mardi 1 janvier 2008

new year clarity*

New Year's was...interesting to say the least. First...while getting ready to meet my friend, I couldn't find my wallet. I called her saying I don't think I'll be able to make it, I lost my wallet. Then I turned my studio upside down looking for it, tearing my bed apart, looking through last night's jacket's pockets. There was this rage inside me, like an assassin who's been double crossed by her handler, but I felt calm, composed. This can be fixed. The night before I had switched wallets, using my smaller one, because I didn't want to carry a purse, and I only put the bare essentials in it. A 20 euro bill, my carte bleue (atm), and my carte de sejour. All three can be replaced. It was a shit wallet anyway. Wallets shouldn't cost more than the money in them.

After looking in the last possible place, I stood in the middle of my tornado-hit studio, and went back to the jacket I wore the night before. In the effing SLEEVE of my jacket was my shit wallet. There's a lesson in this somewhere.

Was livid and sober the whole night at Kathy's who lives near the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. It was nice of her to open her home to us since she lives nearby the Tour Eiffel. I was having a good time, but I can easily see from the outside that it did not appear so. I was offered wine, rum and coke, but I only took some coffee. I didn't want to get shitfaced or anything, I just wanted to be awake enough to watch everyone else get drunk. People kept asking me if I was having a good time, and I said yes I'm just so happy I don't have to express it physically.

People were wondering where to go for New Years, Eiffel Tower or stay at the Champs? Without thinking, I said that I didn't care. Even if we didn't make it, it didn't matter to me. I could hardly believe the words coming out of my mouth, me of all people saying this with my list of things to do in Paris, my must-see-this, must-go-to-that. "But it's Paris!" they said. "But it's New Year's! How many times are you going to be in Paris for New Year's?" I said, you have a point. But in my head I still didn't care. This deranged psycho in my mind that has never made an appearance had this urge to destroy.

I wanted to miss it. I wanted us to be lost at the stroke of midnight, hearing the screams of celebration from far away, and seeing the highest reaches of the sparks of fireworks above dark and vacant buildings and never the whole, glorious explosion. I wanted to see disappointed faces and people make excuses. "We got lost", "we didn't leave early enough", "it's no big deal". But it would be a big deal to them.

I thought about this, staring intently at a rug as a plate of cheese was being passed around, and I felt a smile forming on my face.

I stepped into Kathy's hallway to get some air. Be cool. Don't go crazy. Don't make a scene. Fake everything if you have to (I couldn't). I didn't know what was wrong with me, and I hated myself for thinking these things. It could have been the rage I had at "losing" my wallet. It could have been the fact that I was reading Fight Club currently and Tyler Durden has poisoned my brain. Where did this source of destroying come from?

The wallet, the calm panic, the unimportance to me of doing something extravagant because it's New Years and it's Paris...this all meant something. And I'm still not totally clear what, even as I walked from the Marais to home this morning trying to think about what it meant, I can't grasp it all.

We made it though, even though our group got separated. We were at Trocadero with the full view of the Tour Eiffel, and without a countdown, at midnight, it sparkled bright and clear and fireworks went off, and that's how it should be--no countdown--ever since I was a kid I've hated the stupid countdown and everyone shouting 3, 2, 1, and it was as perfect as I had believed everyone had wanted. I was happy that everyone else was happy and that their night had not been ruined. Afterwards we waded through throngs of people, of police, we walked on the streets in front of cars because everyone else was doing it. We dodged tourists, shouted the bass line of White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" 'cuz French teenagers loved that, and were in search of a bar. Kathy and I decided not join the trek for a bar so I went to her place after walking for an hour of seeing no bars or expensive ones and crashed there.

And at the end of the night, I no longer cared about perfection, about being complete. About crossing of my list of things to do in Paris. Being here is more than that, goes beyond that. I didn't even bring my camera to Trocadero to document it all. I was there; it happened. I saw it with my own eyes. I no longer felt that I should have evidence to show people back home, to boast in their faces, "See what I did? See that?" That wasn't important anymore. It should not have been.

But this, this post, this blog, the act of writing (or typing), the hour or so I spend a day my fingers pounding on the keys or my pen on paper, that's important. Has always been since the beginning, and it was always for me and never for you, although I know you want to think it's for you. This won't stop. You will always find me here.

[*NOTE: Posting this post might have repercussions, but it's the truth, and I care about the truth. And if you were there last night, now you know what was up with me.]