Travel

Paris: ‘City Of Men’

I have come to the early realisation that Paris is not the ‘City of Lights’, but the city of men. The streets crawl with both fine specimens of the race and skew-whiff tripod-like creatures, relentlessly parading through the streets with their cocks to the sky. In the former category, I have thankfully had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of many.

No one need be lonely in Paris. Coquettish games are played out in Place Vendome, eyelashes are fluttered dramatically over vino, and there is even something about the banks. Here, they are dispatchers of golden tinted euros rather than purveyors of emaciated student accounts (wrapped in long lines and serenity genocide).

The lustre of the city is bolstered by my own narcissism. Outfits are changed at midday; the afternoon becomes detached from its morning as it runs with the reckless abandon of a new time and a just-born character. This is indeed the key to the city of men, which drives its temporary residents wild with heady, opiatic potential.

In the morning, I wear a knee-length spectator dress and I am a 1950s housewife, sore-thumbing along the hyperbolically contemporary Champs Élysée. An afternoon costume change brings whispers of “is she Gaga?” and the jingle jangle of mini Eiffel Tower key chains. The effect is immediate and utterly pleasing. The 1940s housewife attracts a slightly older, charming fruit seller for a tour of Monmatre in comfortable quiet, punctuated by attempts to speak more French than I ever achieved back home. Gaga and her black sunglasses draw a mix of awe from passers by, and silent terror as parents pull their snotty broods closer. Conservative bosoms heave with discontent underneath too much fabric. I revel in my nakedness. I smile at some, wink at many and raise my figurative cock to the sky.

I am becoming a Parisian man in the city of men. I am enjoying being wooed by them and followed by them in the mornings, and in the afternoons; the metamorphosis into one of them is intensely arousing.

Listen to the jingle jangle of mini Eiffel Tower key rings and see the glossy skin of the unnecessarily handsome African salesman. Then, turn off your lights and snort up Paris like a multi-personalitied motherfucking wonderman.

Symonne Torpy

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