SBX declined to take in a sex show or a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge in ye olde Red Light District of Pigalle, so we walked up many flights of exterior stairs to the top of Montmartre, taking in the rainy landscapes and sights. We stopped at the Place du Tertre where street artists of varying talents sketched quick caricatures and portraits of tourists for money. Even in the rain, they paved way for trade. We came upon Sacre-Coeur at the top of Montmartre and the clouds were torn wide open by a determined sun wanting to set sans storm. SBX and I admired the Eiffel Tower in the orange glow from afar and I so desperately wanted to kiss her. She was worried about getting sick and not being able to work and take care of her kids when she returned back to the USA, and it began to annoy me, this overtly cautious caveat, this lack of romantic impulse. We were in Paris and I wanted to kiss. No dice. SBX stood her ground. This stance would color the entire trip and frustrate me ~ to no end.
We walked back down the stairs and went shopping. I bought SBX a hot pink t-shirt with two fuzzy bunny rabbits snuggling for her to wear on New Year’s Eve in NYC. We found a place to rest our rears and drank café au lait and masticated awful, tourist quality, crepes. We wrote in our journals and watched the locals stumble by. We purposely went off trail and walked through a genuine neighborhood sans trendy hot spots, where cheese and chocolate shoppes were aplenty. SBX was sparkling in glee, basking in her two favorite delights. Vegetable stands featured cinemascope colored fruits, and the streets were so narrow, you had to march single file. We dipped into a bookstore where bandes-dessines [graphic novels] sections are popular among the French. SBX scored French fables and children’s books for her girls and bought me Anna Sommers’ BAIS DES BOIS collection. I got the splendid, mostly mute, oversized black & white comic, SIX CENT SOIXANTE SEIZE APPARITIONS de Killofer, for 25-Euros. We continued to stroll down the streets as stores began to close. I noticed another bookstore called ALBUM, and wondered what they might sell. SBX pointed towards the window display and discovered that it was filled to the gills with bandes-dessines. I was delighted to find ANOTHER comix shoppe filled with many great French comix, including translated editions of Marvel’s classic superhero icons.
We took the RER back to Maisons Lefitte where I finally got to meet Caroline, SBX’s old school chum, whose home we were crashing. Caroline hails from Wales and is 5-months pregnant with her second baby. She is married to a cuddly German named Torston, and they have a baby named Max. They met working in oil trade and now Caroline stays at home working full-time as house-wife/mother. SBX was semi-jealous of Caroline’s lifestyle, so I had to remind her how stir crazy SBX would get if she just puttered about the house all day every day, feeding and cleaning. SBX is an intellectual who needs a constant challenge beyond the domestic scope. We ate a tuna casserole with capers [not my cuppa] and played a great game of Scattagories. We had good fun and drank lots of wine from their wine cellar, easing our husks into the end of another night in Paris.