princesse_incongrue: Prince Poppycock trying on a tall white wig (poppycock)
(Video archived here)

Long translation under the cut!
Read more... )  

[I cannot get the video to replay the last few minutes, but if memory serves they went and got everyone else to say goodbye, Mikele told us again how this was a special twitcam because MOR doesn't do anything the normal way, and that was pretty much it.]  
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)
Qui de nous deux
Aura la force de dire
Les yeux dans les yeux
A l'autre de partir ?

Je me souviens hier,
Je me souviens de nous,
Les draps, sous la colère,
Ne cachent plus rien du tout.

Te souviens-tu d'hier ?
Te souviens-tu de tout ?
Tes joues, sous la colère,
Rougissent tout à coup

Arrête ! Arrête !
Ma tête explose !
Arrête ! Arrête !
Que ma tête se repose !

Qui de nous deux
Aura la force de fuir
de faire de nous
un nouveau souvenir ?

Je me souviens hier,
Je me souviens de tout,
Mes joues, sous la colère,
Ne cachent plus rien du tout.

Arrête ! Arrête !
Ma tête explose !
Arrête ! Arrête !
Que ma tête se repose !

Arrête ! Arrête !
Ma tête explose !
Arrête ! Arrête !
Que ma tête se repose !

Arrête ! Arrête !
Ma tête explose !
Arrête ! Arrête !
Que ma tête se repose !

Arrête ! Arrête 
Que nos têtes se reposent

Which of the two of us
Will be strong enough to say
Face to face
That the other should go?

I remember yesterday,
I remember us,
The sheets, beneath the rage,
Don't hide anything at all

Do you remember yesterday?
Do you remember everything?
Your cheeks, beneath the rage,
Suddenly flush

Stop! Stop!
My head is bursting!
Stop! Stop!
Let my head rest!

Which of the two of us
Will be strong enough to flee?
To make us into
A new memory?

I remember yesterday,
I remember everything,
My cheeks, beneath the rage,
Don't hide anything at all.

Stop! Stop!
My head is bursting!
Stop! Stop!
Let my head rest!

Stop! Stop!
My head is bursting!
Stop! Stop!
Let my head rest!

Stop! Stop!
My head is bursting!
Stop! Stop!
Let my head rest!

Stop! Stop!
Let our heads rest

 
If you listen to this song and think, "Wow, what a great song about how annoying girlfriends are!" please never ever speak to me.
 
princesse_incongrue: Mrs Banks from Mary Poppins proudly displaying her "VOTES FOR WOMEN" sash (sister suffragette)
L'hiver s'installe doucement dans la nuit
La neige est reine à son tour
La royaume de solitude
Ma place est là pour toujours
Le vent qui hurle en moi ne pense plus à demain
Il est bien trop fort
J'ai lutté en vain

Cache tes pouvoirs n'en parle pas
Fais attention, le secret survivra
Pas d'états d'âmes, pas de tourment
De sentiment

Libérée, délivrée
Je ne mentirai plus jamais
Libérée, délivrée
C'est décidé, je m'en vais
J'ai laissé mon enfance en l'été
Perdue dans l'hiver
Le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté

Quand on prend de la hauteur
Tout semble insignifiant
La tristesse, l'angoisse, et la peur
M'ont quitté depuis longtemps
Je veux voir ce que je peux faire
De cette magie pleine de mystère
Le bien, le mal, je dis tant pis
Tant pis!

Libérée, délivrée
Les étoiles me tendent les bras
Libérée, délivrée
Non, je ne pleure pas
Me voilà, oui je suis là
Perdue dans l'hiver

Mon pouvoir vient du ciel
Et envahit l'espace
Mon âme s'exprime en dessinant
Les sculptures dans la glace
Et mes pensées sont des fleurs
De cristal gelé
Je ne reviendrai pas
Le passé est passé

Libérée, délivrée
Désormais plus rien ne m'arrête
Libérée, délivrée
Plus de princesse parfaite
Je suis là comme je l'ai rêvé
Perdue dans l'hiver
Le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté
Winter settles gently into the night
Now it's the snow's turn to be queen
The kingdom of solitude
My place will always be here
The wind howling in me can't consider tomorrow anymore
It's much too strong
I've struggled in vain

Hide your powers, don't speak of them
Be careful, the secret shall survive
No moodiness, no upheaval
No emotions

Liberated, delivered
I'll never lie again
Liberated, delivered
It's decided; I'm moving on
I left my childhood behind in summer
Lost in winter
For me the cold is the price of freedom

When you look down from above
Everything seems insignificant
Sadness, anguish, and fear
Left me long ago
I want to see what I can do
With this mysterious magic
The good, the bad, I say never mind
Never mind!

Liberated, delivered
The stars hold out their arms to me
Liberated, delivered
No, I'll never cry again
Here I am, yes, I've arrived
Lost in winter

My power comes from the sky
And floods through space
My soul can express itself drawing
Sculptures in the ice
And my thoughts are flowers
Of frozen crystal
I'll never go back
The past is behind me

Liberated, delivered
From now on nothing can stop me
Liberated, delivered,
No more perfect princess
Here I am just as I dreamed it
Lost in winter
For me, the cold is the price of freedom
 
(Disclaimer: I transcribed the French lyrics by ear, so please excuse any mistakes.)

 (Also, it really bothers me that they didn't use "En fait, le froid ne m'a jamais embêté" which basically matches the number of syllables of the English "the cold never bothered me anyway" and  translates directly to "actually, the cold never bothered me"... I like that a lot more than the real translation which implies that she's paying for her freedom by being cold.  Other than that I think the French is slightly lovelier than the English.)

princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)
J'ai marché tout droit bien au pas
Sans jamais couper la ligne blanche
Dimanche j'ai bien fait mes génuflexions
J'ai laissé partir en fumé mes délires
Et j'inspire la confiance
Par chance personne ne voit mon affliction
Je m'ennuie jour et nuit dans les rails
D'une vie devenue trop étanche
J’enclenche la connexion

Mes éléphants roses
Ont des petits culs sexys
J'me shoot à la souris
Plus je mate plus je me réjouis
Mes éléphants roses
En un clic m’extasient
J'ai ma dose je fais pause 
Allez c'est beau la vie

J'ai roulé sans crash pas de flash
Je colle à mon code de prudence
J'avance sans écraser le champignon
L'objectif abusif qu'elle me fixe
Du héros fidèle à outrance
J'y pense sans conviction

Mes éléphants roses
Ont des petits culs sexys
J'me shoot à la souris
Plus je mate plus je me réjouis
Mes éléphants roses
En un clic m’extasient
J'ai ma dose je fais pause 
Allez c'est beau la vie

Mes éléphants roses
Mes éléphants roses
Mes éléphants roses
Mes éléphants roses
Mes éléphants roses
...
Bien rouler le pétard
La sex tape de star
Pamela Anderson 
Ouais tu peux y aller c'est d'la bonne

