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My Parisian Lover

June 8, 2015

One day I was out with my brother and his kids, roaming around Lafayette not doing anything in particular. I got an e-mail from a stranger using the address from this blog. He wanted to know if he could have the password to the older, protected blogs.

I had almost forgotten that I had added that bit of security. It was silly, really. A couple of years ago a woman who was once my boss and then decided she hated me, found my blog and called me out to my co-workers. So, I changed the name and put a password on everything I had written up to that point.

I pretend to hide behind this anonymity, ignoring the fact that I’m as a vulnerable as a snowflake in the desert to being found out. There are already too many people I know reading these rantings. It’s gets in my head and I leave things out so I won’t be judged or analyzed or make someone mad. Anonymity is the shield I use to allow the truth. My truth, of course. If I don’t have sovereignty over my own story, then my words will be in prison. Which is why I had incarcerated some of them.

Anyway, back to the e-mail. In his very first message he wrote, “I live in Paris.” He said he liked my writing. I easily gave up the secret code. Five-thousand miles in more than enough safety net for me. He thanked me and I invited him to tell me what he thought.

He immediately began flirting shamelessly with me, calling me a seductress, which made me laugh out loud, and suggesting that the blog lacked the sexual details of my dating life, such as it has been. He asked for these details in unsubtle terms. I found his flirtations and requests both amusing and indelicate. If he had been in Lafayette, if the possibility of seeing him or meeting him had existed, I might have shut him down, the danger of an ill-advised acquaintance, too strong.

But he was in Paris. It was like a story, a romantic movie, a chapter in a book. It need not be real. So, I indulged his questions and flirtations and enjoyed the attention. He called me his fantasy. He invented a woman behind the stories; romantic, beautiful and sexy. An object of his desire. An unknown person, his healthy libido could invite into his active imagination.

He said he loves Paris. He even loves the tourists and I found his descriptions lovely and appealing. It’s a wonderful thing to be in love with the place you live. I like Lafayette, but I envy such a subject of one’s affection. To be a Parisian. What that must be like.

We talked for many days, exchanging stories and information. All the while, he called me sweetheart and shared his fantasies about me as I often steered the conversation back to real life and polite conversation.

His messages waned and I wondered if he had become bored with the exchange. When I saw a story about the love locks on the Pont des Arts bridge being removed, I sent him the link and asked his opinion. And we began a renewed exchange.

Something different happened this time. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was the Moon. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde. His flirtations found a willing audience and I found myself participating in the dream he had begun to construct. He knew all my lovers, he said. And he wanted to know more. He wanted the details. By that Friday night, our e-mails exchanges had become increasingly intimate. I found myself telling him things I hadn’t told anyone. I talked to him like I had never allowed myself to talk to a lover before. Not even when I was married. It was exciting.

For him and only for him, I wrote the details left out in the stories here. The one night stands and the loves. He asked for details about Z and I. And I told him everything. The e-mails shot back and forth like texts as I lay in my bed, still in my walk clothes, still sticky from the sweat of the early evening heat. I spent the night with him. My Parisian lover, 5,000 miles away, writing answers and imagining fantasies and inventing scenarios. We pretended to be with each other. We imagined meeting in Paris and seeing each other for the first time. He walked me through his Paris before bringing the story to his flat.

It was ridiculous and thrilling and new. And I loved it.

A couple of days later, I reached out to him again, another article, I think. Yes, it was an article about a secret apartment in the Eiffel Tower. He had not heard of it. I was pleased to be telling him something about his beloved Paris that he didn’t know.

He said he had not stopped thinking about Friday night. I confessed the same.

I told him I wanted to hear his voice. He sent me a recording.

It took me a while to find the right program to play the damned thing. I fumbled with the downloaded file in frustration. And then, finally I opened it and pressed play.

I heard his sweet, deep voice in French. I thought I was going to fall off my chair. The first sentence was slow, followed by a quick phrase, all of it in that most beautiful of languages.

I asked him what he said. “I want you,” he translated. And then, “I hope you are well.”

Our exchange grew heated again. Pretending I was with him, I told him he could say whatever he wanted in my ear, in French since I wouldn’t know what he was saying.

“You mean now?” he asked.

“If you want to,” I replied.

He sent another recording. This one was longer. He rolled off exquisite words in a velvety voice. The pauses were heavy with his breathing. It was like he was there with me, whispering in my ear. I understood a few words, here and there. Enough to know that what he said was far from polite.

It was immensely exciting. I listened to it over and over, wondering about the man behind the voice, reveling in the mystery.

As the afternoon took me for my walk again, he said he was going to sleep. He said he wanted to dream of me. As I walked, I listened to the recording a few more times. There I was in Lafayette, in Girard Park with a stranger’s voice in my ear, a message from Paris, saying secret things, just to me in a language I didn’t need to understand.

Isn’t it silly? I have a secret, imagined lover in Paris. Isn’t it wonderful? A real person, there in the most romantic place on Earth, occasionally thinking about me, or about who he wants me to be, waiting to exchange words so we can have the shared thrill of exciting someone, an ocean away.

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From → Rantings

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