The list of the wonders of Paris is overwhelming, which is why I made up my mind to live here in order to discover them all. I’m a fan of the performing arts, having studied opera and dabbled a bit in acting and dance, so one of my grandest dreams was to attend the theatre in Paris. Finally one night, I booked a ticket to see Swan Lake at the Théâtre du Châtelet.
I was already impressed on my walk to the theatre. The evening was chilly, but I stared on at the illuminated Palais de la Cité, a castle I’d never heard about despite my deep readings on Paris. The city lights glimmered on the river Seine, a live Van Gogh painting, a surreal beauty, I was so charmed. I was trying to decide on whether I preferred Paris by day or by night, when I realized the time. (You can’t be late for the evening of your dreams!) Dressed in black, I entered through to velvet chairs, to see the lights, the stage, the red curtains opening up to reveal a beautiful silhouette of ballerinas. The orchestra began its musical routine, and the dancers fluttered in the air, and I watched alone, happy but melancholic.
As much as I didn’t notice my loneliness in the light of day, I was starkly aware of it in the purest bliss of my evening. This was one of my most beautiful and saddest days in Paris, a bittersweet feeling that I’m sure so many other single dreamers experience when they first move to a strange city. The feeling that happiness is better when shared. The next night, I called up a friend and we went for drinks right next to the theatre, where I drenched my disillusions in red wine while smoking vogues, huddled up in a corner bar against the glimmer of dreamy yellow lights.
When I first moved to Paris, I had a problem with the beauty of the city. I was both amazed and frustrated by it.
It was one of those moments in life when you remember exactly where you were when it happened. Moments so emotionally charged that they remain engraved in our memories forever.