Where were we? Ah yes, I was staring at my phone and the world was closing in around me.
This wasn't happening. I had to check about five times before I would believe it. I had fucked up, Big Time. No, my phone had fucked up, again.
"OLIVIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" I screamed, throwing my phone at her, "Write a text in French that says my alarm didn't go off and I am going to take a taxi and will be there as soon as possible."
I ran into the living room to look for my clothes, swearing and crying. Once I'd located my clothes, I carried them back into the bedroom and hopped about from foot to foot.
"This can't be happening, this can't be happening..."
I ran back into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water. I drank it slowly. My brain wouldn't work properly.
'I can't go to work dehydrated', I thought, 'Where's my toothbrush? My breath will stink of alcohol.'
I brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink (Cece won't let us brush our teeth in the bathroom because the tooth paste stains his black sink) and then ran back into the bedroom.
"Oh god." I cried, turning about in circles, clutching at clothes but not putting anything on, "Why did this have to happen today? I promised her I'd be there at 10.15..."
Olivia sat bolt upright in the bed.
"What are you still doing here?? GO!"
Right, yes... work. I managed to struggle into my clothes and located my boots near the front door. As I left I noticed that Bearded Stranger was asleep on the couch.
I looked around in a panic for a taxi, but there was none in sight and I realised that it would probably be quicker to take the metro anyway. Once on the metro (after an agonising three minute wait) I received a text from the mum, telling me that she had taken the baby with her in the car. I stupidly texted her back:
Ok so can I get the metro then instead of a taxi?
She didn't text back. Maybe she guessed I was still a little bit drunk, or maybe she just thought I was blinded by the panic and couldn't see that I wasn't making any sense. In reality, it was a bit of both, but I actually was trying to think logically- I knew the little girl had a piano lesson from 10am to 11am, so I thought, with the baby gone, she'd be alright on her own for ten minutes or so. By my reckoning I would get to the house at 11.15am.
What I didn't realise was that the alcohol still chugging through my veins was pushing me across the boundaries of Space and Time, because when I arrived at the family's house it was 11.45.
The little girl laughed and shook her head when I leapt through the door. She asked me loads of questions about why I was late and why I looked like I'd been crying, and then the mum came in.
"C'est bon, elle est la." the little girl called over my shoulder.
Obviously the mum had been ringing the house every five minutes to ask if I was there yet.
I rushed to the door and blurted out an apology before she had a chance to say anything. She must have been able to tell from my face and from the tone of my voice that I was sincere. She had a moan about how she had to bundle the baby into the car at the last moment and was almost late, but she seemed to be angry at the situation, rather than me. I didn't want to jinx myself but... it seemed as though I'd gotten away with it.
The thing is, when your alarm doesn't go off for No Reason, it's not really your fault. It's not like one of those shit excuses that aren't really an excuse at all, but rather an unfortunate obstacle that you could have overcome in order to arrive on time for work if you'd really wanted to. For example:
'Oh there was no hot water so I had to nip to the shop and top the gas up'
You could have had a cold shower, or just this once lowered yourself to a wet wipe.
'It's not my fault, I couldn't find my bus pass'
Really you should be saying 'It's my fault, I misplaced my bus pass and looking for it made me late.'
I'm not saying I don't do these things- anyone who has read my blog before will know I fail to overcome these 'unfortunate obstacles' on a regular basis- but I don't try and dodge the blame. I just run in and say "I'm really sorry I'm late" and then I don't add anything, because there is no excuse- I'm just a disorganised, forgetful person with a very poor sense of direction. I'm sorry for being late but I'm not going to change my whole personality for ten euros an hour, Geez Louise.
(Yesterday Lauren messaged me to say that she knows how I feel, because her alarm didn't go either! You see, it happens all the time, so watch out. In my opinion, phones are gaining consciousness and trying to destroy our livelihoods, in revenge for dropping them when drunk and for smearing their screens with foundation and blusher.)
The mum and the little girl went shopping, so it was just me and the baby for a couple of hours. We played with his dinosaurs, I gave him some lunch, then I changed his nappy and got him ready for his afternoon nap and the mum came home. I didn't apologise again on the way out because the grandma was there and sometimes she can be a bit of a bitch, but the next day when I sent the mum my shopping list I said again how sorry I was for fucking up her Saturday (I didn't swear obviously) and I reassured her that I was now using my old mobile phone as an alarm, so it wouldn't happen again.
(Erm, incidentally, I fell asleep on Tuesday afternoon without even thinking to set an alarm, because I didn't plan on sleeping. I was just closing my eyes... I woke up with fifteen minutes to spare before I had to pick the little girl up from school, which takes me forty minutes to get to. Again I managed to cross the boundaries of Space and Time, because in the end I was fifteen minutes late and all the little girl's mates were still waiting for their parents.)
When I left work, I went straight home and slept like a chocolate log (even less alive than a regular log) for four hours. Then Olivia sent me a text asking me if I was still alive so I went back to Cece's and that is when I discovered the truth about Bearded Stranger...
Basically, he was Jesus.
Cece said that after he left Silencio with his friend from London, she just dropped to the floor and blacked out. He tried ringing and texting us but there's no signal in Silencio. At first he thought she was just drunk (they'd been drinking all day), but then he started to panic that maybe she had alcohol poisoning, that maybe he should call an ambulance. He was thinking this all through, whilst struggling to hold her up, when a huge American woman came bounding up to him from nowhere.
"Get yo' hand off of her!" she screamed, trying to push Cece away from his friend, "He's trynna steal this gurl! Get the fuck away from her!"
Cece tried to explain that he was the girl's friend, he told her his name and his friend's name, but the woman wouldn't believe him. In a way I think it's nice that she was so concerned about the girl, but from what Cece said she was a very violent crazy person, so it kind of cancels out her good intentions.
