I believe I was talking about a narrow staircase, filled with flowers...
We finally reached the top floor and piled into the apartment that belonged to one of the guys we had made friends with, don't ask me which one because I don't know- I can barely remember what they looked like, except they all had dark hair. I can remember the girl they were with however, because she was covered in open sores and scars. She had done 'special make-up' for Halloween, even though Halloween had been over for nearly a week. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't think the girl was their friend at all, I think she was a stray that they'd/we'd picked up at Le Truskel...
The apartment was quite nice, at least it was a 'real apartment' and not a chambre de bonne (bedroom with a shower and a hotplate inside) or a 'studio' (large bedroom with a shower, a toilet and hotplate in it) like most people I know seem to live in. There were even separate rooms, about five of them! And there was a corridor between the rooms! Me and- I want to say Olivia, but I can't really remember- went into the toilet together at one point and the ceiling was unexpectedly really high. There were shelves going right up to the ceiling and they were full of cycling and hiking gear: massive rucksacks and helmets and Stuff. It was a bit trippy, because while Olivia (or whoever it was) was having a wee (ooh, too much information?), I was looking at the 'gear' and thinking 'Where can you go hiking in Paris?'
Everyone was sat in the living room, drinking, chatting, listening to music etc, and I was sat on the floor with Julia. I wasn't really part of the conversation, I'd kind of zoned out and was having a silent, drunken conversation in my head. (Probably discussing my new shoes with myself.) I glanced around the room and for the first time since we'd entered the apartment, I noticed there was a framed print on the wall of Gustav Klimt's 'Mother and Child'.
If you don't know what it is, it's this:
Me and my mum always say that we are the 'Mother and Child' in this painting- when I was born I had the same hair as the baby in the painting and I think that the Mother's face and colouring bears more than a little resemblance to my mum's. But regardless of whether we actually look (looked I mean, I'm not a baby anymore, unfortunately) anything like the 'Mother and Child' or not, whenever I see this painting it reminds me of my mum. It's a popular painting and lots of people have prints of it hung on their walls, but you don't expect to see it hanging in a stranger's apartment that you go back to for an impromptu after-party. It took me a little by surprise and perhaps that's why I, er, reacted the way I did.
I'd had quite a lot to drink, remember.
I'd also had a Bad Week.
Plus, I've been feeling really homesick lately. It comes and goes in great, sad waves that start in the stomach, making you ache with something you can't put your finger on... you wonder if you are hungry, then you wonder if you are tired, then you realise what it is you are aching for... The wave spreads from your stomach, tightening your chest as it moves up your throat, choking you, then suddenly you are trying to stop it escaping through your tear ducts...
Well I was drunk and I couldn't stop it.
I burst into tears upon seeing the painting and the tears wouldn't stop coming. I honestly tried to stop crying, but I couldn't. Julia let me cry into her hair so to stifle the noise, butI still made a Big Scene. I remember the guy sat next to me said half-heartedly"Don't cry..." but none of them knew what to do. I didn't care though, my mind was far away, on the people that really matter to me, and I wasn't worrying about four random strangers (that would be the three guys and Halloween Girl, not Olivia, Julia and Laura), one of whom lived in a strange building filled with potted plants.
I don't think anyone has ever cried so inappropriately. Olivia asked Julia "What's she crying for?"
I felt bad then because, as I mentioned in the previous post, Olivia has very recently checked-in to Heartbreak Hotel and we were supposed to be cheering her up. Lauren even told her I was the best person to be around when you are newly single, because I am, in Lauren's words, a 'boyfriend-hater extraordinaire.'
Well, my floods of tears didn't really cheer Olivia up, in fact because I was crying she started crying as well and then I tried to make amends for crying for no reason. I tried to look at Olivia through my tear-filled eyes as I struggled to say, between the choked sobs that I was forcing back down my throat:
"I...I've g-ggot... nothing t-tto... c-cry...a-a-a-about...you-you're...the one...with... some-something... t-to... c-cry... about!"
I think it was shortly after that that we left, but I don't remember being sad as we left. In fact I don't remember anything at all. I do remember standing outside a hotel while Olivia and Julia went in to ask for a taxi. Laura saw that they had set up for breakfast.
"Go in and steal us a croissant." she said.
I went in, keeping my head down, and grabbed two croissants, then I walked straight back out again. Victory was ours. Olivia and Julia joined us outside with a message from the guy on reception. I thought it was going to something aggressive about croissants, but in fact he'd just written down his name and telephone number for Laura, who he must have fallen in love with her whilst watching her having a fag outside the window, eating her stolen Continental Breakfast.
The taxi arrived. First it dropped Olivia and Julia off, then... then I fell into a deep sleep. I was having dreams and everything, about being late for work and throwing caramel shots in people's eyes, then all of a sudden the taxi had stopped and he was telling us to get out. I looked around and had no idea where we were, so I repeated the name of my street. He just kept pointing and saying "C'est la! C'est la!"
For some reason, we took his word for it and Laura paid for our journey on her card. It was almost forty euros, so fuck knows where he'd driven us. We got out of the taxi and Laura said: "Shit, I was proper asleep then!"
I don't think it is a Good Thing that both of us fell asleep in the taxi, but luckily for us the taxi driver had actually dropped us off near my street, so we only had a five minute walk and then we were riding the elevator to my horrible, messy bedroom. We both put on our new pyjamas and as we climbed into bed, the light outside my window was the petrol blue that proceeds a winter's sunrise.
The next day we met Kayt for 'brunch' (is it still brunch at half three in the afternoon?) at the Rose Bakery, near Pigalle, which is a lovely English-themed bakery and restaurant that only uses organic, free range, locally-sourced blah blah blah. It's fucking Well Dear and you always have to queue to get a table, but it's Worth It. I had Bacon, Mushrooms, Eggs and Tomatoes which came with huge slices of toasted baguette and chunky, sweet marmalade. I also had a pot of rooibios tea and all in all, my 'brunch' nearly cost me twenty euros, but I've lived in Paris for long enough now that it doesn't seem that extortionate...
After the Rose Bakery, Laura got her train home and me and Kayt ate an absolutely shocking amount of English chocolate, plus tortilla chops with a tub of cream cheese and slices of chorizo... Seriously, I am going to try and control my Feeding Habits, especially as Ibiza 2012 is already booked.
I'm very excited for that obviously, but it also means more things to pay for. Still, I feel a lot happier this week, the restaurant has been going better and I have Ibiza 2012 to look forward to...
Now I'm going to see how many cups of tea I can fit in before I have to go to my au pair job, I have to leave in fifteen minutes...