Mes éléphants roses
Ont des petits culs sexys
J'me shoot à la souris
Plus je mate plus je me réjouis
Mes éléphants roses
En un clic m’extasient
J'ai ma dose je fais pause 
Allez c'est beau la vie

Mes éléphants roses
Mes éléphants roses
Ouais c'est beau la vie
Shoote à la souris
Plus je mate plus je me réjouis
Mes éléphants roses
En un clic m’extasient
J'ai ma dose je fais pause 
Allez c'est beau la vie 
I've walked straight ahead with care
Without ever crossing the white line
Every Sunday I genuflected
I've let my wild behavior go up in smoke
And I inspire confidence
Luckily no one sees my affliction
I bore myself day and night on the path
Of a life that has become too airtight
I unleash the connection

My pink elephants
Have sexy little asses
I shoot up with mice
The more subdued I am, the more I enjoy it
My pink elephants 
With a click send me into raptures
I've had my fix, I take a break
Come on, life is beautiful

I rolled along without crashing, no flash
Glued to my code of prudence
I move forward without stepping on the gas
The abusive objective she sets me 
Like an excessively faithful hero
I think of it without conviction

My pink elephants
Have sexy little asses
I shoot up with mice
The more subdued I am, the more I enjoy it
My pink elephants 
With a click send me into raptures
I've had my fix, I take a break
Come on, life is beautiful

My pink elephants
My pink elephants
My pink elephants
My pink elephants
My pink elephants
...
Roll the joint well
The sex tape of a star
Pamela Anderson 
Yeah you can get there it's the good stuff

My pink elephants
Have sexy little asses
I shoot up with mice
The more subdued I am, the more I enjoy it
My pink elephants 
With a click send me into raptures
I've had my fix, I take a break
Come on, life is beautiful

My pink elephants
My pink elephants
Yeah life is beautiful
Shoot up with mice
The more subdued I am, the more I enjoy it
My pink elephants
With a click send me into raptures
I've had my fix, I take a break
Come on, life is beautiful
 

 
princesse_incongrue: Prince Poppycock trying on a tall white wig (poppycock)
 Two and a half years ago I made subtitles for the DVD of Mozart l'Opéra Rock.  Here is the transcription of the entire DVD:

Read more )
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)


There are sorrows that weigh tons
In order to keep from losing all hope
We play the role of someone who is doing fine
As long as others don't know anything about it
We do our best to save face
So our friends are ignorant to what we're going through
We laugh, we dance, like Venetian fools
But no matter what we do or say

The wounds that can't be seen
Hurt us much more than any others
We close them up inside of us
But must we carry on like this our whole lives?

Pride helps us carry on
Apparently we can even make people jealous
We put on this show for our own benefit
To play at being healed

The wounds that can't be seen
Hurt us much more than any others
We close them up inside of us
But must we carry on like this our whole lives?

These wounds
That can't be seen

There are sorrows that weigh tons
In order to keep from losing all hope
We have to tell ourselves that we'll heal sooner or later

The wounds that can't be seen
Sometimes it seems like we've shaken them
And when we least expect it
Without anyone else ever knowing
They rise back to the surface
And shoot us down again
The wounds that can't be seen
That hurt us so much more than all the others

These wounds
That can't be seen
princesse_incongrue: Prince Poppycock trying on a tall white wig (poppycock)
 Dove Attia and Albert Cohen livechat!  Archived here.

This one was a bit of a hot mess since no one could actually hear anything, and I lost interest every time they talked about 1789, but here are the bits and pieces that did work their way into my brain:

tomorrow is the last day and we won't see you guys again till november, so merry christmas

Where do you get your ideas?
-ideas that inspire us, stories from history, people in the street

each show was a different point of view
-the 10 commandments was my first baby
-LRS ?
-loved MOR for its music
-1789 for its cinematography
they're all strong in different domains

-each Troupe was chosen to represent the spirit of each show
-LRD for sunniness, MOR for rock and roll, 1789 for revolutionaries

albert is too much of a politican to pick one favorite

i think they said albert is working on an idea?  florent mothe is busy and so is christophe maé, but it's a good idea

Dove just called us deaf even though it's his fault they're using a terrible webcam

something about as long as a show is successful, that's an awesome thing, bc there are costumes and singers and sth

albert said dove can't act
dove started talking about albert not doing sports but dove works out
i think they're hitting on each other

OUR NEXT SHOW
"Live 1789"
-next November at the PDS they're redoing 1789
-four new songs, new scenes, surprises
-they're gonna do a 3D DVD of it

i feel like dove just compared himself to jesus and said he sacrifices something for humanity to carry on???

where did they get the idea for the names of the 1789 characters, i dont care so i stopped listening

OH LOOK IT'S MY QUESTION: ANY NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN VERSION OF MOR?
-it's a question of finding a theatre, because in NYC the theatres get reserved years in advance
-it's going to take some more time

WHERE IS THE 3D MOR DVD
-DOVE DOESNT KNOW

DID DOVE JUST JOKE THAT HE WAS GOING TO DO A VERSION OF LES MIS BECAUSE I WOULD SUPPORT THAT MONSTROSITY

now albert is awkwardly texting on a flip phone

go to attia-cohen.fr for news

THANK you they just sat up and they're yelling THANK YOU

NOW REPEAT EVERYTHING YOU'VE ALREADY SAID

it's really hard to make a career out of being in a musical

now dove is fixing his hair

albert is whispering again

they're gonna have to get new charlottes for the 1789 reboot because the ones they have now are getting taller than the dudes in the show

-we made mistakes with every show and sometimes we make them again the next show, but i mean what are you calling a mistake

-dove cried at 1789 two days ago

-everything we do is for youuuuu

-bye
 
princesse_incongrue: an 18th century robe à la française in gold silk, its wearer clutching a thick bouquet (Default)
 
"For Florent Mothe, it's twitter and facebook every day..."

The musician is able to play piano on his iPhone while humming his new songs.  A singer and a geek all at once?
 
What relationship do you have with your phone and compluter?
I'm addicted. I use them for my work and to stay in contact with my friends.  I lived in Toronto for three years, so it's the best way for me to keep my Canadian buddies updated!
 
Are you even a geek at home?
No, actually!  Simply because I don't a signal at home.  It's rough... I have to go outside if I want to be able to phone someone.  That's why I send so many texts.  I found strategic places in the apartment where the network works for a few seconds!
 
So, you could live without them?
Not at all.  During the tour if I didn't have any battery I felt like I was dying.  After twenty-four hours, I told myself that I could live without... well, just about!  Anyway, you just killed my battery, see, my phone shut itself down... Does anyone have a charger?

 
 
My rabbit: "Meet Alfred! He's my rabbit, he's handsome, isn't he?  I love taking pictures of him!  I leave him to walk around the house, I adore him!"
 
