La Femme de Fer (The Lady of Fire)

Allez-Roxy bébé,
Like a fucking tourist I was mesmerised by the view of the Eiffel Tower from the apartment. I believe it’s because I don’t have to walk the filthy-rotten streets or catch the stinking Metro hot with human-humidity to go see the beautiful lady. When I do venture out on the Metro I douse myself in parfum, GUCCI Flora to be exact, to protect me from catching some air-born Parisien virus.

From the seventh-floor balcony I can see La Dame de Fer—the Eiffel Tower—and La Meringue on the other side (Sacre Cœur). I feel like the two monuments are a tale of a woman’s l’histoire d’amour. It begins at the church, le Sacre Cœur; the wedding day is here and she is dressed all in white, towering high in her big hooped meringue. Then of course night descends and she is set ablaze by passion on her wedding night. She finds her man unfaithful and sets herself and her dress alight. She is burning, quite a spectacle to behold. Like her bridal waltz all alone, she is dancing—spinning around, drunk and dizzy. She lights up the night sky with her golden flames; for all of Paris to see the rage of her tortured memory each night.

The few times I’ve been to the Trocadéro, once with my lover Driss on his moto, we stood underneath at the foot of the big-skirted girl and I felt like a pervert standing there between her legs looking up at her cunt between her thighs. However, the first time I saw her I was with Renaud, an old lover, now a friend. I still recall what we argued about that night all those years ago. He made the point firmly that I was mistaken and that the old lady was in fact a man, who was lying back with his crowning glory, a big-phat-cut-cock with a long-hard-erect-triumphant-metallic shaft and adorned with a crowning glorious head. The nightly display a shower of golden sparkling champagne, like ejaculate all over itself, revelling in its own ecstasy.

I thought maybe now in these austere dark days of autumn in Paris, the lady is a junkie. The form is no longer a dress but a heroin needle injecting, giving her a nightly show of exhibitionism, like the Moulin Rouge. Vegas-lights-rock-light. Each and every night there is spectral, a display of exultation from her cocaine high.

I am tired of these beautiful-old-decaying-rotten-dirty-wretched streets and then I think of St Germain. It feels like another world, another life. Set apart, yet now contained within the ever-encompassing open slums of austerity that has crept in from the outskirts of town, la banlieue. The heroin addict has scaled the beige city’s walls. Not only of les portes de Paris proper, but all of Europe. So the lady is a stripper, she does her nightly dance and at the end of her act, she burns her dress. She is left naked and in her short, mind-obliterating junkie high she trembles with the champagne-shower-ejaculate all over her body. Coming down hard from her drug addled heights, she has the banlieue bleues.

Walking up rue Marcadet to my apartment from the Metro Guy Môquet (my first mistake!), I asked the barkeep at the brasserie Christophe Colomb “if I could use the bathroom”. He asked directly “if I would be buying a drink?” I answered “non.” Then he replied directly, “NON!” How could a man deny a woman the use of a toilet? The French are fucking special, that is why Napoleon never had his victory march through the Arc de Triomphe and all that remains is just a cauchemar of a roundabout.

L’amour toujours dur… FUCKING L’AMOUR! What the fuck do I know about this emotion? Less than zero! Natta! Nix! Rien! Diddley-Squat! Zip! Zilch! I slept alone last night, yet again. There is always a reason, always an excuse: a motorcycle accident, sick siblings, a razor, a clean shirt, midnight meetings, or just plain old hustling. Me, I will sleep alone tonight like the two nights before. The wind blows, the rain falls, then darkness descends and I am left alone. Perhaps I too have the banlieue bleues?

Its morning here and dinner time in Sydney… Je vais chercher un croissant… Last night’s candles snuffed out, empty wine glasses, his umbrella leaning against the bureau. I think to the Roman goddess Aurora; goddess of the dawn, she heralds a new day, carrying the flame to light the sun. She had a mortal lover as we all do, hers the Prince of Troy.

I would shake the colour off my skin for him and then for some reason I hope that he loves me always, down to my heart-beating soul. Oh, how I hope for la grasse matinée every morning together. He is here now in front of me and we will make love loudly, his heart-beating-pounding-body-and-soul on top of me, giving me what I waited for all night long in the lonesome sounded-out hours of the night before.

What to make of these moments of ecstasy, my happiness always fleeting, never permanent. Then it is my turn to leave and I no longer wait for him; I spend the days and nights without him.
Oh, how time marches on…
Keep well my, dear young friend Roxanne,
Bisous ton amie,




XXXX has been a bad waitress, a horrible barista, a very green optimistic graduate Urban Planner, then a hardened bitter nihilistic Urban Planner. Her only real home is her Olivetti typewriter onto which she pours all her emotions, between being blind drunk, smoking thousands of Gauloises cigarettes and occasionally sniffing an oily rag to help her stay upright and stabbing the keys. She blogs at
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