Back in January, I found myself sitting in the cafe in a vain hope to cure my hangover with a litre of coffee and medium sized bowl of French fries. I was traveling solo to Paris for my birthday again. It was rainy Sunday morning and nothing was wrong about it. This year I spent my birthday in a rented AirBnb apartment hugging a bottle of champagne and listening to chansons. Getting old is a traumatic experience and that’s precisely why I celebrated my last birthday as a 20 something by hiding from the world in the attic in Pigalle. I could, on the other hand, stay in London and get drunk in the bar but I’ve been doing it through out my early 20s. It got old, just as me.
It wasn’t entirely my choice to spend my birthday solo in the foreign country. Sometimes the force of circumstance can make you reconsider your plans, especially when they clash with other peoples plans.One thing I learned to appreciate with age however is optimism. Instead of mourning the last year of my twenties, I chose to venture out on my own and see what surprises the universe will throw at me. Any thing could happen. Who knows, Paris is a city of love.
I was supposed to catch a train back to London the same night. I love Paris and leaving it feels like leaving a warm bed on cold Monday mornings, however I am always intrigued by a possibility of a random romantic rendez-vous with a destiny in a form of a handsome single guy. That serendipitous moment when you realise that your entire life could transform forever, simply because, you were at the right place at the right time for a change. Like on that one night when I met a finance guy on the train from Camden to Waterloo. We were both drunk and he offered me a french fry from the box he found on the seat next to me, it was hardly romantic, yet I appreciated the momentum and remained appreciative until he stood me up on the third date. My life didn’t transform, yet I had one less frog to kiss.
On my way back to London, against all odds, I learned that I was sat next to rather handsome guy in his early 30s. He was half french half English and residing between Paris and London. I had to pinch myself. The whole encounter was exciting. We developed fondness of each other within seconds. It was a match made in heaven. Ten minutes into the journey we found out we both like same books, unfulfilled love stories, existentialism and festivals. Twenty minutes into the journey, we were drinking champagne and toasting to my birthday.
The rest of the journey was filled with deep meaningful conversations. Instead of feeling like the first date it felt like we’ve known each other for years. All this time however, I had a nagging thought which sounded pretty standard – this all seems to good to be true. I tried really hard to shake it off. To be fair, it’s not that all women are crazy and paranoid, usually it’s symptomatic of their past dating experiences, not their personality. And while everyone around me is slowly transitioning into the coupled up life, I couldn’t help but hope that may be it’s my time, may be, for once I will be able to come to a party and stop being looked at like I ‘m after literally everyone’s boyfriends, because, apparently, so many single women are…..
So there it was. After 2 months of casual dating something happened. The romantic french guy I met on Eurostar disappeared into the ether. Of course, in my mind, there could be only two reasons – either he died or lost his phone. Neither of these theories proved to be true. He’s well and sound, still glued to his phone and I still got no validation explaining 2 weeks of silence. Naturally, it’s not the first time a guy pulls Houdini on me, I already know that any attempt to get any closure would be in vain. I may never be able to explain such mercurial change of his heart, neither I know how to be noble or wise about it so I went ahead and wrote this whole experience off as cosmic fuck up. Moving on dot com.
Note: A month later a doomed text message came though and against the general opinion it carried no sign of remorse, regret or explanation of the unprecedented absence, instead it carried a nonchalant tone and a candid invitation for “Netflix and chill” or to be even more precise “Mubi and chill” because he is a classy guy, just like his actions. Of course, being as classy as I am myself, I used this god sent opportunity to invite him to piss off (in a much classier choice of words of course) and get my much needed closure, which in an ideal scenario would have followed by a hand gesture. Since emoticon version of the hand gesture wasn’t robust enough to my liking, I decided not to spoil my revenge fantasy and left it to his imagination. Also, against the popular opinion, I also decided not to follow up and left it for better of for worse. The shift in power itself was a validation worth thousand word anyway. I can now put this tragic story to bed and look forward to my next trip to Paris in May!