My favorite forecasts: "I always look at the forecast of Mouriès, in the south, where my parents live.  That way, I see a little sunshine... And then the forecast in Toronto, where I lived... Much colder!"
 
My music apps: "I basically have a music folder on my iPhone, but the best is the iDaft app, where you can remix Daft Punk songs however you want!"
 
My laptop background: "It's the photo from the end of the music video with the whole team!  We're covered in mud because we played a rugby match girls against boys... The girls won, of course!"
princesse_incongrue: Mikelangelo Loconte singing into a microphone in front of a red background (mikele rocking)



[video link]

We'll begin the first part of our show, "A Date with Destiny", by greeting Mikelangelo.  You recognize Mikelangelo from the unforgettable musical Mozart l'Opéra Rock.  So, tell us about your life.  What was it like 24 hours before going to the audition?  Where were you in your personal life?

It was nothing but work.  My biggest project was during New Year's, and I was sick, I had a fever and everything, but I was acting at the same time.

And so one meeting in the middle of all this work changed the course of your life.  What happened?

I met a man--I couldn't even say a man because he was very boyish, he seemed very young--and his name was Jean-Pierre Pilot [one of the writers of MOR].  And I met him, he was in my path.  At the time I had my best friend, she had met me during my concerts and everything and we decided to live together, so for nine years I lived with an incredible girl named Marie.

Was she your girlfriend?

No.  That's the incredible part.  That's the incredible part.  We were like siblings.  Both of us worked with art.  She was a dancer, kind of an actress, a little bit of everything, and I was a little bit of everything too, I don't know to what degree, but we were both a little bit of everything.

This Jean-Pierre, did you meet him on New Year's eve?

No.  Actually, I met him- a friend of mine plays guitar, who yells up at my window, and I answered that day.  He told me to come see Zazie and that he had extra tickets--she's a musician that a lot of people know.

Zazie our [France's] singer?

Yes, your singer.  So yeah, I went to see Zazie at the Forum de Lièges--I lived in Liège at the time--and afterward we all went to a café--

Who is "all"?

Zazie with her team of musicians.

How did you get an invite from Zazie?

Because I was one of the big musicians, like my friend, who all knew each other a little bit, they were in the same big family.  So I went to grab a drink with them, and when I got there Jean-Pierre saw me and he said, "Who's that guy?"  Because I walked in like Mick Jagger, but I wasn't Mick Jagger.  I went over to sit by Zazie and we were talking about all kinds of music, and then Jean-Pierre Pilot started asking people-

Oh, is that Jean-Pierre Pilot? [in the picture on the screen]

Yes, exactly.

Because we don't know who he is.  So it's this fellow.  What does he do?

He's a composer and creator, he's behind a lot of albums and has worked for a lot of very famous musicians like Zazie and Christophe Wilhelm...

Okay, so he was there at that moment.

Yes.  And he saw me, and he went "Whoa!  That dude!"  No, he must have said to himself, "Either this is a bunch of nonsense or he's really really good.  It's one of the other."  And we lived just across from the café, so we were like "Come see my house", and it was a three-story house with posters and all that stuff, just totally crazy, and he saw all that he said, "There's no way!" and when I showed him my bed I went, "Look, Jean-Pierre, it's--" how did I say it?  I said- I said, "a little bed for a great man."  And he said "You really are full of shit."  But that way I felt like a king in a paper kingdom I had built for myself in my head.  But he called up Dove Attia and Albert Cohen and said "I think I've found Mozart."

Alright, now you can tell the next part of your story later on in our show.

Later on, Mikelangelo has a surprise for you!

It's called Memory Day.

Alright, go ahead, the stage is yours.  

You'll hear his exclusive song that he only just finished composing. Mikelangelo on the piano, right after the break!


One meeting changed their lives, that's the theme today and we continue with Mikelangelo, who was telling us that Jean-Pierre Pilot invited him to an audition one evening when he was out with Zazie and her musicians, and he recognized the artist in you.  The difference.  And the talent, probably.  So he asked you to audition for a musical?

Yeah, he looked at me and he didn't say anything, he returned to Paris--we had met in Belgium--and afterwards he called my best friend and said, "You know your roommate, the performer, we might have something for him."  But what he suggested wasn't really interesting to me because it was a musical.

But he did ask you to play Mozart in a musical?  The title character?  And that didn't interest you at all, being in a musical?

Just imagine--it's weird, imagine someone saying we're going to do a musical about Mozart and you're Mozart.  But hadn't been-- I thought of Mozart as something sacred, something important, and playing him in a musical just wasn't a good idea.  

Right, it sounds low-end.  It isn't worthy of Mozart's level.

It was certainly high-end but didn't seem like a good idea for me.

So you said no?

I said no, that's right.  I just said forget it.  I didn't even answer.

That takes nerve, though, for a guy who's between projects...

I'd never done the audition for reality television, I was a performer who didn't line up to get a chance to sing, that's all.  I believe an artist should have a precise message to transmit on TV--the television isn't there for people who sing, people who dance, because that makes you a street performer.

So how did the audition catch up with you if you didn't respond?

Well, after two months--

For two months they didn't give up on you?

No.  Except, well, Jean-Pierre Pilot talked to that girl Marie again, who let him hear a thing I'd sung, and when he heard the voice he went, "Oh, okay, yeah, that's a guy who--" I don't think of myself as a super great singer, but I believe that when I sing I have an honest voice; when I sing, I really express myself.  I use song to express myself and not to show off my voice.  And I think he must have noticed that, and--

You're an interpreter [this word applies to singers in French].

That's right.  So Jean-Pierre, at that point he called me after two months, and that time he talked to me.  We talked and he said, "Listen, you didn't really understand, it's not just a musical, it's this, it's that," he explained the details to me.  And when he started saying "rock opera" I said, Ah, okay, that's the first time anyone has put "rock" and "Mozart" in the same sentence.  Yeah, because we all think of Mozart as a rocker but nobody ever said it that way.

So did you go to the auditions?

Yes, I showed up at one of the last auditions and they told me, hey, come this way, and if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

Were there a lot of people in line?

Yes.

How many?

Something like five thousand, I'd say.

Five thousand people in line?

They wanted to do Mozart, yes, of course.

Okay.  So did you wait?

I did, there were a lot of people who were waiting--obviously the auditions weren't just one day, it took several days-

Did you wait?  Like a good boy?

Yes.  Yes.

You waited your turn.

Yes.  I did a thing on the guitar--right when I walked onstage I realized that they were looking at me kind of funny.  I remember my hair was orange.  I wanted highlights but I hadn't done it right and my hair was orange.  So, I introduced myself onstage and they said, "Did you do your own hair?" They understood right away.  I said yes.  They said, "Listen, you sang really really well, but you will never ever ever ever ever be a hairdresser."

