Now Playing: Philip Glass, 'Vanessa and the Changelings'
Last night I got back from visiting Toulouse in Paris. It was definitely the best weekend of 2003 by a long way. It was such a fucking relief just to simply not have to be me for two days. Added to that I now have a sappy schoolie crush on Toulouse's boyf, Ernesto, who is exactly like every flamingly masculine boy I ever fancied at school.
Thank you to JatB, who's been posting up my old crappy discarded draft-blog-posts in my absence. I notice she didn't pick the one about the alphabetti spaghetti recurrences in her sex life .... ;o)
Toulouse made me go to parties, and kept dragging over gorgeous but rather straight women for me to chat up. My technique was somewhat less than successful.
"Was that a secret lesbian code?" asked Toulouse, the morning after the night before.
"Reading a comic book and ignoring attractive women who try to speak to you at parties."
"Oh, that code. Yes, it's part of an elaborate lesbian seduction ritual. When they try to dance with you, you must face the other way with your arms folded."
And a face like thunder.
Perhaps I need to brush up on my technique.
At a party in Paris, I kept hiding in the coat room and stroking the apartment cats. That's awful, isn't it?
Arriving at Gare du Nord, I was horrified yet again by the sameyness of French fashion. For a fashionable nation, the denizens of the capital don't half look generically downtrodden and grim. I was, I admit, wearing way too much red - patent red knee boots, long red coat, red belt, red socks, multicoloured striped sweater. And at rush hour on Friday at Strasbourg Saint Denis, everyone else was wearing sober black, sober blue, sober grey ...
I got to Toulouse's place, and although unutterably more stylish than most, he too was wearing black.
What's with the black? I had paranoid internal conniptions the rest of the weekend that I looked like a mental defective escaped from the country asylum in my clownish brights.
By Sunday, I was panickily counting every red coat I could find. With relief, I noted eleven red coats, only one of which was in the Eurostar terminal (and therefore possibly not French at all). With typical gaucheness, I assured myself that in a day and a half flat, I'd started a city-wide trend. Rah.
Back in London, I travelled the Jubilee line, the only red-coat-wearing passenger in sight. My fellow Britishers were there in abundance; wearing sober black, sober blue, sober grey ...
As well as taking me to a party in the largest, most bizarrely constructed Parisian loft I've ever seen, Toulouse and Ernesto took me out for dinner somewhere real ritzy on Friday night. Explaining that French menus go in for much colourful allusion, that French waiters just shrug when quizzed about contents, they guesstimated I'd ordered a pork dish. When it arrived, faces fell, and Toulouse said the description had been 'literal'.
Literal? Literally food? He refused to elaborate until I'd eaten it. It did actually taste nice, but my mind was racing as I digested. What could it be? It had to be offal, for him to refuse to translate like that. Ernesto said his Argentinian grandfather had used to eat it, worrying me further.
I made believe I was eating morel mushrooms and strips of fried squid. My mind couldn't help wandering: Lips? Cheeks? Trotters?
Finishing the dish, I reasoned with myself that whatever it turned out to be, it had tasted salty, baconish, nice. I wouldn't balk too much at eating it again. Mild flutterings of panic across my stomach couldn't change that. What was it?
I'd eaten a pig's ear.