3 AM, Paris Time

Monday, June 1, 1981 12:01 PM

It was on a quiet street near the Étoile. A hostess met me just inside the door. I was standing in a small room, somewhat intimate and rather cozy, with a bar off to my right. Half a dozen jeunes filles sat at the bar talking to one another. They paid no attention to me. I turned to my left and disappeared down a corkscrew stairway. It was another small room, somewhat more intimate, directly below the one on top, full of soft rock music. Most of the girls were engaged.

With the slightest nod of his head and wave of a hand, the maître d'hôtel directed me to a seat with two of the girls. They were knockouts. I mean, they appeared to be gorgeous, but in that light you never know. I declined, went back upstairs to the bar, where I ordered a bière d'Alsace.

A good-looking redhead, in her thirties, came over to play with one of my ears. She kept playing and talking until she made up her mind that I must be a cad because I did not offer to buy her a bottle of champagne. Then she vanished down the corkscrew. I stayed put.

The hostess behind the bar did not like that. She was puzzled by my unorthodox behavior. She even found it necessary to ask if I preferred the boys to the girls. When I replied no, she stopped talking to me, even though I wanted to talk to her. She was trying to let me know that I was talking to the wrong person and that I was a cheapskate sitting by myself.

Meanwhile, businessmen from Japan, the provinces and points west, came through the door and went immediately downstairs. One of them, a distinguished-looking older Frenchman, came running back up only a few moments later, moving as if his clothes were on fire. He had apparently wandered in by mistake. He had sized up the situation and wanted out. There was a charming blond right on his heels, insisting that he return and enjoy himself. A real beauty.

After the gentleman had made good his escape, she perched herself on the bar stool beside me and ran her fingers through my hair. Her hands were warm, soft and suggestive. I decided it was time to stop feeling like a cheapskate.

For some reason she kept insisting I must be English, especially after I firmly refused to allow her to unzip my zipper. Was this any way for an American to act? She wanted to know. Not waiting for an answer, she took my free hand and shoved it down the front of her low-cut dress. “Que pensez-vous, cheri? Bonne qualité, n’est-ce pas?” I had to agree.

Her shoulders were also remarkably well-shaped. She asked me to kiss one of them, which I did, right on the edge. That made her feel good. Progress. I fully concurred in everything she was saying about herself, but I found myself responding in detached, almost scientific tones, as if commenting upon a piece of sculpture, an art object. The beer was turning me into a philosopher, not a philanderer. Presently, she began to unzip my zipper once again.

While this is happening, none of the other girls or the hostess behind the bar is paying the slightest attention to us. It is as if the blond and I are in another room, all by ourselves. Nothing is going to surprise or shock them except a fellow not buying a bottle of champagne. That they cannot comprehend, because it so seldom happens. Aside from that, anything goes, everything is acceptable. 

I asked Yvette, that's her name, to calm down, and if perhaps she would care to dance. She would. I zipped myself up. Next scene: Yvette and I are in the middle of the tiny dance floor downstairs, jammed in with other couples, all moving slowly but not too slowly in front of a four piece electric combo, and surrounded by other couples lounging against the walls, drinking champagne, some directly from the bottle, some asleep, when, without warning, Yvette shoves her hand down the front of my pants.

Three young Japanese men are on the floor with us, junior executive types who are taking over the world, starting with Paris first, and they are smashed. In fact, they appear to have passed out on their feet. Their French girlfriends look annoyed by it all.

Meanwhile, Yvette has her tongue in my ear and is making me laugh. I'm being attacked and I'm enjoying it. Then, to let me know what I'm getting, Yvette sticks this truly extraordinary tongue of hers out in front of my philisophical face. I observe its length, shape, color, texture. Before I can react, Yvette gives me a nice, warm and juicy kiss. Meanwhile, I am attempting to disengage her hand. It is difficult to dance with a girl's hand in your pants.

When the music stops and the floor begins to clear, I absolutely insist that Yvette behave herself, at least just a little. We were right out in the open then.  Exasperated, she demands to know if I think we are in a church. "This is not a church, cheri!” she shouts. She had a point there. Any philosopher, any fool could see that, including myself. A bottle of champagne, perhaps? Certainly.


Copyright 1981 Patrick Foy