So they were under your spell.

Yes, because-

Did they tell you right away?  That you'd been chosen?

No.  I knew I could be Mozart but I told myself it was impossible that at a French audition they'd choose an Italian who lived in Belgium and who'd traveled all over and who didn't know French or anything!

Because at the time you didn't speak French the way you do now.

I spoke in a much more- in a way that was less fluid.

So you were chosen to play Mozart, and more than one million four hundred thousand people saw the show, eight hundred thousand albums sold, three NRJ Music Awards, with a 3D version coming out the 25th of November in two hundred cinemas for one week only.  We were there the day before the premier with this story that we're calling "On the Road to the Stars".


This is Mikelangelo, alias Mozart.  And this is Marie, his best friend and former roommate.

I met him about twelve years ago, all made up, charming, with his accent, his French was a little worse at the time of course, but as soon as I met him I felt really strongly about him, and it's still the same today.

At the time, Mikelangelo and Marie already had plenty of artistic endeavors in mind.

We started talking about art and she said, "You know, I do dance lessons but my dream is to be onstage." and I said "No problem, we're getting onstage."  Straightaway.  And we did it.  We did concerts, things like that, Italian television.

Because Mikele took me on as a dancer, and he made my costumes.

This is a wing that you'd put on like this.

And I danced with that.

But they never would have imagined that ten years later, Mikelangelo would get the starring role in a musical, and Marie watched every rehearsal with the same reaction each time.

I still feel the same thing, it's the feeling that he'll go on to even more success after this.

-We came for him!

I know there are a lot of Mikele fans here.  I recognize them from other places.  They're really very faithful.

-He's generous!  
-Yes, very generous, very nice, very approachable.
-He's really very nice, he's lovable.

Tonight, Mikelangelo and his fans are going to see the preview screening of the musical in 3D.

He has everything you need to succeed, but of course that starts with one thing first.

And even though Marie and Mikelangelo are very close, she's a true fan as well.

I'm going to see my roomie in 3D, it'll be amazing.  I'm excited, I'm ready.

Backstage, just after the screening while Mikelangelo prepares to go onstage to sing, he receives a surprise visitor.  This is Jean-Pierre Pilot, who discovered him.

-I was on tour with Zazie, and one day we go in a bar, and we see this guy enter with his girlfriend and with such a sunny insolence!  He was already a star with his face, his aura, and one day I heard one of his songs, and his exceptional voice, and when they told me they were looking for Mozart I thought of this character.

That's the meeting that changed my life.

For now, Mikelangelo has an audience waiting.  In several minutes he'll sing in front of more than a hundred thousand people [including me!!].

When I hear all these people shouting and waiting for us, it's bizarre.  It's like the first time.

How do you feel seeing those images again?

It's the thing that gave me all these opportunities to express myself.  It's Mozart l'Opéra Rock.

And where do you all stand today?  With your artistic career?

Well, in my heart I have so much sympathy for the producers who chose me, so Dove, Albert, everyone who believed in me, of course, so I'm in a situation where I appreciate and I comprehend how much they did, and I'm preparing a personal album.

Do you still work with them?

No.

You appreciate them, but you need to spread your own wings.

Yes.  That's right.

That's great, because you're demanding, you haven't let yourself fly too close to the sun.

It's really not humility or honesty, it's just after a while you've got to stretch your legs.  It's good to keep changing.  I'm doing it very honestly.

Are you afraid that people won't follow you on your new path?

Yes, of course.  But it's not a problem for my music, just for me, but it'll be alright in the end.

Thank you, good afternoon, and we're going to let Mikelangelo play us out.


princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)
Last night I decided to rewatch the entire Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy before I went to bed. Around 3:30 AM I saw Will and Elizabeth reunited after ten years, heaved a conflicted sigh, and set off toward the bathroom to refill my water bottle and brush my teeth.

That was when they attacked.

I heard lots of shuffling noises in the kitchen--big ones, like someone was cooking in there. Our kitchen is part of the living room, the only communal space in the apartment and also the space where one of my flatmates, Gordon, currently sleeps. I was confused as to why he would be cooking in the dark at 3 AM, but decided to go investigate.

Of course, Gordon was fast asleep on the pull-out couch bed. The window at his side was cracked for fresh air. And behind me, in the kitchen area, the noises continued.

This was the first time I've seen the rat in person, though I've been listening to him scuttle around inside the walls shrieking for weeks now. Rodents as pets are something I'm pretty cool with, but any sort of vermin with a history of living in sewers is not the sort of thing I want to see crawling up the front counter of my kitchen or balancing on top of the old grocery bag we were using as a trash can. I groaned and went into the bathroom. When I came out, the rat had cleared off and I took the trash out to discourage it. The trash cans are just across the lobby and out on a landing in the courtyard of our building, visible from the back windows of our first-floor apartment.

I returned to my room, sighed at the noise the rat was still making in the kitchen, and decided to settle into bed on my little floor mat. Of course, when every stray sound in a Harlem apartment building translates to a big, angry rat in your head, it's hard to relax. Suddenly I heard something rustling in the closet that's about four feet from the foot of my pallet. I sat up, glaring at the closet in the dim light from the street lamp in the courtyard, and was relieved to see nothing. Just to be sure, I used my foot to edge my stool across the floor.

At the sound of that noise, I distinctly saw a rat slightly larger than the length of my hand (tail not included) slip out of my laundry bag and run across our bedroom floor, passing right by my mat and disappearing under my roommate Sophia's headboard. I was on my feet in an instant, holding my breath. My closet backs up to the kitchen. They had a way of getting in, even when the bedroom door was shut. A second later I heard what sounded like a shampoo bottle being knocked over in the bathroom.

Rats can walk through walls.

To my relief, a light switched on in the apartment and I heard my flatmate Juan's heavy boots in the hall. I jumped off my pallet and threw my door open, meeting his sleepy face with a hissed, "It's the rat!" I quickly tried to explain what I'd seen, but was interrupted by another thud in the bathroom. Juan opened the door and a startled rat scurried right between us and into the kitchen.

Of course the two of us scattered and started yelling in shock, which woke Sophia and Gordon. We tried to explain what was going on as Juan crept into the bathroom only to discover--another rat was scrambling around in the tub. He retreated and I had to cope with the fact that there were now two rats in the equation. After a lot more rustling Juan edged the bathroom door open and then began shouting in panic, asking me, "Did you see that? Did you see that? Tell me you saw that!" I hadn't. He said that the rat in the bathtub had just scaled the entire plastic shower curtain in an instant and leaped from the bar. "I'm not gonna deal with this," he muttered, and disappeared into his room only to return a moment later with an aluminum baseball bat.

