Wednesday, April 18, 2007

flirting in the dark

On a tenebrous early October evening, you are drifting down Rue Saint-Honoré for a rendezvous with some friends in the beguilingly darkened bar of the Hotel Costes.
Along the way you softly hum strains of Malcolm McLaren's 'Jazz is Paris'*...
"I wore black on Saint-Germain-des-Prés... Feelings in the air, they love today... It's true, I don't believe... In love beyond the grave... But then I listened to a trumpet play..."
Hmm... wrong street, but how prescient with the de rigueur done-to-death hide-the-stains black. The hallway models/doormen at the Costes are also all in black... tight black tee-shirts, tight black pants, sleek dark hair, chic little black headsets.
You feel like a rounded version of them in your tight black shirt and skirt.
Heads are swivelling, but not for you... Gwyneth Paltrow is slinking her way out the door. A pale high-contrast vision in Siberian ice-floe white.
The dimmed lighting throughout the hotel barely illuminates the exotically lush décor, creating a contemporary Cimmerian milieu.
In the bar lounge, it is effectively a virtual black-out. You feel your way gingerly - you don't wish to inflict any unintentional gropes, (yet!) - towards your table, guided by the sound of your friends' voices.
As you sit down, you squint your eyes to try to see who else is amassed around you. When your eyes have adjusted somewhat, you make out a clumped together couple in the next banquette. No body parts are flailing about, so you guess that they are still safely pre-coital... but then again, they could well be exhaustedly post-coital!
As you order your drink from a slender shadow, you sense heads turning towards a more voluptuous shape entering the room. There is the hint of a tear-away buckskin(?!) dress with fringes. Whispers of the name 'Béatrice Dalle' pierce the air...
She fumbles dramatically towards a table, and a man (presumably!) rises to the occasion. She gestures sensually, or perhaps a little bewilderedly, and he helps her find her chair.
Unfortunately, without a spotlight on them, it is hard to fathom how much more is going on in the darkness, but you surmise that the flirtatious stage has been successful when they leave a while later with their arms draped around each other.
And you have yet to make eye contact with anybody at all! As if that will ever happen in this obfuscated world of the parisian demi-monde...

excerpted from "Flirting in the Dark... as dimly heeded by Mme. V" by g. verster, 2003
[*verse from 'Jazz is Paris' written and performed by Malcolm McLaren on his album "PARIS", 1994]