Paris Diaries: C'est La Vie
When I got back to the hotel, absolutely exhausted, there was a cute little concierge who greeted me when I walked by saying "Oh, it's you!" Considering I had never met him before, this was fairly odd. It's not often I get mistaken for another person. Not just the personality, but I'm four foot six with the body of a pin up and a tongue like a diamond drill. Occasionally some asshat in a bar will walk up and say "I think we've met." I always say "Honey, if you met me, you would remember. I'm not the kind of girl that doesn't slip your mind." Looking at that slender french man, he was the type I would remember. The type I would think about wrapping my legs around as he moaned "Mon Dieu" in my ear. I paused a moment. "No, I saw you on the street a while ago. I looked right at you, but you didn't notice me. And then here you are." He said to me.
One of my lesser known qualities is that I have a hard time knowing when a man is hitting on me short of throwing me on the floor and ripping my clothes off with his teeth. At that point I think, "He might
want me." So when this attractive man spoke to me, I thought "Is he hitting on me or is that just my desperate wishful thinking?" instead of "Holy fuck, I'm gonna grab this one by the lapels before he escapes!" I decided to play it safe.
"Indeed" I said over my shoulder, "Here I am." On the elevator, I noticed him staring at me and smiled at him feeling the blood rush to my cheeks as I hoped that the elevator doors would close to hide the fact that I was blushing as I haven't done since I was in high school. I headed upstairs panicked about whether I had totally blown off a quality piece of Parisian ass, but at the same time thinking I needed a bit of rest and a shower before dealing with dinner never mind hot French male attention.
Dining alone is always the most daunting part of Paris as a single girl. While I don't mind having lunch or breakfast alone, dinner always makes me feel a bit lonely for company, not necessarily even a lover or a man, but a girl with whom I could gossip and compare notes. Furthermore, I'm usually so exhausted by dinner from the Enforced Cultural Death March that I don't venture far from the hotel. I could take a cab to some well known restaurant, but somehow I thought that would make me feel worse. I prefer to go native and investigate little local places than go to some famed place like Les Deux Magots. While I don't admit it, part of my avoidance of these fancy places, is fear of French snootery and rejection. I would rather not risk it and discover some hidden treasure like Au Petit Monsieur than end up feeling like a patsy alone at Jacques Cagna.
And at that moment, I hit upon a cunning plan.
Fresh from the shower, powdered, dressed, made up, feeling all my hooterliciousness, I went down to talk to the concierge.
The moment I came out of the elevator, I saw the change in him-the excited nervousness, the pleasure as I walked right towards him at the desk. "Bon soir" I greeted him before switching to English. "I was wondering, since you seem to know the neighborhood, if you could recommend somewhere nearby to have dinner." He smiled and took out a piece of paper and wrote the name of a few places giving me specific directions. If I had been unsure about his attraction before, his lingering questions, his particular attention to detail, his inquiries about how well I knew Paris, left me no doubt.
The man wanted me, and really, who can blame him? I was built for a city like this-to hang out in museums and cafes by day and make love with passionate abandon in four poster beds by night.
I thanked him for his advice, but before I left the hotel, I hesitated. "What's your name?" I asked. "Nikolae," he responded excited that I would ask. "I'm Bunni" I said on my way out the door. I mean, a girl has to eat-and not just the cute concierge. I stepped out into the night thinking that maybe Paris isn't done with me yet.
Nikolae sent me to P'tite Bouchon Gourmand, a very small restaurant, where they seated me quickly as Edith Piaf came on the sounds system. The door to the kitchen was clear so I could see into the kitchen. This appealed to me on two levels: one it gave me something to focus my gaze upon since I didn't have a dinner partner, and two I enjoy watching the theater of kitchen. One thing I appreciate in Paris is the artistry of everything-not just cooking, but cooking as theater. So I sat and watched steaks smoked while the cooks collaborated as expertly and silently as surgeons.
I ordered a glass of wine and reflected upon the concierge. I shouldn't be thinking about him, but in my head I was already having an affair with him. He was in my big fluffy hotel bed with me begging not to leave.
And I had a moment of regret, when I remembered that I made the Sauvage that happy once.
I told myself the affair was better off imaginary. My steak arrived and the meat, done to taste, literally melted in my mouth.. At least with an imagined romance, I don't have to buy plane tickets or scramble for a hotel room when things don't work out. I won't have to stammer out half assed break ups through babelfish or deal with any cat pee wreaking apartment. No shoes thrown at me in disdain. No meditations on the loss of love.
"Do I regret it?" I wondered.
No, not really, and I realized I now have the perfect Mastercard ad.
Last minute stay in hotel room by the L'arc de Triomphe: $1,610.00
Cab ride from outskirts of paris to Champs Elysees: $12.58
Finally sleeping unmolested in white clean sheets in a hotel room with chocolates on the pillow and rose petals in a pleasantly scented bathroom: priceless
Oh thank you, thank you, thank you Mastercard, I thought.
Still and all, I thought as a very much in love young couple sat next to me drinking champagne, I didn't harbor any hard feelings towards the Sauvage. In truth, I stayed invested too long, a mistake I've made with many lesser men like Ivan the Horrible, but I had some unique adventures with the Sauvage. I saw France as I never would have been able to any other way. And truth be told, I left the relationship better than when I met him, while He was definitely worth a shot. So he hadn't worked out. As he would say "Ce n'est pas grave. C'est la vie."
I paid the check, and found I was excited, and worried, about seeing Nikolae on my way back to the hotel. But as I always, I put my faith in Paris knowing that the city had something stunning in store for me no matter what.
Labels: paris, single girl's guide to paris
Bad Bunni posted at 8/12/2008 10:25:00 PM