My roommate Sophia was fully conscious at this point (she'd been feeling sick and taken a dose of Nyquil before bed) and tried to encourage him not to bash a rat's head open on our floor. I asked if he was okay cleaning the mess in the event that he succeeded. He wasn't. We opened the bathroom door again and fled in different directions as the second rat ran to join its buddy in the kitchen. Juan traded his baseball bat for a coat. He announced that he was going to find rat traps and stormed out into the rain. It was 4 AM.

Sophia and Gordon tried to go back to bed, but every time we got still the shuffling rat noises began again. The lights were off, but I couldn't bring myself to lie down. The noises from the living room were so loud that I wondered how Gordon could even think about falling asleep. I was sitting on my stool staring at the door, waiting for Juan's return, when I heard a massive thump, a shriek, panicked scuffling, and a long, low groan from Gordon.

Sophia sat up in her bed.  Before she even had to ask I crept out into the hall. Gordon was sitting up blearily on the pull-out couch, squinting at the wall behind his head. "I- I think I killed it," he murmured, disbelieving.

"Can I turn on the light?"

He nodded, still shifting around and trying to see something beneath the mattress. He eventually got to his feet and pulled the couch away from the wall. "Yeah... yeah, it's dead. I just wanted to scare it... I slammed the couch against the wall and I heard it squeak... its friend went out the window."

Juan came home at last and passed me a box of sticky traps. When he saw the bloodbath behind the couch he recoiled, making everyone curious. Sophia peeked at the scene and all the color drained from her face. I was too afraid to look. "It's like a crime scene back here!" Juan exclaimed. "Its nose fell off! It's bleeding out its nose! You crushed its skull, man! That's a lot of blood."

I passed Gordon a fresh roll of paper towels and left him to clean up the evidence of his murder while I took the dead rat out in a plastic bag, then went about setting the sticky traps. I left one under the sink, then, remembering the sight of a rat slipping gracefully down the side of my laundry bag, I headed to our closet. Sophia followed, providing moral support as I pulled out first my laundry bag, then an extra quilt. We needed the floor clear before we set down the latest trap, and the only thing left was a clear plastic tarp bunched in the corner. I shook it tentatively, then firmly, and, assured that it was rat-free, yanked it out of the closet.

I was wrong. A third rat had been crouching beneath the plastic, and now that I had smoked it out it panicked, ran across Sophia's bare feet, and headed straight at me. I whirled around and tried to escape down the hall, lifting my feet high lest I wind up with socks caked in more rat blood, and felt its body colliding with my heels until I was even with Juan's room. I went back to place the sticky trap in our closet, but Juan intercepted me. "I know where it is, dude! Let me see the trap! I can do it!"

He ran into the kitchen and dropped the sticky trap next to the wire shelf where we keep our groceries and, with a shake, startled the rat out of its terribly-conceived hideout. I watched it try to clear the sticky trap and fail, its back foot getting stuck and the whole trap traveling with it across the kitchen floor. The more it tried to escape, the more stuck it became until all four feet were buried in the goo and all it could do was flail and shriek pitifully. Juan scooped it up in a plastic bag and through the din of frantic shouts coming from Sophia and myself made it clear that he wasn't so heartless as to leave it to starve in the trash and planned to try to suffocate it in the bag. He took it out to the trash.

Sophia, Gordon and I returned to the living room where progress was being made on the bloodstains. Gordon was using plastic bags as makeshift gloves to avoid getting blood on his hands. He was still bleary-eyed, his hair disheveled from sleep, and only dressed in his underwear. Sophia pursed her lips. "Well, if it's any consolation: Gordon, you have a nice ass."

Something about the moment was just a little too much, and the next thing I knew I had dissolved in laughter, leaning against the wall to hold myself up.  "You guys," I panted, a bizarre realization striking me, "Juan's out there suffocating a rat right now."

I don't know who had the idea first, but the next thing I knew I was dashing into Juan's empty room to get a view of the action unfolding by the trash bins, aware that the others were doing the same in Sophia's and my room. There he was, unaware that he suddenly had an audience, illuminated by one streetlamp and the light rain. The bag was on the ground by his feet. I saw Juan steel himself, touch the wall at his side for support, then leap directly onto the bag. I screamed and ducked away from the window, unable to imagine what he must be hearing. When I stood back up he was examining the contents of the bag, sighing, and dropping it back down by his feet. I ran out of the room before I had to see his heavy boots crush the bag again.

After that, the tone of the night simmered down. We quietly watched Gordon fill bag after bag with bloodstained paper towels, the solemnity punctured with frequent giggle fits from myself and Sophia as we relived what we had just witnessed. Juan returned, his expression distant, and he incredulously said, "I curb-stomped a rat tonight."

That was it. We stayed up until Gordon had cleaned most of the blood off the walls, then went into our separate rooms and tried to find a way to fall asleep. It was past 5AM.

Epilogue
I woke up this morning with a rat in my hair. We've had a maintenance man come to patch the holes but he was unable to find any and announced that the rats must have come in through the open windows, and that they don't live here. He then opened the cabinet under the sink to be met with a small rat, whom he believes is the shuffly fifth roommate that has been singing us to sleep for the past couple of weeks, and was (hopefully) the one in my hair. An hour later an exterminator arrived to scatter rat poison and pass me a handful of cheap sticky traps. We think that only the little guy is left, and our whole apartment is now booby-trapped in an effort to get rid of him.
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)


 

Florent Mothe: It’s 11PM and we’ve been here since 8- no, 9AM. It’s the finale scene of the video. We’ve filmed it all. It’s going well. We’re missing one thing. It’s just the last scene and it’s going to be nasty. [he falls into the mud] Is that good enough for you?
Off-Screen Voices: Not bad. Not bad.

Florent Mothe: Should I do playback? Should I do playback?

Florent Mothe: I can’t escape this thing!

Singing Crowd: It’s a dancing Florent! It’s a dancing Florent, it’s a dancing Florent, it’s Florent (etc)
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)


Florent Mothe: I work with a coach named Nathalie Dupuy who’s really well-known in this business, she knows a lot of people, she has really helped me, so I [discuss most everything?] with her.
 
Nathalie Dupuy: My job is to give the singer the confidence to little by little let go of the hold of his internal tension, so that the technique allows him to structure his articulation with a greater or smaller amplitude of air going in and to link that work with the emotional aspect of it.  But this link alone is- if the singer is good with his feelings, he’s good with his emotions.
 
Florent Mothe: I met Nathalie Dupuy during the Mozart l'Opéra Rock auditions, because she was there and offered advice and I thought I should take this advice because it’s pretty important.
 
