Friday night in Paris.
Of course, Paris is the love capital for many tourists. Couples, hook-ups, mutual encounters…there’s this romantic air to the dense, smog-filled city, but anyone (even the most cynical) acknowledges this. After all, it’s not called the “City of Love” for no apparent reason.
It was my last night out in town, before I had to catch my train the following morning back to the Lyon region. It’d been years since I’d last experienced the Parisian nightlife, and what better way to do it than on my final night, let alone on Friday night?
I’d just spent a full day on a day trip from Paris, and I was utterly exhausted once I returned to the French capital. All the same, I forced myself to head out that evening, first getting dinner at a Korean restaurant (delicious food on-par with what I’ve had back home in Los Angeles) before braving the bar life in the heart of the city.
Now, little did you know that I am, in fact, part of the LGBT community, and that I was looking for that particular vibe when it came to scouring queer-friendly places. At first, I checked out one near the restaurant where I had dinner at– however, I’d arrived much too early for anything to happen. In other words, there was virtually no one except locals at the bar, and I ended up just having a drink before bouncing.
I was almost ready to call it quits for the night, as I was super exhausted from my day trip, and I would be leaving the next day anyway. However, I decided to check out another LGBT bar, and looking back, I’m glad that I did.
…because I met you.
To be honest, I didn’t have the highest expectations when I was bar-hopping that night. Yes, I had the fantasy of meeting the “Right One,” but also being a cynic, I also had my doubts that it would happen at all. Not to say that I did meet the “Right One” that night, but I’d say I did meet someone I was interested in.
…and that was you.
You don’t know this about me, but I’m a very shy and introverted person by nature. I have a hard time talking to people, especially those whom I don’t know. Call it fear, or just plain awkwardness, but I know that it’s not in my favor when it comes to meeting people (unless they approach me first, but that’s a different story…).
Any case, the place was hopping once I stepped in. A mixture of locals and expats, I found the atmosphere much more lively than the first bar I checked out. Still, I was shy, and I ended up positioning myself at the bar where I ordered a glass of white wine and sipped it slowly while surveying the vibe of the bar-club.
A drink or so in, I had the “Dutch courage” to actually talk to someone, but she was already waiting for a friend and soon enough bounced from the bar. Wasn’t until you somehow slipped in, at the stool next to mine where you also ordered a glass of white wine and sipped it slowly. I got the courage to ask you if you were waiting for someone, which you replied you were. However, it took a while (at least half an hour), and we ended up striking conversation about the basics (where we were from, our jobs, Parisian nightlife, etc.). You were a local, and you knew the patrons of the bar to be on friendly terms with them.
At least first impressions go, I definitely thought you were good-looking. Dark, shoulder-length hair, *slight* angular face, red lipstick…you were the definition of feminine. You were attractive, and I wanted to talk to you, despite my extreme shyness.
To be fair, you were also quite shy. You also admitted that to me, even though you were a regular at the bar, knew the patrons, and even had a few hookups with bar-goers in the past. Our conversation did flow, albeit a bit stilted at times, until your friend came and made it more comfortable between us.
The next two to three hours were a combination of having drinks, getting to know each other, and eventually getting down on the dance floor. Of course, since we were both shy creatures by nature, we kept it tame with our dance moves and whatnot. I soon found out that you were bisexual (like myself), although from what you described you probably wouldn’t be attracted to my “type.” But it didn’t matter, as I was just looking to have a fun night out and nothing too serious (and probably likewise with you, from your own experiences…).
Your friend left early, and we ended up staying out longer. We danced, we talked, we danced some more until past midnight until you decided to call it quits and head back home. Likewise, I decided to catch one of the last metros back to the hostel I was staying at, and we happened to head to the same metro stop to do so. We had more conversation as we walked to the metro stop: not sure how you were really feeling, but at one point you did slip a bit on the steps and mentioned that you were “drunk,” which I found endearing. We expressed interest in staying in touch, and you added yourself on Facebook via my phone. Soon enough, we parted ways at the metro station, as we took different lines back to our respective places: we “faire la bise” (French cheek-kiss) before parting ways, and that was it. I took the metro back to my hostel and upon arriving back proceeded to freshen up a bit before hitting the sack past 2:00.
Perhaps because it was my first time experiencing a “queer bar” or perhaps I was actually attracted to you (or maybe both). In any case, I had a good time that night, despite it being tamed, and I do hope our paths will cross some day. Even if nothing happens between us, at least I’d like for us to be friends whenever I come to Paris. It was a good night out, and I have to thank you for it. Wishing you the best, and I hope to hear from you soon. 🙂
— The Finicky Cynic
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