A small, blonde woman then appeared, also American, who seemed really timid and downtrodden. She believed Cece and was trying to convince her friend:
"I believe him, I think he's her friend."
"I am!" said Cece, "I'm not trying to steal her, I'm actually gay."
Then the first woman called Cece a 'fucking faggot'. Then Cece got mad. He started swearing at the woman and telling her to get away from him and his friend.
THEN a huge guy with a shaved head climbed out of a car and started screaming at the two women to get in with him.
"I OWN you!" he was yelling, "Get in the fucking car!"
The small blonde girl was dithering about, looking as though she really didn't want to get in the car.
"Don't go with those two," Cece told her, "They're evil."
The huge scary woman was trying to coax the blonde girl into the car with her and the guy. She heard what Cece said and apparently had a change of heart:
"I apologise for what I called you. That was not right."
Cece ignored her and tried to carry his friend away so they could get a taxi, but he couldn't lift her on his own. Then, out of nowhere, a heavily-tattooed, Bearded Stranger appeared and asked Cece if he needed some help. At first Cece told him he was fine, but the Bearded Stranger stuck around and Cece admitted that he needed help.
Bearded Stranger helped pick up the drunken friend and asked her name, so he could talk to her and coax her out of oblivion. A few taxis went by but nobody would take them, so Bearded Guy said he would help them get on the night bus.
As they walked off, supporting the drunken girl in the middle of them, Cece said he glanced at the two American prostitutes (come on, that's obviously what they were) and they were still arguing with the guy, who was demanding that they get in the car. Cece said he couldn't be 100% sure because it was across the street, in the shadows, but he thinks he saw the guy pick the blonde girl up by the neck and throw her against a shuttered-shop window. Then they all got in the car and drove off.
Bearded Stranger stayed with Cece and his friend all the way home. Then he asked if he could stay, because he lived really far away. Cece said that even though he left all the bedroom doors open, so he could keep an eye on everyone in case anything untoward happened, he wasn't really worried because he trusted Bearded Stranger. He could tell he was a Good Guy. Something innate was telling Cece that this Bearded Stranger was not to be feared. He was not out to hurt anyone because...
He was Jesus Christ... probably.
The next morning Cece woke up and yelled, still with his eyes closed, "Olivia? Is that weird guy still here?"
Then the 'weird guy' came to Cece's door and said "I'm so sorry, I'll go now."
Jesus Christ, always persecuted wherever he goes! Even when he saves drunk girls and their friends on the streets from vicious American prostitutes!
I cannot believe what happened to Cece and his friend. Why would there be American prostitutes in Paris? I can understand high-class American Call Girls maybe, but trashy hookers?
Anyway, the weekend got weirder. When I got back to Cece's apartment on Saturday night, he told me the whole Bearded Stranger story, and then Olivia told me that the strange Shadow Man (they have nicknamed him Vincent) had been watching them all day and I mean literally all day. I risked a glance out of the window and he was there across the courtyard, looking straight into Cece's apartment.
We went for a curry near Chatelet (it was rubbish) and then we bought some Toblerone, Haribo and a box of Ferrero Rocher (why not) and took it home to watch a film with. Vincent the Shadow Man soon appeared in the window. Sometimes we would look and think he wasn't there, but then we'd see a small movement and realise that he was stood just to the side of the window, as if he was trying to hide from us.
We had an early night as Olivia's Eurostar was at Stupid O'clock the next day. Then, at 5.30am, Olivia woke me up my yelling in horror.
"What is it?" I asked, counting my lucky stars that it was now me in the bed instead of me faffing around in a blind panic like the previous morning.
"Vincent's at the window and it's half five in the morning!"
What the hell is wrong with this person? Why is he awake at all hours? And why does he spend the hours he is awake, standing at the window, or just to the side of it, looking into Cece's apartment?
Rather unnervingly, we still don't have an answer. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens... I hope he doesn't murder Cece and then read my blog and come after me because he knows that I know he did it. Eek.
On a lighter note, I had a lovely Sunday. Me and Cece went for brunch at Cafe Divan with his friend Chloe, then me and Cece went for a massage at Les Bains du Marais. I've never been for a massage before, ever. The woman told me to take all my clothes off and then she came back in to find me still stood there, fully-clothed with my bag on and everything. I thought I understood her but I was terrified that I would get naked at an inappropriate moment. (Well, not completely naked, you have to keep your knickers on.)
It was very expensive. If you're wondering how I've been affording all these jolly jaunts to hammams and members clubs, then all I can say is: you all told me to not to sell crack- look who's laughing now.
Oh! I've just remembered, I completely forgot to mention what happened with Biblical Bartender. Well, as you may have predicted, absolutely NOTHING happened. He sent me a text on Friday saying:
Unfortunately I work tonight and tomorrow
In my heart of my hearts I knew it was a blow-off, but I really fancied him. I didn't want to let it go. On Saturday I texted him saying:
Shame, do you work every evening?
But I kind of knew I wouldn't get a reply. If you give your number to a bartender, you've pretty much got to seal the deal as soon as possible. Strike while the iron is hot, you know.
It's not like I thought a one night stand with Biblical Bartender was going to lead to marriage and babies, but it would be nice to have some vague excitement of the sexual variety, some flirty texts here and there, buying new underwear 'just in case'...
I guess what I really want is validation that I'm not going to end up a celibate, cardigan-wearing old crow. NOT that I think there is anything wrong with being single, you know I am all for it, but right now I would like some reassurance that if I one day decide I don't want to be single forever, I will at least have a chance of attracting the opposite sex. At the moment I fear I will be a celibate, cardigan-wearing crow until my Dying Day.