Nathalie Dupuy: There aren’t so many differences between Mozart l'Opéra Rock and Florent: we want prolongations, a development, that you can find L’Assasymphonie in his album even if it’s in another form.  In any case there’s an emotionality that has the same power. But you get to a point where that power is Flo’s, and I have to trust him completely that there will be Florent Mothe in his album.  So there will be L’Assasymphonie, there has to be, because the two are linked in a way.  It’s like a marvelous costume that goes with a marvelous person.  You can’t disassociate the two.  And I think if it hadn’t been for Florent, L’Assasymphonie couldn’t have become the hit that it was.  Because I heard him singing it at the auditions and I had never heard it performed as emotionally as what Florent did with it.  It was his song. It is his song.  It will always be his song.
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)


Here are my attempts at transcribing the lyrics:
 
J’arrive pas à dire au revoir
Les yeux dans les yeux
Dans le noir sans ton regard
Je saurais peut-être mieux
M’en veux pas
Si je te parais lâche
Pour tout ce que je gâche
Je me dis parfois
C’est par peur d’être heureux

(Refrain)
Je ne sais pas parler d’amour
Je ne sais pas demander pardon
J’ai toujours peur d’être en dessous
Que tu m’ais attendu
Et puis t’avoir déçu
Il faudra toujours entre nous
Ne pas tricher ni se mentir, non
Mais au fond de toi saurais-tu
Me dire en face que
Que tu ne m’aimes plus?

Je n’arrive pas à m’en aller
À me dire que ça serait mieux
Je ne peux pas
Laisser les bras
Et encore moins baisser les yeux
M’en veux pas
Si je manque de courage
Si je rêve d’autres voyages
Si à chaque fois
Je ne fais que m’enfuir
 
I can’t bring myself to say goodbye
Eye to eye
In the dark without your gaze
Maybe I have a better idea how
Don’t be mad at me
If I seem lazy
For everything I mess up
Sometimes I tell myself
It’s out of fear of being happy

(Refrain)
I don’t know how to talk about love
I don’t know how to ask forgiveness
I’m afraid of being beneath
What you expected of me
And then to have disappointed you
The two of us should never
Cheat or lie to each other, no
But at your core would you know
How to tell me face to face
That you don’t love me anymore?

I can’t make myself leave
Or tell myself that that would be better
I can’t
Drop my arms
Or even lower my gaze
Don’t be mad at me
If I don’t have enough courage
If I dream of other journeys
If every time
I just run away
 

 
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)


Florent Mothe: That’s the director… of Mode d’Emploi!

Die Frau voiceover: Florent came in with a pretty good amount of ideas; he wanted to illustrate a lot of his songs.  I think it’s a very good idea to have this portrait of him with a black eye that says that we’re in a complicated time for men, where a man has to be macho and at the same time sensitive enough to understand what their girlfriends and friends want, you know? 

Die Frau to Florent: Good, like that but less pained, because I'm just a pig, all you have to do is beat me up!

Die Frau voiceover: It’s funny because Florent is a very handsome man, but he let us put the black eye on him willingly.  A lot of artists aren’t like that; they only want to show us their best side.
princesse_incongrue: Florent Mothe looking over his shoulder, singing, pain on his face (emo salieri)


Florent Mothe: We can work six months on one composition.  Make outlines, realize it can get better, go back, copy the parts out, add things, at the last minute in the studio we can find things, and then there are songs—one song is three minutes—sometimes there are songs that can be written in three minutes.
 
Dove Attia: Florent is a guitarist and also a harmonist, meaning he has a sense of the harmony, and he doesn’t like simple harmonies, so we’re leaving the majority of the choices behind, what we call the ? rhythm,  and he has this culture that’s a little jazzy, even sometimes a little South American, with ?, which results in this music that’s pretty rich and has comes from its own universe.
 
Dove Attia: The difficulty with Florent is having cohesion in his album, it’s going from his extremely moving songs to that are more intelligent, I’d even say like a new French scene.  Because he’s both.  Florent is both.
 
Florent Mothe: I need him to fix those faults you have when you aren’t very experienced in composing.  So we worked on all the songs I had, either the bits of lyrics, or bits of melody, maybe songs I’d already worked to death, but deserved to be corrected a little… yeah.  Dove Attia really helped me with that, and we even composed some—a good amount of melodies together.

princesse_incongrue: David Tennant with his arms around Billie Piper, holding her protectively (hugging rose and ten)
Being home is really nice. I'm getting the chance to regroup, to go through all my old stuff from before France and all the stuff I still have after France and get it all together. I took care of the insurance paperwork for my hospital stay, and now my dad is turning all the paperwork for the student loan payments and deferments over to me too. If I was still in France trying to figure everything out that would be stressful, but here I have the chance to take it slowly and stay organized.

But at the same time, I feel like I'm watching myself sink into irrelevance. The Mozart l'Opéra Rock fandom is now just a bunch of people on tumblr with a shared interest in the occasional gifset of Florent Mothe wandering around a studio. There was a mild interest in the 1789 musical, but not really in my recap or stagedoor stories of it. The Florum is just long strings of me sharing news and nobody commenting. Not to mention the fact that none of my friends, the people I was so desperate to get back to, seem to care that I'm home. Zero of the people located in and around my hometown have offered to hang out sometime. There's talk of us all getting together to go laugh through the next Twilight movie over Thanksgiving, but I know that if I don't plan it it won't happen. None of them are ever on skype anymore when I need someone to talk to, which is weird because we're in the same time zone now.

When I went to my first study abroad meeting two and a half years ago, they said not to worry about your friends moving on while you're gone, because when you return you'll inevitably find that you're the one who has changed. That was true when I came home for a month after my first semester in Paris. Now... it's the opposite. I have stronger stances on some issues, but I feel like I'm still sitting here putting on silly costumes, dancing to ABBA, and raving about MOR while everyone else goes off and does their own thing without looking back. Things will probably get better once I'm able to leave this town again, but I needed this break so badly and I'm not ready to start making those plans yet. I'm reluctant to make new friends for the two months I'll be here, because once I move on they'll just be more facebook status updates and more of me squinting and going "Do I actually know this person?". But now I've gone and isolated myself again just like in France. I need a few close friends, not a ton of casual ones, and sometimes I feel like I've invested myself in people who don't need me back. People who have other plans with other people whenever I ask if they want to hang out. I feel like that old paranoia from the bad times in the dorms is coming back, when I knew it was just that no one actually wanted to be around me.

I know I changed so much in France and I'm proud of everything I learned, but sometimes I wonder if I'd have been happier if I'd just stayed here in ignorance so they didn't have a chance to replace me.
princesse_incongrue: Prince Poppycock trying on a tall white wig (poppycock)
I'm back!

Protip: if you're having trouble breathing AT ALL, go ahead and head on over to your nearest hospital. It turns out that what I had was a pulmonary embolism, meaning sitting for hours with my legs crossed (and taking birth control) had caused a blood clot in my legs which had traveled up and lodged itself in my aorta, all but blocking the blood from my heart to my lungs. And, trying to avoid being caught in France with an expired visa, I thought I'd just wait it out. If that clot had gone any higher in my body I might have actually suffered brain damage.

