He was quite an old guy and he seemed harmless. Also, I thought it would be embarrassing to get up and move; to then have him yelling after me, causing a big scene while everyone else in the metro carriage looked on in fascinated horror.
Just before my stop, an English couple got on the metro and tried to sit next to the homeless man. He pushed the woman away from him and started shouting at her. They didn't say much, but I know they were English because when the homeless man pushed the woman, she said "Sorry, sorry!" Besides the fact that she was speaking in English, there aren't many other nationalities that would automatically apologise after being physically assaulted by a homeless man.
Well, maybe 'physically assaulted' is a bit strong, but pushing a stranger, unprovoked, is a quite a violent thing to do.
As I stood up to get off the metro, I realised his crutch was blocking my way to the doors, so I stepped over it, knocking it a little bit with my foot. The homeless man roared with indignation, picked up the crutch and tried to hit me with it. Luckily I was moving quite fast, so it just caught the back of my coat.
Imagine if he'd managed to hit me on the back of the head with it? Or if he'd done it earlier and had got me across the face?
Maybe he meant to just hit the back of my coat, maybe he didn't really want to hurt me. He probably felt affronted: Look at her, ignoring me, pretending I don't exist. Reading her book while I yell at her, like I'm a ghost. I'm a person, I'm a person, I'M A PERSON!
There's no doubting the existence of somebody when they strike out at you with a crutch.
Maybe he was a clairvoyant, and he could see that just ten minutes after descend-ing the metro, I would be sat in a brightly-lit McDonald's, stuffing my face with hot, salty chips and slurping a coke that I didn't even want.
He would have been in for a cold night, it's been snowing these past four days. The snow brings a quiet, white stillness to this city which you can either marvel at or be frightened of, depending on whether there's a roof over your head or not, I guess.
|Anybody want ice?|
On Friday night I was supposed to meet Ruth and her friends for cocktails at Le Glass- a new bar in South Pigalle. I've been using this word a lot recently but I guess you could call it 'hipster'- there's no name on the door and they sell hot dogs. (American food = cool in Paris at the moment, which I find so, so weird.)
I spent a long time faffing about in my room trying to choose an outfit that would keep me warm without making me look like a fat nana from Bolton, and then when I got off the metro at Pigalle it took me ages to find the street because a) Le Glass is so 'secret' that there's no fucking street sign, so I walked past the street three times and b) I had to shuffle along really slowly so as not to slip on the ice and die a slushy death.
South Pigalle might have plenty of 'hipster' bars but it's also full of scallies and on Friday night they were having a mass snowball fight in the middle of the street, so I had to keep stopping and hiding behind lamp posts...
By the time I got to Le Glass (typically they have a bouncer on the door whose job it is to stop anyone actually getting in, I just had to be brave and tell him that I was going inside so could he let me pass, please) Ruth and her friends were leaving. I was in there for about five minutes so I can't really comment, but it looked nice and cosy and the cocktails looked impressive. (About eleven euros a pop, though.)
Kayt was getting ready, having just finished babysitting and B was coming but hadn't left yet... Thankfully, Ruth had a kir with me in a cheap bar by the metro so I didn't have to wait in Le Glass on my own. When B and Kayt arrived, we decided to go to Chez Moune. I've not been since the night we got thrown out for Some Reason and the bouncers had to literally pop me and Olivia out of the door frames because we were clinging on like defiant starfish.
The music is a bit hit and miss- sometimes it's amazing and other times you feel like you've walked into the end of a five day, opium-fueled squat party- but it was free to get in so we thought we'd give it a go.
We got lucky- the music was surprisingly good. They played a bit of techno, a bit of house and all of it was a bit trippy, although that might just be because Chez Moune is so incredibly dark that if they played The Spice Girls you'd feel a bit tripped out.
Seriously, I can't tell you how dark it was in there. They had one red light flashing, so every five seconds you could get a brief look at people's faces. For that reason I'm not sure if there were many attractive men in there, or not, but we found a few good looking ones (they looked ok by the light of the red flash anyway). What I love about Chez Moune is that, because it's so small, you always get chatting to people. We weren't trying to chat men up, but after Kayt left (she was knackered), B and I decided that it was a good night to meet eligible men. As soon as we had decided this,we noticed that ALL THE ELIGIBLE MEN HAD DISAPPEARED.
One minute we were surrounded by men and the next- it was just us and a small pervert we nicknamed Pedro, who kept jumping in between us and stroking our backs. Euw. Where had all the attractive, nice, normal men gone that we were chatting to at the bar and in the queue for the (unisex) toilets?
B concluded that they must have all pulled early and gone home...
Look. We all know that you don't meet nice men in clubs. Also, I don't want to meet anyone anyway- I'm happy being alone and I'm quite looking forward to getting my first cat and starting what will eventually become an insanely large collection. I'm thinking Bluebell for a girl, Rain Cloud for a boy.
I got home at 6.30am and tried not to think too much about the fact that I had work at 10.30 the next day. On my way home from Chez Moune, I saw there was a woman opening up Franprix. On my way to work later on in the morning, I saw the same woman still sat on the check-out. That made me feel better about going to work, because I knew all I would be doing was playing with the toddler and eating Haribo.
Talking of work... I have to be up at 8am tomorrow, which seems like the crack of dawn to me (If there is anybody reading this who has to wake up at 5am for work everyday... I bet you hate me) so I must get myself to bed.