Last weekend, two American elderly women stopped me in Musee D’Orsay to say ‘You”re so incredibly beautiful. We were wondering if you’re a model?’ I get that a lot these days . Just like the stares and the whispers I do not wish explore today. So I pause my audio guide , silently apologise to the Edgar Degas painting for the interruption and brace myself for a cheerful act. ‘Thank you so much I say,’ I smile and answer all their questions . ‘The impressionist museum will be closing in twenty minutes,’ the speaker insists . I slide the audio guide back into my ear , still smiling and excuse myself. It wasn’t that I was trying to be rude. It’s just I had just had a similar 10minute conversation with the guards (also elderly women but French) on my way in and only had an hour to explore the impressionist section of the museum, which I came specifically for.That afternoon, I only wished to enjoy the paintings undisturbed and in silence . I wished to be with myself for a bit before joining my friend at Notre Dame. It appeared no elderly woman was prepared to give me that. Even so , I decided then that old people give the best compliments .
My favourite tulle skirt is blowing in the wind and I can’t help but think I fit right in . Montmartre is as stunning as expected. Each cobble stone , each café , each street satisfyingly pretty and I revelling in all of it . ‘I’ve decided I want to live in Paris for at least a portion of my 20s. I already speak a bit of French …’ I say to Thamani. ‘Really ?’ He responds . He does this a lot. Not to say tell me more but to say you know that’ll be very difficult to do. I chuckle and think to myself -“I’m glad it’s you I’m doing all of this with.”
On my third night in Paris , I text you for the first time after months of telling you we needn’t speak. I do so to tell you you were right. That I love Paris as much if not more than you said I would. You call soon after.I’m glad you do because your voice was what was missing all along. ‘You could have come here for the summer!’ you tease. ‘I suppose I could have’ is what I should have said instead I blurted out ‘it’s not the same.’
You’ll hate reading this. But I’ve told you getting involved with an artist will cost you. I believe ‘You’ll be immortalised in their work’ is how I put it.