Clarice, the real paris


When my semester in Spain ended, I didn’t want to go back to the US.  My girlfriend broke up with me because I couldn’t bare the idea of another New York City winter, and I heard she hooked up with a friend of mine mere days after.  Somehow I knew it happened without anyone telling me. I hitched a ride to The City of Lights where I found myself at a sleepover party with a gaggle of Frenchies.  Clarice greeted me at the door, cut a lock of hair from my head, taped it to a note card and demanded that I write something inspirational on it.

“All is fair in love and booze,” I wrote. She tacked it to the wall with about 50 other locks of hair. The night quickly degraded into a slurring mess. Around dawn, I found myself being the last one up, the only one who wasn’t in bed with someone else.  I stayed up writing on napkins, smoking the last smidgens of hash roaches in the ash tray and drinking the last of the alcohol in the house. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without it. I searched every drawer and cabinet and icebox until I found the last of the booze, which was wine, packaged in a juicebox. It tasted awful—which makes sense, I suppose, seeing how it was cooking wine. I can’t read French.

I awoke with Clarice’s tongue in my mouth as she lazily mushed her pelvis into mine. Was she awake? Her mouth tasted like booze, hash and tobacco mixed in with a layer of pond scum and hung over sleepage. I noticed her eyes were open, full of longing and sadness.  Our heads were pounding, hearts beating in the pit of the stomach; it was a gray-blue morning in Paris.

I whispered, “Do you miss him?”
“Oui,” she said, staring blankly into space.

After some coffee and baguettes and girls laughing at me for drinking cooking wine, we went to a Parisian flea market in the January cold and got some kebab, made out of sewer rat. We were very hung over, nauseated.  I could feel my eyelids as they slid over my eyeballs.

Yet, while it made me feel like garbage, I can’t deny that it really solidified my whole Parisian experience: I drank cooking wine, ate sewer rat and kissed the longing lips of a hot French girl whose mouth tasted like shitsoup. Clarice, you were the real Paris. Fuck the Eiffel tower.

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