4 Bottles of Red Wine in Montmartre


montmartreOn my third night in Paris, I met a heavy metal dude from Scotland. He had long hair that covered the top third of his Iron Maiden t-shirt and hand rolled his own cigarettes. I’ve always secretly wished to be a heavy metal guy myself, to say “screw it all!” and walk around looking like I was in a Motorhead cover band. This guy I met in Paris was super cool. Laid back, with an intensely thick accent. We sat in the hostel bar and ordered bottles of red wine. One, two, three. The wine was causing us to be loud. It was after two in the morning and the hostel kicked us out, shoeing us off. We bought another bottle of wine and staggered down the streets of Montmartre. It was raining, lightly. The metal dude took out his phone and started playing “Surrealistic Pillow” through its small speakers. The music was soft, like we were in the parking lot of a Jefferson Airplane concert in 1968. We drank and sang. Ohhhhh you’re my, best – you ARE my best friend – we slurred the lyrics and swayed. Nobody else was out on the streets and it was dark. He smoked another cigarette and then he sat down on a bench and starting vomiting. I swigged from the bottle and told him it was okay. Halfway through the bottle, drunk as hell, I sat on the bench myself and puked wine all over the street. The metal dude laughed and we drank until the bottle was empty. I talked about going to Scotland. Why not? I’d always wanted to go to Scotland. And I’d have to see my new best friend in the whole world, the metal guy, couldn’t abandon him. He was thrilled. We started making plans. The rain picked up a little bit and we began walking back to the hostel, holding each other up. The next morning my head pounded, wine slamming my brain against the walls of my skull. The metal dude was leaving Paris, and he wrote his email on a little slip of paper, gave it to me, and about twenty minutes later he was gone and so was that little slip of paper because I’d lost it.

Ah well. Friends always seem to fade away, I’d just accelerated the process by losing his contact information. I didn’t even remember his name. I’ve had a lot of friendships drift apart after two, three years…this one was kaput after two days. Is there really that much of a difference? It occurred to me that I wouldn’t be going to Scotland, but damn, that was a hell of an exciting trip to plan. I went and saw Rodin’s Thinker and then the Eiffel Tower, and when it got dark, I sat in the hostel bar and found new people to drink with.



15 thoughts on “4 Bottles of Red Wine in Montmartre

  1. My friends and I had a similar experience in Paris, unwittingly (drunkenly) picking up a tour guide who was originally from Senegal, announcing loudly and frequently that we were “great friends”. He showed us the night life (sex shops) and tried to take us out on the town (his shitty apartment). Life was good when we were young and stupid. I have no idea how we survived.

    • Hahaha. I like the parenthetical truth. Yeah, the cool thing about traveling is you end up joining up with all these random people, and more often from not they’re really cool. Sometimes, yes, a bit shady. But that adds to the fun. Glad you got to see sex shops in Paris – I took a nice safe walk through Pigalle in the afternoon and even then some guy tried to drag me into a place called “Pussy’s.”

  2. I have never been to Paris, but if it’s anything close to as enchanting as portrayed in Midnight in Paris, your surrealistic encounter is tota;;y understandable. I’ve had my share of one-week and two-week friends. What’s the best part of such friendship is that they’re simply fanstastic while they last, coz there’s no pressure to make it last!

    • Yeah, exactly! How’s it going Aparna? You gotta go to Paris! I loved it. I want to go back. It’s just a beautiful, wonderful city. And contrary to the bad rep, I found the Parisians to be very nice and helpful. Go to Kayak and buy a plane ticket! Now!

  3. Funny how you can bond so quickly and then move away just as circumstances dictate. Maybe if you were both sober, the conversation would have been quieter and there would be less to talk about.
    I often wondered that when I traveled and met other travelers: if I was at home, what would you (perfect stranger) and I have in common?

    • Yeah, it’s amazing how easy it is to meet people when you travel. I guess it’s the mutual need for company. A lot of people seemed to think it was kind of brave or something that I went traveling alone, but I think that’s the way you should do it. There are so many other people doing the same thing, it’s tough to get lonely. And, yes, booze helps. : D

    • Hi Isabella! That’s too sweet. I’m sure that couldn’t have possibly made your weekend. If so, perhaps we need to start planning now to make sure your next weekend is better. : )

    • Absolutely! The painting is by some dude named Leonid Afremov. It looks like an old French painting but – the guy started painting in the 1980s, and although I couldn’t find a date on this one, I’d guess it was done sometime in the last 20 years. His stuff is really colorful and I think the kid has talent.

      Always a pleasure Miss Motion!

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