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I'm having a strawberry mojito on Rue St.Andre-des-Arts.

So being alone is taking a little effort. I placed myself in the middle of two couples, red tiny circular empty tables on either side. The waiter moves me next to the French speaking couple, just to help me eavesdrop.

The seat is barely an A4 paper in length. "Dix euros Madame svp."

It's Sunday evening, I'll be hearing everyone until I fall asleep, mainly tourists and late-monday-morning French licking their last drop of poison.

Happy hour not so happy, I'd rather be the noisy laughter in the street, an annoyance to the driver, une vedette devant ses phares.

I keep myself busy with the caramel coated peanuts. I did leave home to find a patisserie, but thought I'd exercise my solitude. And to my surprise, it feels out of shape. So much for regaling all about it.

Even the movies I watch are of little help. I find myself walking hand in hand with leading men, chiseled fellows, testosterone Frankensteins, powder room residents. I dreamed of men and all I got was strangers, grandfatherly tufts of silver chicken wires in the après-midi seance. And I know that when you want a hand to hold, you get elbowed. I should want solitude, but it can't be forced, you have to let it creep up on you.

It's always people that make you feel lonely. Reminders of what it felt like. But if people are projections of how you want to be perceived, then why is it so hard to see yourself in their absence?

Perhaps it's not people, perhaps it's more specific, like people you can hear. Try as much as you want but you always end up knowing what each table is talking about. Why are words the hardest to ignore? Is it because you hope they will provide the hook for you to reel them in closer to you? Even if people have been nothing but disappointing, there is always the slim hope of finding better in a new city. And you fall for it every time.

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