Lady Marmalade

You know that delicious part of a slow awakening…the part where you`re lying in bed, not quite sleeping and not quite awake and you`re vaguely aware of everything around you. I love those moments…in fact, I take those moments to let my mind go. This morning I woke up thinking of one crazy night in Paris on the Champs Elysées and how a young lad bowled me over at sunrise.

Paris 2005

Don and I spent most of our time together in Paris. Fabulous, fashionable and funny…Don Berry Jr. (male nurse from New Orleans I was his FH while we toured about *FH = Fag Hag*). We spent the day doing things that people do in Paris. You visit the Notre Dame, walked along the Seine in the rain, ate ridiculously flaky, tasty pastries and drank more wine and coffee than any normal Parisian would. We sat at corner café`s watching chic Parisian women (and even haughtier Parisian men) walk by. We shopped…and shopped. In the city of lights and fashion, we were like kids in a candy store and mastered the Paris Tube by means of Designer House exits (As in, we should get out at this station…this is where I saw the Marc Jacobs store last time)

That evening we went to the Moulin Rouge (and not for the experience of seeing the show). We went for the Lobster and the French Champers. We went for the opportunity to dress like chic Parisians. We ate and drank like decadent Frenchmen (a.k.a Tourists being ripped off) and danced to a live band.

Eventually we hit Queen, a well-known nightclub on the Champs Elysées. I ‘lost` track of Don fairly early into the evening then. We had just arrived, when he saw a gorgeous blonde giving him the eye …and he was off. At that point I couldn`t care less because I was dancing. The music was great and, unlike Cape Town clubs and lounges, people just didn`t care what you wore (although everybody looked hot), how you moved (although everybody could dance) and you did not have to have an entourage of people around you to have a good time. And there I was, eyes closed, feeling drum and bass…when there was a tap on my shoulder. I opened my eyes to see a young lad handing me bottled water. He was tall and broad shouldered, with a mop of dark curly hair and blue eyes but what stopped me was his smile… open and almost mischievous (I`ll stop now…starting to feel very Mills ‘n Boons).

Je t’ai apporté une certaine eau (I have brought you some water)


Ne pas s’inquiéter. La bouteille est encore scellée (Don`t worry. The bottle is still sealed)

Ok. I see…Ummm… Je ne parle pas français très bien …. (I don`t speak French very well). Do you mind if we switch?

No problem

Luc introduced me to the rest of his friends, he helped me with the occasional language barrier (he spoke perfect English and my only regret was that I didn`t speak better French). He worked out how old I am when he saw my International Driver`s license. At 23 he was 4 years younger at the time. Together we navigated the gauntlet of going to the bathroom.

*Ok, how to explain this? First off…it`s unisex bathrooms unlike anything I`ve seen locally. There are a few closed stalls but, for the most part, it`s a very open affair. The urinals are in the open so everything else is done in the open. You see more naked willies in one second than you`d care to imagine. Most people use the stalls for modesty (If you`re a girl and a total Princess, like yours truly) and to do coke (which the Princess did not do)*

The next morning at about 5am, Luc and I found ourselves sitting at a French Patisserie that had just opened up. We were sipping coffee and eating fresh warm croissants… the sun was just rising. It was a memorable moment…

I remarked to him that it is amazing how well we got along in such a short time…in fact, almost instantaneously. It wasn`t a hook-up or a pick-up. Sure, we had been flirting shamelessly all night as we became more comfortable and the innuendo`s flowed thick and fast… but it was innocent in some way. And this made it special.

He looked at me, smiled almost whimsically and said…

We did not waste our time trying to be to clever about finding a connection and that made all the difference. I am French, you are not. I am 23 and you are a little older *bless him for his tact*. We come from different places, have different backgrounds and possibly different interests. Because time is limited, we have done what few people actually do. We focused on those things we do have in common…this time and this place and mutual interest. It`s simple really.

Wise beyond his 23 years…

He was right. He is still right. You meet someone and instinctively you think of all the reasons why it is not a good match. He is too young, too old, too short, too serious…I don`t like his job, I don`t like her laugh…he has no dress-sense, she wears way too much make-up.

And in the whole maelstrom of navigating the possibility of serendipitous encounters with strangers, we miss the boat because we`re so damn caught up in finding the perfect moment, with the perfect person and the perfect time.

‘Aint going to happen he way you planned. It`s going to happen the way it`s supposed to happen…

If you focus on those things you do have in common…the time and the place and your mutual interest. It`s simple really

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