“My name is…. and I just moved here. Let’s explore.” Approve. click.
You can’t blame a girl for trying. I’m in a new place, and I don’t know anybody at all. So I posted a string of words, “let’s meet up.” And then I forgot all about it, and my Parisian boys, I’m sorry I forgot all about you. That glass of wine sounded tempting, and watching the stars from your apartment balcon did too.
There was something heartbreakingly, wonderfully nostalgic about stumbling upon the messages I never opened because those moments very well could have been.
But we never got to share that wine, we never opened the bottle. And climbing the ladder up to the rooftop view you say is beautiful sounds wonderful, Cedric. You said you could see so much more than the Eiffel tower from your corner of Paris, and no- the looming, slick towers of La Défense wouldn’t get in the way. Or you promised so anyway.
And Clément, do I wish we could have gone to that concert the Saturday after next week? Maybe, maybe not.
We’ve never met, we never will…but you boys are still walking around that city of mine, and maybe you’re telling another girl how lovely she looks while tasting the cheese you said we could have shared, on that rooftop. I hope you are.
And Arican, the new student. I remember my lonely nights walking around the city too. Paris has a way of mingling the senses together, until you blend into the city’s cobble stones and le vin du jour tastes like a velvety version of “who cares, I’m here in Paris, and you are mysterious, and sublime.”
You said, “I couldn’t attend to the meeting but I would like to have a drink with you. I’m kind of new in the city and don’t have many friends. I’m an erasmus student in here.” Thinking of you now, whoever you are, reminds me of the home we could have discovered together. I wonder if you walked through the marbled halls of La Sorbonne as I did, getting lost in the Latin quarter’s dusty, beautiful stores before dropping into that one bar close to the Panthéon that throws costume parties just because. You made other friends, and I can imagine their faces now, laughing in class as a rare Paris sun streams in through the window panes.
I never met you, but maybe I still know you. Unread messages are thousands of untold stories which might have been lived, if only in another life.
I walked with other people, a trick of chance. I left your messages unopened, but finding them now reawakens those nights when Paris was mysterious, and dark, and new. I opened the bottle of wine with someone else, listened to music with another. How funny life is, it could have been any of you, and Paris would have been so beautiful anyway, so different.