Thursday, August 30, 2007

I’ve seen the old lady every day now for the past two weeks. Always at around five, sitting on the same park bench, wearing the same long winter coat and rolled brimmed winter hat. And I wonder the same thing every time I see her. Who is she waiting for, or at least, who does she think she’s waiting for ? She’s homeless obviously, but not begging. Perhaps dementia has taken full toll and she no longer knows how to do even that. Paris is full of these people. Lost souls who’ve long given up trying. Some so far gone that they loudly curse the world in near gibberish while they root through the metro trash bins, picking out rappers, crushed bottles and newspapers so as to hurl them around the vicinity. One particularly portly lady did just this, and while still cursing the world, lifted her dress and lowered her underwear in a gesture so fast that it took me completely by surprise. I recoiled at the sight of her unkempt posterior. It shocks nobody else in this strange underground world. Drones, moving about under the city like bees in a hive. The isolation in this city is enough to drive anyone mad. People are everywhere, but friendly faces are rare, and conversation is practically non existent.
The old lady on the park bench stares at her reflection in the window of the office building across from her and adjusts her hat and winter coat. It’s twenty degrees and sunny. I start to wonder how long I’ve been here now. The days blend into one and other and an unproductive routine develops. This is the alienation of the west in full force. My apartment is small and the window looks out onto a small enclosed courtyard. I am a hamster in a cage and I’ve willingly shut myself in.
Not to worry. This is an experiment. Now’s the time I should be working on my writing or future projects anyway…I have the material now. The problem is that I can’t seem to motivate myself to sit and write something that I like. Strange type of pre-writer writers block. I wander down to the Sen in search of stimulation, but apart from the odd idea here and there, nothing concrete has leaped from my fingers to the blank computer screen. Nothing has taken shape…but something is definitely forming.
As for the job search, a few options may have popped up. I’ve squandered far too much time already and should be making money. My hopes are that when my cousin and his girlfriend get back, she can get me a position on a film set (be it just to observe or as a coffee slinger). Possible video store work perhaps, and an interview for a real estate service of sorts tomorrow. Something does need to happen soon however, or I fear that I might end up in the metro, my underwear at my ankles, flinging trash and yelling about the government, or even worse, sitting on a park bench with a snow suit and rolled brimmed hat waiting for Godot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey my boy, This is too depressing. Your mother said much of the same but I didn't really believe her, but now.... Me thinks you should leave this city and go somewhere enlightening, even if it is in Canada. Somewhere you have people. Apart from your entry being depressing, it is good writing. So you think you aren't writing, but in reality you are. Your Aunty misses you sooooo much!
I love you

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be biased, but in my opinion this is great writing! Good start! Good stuff!


4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your writing but it is just too happy and upbeat. You know, Mister MadCap Adventures that some things in life are not alway so happy go lucky. To break your block why don't you try looking at the sad/folorn lives of crazy people?

Love George

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment???? Après toutes ces aventures tu déprimes à Paris???
La ville Lumière??? Il n'y a pas une autre ville de par le monde où les gens soient aussi indifférents.
Les parisiens ne voient rien , n'entendent rien ... Ils vont à leurs affaires sans même te voir ni te regarder... Tu peux t'accrocher une queue de bourriquot à la tête personne ne te diras rien!!!!!Alors il faut que tu patientes encore un peu et comme a reprise totale du boulot se fait Lundi 3 septembre j'espère que tu trouveras un job qui te plaira..
Je n'ai pas tout compris dans tes écrits mais je crois que c'est assez bien décrit, comme dans un roman..Alors vas-tu écrire un livre????
Allez courage encore quelques jours de solitude, Va faire un tour à Lamorlaye pour parler un peu du Mexique avec J.M et Séverine et aussi de tes aventures en inde ou en chine.
Je t'embrasse

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's how I've always imagined paris. right down to the occasional flashing.

""...gibberish while they root through the metro trash bins, picking out rappers, crushed bottles and newspapers so,,, ""

I am usually not a proponent of good spelling but in this case a 'w' on 'rappers' would make all the difference...
unless you mean rappers. which would be bizarre.

writers block, huh. Kerouac used benzedrine, although I can't say how well that worked out for him...

hope you find something in it all.


7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J'ai vraiment aime ce que tu a ecris recemment. Continue!
On vient de rentrer de Maui et je suis completement perdue ici....

5:31 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I miss you too! Don't worry though. Apart from being very slow moving in the whole employment area, and the other mentioned drawbacks, Paris is good, and I'm enjoying my time here...for the most part. Also, it's good for writing here, so now I don't really want to leave just yet.

Thanks mommy.

George, I agree. I do need to add more depressing stuff. I think while I was travelling, it was difficult for me not to be upbeat about everything because otherwise the depressing things you can see get to be too much, or just numb you till you feel nothing. Also I didn't want to worry anyone too much. Anyway, I think I'd take a good tragicomedy over any straight genre these days. The sad forlorn and comical lives of crazy people? That could be a step too far. We'll see what happens.

Ne t'inquiete pas, je ne suis pas déprimé. Mais j'aime bien ton description de Paris, c'est exactement ça. Je n'ecris pas de livre. Si j'ecri quelque chose ça va etre un senario de film. Peut etre un livre plus tard dans la vie.


Yes, flashings are common practice here I think.
Yeah, I can see how throwing 'rappers' everywhere could give the wrong idea, but man would that have been entertaining.
I also spelled Seine wrong, and may have done so again.
Benzadrine eh? I was just reading "On the Road" for a second time about a month ago and do very much like Kerouac. Maybe I should take some advice from a suicidal beatnik.

Merci beaucoup, et je compreds ta sentiment! J'aime bien la shock culturel.

Thanks for all your comments and nice words.


2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOOO great to finally lay eyes on your face. Quite the trial trying to set up the web cam with Casey, Mike and George all thinking they knew best what to do. By the time it was finally done, I had real sweat pouring down my back. Lovely thought eh? Nothing like an old lady sweating!!!Hope you have a great time visiting Antoine. Me thinks you could use a few days out of Paris with some distractions.Wilson is cute eh? He can't wait to bite you. Neither can I for that matter. Love the pictures and videos. You are quite talented, if I do say so myself. Of course I really love the dog picture. Tough that when we finally get our web cam up and running, you are getting rid of the computer. Anywho, my boy, We'll talk soon.
Love you

4:15 PM  
Blogger your friends in Japan said...

セチスニト トラナミシト キスイチカネネ ニケモ ニニケモ トモトラススン ニ ソチミケカ セチスニチストニ トセチスニト
hI. i AM USING A JAPNESE keyboar, and it:s quite difficult. A JAPNESE keyboar, and it:s quite difficult.
Sorry for the constatn erorrororerror of my ways. also, the drunkennesssss.

Paris sounds great and awful. Ihope youa re enjoying it. We need regular work on *THESHOW*.

Talk to you soon.

9:40 AM  

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