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I’m sleepless in Paris.

When is life too short and when is it time to listen to age-old wisdoms?

Life is too short to be spent day-in and day-out in bed thinking about things you haven’t and things you aren’t.

Life is too short to let your fears eat at your experiences.

Life is too short to shut up when the words are crawling up your throat and tugging on your tongue and prying your lips open.

But if you have nothing to say, stay quiet.

If you have a really bad feeling about it, don’t do it.

If you have nothing and are a nobody, you have nothing to lose: do anything, stay in bed, watch TV, and do nothing.

Or everything.

What is loss? What is bad? What is a do and what is a don’t?

You ask so many questions that you are sitting on your answers.

The answers aren’t even answers, they are “what ifs”. And a “what if” is a question mark weighed down by a cannon ball, a ball that’s stuck in the pocket of your throat, a ball you wish you did not choose to swallow because it was impolite to spit it out.

But that’s a “what if” past-tense.

Mine is still a projection into space and time, a what if I ignore the over and over of “Don’t date your boss” and what if I don’t sit on that question for too long and what if I just proceed to go where my mind is going?

I am Wilde tempted. I am cat-killer-spree curious. I am Nike yearning to be reincarnated into something other than shoes and spandex.

“I know that it could be seen as out of line, but would you like to join me for a drink?”


“I’m having a house party, I’d love it for you to join us!”

“…Looks like no one showed up, it’s just going to be you and me…”

Or not. I’ll save this cheese for the +Rats.

“There’s this great exhibition, have you seen it?”

Of course not, you don’t live here. You can train of shame it back home too. “What if” is now less of a "WTF-are-you-thinking?"

A little Portuguese accent wouldn’t hurt my ears, a little bit of extra height to a man wouldn’t leave me short, a little laughter and April heat wouldn’t leave us cold, so I say, “Why don’t you just stand up and kiss him already?!”

Because it’s never that simple. There would be a fantastical build up. We would talk about work all night long. And then a Freudian slip of tongue, almost accidental. Or a handshake that doesn’t squeeze the whole palm, but presses on the inner and softly releases with the brush of two fingers. And in my fantasy, it takes just that.

But the handshake comes first, at the beginning of the day, before an afternoon long meeting, where the tables are arranged in a U to facilitate communication and lingering eye contact can confirm that the squeeze and brush weren’t accidental, and the corners of our smiles pull our faces into criminal partnership, Bonnie and Claudio, though our real names contrast, better.

And how am I so confident this would work? Because I am the author of this day-dream?

It’s that simple. You just know. The balloon may be invisible, but it takes up the space of the room and if he comes with the bristle of two days unshaved, I will pop it like a sicle. 




I’m a mess in Paris.

It has been so for some time now, this feeling of being at a loss, of being unable to, of putting up obstacles as soon as I jump one.

So I ask myself, what is that special place I yearn to be at.




I see hoards of tourists everyday take the same picture of Tour Eiffel, of Notre Dame, of statues and monuments that make up Paris. Paris is nothing but a pop-up postcard, a map of relics to an age long past, a large walk through museum with never-changing Parisian stereotypes. Paris is a marker-stick stuck in a river that moves an inch forward and bobs an inch backwards. It gives you the impression of taking you with it, but then pushes you back out.

London. London feels like a large river that carries you along, but doesn’t give you time to grab unto something. It impresses you with its speed and power, but it flows through you nonetheless and when you leave, you don’t retain, only the mud stains of dirty gritty Thames cling to you as reminders of what you did and what you saw and what you didn’t arrive to.

Beirut, a memory of strings undone and their ends shriveling into ends I can’t get hold off. Roots are rotten, friendships dried up, lovers withered – a lost paradise and I, a lost cause.

But that is all a made-up, that is nothing but a fantasy of someone sad. Places aren’t what they are said to be in Lonely Planet, they aren’t what they are marked out to be on a map, they aren’t friends’ stories, they aren’t what you previously experienced, they aren’t street names, nor corners, nor squares, nor houses. None of it matters.

The only place is inside your head and it is the place I think I have to go first, if I ever want to go anywhere.