Inspired by the book ‘How to be Parisian’, this is a portrait of the stereotypical Parisian woman where I’ll unveil some of her secrets. Keep in mind that this may not be an accurate representation.
The Parisian woman is sitting at a café, cigarette in one hand and a book in the other. She’s in no rush, in fact she’s never in a rush. She is waiting for no one. The world waits for her.
She’ll get up in a few minutes and drop by the nearest museum before heading off to grab a few drinks with her besties. Wearing the same jewelry from last night, she picks up her bag, tousles her hair, and retouches her red lipstick before walking to the nearest metro. She wonders why she never gave that guy a kiss. What was his name? It doesn’t matter.
She waits at Jacques Bonsergent station, absorbed in her book. She knows the city like the back of her hand, the train lines like the veins on the back of her wrists. She wouldn’t get lost even if she was sleepwalking. She’ll cross the street fearlessly in a red light, easy. The buzzing city keeps her alive, and keeps her heart beating. Her journey home is accompanied by the saxophone buskers on the metro, people talking to themselves and sirens humming – she never feels alone in the city.
Yet her melancholy doesn’t seem to escape her. Her mood responds to the changing colors of her city. She can feel a sudden surge of sorrow or even hope for no reason at all. In the blink of an eye, all of those lost memories and smells come flooding back, reminding her of loved ones who are no longer there. The one that got away. She thinks she has forgotten, but the city remembers. The city knows all of her secrets.
She tries to forget and finds refuge in her favorite park. She’s wearing her favorite trench coat, the signature item that will protect her – from rain, from wind, from danger. It drapes perfectly around her shoulders, making her every gesture seem effortless and graceful, the fabric is flawless and the finishes are perfect. The signature item is an attitude. It is the gun in her holster that makes her feel well dressed and invincible. Fashion is her form of expression, subtle but sexy. Underneath her trench coat is a silk dress her mother gave her. She’ll remind herself that there is beauty in simplicity.
Everything has to be au naturel. She’ll use what Mother Nature gave her because after all, no one’s perfect. Her skin retains every memory, every line that shows the best music festivals she’s gone to, the nights out with friends, the trips abroad, all shown under the eyes and on the corners of her lips. No need to cover, hide or alter. They tell a story. She cherishes her little imperfections, which allow her to feel beautiful.
She believes that knowledge is power. The Parisian woman is an encyclopedia. She has made up her mind about the world, politics, art, culture. Visit her home and you’ll see piles of books stacked to the ceiling. She can become the new bestseller within seconds. She’ll tell you exactly how she feels about Macron, Rimbaud or Sartre, her opinions are the sword that can kill. If you disagree with her, she’ll go on for hours to convince you to be on her side. Victory comes in winning an argument.
So there she is, the Parisian woman sitting on a park bench with her hands in her trench coat pockets looking up at the sky and breathing in the fresh autumn air. Today’s a new day. And she’s off to find her next adventure.