to any messages in my inbox:
i will respond but now is not the time because i’m sick and it’s 3h30 and i have to get up in 3.5 hours because the public transport commute to my job is awful Saturday mornings and i hate everything and lack the ability to write anything coherent to eloquently-written things
Yesterday after work I went to Saint-Paul and waited at the café/bar/restaurant for Alain.
This café, in order to give you a better picture, is usually full of the same Marais people who live around there. I’m already a well-known figure. People there are generally open and talkative, even if they don’t quite know you. There’s also gossip and underhanded actions and some good people just trying to navigate around it all. And, because it’s the Marais, there are moments of absolute looniness.
Nicholas is a bartender / waiter there. He’s in his late twenties, from the south of France, has longish brown hair, and often wears a T-shirt showing “The Man With the Golden Gun” on it. He’s calm and easygoing but he’s also intelligent and can read people — a useful skill in his profession. He frequently gives assistance to a Slovak homeless kid named Vlad. Vlad speaks Slovak and some English and very little French. He’s been living on the streets on account of not being able to find a job. He sometimes sits at the bar. We talk in a mix of English, Polish, and Slovak (Slovak is the Slavic language I find to be closest to Polish and therefore easiest to understand; Czech just sounds strange).
So I’m there, Alain tells me he’s coming but of course something else comes up, so I slowly work on my kir and whittle away the time by reading my book and getting distracted by people. I’m also trying to read what La Liberation has to say about Ukraine. Vlad comes up to me and we start chatting. He has the same lingering fear of numerous central/eastern Europeans regarding Russians. “Russia will invade and kill all Ukrainians and then no more Ukraine. Polityka i pieniadzy.”
I talk a bit to Vlad and we have a cigarette outside. In the meantime a black guy with dreadlocks, a hat, and sunglasses (this is already evening) comes up to us. He’s waiting for a friend who promised to meet him — a Japanese guy. He tells us smoking is bad, and then paradoxically makes a grab for my megot. Vlad rolls him a cigarette. I find out that his name is Mawa. He speaks in English and in French. Mawa claims to be Turk, Croatian, and something else. He later tells me he’s in fact Japanese. (I try speaking a bit of Japanese to him but it is lost on him, though that might be just reflective on how shit my Japanese is)
Mawa talks about several things in alternance — white people who touch his hair (“n’importe quoi!”), the theory of minorities according to Lenin (he didn’t actually explain any of it, because he would switch topics or would say something I didn’t understand or maybe because his memory of it was rather poor), and his fucking friend who wouldn’t meet him at the café like he said he would. He asked me repeatedly to try calling this friend. I end up leaving a message in the friend’s voicemail.
It turns out that this friend is not Japanese but Polish. I forget his name but because he claims to be an art dealer I give him my email. Alain had by this point showed up and was suspicious of this supposed art dealer.
Oddly enough somebody else claiming to be Japanese (but who was in fact Ecuadorean) showed up. This man didn’t talk much but kept on bowing exaggeratedly at people slash using his hands as imaginary pistols to fire at people. He kept on “shooting” Alain, who in turn politely ignored him.
There was a guy selling roses (in Paris rose-sellers haunt every single bar at night, hoping to get a few euros from drunk tourists and locals) and Alain says no, this person hates roses, but I end up buying a rose for Alain to make up not doing anything special for Valentine’s day.
Before we left, Nicholas the bartender told me, in a hushed voice, that I should be careful — that I was young and foreign and friendly, and that somebody might take profit of that. I left in a sour mood — what did I do to fuck up now?
Then again perhaps sometimes moods are really nothing more or less than emotional sicknesses that happen randomly, because of the paths of the stars — you come down with a mental cold for whatever reason you don’t know about, it just happened. And it’s better to just rest and wait and get better.
There’s this text by Jenny Holzer I saw a while ago and it goes something like this -
How to live with not getting what you want:
stop wanting it
or kill the object of desire
It seems that I am not immediately excellent at this
it is because I am a failure
everything I touch dies
I hate having my emotions being reliant on other people.
Funny how up until high school I didn’t really give a shit because most people there were mean and awful anyway but now I have days and evenings ruined because of a bad tone or a cold demeanor. I can’t believe how fragile I became in such short a time.
The West literally went over to countries in Africa and taught people to see gayness as wrong and is now celebrating African “progressiveness” where it exists and trying to “save” Africa from its Western-manufactured homophobia…
A most frustrating conundrum
Lots of people critique standardized testing’s role in th US university/college application process but I find it hypocritical whenever they don’t simultaniously criticize the character assessment part of admissions. It bars people who cannot fit into the character mold — and it’s frequently racist and class-based, eliminating people from underprivileged backgrounds. It also bars neurodiverse people.
Imagine being someone who has difficulty making eye contact or has a different way of speech and communication. How confident can you feel when lack of eye contact is seen as a flaw in social conduct and even something indicating lack of trustworthiness? Imagine that your future is decided by people who feel that they cannot trust you by their gut?