Apparently my good ol' body is an absolute trooper, because the fact is, I first noticed a little bit of chest pain on Sunday, but I thought it was just being out of shape. Tuesday night I fainted and from that point forward breathing hurt. Wednesday I was convinced I would be fine (I think I something is wrong with my head, but I remember when my dad broke his foot a couple years ago he also insisted he was fine and limped around the house for a day and a half before he finally let us take him to the ER). When I woke up Thursday and the problem hadn't changed at all my boyfriend convinced me to call the hospital.

They sent a doctor over and he didn't know what the cause of my pain was, so he called us up an ambulance. It took them an hour to get to the place. I grabbed my purse and jacket and headed out, assuming they'd give me a pill or something and I'd be back online before dinner.

When they first started saying I'd have to be in the hospital for "quelques jours" [several days] I actually burst into tears. I was very shaken for the first day or so. They kept me in ICU for one or two days--time kind of blurred together--then moved me out early because they needed the space for someone else. After that I had a room that was bigger than Vincent's entire apartment, but unfortunately the TV wasn't free and there was no wifi, so Vincent brought me my laptop and (new) external hard drive, and I spent the rest of my Parisian hospital adventure watching Torchwood, RTD-era Doctor Who, Horrible Histories, Conan, and videos of me and my friends goofing off in the dorms.

I wasn't allowed out of the bed until Monday, meaning I had to use a bedpan. When they did let me up I couldn't believe how utterly delighted I was to go to a toilet on my own. My whole bed confinement had consisted of me avoiding drinking water and holding it in in order to spare myself the embarassment of ringing for the nurse to put that awful thing under me and having to essentially soil myself in the bed I wasn't allowed to leave.

I could see the top half of the Eiffel Tower from the window of my hospital room, which was pretty cool. Honestly, it was kind of nice to stay in a clean, quiet environment for a few days with three average meals brought to me and no one being surprised when I just stayed in bed watching movies all the time. The downside was all the needles that were coming at me. I had to get a shot morning and night with this horrible stuff that burned like HELL. They had to use it thin my blood so no more clots will form, and I'm on a pill that I'll be taking for at least six months. Every morning they woke me up around 6 or 7 to draw blood, but since I have deep veins there was this one attractive but not-so-bright nurse who could never find them and would just dig around in my arm with the needle.

Basically, my thighs and stomach are covered in bruises and puncture marks from the shots, my inner elbow creases and the backs of my hands are also bruised and punctured from blood being drawn, and I do not understand why IVs are considered a good idea. My IV hand is still all bruised and cripped.

Anyway, they say as long as I'm on this medication it should be impossible for new clots to form, but they're also edgy about me taking a plane in less than twenty days. I didn't mention my eleven hour train ride to them at all... nothing the doctors say will make me change my flight. I will DIE if I have to stay here much longer. I am so overwhelmingly homesick. I dreamed I was home multiple times over the past week and my heart broke every time I woke up and realized it wasn't true. I'll wear the fancy compression tights they're going to give me and I'll get up and walk a bit once an hour or so and I assume I'll be fine.

Oh, I'm never allowed to take birth control again, by the way. So... buckle up for my period to come back in full force. I did not miss the days of crippling cramps and my sudden urges to punch everyone who looked at me.

You fall in flames

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:38 am
princesse_incongrue: David Tennant with his arms around Billie Piper, holding her protectively (hugging rose and ten)
I had a really strange day yesterday. I slept a LOT, at least ten hours, maybe more. Then I ate leftover pasta and brownies that Vincent and I had made the night before while still lying in bed watching shows online. I'm not sure what else to do with my life right now.

Anyway then I went back to lying down watching shows and without realizing it fell asleep. The window was open and it was really cold out, but I was enjoying that after the hot summer we'd suffered here in France. I woke up just before Vincent and I were scheduled to go back over to my recent host family and have dinner. I felt groggy having just woken up, but I was excited for the dinner and seeing the family again. I noticed I was lightheaded, but I assumed it was because of all the unnecessary sleep I'd gotten.

Well, we were about two streets away from home when suddenly I got really dizzy. I told Vincent to wait and went to lean on a nearby storefront for support. I felt the dizziness totally take over and the next thing I knew, I realized I was dreaming, felt pavement against my hip and hand, and heard a lady's voice asking from a long way away if I needed a doctor. I mumbled I was fine and then I was on my feet again somehow, wondering what on earth was going on, and staggered a few feet away to sit on the curb while my hearing and vision slowly came back. I remember mumbling "Whoa, I think I might have fainted!" to Vincent, who said "Yeah, you were unconscious for about two minutes."

I felt really nauseated and my stomach was burning so I wondered if I was going to be sick, but I still tried to get to the dinner date. We crossed the street, Vincent hovering awkwardly nearby, and I realized I needed to sit again. It was hard to admit I wasn't going to make it to dinner. We went back to the apartment, only about two blocks away, but I needed to stop and rest at least six times and really doubted my ability to keep moving. I just wanted to lie down.

The scary part is that I'd noticed that taking deep breaths made my lungs burn a little bit for about a day, but ever since I fainted I've had something that's not quite heartburn, more like a dull throbbing pain in my chest. For a while I was secretly terrified it was a heart attack, but it's nowhere near that severe. I talked about it on facebook and a friend who's a nurse told me it sounded like my blood pressure was really low and my heart was having trouble getting enough oxygen. I've been taking deep breaths and the pain has decreased but even now, the next morning, it's there. It wasn't there when I first woke up, but by staying awake I've made it come back.

So yeah, color me freaked out. I've never fainted before in my life so I honestly thought it was cool and was rather disappointed that I only had Vincent to tell me what had happened, because he thinks of himself as a writer but he sure as hell isn't a storyteller. I had to ask him fifty times for various details before I got a vague idea of what he saw. Apparently I was about to lean on the building when suddenly I just dropped--the other way, so it wasn't even a graceful slide down the side of the store window or whatever--and Vincent's reaction was to try to drag me back to my feet. He said I said something about being fine (bizarre because I was absolutely unconscious then with no memory of this but I wouldn't be surprised since "I'M FINE" is my immediate reaction to everything that goes wrong) but as soon as he got me up I collapsed again. He said he was holding me on my knees for a while and that was when that passerby asked if she needed to call a doctor. At that point I was coming to and quickly responded in English about how fine I was.

