“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everybody draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - it's wet. ”
― Banksy, Wall and Piece
Kind of obsessed with Bansky at the moment to be honest.
Also watch this it will change your life.
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The fucking cat was on my windowsill again. His mewl was almost as loud as the passionate couple above us, and I wanted to kill something, preferably him. He had a little white tipped tail, and a handsome tuxedo. The female cats in the alley below clung to him like furry lint, and I could be sure to find a chorus below, waiting for my precious few drops of cream. I usually hissed at him, in an attempt to scare him off, but today he seemed particularly bold and I didn’t want to bother. By my calculations she would be awake any moment now, and I glanced in the direction of the couch, where she lay sprawled across my former best friend’s brother, their chests rising and falling. She looked so peaceful in sleep, her hair curling in reckless tendrils across her shoulders.
The cat and I stared each other down for a few moments, before I broke our unblinking contact to pour a bowl of muesli before I began my chores. The flat was a mess. It was particularly beautiful, worn and sunlit, with huge arched ceilings and several rooms. It was my own little Petit Trianon on the Rue Noir. I kicked a pile of clothing aside as I walked through the rooms, surveying my damage. I couldn’t remember, but I’d taken up a particularly bad clubbing infatuation when I arrived, and it continued, complete with strange men in my bed afterward.
I missed home like that sometimes, the steady relationships and petty gossip, my mother’s accented charm and my father’s charismatic speeches for everything. I lifted my eyes to the tiny framed portrait on a windowsill, half covered by orchids blooming brightly, the last one my family, my real one, had taken before I left. My eye twitched like I was trying to cry. I had certainly forgotten how to. My days now were filled with my own personal happiness, chasing the Metro where I wanted to go; instead of following the guided tour I had so often been set.
My bedroom wasn’t particularly cluttered this morning. There were no awkwardly dressing one-night stands perplexed in the daylight by the fact I had chosen to take them of all people home, and the floor at least was clear. The surface of my desk was another matter, and I was forced to move a pile of papers before I sat down and swiveled to face to wall over my bed, occupied by a humongous and exquisite map, marked with my notes and pins and red twine and blue twine connecting everything in my existence. The bright pink Post-It note above my carefully denoted current position read a reminder for the day’s plan, which would begin just before dusk. I had time to kill.
From next door came the first operatic notes of Mademoiselle Agnès’ morning vocal exercises, and I weighed the virtues of a brief conversation with her. The allure of supplementing my meager breakfast with her croissants and pleasant scales won out, and I walked to my window, opening it and climbing out onto the sill. The cat glanced up from licking his paw and bounded over to me, leaping the jump I needed the fire escape to cross. Mademoiselle had left her window open as usual, and I slid through, the goddamn cat slipping under before I could stop him.
He rubbed against my legs, purring, while I shivered in the frigid air of her flat, which she claimed helped the vocal chords. Her voice in her bedroom stopped abruptly and she came to greet me, stroking the cat and cooing in her native French. Her English was really horrific. “And what is this handsome gentleman’s name?” I scowled, nudging him with my foot and explaining him as a hanger-on I didn’t really want or own. She nodded.
“Tea, Cordelia? Pastries, perhaps? I must fatten you up darling.” Our arrangement worked sufficiently. We both had company in the early mornings and she had someone to listen to her voice, as a voice no one can hear is wasted. She said that often, citing the age old ‘if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?’ in example. I, in return, got delicious buttery pastries with rich, flaky crusts that were pure heaven.
This morning was particularly good, and by the time we parted it was nearly eleven o’clock, the time Tally was known to wake up. I grabbed the cat, which I was beginning to call Dingue, a slur for a stalker, and raced out her front door into my own, grabbing the attention of the grouchy old writer between us who grumbled as I slid past in my stocking feet into my own boundary, giving him a cheeky smile and a ’Bonjour Monsieur, ça va?’. He grumbled more in presumable response. I shut the door and bolted it, whirling to face Matt Stonem petting Dingue.
“Tally’s still asleep.” He whispered. “And where have you been?” I ignored him. I only dealt with him for Tally’s sake; it was too ridiculous and complicated of her to have brought in another person to our arrangement. “Oh, yeah, and some guy climbed in through the window. He’s waiting in your room.” Matt shrugged noncommittally, while the fucking cat purred on. He was supposed to be on my side. “Thanks.” I snapped. “Let strangers into my home please.”
I padded down the hall cautiously, if it was a dealer of any sort I was in trouble. They weren’t supposed to know where I lived. I tightened my hand on my rosary, not only to hold it close, but to pray in some way as well. The door was ajar, and sprawled on my white bed sheets was a contrastingly handsome, well-muscled young man, with dark hair and stubble, at least a few days old. He was flipping through a magazine I bought on a whim, smirking.
“Etienne.” I tried to sound stern but I was too pleased, and he pulled himself up to bound over and wrap me in a tight hug. “You’re back.” He nodded assent at my mingling languages. “Oui, I am back.” I couldn’t help but break into a smiled now, and I pulled back to trace his rough jawline with a finger. “So how have you been, heartbreaker?” I cooed, and he bent down to whisper in my ear, his lips on mine in a brief, sweet moment. I was intoxicated by the suddenness of his arrival, and even more so by his passion. We stepped apart to breathe. “So no Barcelona girls for you?” He frowned. “Never.” I wrapped my legs around his torso and held tightly, kissing him so hard I was dizzy. His familiar scent washed over me, vanilla from the boulangerie, and his fingers tangled in my hair in the way he used to drive me crazy.
There was a clearing throat from behind us, and we wrenched apart quickly. He grabbed my hand. There was a skeptical Tally staring him, no, us, down. “So, want to introduce me?”
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Heh, you get your part tomorrow @sophiaspastic