I have been in Paris since October. It’s a work thing. But one cannot just work here. Paris was built for LOVE. It is 3 am. I just took a bath and slipped in between these white cotton sheets. I am on my third glass of white wine. My taste buds pay no regard to what the ridiculous wine gurus say. That red wine has more tannin. Isn’t tannin the same fibre that turns hide to leather? That stuff sounds sinister, at least to me. I’ll pass tannin.
Coldplay’s don’t panic is playing in the background. Chris Martin now says, ‘we live in a beautiful world’. I believe him. Tonight, my heart feels. I am not a romantic. I admit it. I won’t put flowers in my hair or dance in the rain. The only reason I don’t mind valentines is the gifts. Maybe because for now, I am a violin minus the bow.
But I love words and music that strike a chord. Music whose grandeur cups the side of my face with its smooth palm. Because, this is how I like to be touched. Keane’s Tom Chaplin’s words caress me. Gary LeVox’s words do too. And Chris Martin’s. These men voice words in a way that makes my lip tremble with profound lust; a raw desire to know how it would be to see them sing on a stage. Thousands of people adoring them just like I do standing between us. I would be oblivious of them all. I would let each of their words cup the side of my face how I always do when am alone.
Letters would dance and form words.
Words that rhyme.
Words that make disfranchisement sound like sun.
And now Paris is doing the same. Paris is male. He is a man who can get it. He cleans up well and likes his scarves posh. He shops from Yves St Laurent, at Madeleine. His scent is Chanel no 5 from Douglas. He is striking. When you meet him, you will stop, gawk and take in his scent.
Paris knows he has a face for TV, but that’s no excuse to being dull. A man is as good as his efforts, I’ve heard. Paris makes an effort to allure. His old narrow streets dating back to the 1200 are ancient, yet modern and chic. Like Janelle Monae’s bowtie.
Saint Lazare terrace outside my office..
These streets are lined up with gorgeous boulangeries with that little devil, ‘the chocolate bread’ or pain du chocolat as they call it. This is a dark force. It looks plain, almost boring and small. Small things usually don’t count. But immediately you allow him to enter your mouth, your taste buds will sing. You’ll drown in pleasure tsunami. And it will attach itself on you like fungus. So, if the simplest of their bread does this what of all the other cakes (gateaus), foods, and wines?
Breakfast in bed on a Friday morning.
Late night snack at Place de Clichy.
I am not the ‘bad-boy’ type of woman. Paris is cold and aloof. He looks at me straight in the eye and holds me there. I struggle to look away and before I do, his palm cups the side of my face. Damned guns of defense. Why am I still trying to learn him, know his hobbies, grasp his history and learn his lineage? I find myself at Musee d’orsay faking a deep understanding of this artistry in form of portraits, paintings and sculptures. I am standing next to a chap with a pencil and a pad, eyes engrossed on a portrait of a naked woman in the tub from the 1920’s. What allegory does he see? The architecture though, is grand.
The real Venus de Milo resides in the Louvre
The Eiffel in his magnificent length and opulence took my breath away. It demanded that I climb to the summit. I did. When up there, you feel different. Your inner child comes out and you think about spiderman. Spiderman would have loved to climb the Eiffel. The air is also crispier. To let you know that you are on borrowed time and you must leave in a while. But also, that you must take it all in. I have to remind myself to breath.
Left; Halfway up the Eiffel.
Friday evening and it is 2 degrees. I am excited to be going to Champs Elysee but I must only show a nuance of it. He must not know. It starts to drizzle. I am now wet and I think Paris knows. He knows at the center of my cynicism, lies a wetness, a want to be touched just the way he is now. Paris feels the doubt in my skepticism. So when the raindrops fall on me, they are gentle, almost caressing me. I walk through the Rue Champs Elysee for the umpteenth time, drink hot wine (vin chaud), ride the the big wheel (La grande roue) and eat chocolate covered Churros (waffle sticks).
Champs Elysee at 5pm.
Speeding up to ride La grande roué.
It’s Saturday at midday and I am at Montmartre. I don’t get paintings. I am no aesthete. I am too parochial for such sophistication. But these painters here, these guys paint your poise away. They paint with strokes that threaten my composure. Oh painter, stroke. Dare my guilty pleasure.
I should head to Musee de Louvre later today, to find Mona Lisa. I want to know why they chose to keep her here. Why does Paris gets all the nice things?
As a woman this piece would feel naked if I failed to mention malls. Oh, the malls. H&M, Minelli, Kiko Romeo, Parfois, 4U, Dolce&Gabbana, Etam, Zara, Douglas, Sephora, GAP, Fnac, Virgin and many many others filled with rows and floors of clothes, shoes, make up, perfumes, belts, jewellery and bags. They are strategically placed too, usually in the big subways (metro) stations like Chatelet and Gare du Nord. They are a trap, set to catch your money. Don’t even look. And yes, there is a clothing lable known as Mavi!
I will come back to my Nairobi. I miss my simple Nairobi with its sun, music blaring from every corner, dust, conmen, corky people, humble people, arrogant people, my people. I can’t bear the thought of matatus and those riddims though. Nairobi might not satiate me fully anymore. Because, I have met, dined and danced with the forbidden. Albeit slowly, I am falling for Paris.