Very strange! I'm planning to be on my feet a little more today, but unsure if I want to risk leaving the building in case something happens again. I'm thinking I'll start doing a TLC-level cleaning job on Vincent's place, one pile of mysterious items at a time, which will at least keep me walking around this little room. I might try taking some of his empty wine bottles down to the recycle bin in the courtyard if I feel up to it.
princesse_incongrue: Mrs Banks from Mary Poppins proudly displaying her "VOTES FOR WOMEN" sash (sister suffragette)
A couple months ago I stopped shaving my legs. I hate it and have always hated it, and no amount of stinky Nair, painful epilators, or sticky wax strips made it any better. Worse, whenever I was done shaving, my legs were revealed to be white as a skull and covered in tiny pink spots. My hair grows really fast, so the smoothness couldn't even last a full day. As soon as black-as-night hair started growing back, it was crazy visible against the aforementioned alabaster skin. So, to sum up, to have "ideal" smooth legs, I would have to shave them at least once a day, and the amount of time and water that would waste, not to mention money to replace razorblades and stuff, is more obnoxious than anything else. Also, I have reached a point in my life where I'm the one who cleans out the shower drain, if you see what I'm saying. Nuh-uh.

So yeah, the hair is pretty sparse, but it's noticable since it's so dark. I've gotten used to it, but as someone who always wears tights to avoid thigh chafing, I'm also the only person who ever sees it.

But yesterday it was too hot to think about tights, so I headed out to franprix in my sundress and hairy legs. I thought I would be nervous about it, but it turned out I didn't give a shit what people thought. It's my body, and if I hate shaving, why should I do it? Who am I trying to impress, and why do I want to impress someone who would require I do something I'm not interested in doing? I don't need to please strangers in the street. I don't need to please strangers in the street.

I didn't notice any looks at first, but as I was returning an older guy with a handlebar mustache was sitting outside a café. He looked me up and down the way men think they have the right to do in a world where women are just parading around trying to impress them, and when he saw my legs, his nonchalant expression turned into what can only be described as a glare. He sat there GLOWERING at my hairy legs.

So many things went through my mind as I walked by him with my head held high. Honestly, how can a man unironically say that hairy legs disgust him? Does he actually shave his own legs, or does he just hide them from his own sight to avoid offending himself? Even if he was a man who regularly shaved his own legs to avoid offending himself, why would he expect every other being on the planet to adhere to *his* beauty standard?

Secondly, and more amusingly: a man with a handlebar mustache was judging my body hair. Really? At least I don't have to buy a new tin of mustache wax every week. At least mine isn't plastered across my upper lip.

I wasn't embarrassed at all.
princesse_incongrue: Mrs Banks from Mary Poppins proudly displaying her "VOTES FOR WOMEN" sash (sister suffragette)
(strong language ahead)

You know what? I've had enough of people judging me and taking me for granted.

Yesterday my host mom tried to guilt me into staying two extra weeks! I accidentally agreed to one before I realized what was happening. So far we'd only agreed I'd spend two weeks with the little one--the schedule of this time she made for us was only for two weeks--but she caught me off guard with a text Sunday:

"Hello. I need you to confirm that you're going to stay with [the kid] until Friday, August 3rd. Thank you."

Without paying much attention, I answered "Ok." and, thinking that wasn't enough for a text, added, "And afterward you go on vacation?"

"No we leave August 9th. If you can keep him until then that would be better."

Suddenly I felt so obligated to agree to another week. I looked at a calendar and when I realized that my last day was SUPPOSED to be July 28th and she had already snuck another week in there, and that made something change in me. I made up a story about promising to house-sit in August, to which she petulantly answered something about how she would have to figure out a way to deal with that extra week herself. The worst part? That made me feel guilty. I had to keep telling myself that she doesn't have the RIGHT to MAKE me stay these extra weeks. She is fully capable of caring for ONE of her three children and cooking her own meals and ironing her own clothes for ONE WEEK. This is my time, my life, and she's damn lucky I didn't already leave when all the other au pair girls got to go home (Friday).

That was the beginning; I felt so liberated for having gotten out of that extra week (ignoring the one that got added in the process) that I started getting a grip on myself.


That evening as I was walk-of-shame-ing home from my boyfriend's apartment I didn't feel like putting on my tights again, so I didn't. I haven't shaved my legs in a while, but I went out anyway in my dress that hits me just above the knees. I spent the whole métro ride stressing that someone would see my legs and be grossed out by the hair when suddenly it hit me: who cares?!? I don't OWE random strangers anything! My body is the only thing that was given to me at birth and no one has the right to take it away from me. If someone looks at my legs and thinks it's gross that they're hairy, then FUCK them! They can look away or they can get over it. I've only got one life and maybe it's not a big priority for me to constantly be pulling hair out of my skin to appeal to a strangers' idea of beauty for a few minutes at midnight in a métro. It's especially disgusting that a man would have a problem with my legs when he himself never has to do shit about his, but he might expect a woman to spend ages with razors and lotions and whatever trying to make their own skin all hairless and unthreatening. Bullshit! If you don't like it, turn your damn head.


And then I noticed a group of assholes. I immediately decided that they were assholes because they were all putting their feet up in other seats, taking up twice as much space as necessary despite the crowded métro. They noticed me too: I was sitting across from them with my knees a little apart to support my bags on my lap (with my chunky thighs I knew no one was gonna see my underwear) and suddenly I become aware of three pairs of eyes on me, and worse--ALL OF THEM WERE TRYING TO SEE UP MY DRESS. They were STARING at my skirt, then would turn and mumble something and all three would burst into laughter and go back to staring.

Up till now my brain would have said "well, at least they're still attracted to you despite your greasy hair, flabby thighs, and hairy legs" but that bullshit thinking is finally leaving me. Who are these assholes to think they can violate my privacy like this? Just because I have a vagina that they can't see doesn't mean they should so blatantly TRY! It was insulting, it was robbing me of my humanity and my right to wear whatever I goddamn well want to. The longer they stared the more furious I became.

We all arrived at the final stop and when I stood, I moved back so that they would leave the train first. Obviously don't want people like that where I can't see them. Then, one of them actually APPROACHED me. As if he could behave like a fucking sex offender the whole train ride and then maybe suddenly I would want to SPEAK TO HIM? My headphones were in (loud) and I have no idea what he said (probably "ça va") but, fuming, I held my middle finger up about an inch away from his nose and stomped off the train.

It was an amazing feeling (I've never flipped anyone off in my life), though I was afraid afterwards (since it was almost 1am) and I admit I wished I had something I could use to stab him in the throat if he decided to attack me.


The last part happened today when I was listening to music and cooking. A song from Mozart l'Opéra Rock came on and, embarrassed after my host family's teasing that I always listen to the same songs, I started to skip it. But then I realized--FUCK THEM. If I want to listen to one song over and over and over then I have the goddamn right! Who ever made the rule that everyone on the planet must listen to a wide array of many songs to be a well-rounded human being?


So there we go. I'm tired of apologizing for who am I, what I like, and what I look like. I'm tired of feeling guilty and ashamed over every choice I make. I *am* me, and I've been able to look after myself pretty damn well for the past 23 years, so who do these people think they are to criticize that? If I'm happy with my outfits, my choices, and what I spend my time doing, and none of those things are endangering anyone around me, then no one has any right to try to change it but ME.

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la princesse incongrue

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