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.
I was probably a pre-teen when I discovered Alexandre Dumas's novels. I was an avid, indiscriminate reader, and I devoured them all, buying some, borrowing others, until there weren't any left.
When I first moved to Paris, I had a problem with the beauty of the city. I was both amazed and frustrated by it.