Parc de Belleville, last autumn. I actually can’t wait for summer to wrap it up and leave space for its somber sibling: the fall.
Deadline Friday so naturally I’ve been yearning for Tumblr all day. That’s how it works. Now I’m off.
The closest thing I have to heaven outside my window is the sky, which is grey.
I don’t care that I can’t see the sun, I know it’s out there somewhere. Maybe heating up a young boy on vacation somewhere, discreetly burning his skull.
I don’t care that the sky is grey as an old face, I know the sun is out there somewhere, doing a good deed, forcing out freckles on the beautifully crooked nose of some young man on vacation, making him squint towards the horizon.
I don’t care that the screen of my phone is dark as the night. I know that out there somewhere the pixels are forming, that textos are raining in the phone of some lovely girl with a heart full of gold and a stomach full of butterflies.
I know this. It’s Friday and the sky is grey.
During his travels across LA’s sprawl for press appointments, the only real downtime Khalifa gets all day is in the backseat of the tinted-window SUV. Arriving at a radio station, Khalifa takes several minutes to get out of the car, his legs finally uncurling out the door like a giant spider emerging from a cloud of smoke. He fiddles with his hair, pulling at little knots of it and then covering it with a hat. It’s these calm moments when he collects himself, and then he’s in the door. His face lights up in a full grin. He’s out of his own head. He breezes through the carpeted halls, says his hellos, does more drops, does an interview, and then he’s back in the car, another joint ready to go.
“The Stoned Cold Business of Being Wiz Khalifa”, The Fader, 2011.
This is my third summer in this city. I pace throught the boulevards, somehow I have adjusted to the heat, I got used to my skin being slippery and reflective as a pocket mirror, my legs refusing to stay put when I cross them. The first summer I wore a tiny paisley blouse in silk, kept returning to the market to pick at the figs and bring them home, I slept in a bed that was bought especially for the Swedish Crown Princess (from IKEA). The second summer I was alone, eating Magnum Blancs, keeping my headphones in my ears, dreaming, obsessing, looking for somewhere to live. This summer I wear black dresses and espadrilles until they are threads on my feet. I walk. I have a day job for the first time since 2006. My eyebrows are darker, a fake shade of brown. My heart is, I don’t know what my heart is. Or where. From my bedroom I have this view of a beautiful cocky tall building. And a park. All of the trees have seen me naked. I’ve seen them naked too. And this week I signed the lease for another year and before I know it I will see them undress again.
I love flight mode when I’m not on a flight. When I’m in flight.
Drying nail polish. The French idea of time. Queues in Carrefour. Boys. Email replies.
As I’m writing this a phone is squeezed between my ear and shoulder. They put me on hold. Waiting in line on a telephone line to Sweden – one of life’s little tests of patience. Patience, a word I can pronounce but not brag about having. Yesterday at work I talked about concentration with my colleague and as she explained her meditation routines I could feel my mind wander. Leap, in fact. Take a run for it. At the sight of my pinball eyes, my colleague compassionately recommended me her favourite meditation app. Later, when I wanted to download it, I couldn’t remember the name. And to google it would take patience. So here I am, on the phone, with a heart that is an old computer hard drive, hissing and heating up.
If I stick my tooth brush in my mouth surely the phone lady will pop back into the receiver.
Honeymoon in my hoods.
B reads my tarot cards online, saying I have to make a choice. A choice between old and young. (In the future everyone will pay someone to make their decisions. For now though the choice of of washing powder brand and life partner is up to me.)
Then we put our make-up on and leave the house.
Ah, a local Petanque nocturne night. Potential for ramadating. That, and looking at architecture because buildings don’t go to sleep at night. Also sitting on a bench on a street making jokes, that works too.
Me and B walk north. We have a coffee in the Before Sunset café. When we are hungry we go to Rue Charonne, order a rude burger. Or was it the waiter, can’t remember. We are not happy with our tops so we go to a thrift store and buy new ones.
We have beer under a magnolia tree. I change to the new top in the bathroom and throw the old one in the trash.
Which magnolia tree we ask the iPad GPS. One in the twentieth, GPS answers.
I drink water from a street fountain. Fill my bottle, and bring it with me. By now all the fluids in my bag and body must surely be Parisian.
1. Voodoo dolls in a shop.
2. 7 different flowers plucked on Midsummer’s eve.
3. A midnight picnic of rosé and frîtes by the canal.
4. Google Translate guides me through L’Étranger.
5. A big bath and a small one.
6. I celebrated one year in Paris. With nan bread.
7. My phone is full of pictures of accidental poster art in the metro.
9. I listen to Tala over and over and never tire.
Vendredi soir, I’m in Le Passage des Artistes, writing about the lady above and thinking about materials that are very strong but also very fragile at the same time. I still think a diamond would break if I dropped it on the floor.
you start spelling weekend with a hyphen in the middle and park with a c
you know how to eat an entire croissant on the run without noticing
you start being really polite to waiters but also quite rude to your close friends.
Today, when a pigeon slapped me in the face with its wing, I thought about my Tumblr and how I missed writing in it, how no one is as understanding of pigeon assaults as my Tumblr. Et voila, bonjour!
One morning your flatmate plays you “All you need is love”, because according to him it’s that easy.
But, you ask him, love, you need it for what exactly?
Is there an instruction manual? Is it enough to just order it and put it on a shelf? Can you buy it like an expensive cream and casually apply it?
You once bought a really overpriced ab toner. It didn’t give you any abs, that’s why it was overpriced. It had wheels and two handles, was blue. Buy this and they will come, the ad said. It’s still in the cupboard, in its box. All you need is an ab toner, you once thought, but it turns out it wasn’t that easy.
All you need is love.
What are you supposed to do with it? Let it collect dust next to my hover and ab toner in the cupboard? They will not get along.
Succumb? Ignore? Use? Embrace?
Or, maybe, this is your solution for everything, fill a bathtub with it, not as a substitute for bath oil, but instead of water.
You could put your entire body in it. Let the love cover all your limbs, reach you all the way to the nose.
But, darling, this is the thing, you are already quite impatient, soaking in that love might work for half an hour, but then what?
But, darling, this is the thing, you are looking kind of tired, getting in that water, you might fall asleep and drown?
You’re not in French class anymore, but do try to A) find the right verb and then B) apply it to love like a secret ingredient that makes the best brownies.
Decide on a verb. It could be ignore, it could be devour.
Find a verb and, then, supposedly, all you’ll need is love.
"I put that glacier on your little hand
Now that’s the only thing without a tan”
Kanye West on Future’s “I won”