Two Roads Diverged in Paris

Place_Diaghilev,_Paris,_Summer_2011

Perhaps you didn’t understand. You were here for the summer, I had just broken up with Geneviève, and you have blue eyes almost like hers. That’s all.

En français, s’il vous plaît, c’est mieux pour ces pauvres oreilles qui ont déjà entendu trop de leur propre langage hidieux.

Your language isn’t ugly! And I’m not breaking up with you because you’re ugly, or because you didn’t do what I ask. It’s not even because Geneviève texted me yesterday. It’s because you need to go home, be free, find love in your own country.

C’est pas mon pays. Le pays appartient au gouvernement, aux millionnaires. L’appartement à New York appartient à mes parents. Et je ne suis pas libre parce que mon coeur, malheureusement, est à toi. Fais ce que tu veux, mais souviens-toi que les cieux te regardent…

What care I if Dieu disinherits me? My grandparents have a lot of fortune stashed away in Nauru. I can’t promise you something I can’t give you.

Avec tout ton fric, toute la lumière d’intelligence dans ton coeur, tu ne peux pas me donner rien que deux mois de tromperie. Deux mois de pain au chocolat, suivi par un blizzard d’escargots.

You don’t like the snails?

In my country, on ne mange pas de monstres de la terre, non! Et on ne fait pas l’amour comme s’il était la pêche – casting our lines, wrenching creatures from the depths, tearing the hooks from their bloody lips and tossing them back to be caught by some other guy on a sailboat!

Ne sois pas raciste – je suis français mais j’habite à Paris et je n’ai jamais fait la pêche.

Oh really! Then why is your wallet full of pictures of porcelain dolls, frozen in a moment of veneration, blind to the faces above and below their little photographical fishtanks?

Tu ne parles pas encore français.

(After a pause, a sigh like a half-hearted hurricane) I love when you speak French. If you were to talk about anything and I were to just close my eyes and float on your sound waves, I’d be higher than Everest, I’d bathe in the music of your words like a bird in a Grecian fountain, I’d watch the sounds slip by like rain carving pathways down the window on a lazy Sunday afternoon…

Mais tu ne comprends jamais ce que je veux dire. Je parle des aventures sans lendemains et tu entends une promesse de mariage. Je pense que, en fait, c’est ta compréhension qui est notre problème.

What was that? I didn’t understand a word but it all sounded beautiful.

Pont_au_Change_and_Conciergerie,_1_September_2007

Image credits in order of appearance:

By Maya-Anaïs Yataghène from Paris, France (Paris) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

By Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy (Paris) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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