plan: you stay here in my apartment and I'll go stay with my parents.

While sweet, it demonstrated the same utter lack of thought I had come to associate with him, and I've never suffered fools gladly in any language. He lived in a remote area of Paris that I could not easily navigate. It was definitely the type of place someone needed to be fluent in French to survive, and I didn't even know where the metro station was. Or put more simply, I wanted to be rid of ALL of him, his apartment and its funky smells included. I didn't want to just get rid of him-I couldn't take the haunting smell of phantom cat piss. And I was willing to pay the price.

I shook my head gently. He seemed adamant that I stay in Paris even if I left him. I didn't understand why, but I thought maybe he wanted to "be friends" and do things together. Finally, despite the expense, I told him I would find a hotel in Paris, and he agreed that the following day he would drop me at the hotel. Because as heartless as I say I am, I'm not half the black hearted whore I wish I was.

The truth is, as I lamented to Bakerina and Rabbitch online, I just wanted to go home, order two pitchers of beer, 50 buffalo wings, and hang out with my girlfriends and bitch about men. I wanted to put on my bunny slippers and hang out in my pjs for a week eating Ben and Jerry's while telling my cat how lucky she was that us fat assed bitches had each other. But instead, even now, I thought about his feelings and looked for a hotel in Paris. I found a lovely one, right by the L'arc de Triumph. I figured Napoleon, being a short hostile person himself, would have my back. I booked the hotel as I listened to the Sauvage in the other room call his parents and feign happiness about the change in plans.

Soon, I thought as I confirmed my reservation, soon I'll be free.

1 A Respectful Whore
2 Before you counter with, "But she's just 9" I'll tell you at 9 my nickname was Miss Manners. I often corrected my father at the dinner table for eating with his mouth open as my parents raised me to be polite and proper at the dinner table even if it was just the family.

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